Thanksgiving turkey and the L-wordToday you may be...

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November 21, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Thanksgiving turkey and the L-word

Today you may be thinking about thawing your turkey -- but almost before you know it, you are going to be wondering what to do with . . . the leftovers.

Some people love turkey leftovers, and even plan for them. But others simply have leftovers thrust upon them. In any case, it's nice to have plans for the bounty. If you're tired of turkey sandwiches and turkey salad, here are some other dishes you might like to try:

Sumptuous soup

When the weather turns nippy, soup is a great warmer-upper. Here's a soup from Tabasco guaranteed to make diners feel toasty.

Turkey vegetable soup

Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 large celery stalks, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced

3 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth

2 cups diced leftover turkey

1 15-ounce can cream-style corn

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce

1/2 cup small bowtie pasta or egg noodles

In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot oil, cook celery, carrots and onion until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add turkey broth, diced turkey, cream-style corn, parsley, salt and hot-pepper sauce. Over high heat, heat to boiling.

Add bowtie pasta, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turkey is the most common leftover after the Thanksgiving feast, according to a "Lingering Leftovers Poll" conducted in the Northeast by the Wirthlin Group for Heinz HomeStyle Gravy. Sixty-two percent of respondents said they had turkey left over; it was followed by stuffing at 33 percent and potatoes at 28

percent. But no leftovers linger long: by the Sunday following T-day, 71 percent have gobbled them up.

Here's a suggestion from Heinz for using some of that turkey: Make turkey tacos. Dice cooked turkey and simmer in a mixture of turkey gravy and prepared salsa, to taste. Spoon into taco shells and top with shredded lettuce, grated Cheddar cheese and chopped tomato.

Here's a recipe from the folks at the Campbell Soup Co. that would make a good, hot lunch or family supper.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Serves 4

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken

1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 1/2 cups hot, cooked, very thin spaghetti (about 3 ounces dry)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine soup, milk, onion, cheese and sour cream. Stir in turkey and zucchini. Add spaghetti; toss to coat. Spoon into 1 1/2 -quart casserole.

Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Serve with additional grated cheese if desired.

Turn leftover turkey into a Southwestern-style snack or lunch dish. This recipe was developed by noted cookbook author Sarah Leah Chase for the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.

Turkey tortilla pizzas

Makes 3 dozen wedges

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups cooked turkey breast meat, cut in julienne strips

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin julienne strips

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into thin julienne strips

1 medium onion, cut into crescent slivers

6 8-inch flour tortillas

1/2 pound shredded smoked Cheddar or regular Cheddar cheese

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Combine all of the dried herbs and spices, tossing to blend. Toss the herbs and the strips of turkey and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pepper strips and the onion and saute until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the turkey mixture and saute another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

When ready to assemble the pizzas, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tortillas lightly on one side with remaining olive oil. Place the tortillas, oil-side up, on baking sheets and cook in the oven until just beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.

Remove the tortillas from the oven and sprinkle each with some of the shredded Cheddar to cover the surface all over. Divide the turkey-vegetable mixture evenly among the pizzas. Sprinkle the top of each with some of the diced tomatoes and cilantro.

Bake the pizzas until the cheese has melted and the tops are beginning to brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Cut each pizza with a pizza cutter into 6 wedges and serve at once.

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