Your relatives have all evacuated your home leaving you with gunk on the floor, pans in the sink and memories of heated debates and animated laughter. You open the fridge and shock, horror, leftovers, scraps or even The Unconsumed, remain, all bearing over you like some scary movie. You dare not throw it away and placing it in the freezer would be a mistake, similar to last year’s turkey, which only got tossed out two days ago. So what do you do with all this stuff?
Here are some scrumptious ideas, which are both easy to make and give a modern twist on the leftovers your mother prepared. Don’t be afraid when you open the refrigerator and see a mound of food. Instead, get excited that remnants can be reinvented into something tasty and easy. We will be pairing wines for each specific dish, to complement the flavors in both the food and the wine, rounding off your Thanksgiving merriments in a cheerful, and stress-free fashion.
Turkey Cacciatore with Santa Cristina Rosso, Toscana IGT
Wine: Santa Cristina Rosso, Toscana IGT
Grape Blend: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah
Buy online: www.totalwine.com
Santa Cristina winery has been operational since the mid 1940’s, first specializing in Chianti Classico. During the 1980’s Santa Cristina decided to modify their grape blend in reaction to the DOCG laws (government guarantees of the wine’s origins) requiring lower vineyard yields, which resulted in Chianti Classico grapes becoming so complex and rich that they required more aging. Santa Cristina added Merlot to soften and open the wine, making it fruity and mellow. The result modified their blend variety and produced a pleasant wine. With each grape variety fermented separately, in both steel and oak, fresh, yet complex notes, enhanced the wine’s layers.
The nose of the Santa Cristina, Rosso is a bowl of ripe cherries with hints of blueberries. The taste is full bodied with syrupy tannins, beside a palate of rich red fruits covered in a balsamic glaze. Fresh mint is a distant, yet present coating of crispness. There is a lingering aftertaste of cherry pie, pepper and nutmeg, to warm your tongue and satisfy your palate.
Santa Cristina, Rosso, Toscana, IGT 2015, is a perfect wine to accompany many foods. It pairs particularly well with Italian food and a prime example of this is the Italian rustic dish Cacciatore. Cacciatore, meaning hunter, in Italian, was originally consumed by hunters, who would eat this easy to make dish, whilst out in the fields. Tomato was added in later years to adapt to our modern day palate. While originally prepared with chicken or rabbit, turkey would also suit this wholesome dish.
The fruit flavors of this wine balance the tomato and capers in the turkey Cacciatore, and they add a dexterity to the rich meat. We have served this dish with whole wheat pasta, but it can even be served with left over mashed potato. The Rosso Toscana is an easy drinking wine to accompany a tasty, informal dish, which is both fulfilling, non pretentious and oh so good.
Left over turkey meat
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium sized onion
3 garlic cloves
1 can of plain diced or fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup sundried tomato
2 cups of tomato sauce (optional)
¾ cup of wine (Santa Cristina Rosso, Toscana would be perfect)
½ cup capers (optional)
1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 pinches of salt
3 pinches of pepper
Small handful of roughly chopped basil to garnish
- Pan fry the onion and peppers until golden and soft.
- Add turkey, garlic and continue to sauté for a few more minutes
- Add either dry white or red wine, then heat on medium/high for a few minutes
- Reduce heat and add a can of diced tomato and one cup of sundried tomato. If you like your sauce rich, you may also add 2 cups of passata or tomato sauce.
- Add the capers, dried oregano and simmer on low-medium for 25 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper before serving. A touch more flavor or attractiveness can be achieved with a garnish of roughly chopped basil. Place on top of pasta or mashed potato and serve piping hot.
Bubble and his Mate Squeak (an updated Bubble & Squeak) With Rock Angel, Côtes De Provence, Chateau d’Esclans
Wine: Rock Angel, Côtes De Provence, Chateau d’Esclan
Grape Variety: 85 % Grenache, 15 % Rolle.
Buy online: www.melandrose.com
Chateau d’Esclans, is situated near Gorges de Pennafort, in the heart of Provence. Steeped in history, with its cellar dating back to the 12th century, the Chateau is not only historical, but has an air of mystery and dream-like quality about it. Proprietor Sacha Lichine, along with the estate’s fellow winemakers, have revitalized and rebranded the Rosé. They reached new heights of fame in 2007, after their release and unprecedented success of Whispering Angel.
