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WHAT'S COOKING? Enjoy Thanksgiving side dishes, leftovers

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Teresa Hatchell 2005

Teresa Hatchell

Well, it is officially “Thanksgiving Eve” – the perfect day to prepare and tightly cover your pickle/relish tray, a bowl of beets, a deviled egg tray, a dish of cranberry sauce, etc. Then prepare sealable containers of veggies to be used to toss a salad together tomorrow. You may recall that last week I mentioned today’s column will be dedicated to easy holiday side dishes besides the typical mac ‘n cheese, sweet potato casserole and dressing/stuffing that you may already have in your menu lineup. Too, I promised to give ideas for yummy uses for leftover poultry and/or pork.

In keeping with tradition, you may make sandwiches with scraps of baked or fried turkey or ham. But think beyond the bread, if you will, to the flavorful wok/skillet stir-fried turkey or pork recipes below. Or, you may also choose to use your leftovers to make a nice pot of stir-it-all-together “leftovers soup.” Those thoughts shared, I would like to wish you all a delicious and wonderful Thanksgiving abounding in gratitude, kindness and love!

WHAT'S COOKING? ‘Give thanks’ with a grateful heart

Old-fashioned corn pie

1 (8-3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn

1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

2 tablespoons melted butter

3 large eggs, beaten

2 cups whole milk, heated

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour both cans of corn into a large bowl. Add the melted butter and beaten eggs to the corn and stir until everything is well combined. Add milk, sugar, salt and pepper and stir vigorously. Pour this into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

WHAT'S COOKING? Delicious snacks, desserts feature pecans

Ethel’s asparagus casserole

(This is a recipe of the much-loved, late Ethel Sharp.)

2 slices toasted bread, cut in four squares

1 can asparagus, drain and reserve liquid

1 can cream of mushroom (or cream of onion) soup

2 cups grated sharp cheese

Crumbled potato chips

Line a small casserole dish with the slices of toasted bread. Add the asparagus. Mix the mushroom soup with about 1/2 of the juice from the asparagus. Pour this over the casserole and top it with grated cheese. Crumble potato chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bubbling. This recipe may be tripled for a 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Mandarin orange salad

(This is my friend Tami Hutto's recipe.)

1/2 cup slivered almonds or pecans

2 tablespoons sugar

4 cups each torn lettuce and spinach

1 medium sliced red onion

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, well drained

Grated cheese


1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled

Dressing for this salad: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup sugar or Splenda, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, dash of black pepper. Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for one hour or until ready to use.

For the almonds and sugar: In a heavy skillet, cook the almonds and sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar melts and coats the almonds. Watch carefully to make sure that the almonds do not overcook. Pour the sugared almonds onto a piece of foil to cool. Then break them apart.

For the salad, layer as follows: greens, onion, oranges, cheese, almonds, bacon and croutons. Shake the dressing well and pour it over the salad. “Toss” the salad when you are ready to serve it. $5 for 5 months

Broccoli-bacon salad

2 (1-pound) packages frozen broccoli florets

2 cups green or red seedless grapes

1 cup chopped green scallions (optional)

8-ounce package shredded mild or medium cheddar cheese

1 cup real bacon bits (not imitation)

1 cup (lite) mayonnaise

2 level teaspoons white sugar

Steam the broccoli for two minutes (no longer), drain well. Chop it to desired size and cool it to room temperature. Put the chopped broccoli into a large bowl and add all other ingredients. Toss to evenly distribute the ingredients. Put the salad into a large salad bowl, tightly cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate. This recipe makes 8 to 10 servings.

Turkey-pineapple tropical stir-fry

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 (15-1/4-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

3 cups leftover turkey/chicken, cubed or shredded

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

In a large wok or skillet, heat one tablespoon peanut oil. Add the drained pineapple chunks and stir fry for about three minutes. Add the turkey to the pan and stir fry for about five minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, combine cornstarch and water to make a paste. Add the paste, soy sauce and sugar to the wok/skillet and cook on medium heat, tossing every minute, for about three minutes. This is delicious served over rice. This recipe makes six servings.

Pork fried rice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cups leftover ham/pork, cubed or shredded

2 cups cooked rice (firm, not soggy)

Soy sauce, to taste

In a large skillet, saute' onions and bell pepper in two tablespoons of olive oil until the onions are transparent. Pour this mixture into a bowl.

Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and stir in the ham/pork and rice. Cook for about five minutes on low heat. Pour the vegetable mixture into the skillet and splash with several dashes of soy sauce. Cook this on low heat, tossing every minute or two, for about five minutes. This recipe makes six servings. You may want to round off the meal with a fresh green salad. This recipe makes six servings.

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