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Susan S. Yeske: Recipe of the Week — It’s turkey time


This is the week when I like to write about hotlines in case you have turkey questions and offer new ideas on how to use leftovers. So here goes.

The mother of all hotlines was created in 1981 by the folks at Butterball. Since then, millions of callers have reached out to ask questions ranging from simple to unique. Among the craziest calls were the man who had cut his turkey in half with a chainsaw and was worried the grease it left behind might be a problem; the person who wanted to thaw his turkey in the toilet; the man who wanted to strap his turkey to his luggage rack to thaw it out; and the woman who wanted to give her turkey a “bikini” look (answer: strategically arranged pieces of foil during the cooking process).

To reach the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line for specific questions, dial 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text 844-877-3456. Butterball also anticipates questions at its website if you want to read ahead. The hotline remains operational through Dec. 24.

The FDA recommends eating leftover turkey for three to four days after the holiday. Freeze it if you have any left after that. Don’t let it sit in fridge gathering bacteria after that.

Two additional hotlines you can use year-round: The FDA Food Information Line: 1-888-SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366), and the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)/TTY 1-800-256-7072.

Some home cooks aren’t looking for new ideas on how to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey; they are satisfied with a repeat meal the next night, followed by hot and cold sandwiches. Others make turkey hash, turkey tetrazzini, turkey tacos, turkey soup or turkey casseroles.

For a different way of serving leftover turkey, this recipe comes from Have a great holiday!

Skillet Turkey Pot Pie

This recipe from calls for ham but you can easily use more turkey if you don’t have ham on hand. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs can be substituted. Use one third of the suggested amount of fresh.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

1 lemon

¾ cup low-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and pepper

2 ½ cups shredded leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken

3 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

3 ounces leftover sliced ham or thick sliced deli ham, torn into ½- inch pieces (about ½ cup)

2 scallions, finely chopped

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment. Unfold the pastry and cut into a 9- to 10-inch round. (Reserve pastry trimmings for another use.) Transfer to the prepared pan. Brush with the egg and bake until puffed and golden, 18 to 22 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, squeeze 2 tablespoons juice and grate 2 teaspoons zest from the lemon. In a 9- to 10-inch skillet, heat the cream cheese, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water over low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in the sour cream, mustard, thyme, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Fold in the turkey, gruyere, ham, scallions and parsley and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

3. Top with baked puff pastry and serve.