The label has the words Rock Angel, which are encased by angel wings. Standing in the Chateau’s mirror image, this label suggests an air of elegance and mysticism before the bottle is even opened. The color is light salmon, almost delicate peach, with a bouquet of summer wild flowers, laced with spice. The taste of red summer fruits like strawberry and raspberry, are accompanied with an undertone of lemon zest. The minerality is evident at the back of the palette, stomping on any suggestion of sweetness. Rock Angel is an oxymoron, with the appearance of an angel, but the attitude of Debbie Harry. The opening is a delicate, packed nose, followed by a stunning kick of flavors on the tongue. The taste is also accompanied by a secure acidity and a long smooth finish. This Rosé is so bold, yet shockingly smooth, that it can pair with almost any food.
If the mayhem of Thanksgiving is coming to an end and you feel like you deserve a treat, then Rock Angel is for you. This wine’s elegance and superiority will shine a light on any meal. We have paired with a simple supper like Bubble and Squeak, to add a touch of sophistication to such a basic, yet tasty dish.
Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English meal, created to use up left over vegetables from a roast dinner. Shaping the mixture into patties makes it more attractive, but you can also just fry it up and not shape it at all. The bubble and the squeak name originates from the noise the food makes whilst frying in a pan. Originally consisting of potato and cabbage, today most vegetables can be added to a potato base and will still be called Bubble and Squeak. Customarily served for Brunch, we have recommended this as an early, easy dinner. The hot sauce may be a welcome addition, adding a twist to this famous British dish.
Bubble and his Mate Squeak (serves 2-3)
2-3 left over potatoes or three heaped serving spoons of mashed potato
6-8 Brussel Sprouts
Half medium sized onion
Salt and pepper to season
- Fry onions in a pan until golden, then remove from heat.
- Add Brussel sprouts, carrots, and any other left over Thanksgiving vegetable to the cooked potato
- Add a few dashes of hot sauce
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Mash all ingredients roughly.
- If you find the mixture to be on the dry side add a ½ cup of boiling water to the mixture.
- Shape into rough patties
- Heat olive or avocado oil in the pan and fry patties until golden brown.
- Once you remove patties from the heat, quickly fry an egg and place over two stacked patties.
- Then enjoy this total comfort food at its best.
Easy Stuffed Mini Bello Mushrooms with Tri colored Couscous or rustic bread and Newton Vineyard, Unfiltered Chardonnay
Wine: Newton Vineyard, Unfiltered Chardonnay
Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Buy online: www.winetransit.com
Situated amongst the rolling hills of the Carneros region in the Napa Valley, California, English business man Peter Newton and his Chinese wife SU Hua established Newton Vineyards in 1977. Peter Newton is no wine novice and clearly has set ideas on how to farm his land. With 560 acres in total and only one fifth of this for the vines, the ecosystem flourishes on Newton’s estate. Forests, gardens, a variety of soils, and a consideration for sun exposure all helps assist in making a quality wine.
The unfiltered Chardonnay was 100% barrel fermented, aging for 12 months in French oak barrels, with each barrel being hand stirred weekly. This technique ensures the sediment does not settle and shelters the wine from oxidation. This in turn, creates added notes and complexity to the wine.
The nose is an unadulterated marriage of baked apricot pastries, with vanilla pod and honey coating. The palate is an intense and exciting acidity, with large figs, stuffed with walnuts and pear, served on an oaky round plate. The finish is as smooth as caramel and long lasting. This wine is perfect with most mushroom dishes, due to the earthiness of both the wine collaborating with the mushrooms.
Easy Stuffed Mini Bello Mushrooms
12 mini bello mushrooms
Left over Thanksgiving stuffing
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ Cups Couscous
- Pre Heat the oven at 400 F degrees
- Wash and take out mushroom stalks, being sure to dry mushrooms.
- Scoop and fill each mushroom with left over stuffing and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over each mushroom.
- Before entering the oven, drizzle olive oil over all the mushrooms.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the parmesan cheese is a light toasty color.
- Boil water in a saucepan or kettle
- Place one cup of couscous in a heatproof bowl
- Add 1 cup of boiling water to the couscous and stir
- Cover with a lid and leave to stand for at least five minutes
- Add a knob of butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Turn over with a fork to separate the grains.