Thanksgiving week’s Try It Tuesday post got away from me, I’ll admit it. However, my Thanksgiving meal did not. In fact, it turned out to be rather tasty with juicy turkey, savory green-beans with bacon, a satisfying gingerbread cake (my husband and his mom are not pie people), and yeast rolls that didn’t fall flat! So, please forgive my lack of post last week.
In fact, to make up for it, I’m reviewing two recipes for today’s Try It Tuesday. I hunted up both of these recipes online to find ways to use up my left-over sweet potato casserole. Although that’s my favorite side dish (as well as that of my son and my mother-in-law), it’s the one I’m never sure what to do with after the actual Thanksgiving meal. Stuffing becomes stuffing waffles that I eat with fried eggs for lunch. Turkey becomes soup and gets frozen for later. Desserts, well, they just get eaten! But sweet potato casserole doesn’t go with just anything like mashed potatoes can.
As I browsed online, I happened upon a recipe for Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins that allowed me to use three different left-overs: sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and oranges (from a fruit tray). You can check out this recipe at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/230869/healthy-sweet-potato-muffins/
I didn’t have any whole wheat flour in my pantry, so I used white flour. I also juiced the clementines that I zested and used it in place of the water. Overall, I’m quite satisfied with the result. The muffins taste tangy thanks to the citrus and cranberry sauce. On the other hand, if you were looking for something that kept more of the taste of the sweet potatoes, you will be disappointed; it’s lost beneath the vanilla. The next time I make these, I plan to cut the amount of vanilla extract I use to only ½ tablespoon. Also, in case you weren’t sure what kind of cranberry sauce to use, I used jellied. Although the recipe doesn’t specify, I suspect whole berry would work well too.
Sadly, I was still left with a surprising amount of casserole in my fridge, even after making muffins. I knew we wouldn’t be able to finish it before it went bad, so I started looking online again. This time, I found an easy recipe for sweet potato pancakes. These are not made with shredded potato, but puree. You can find the recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sweet-potato-pancakes-recipe0.html It also includes a recipe for pecan butter, which I didn’t have time to make. I wish I could have though. It sounds great!
In any case, I once again had to use all white flour and since I already had some spices in my casserole, I cut the spice amounts in half. Moreover, I kept the marshmallow-pecan topping on the sweet potatoes when I pureed it in the food processor, so I also halved the amount of brown sugar called for by the recipe.
I found that the pancakes cooked best with my griddle set to about 275, but you’ll have to adjust according to your particular cook-top. Also, I had to add a little bit more milk to thin out the batter. I found it difficult to allow the pancakes to cook through without burning in my first batch. Again, this may vary depending on whether you use plain sweet potato like the recipe calls for or left-over casserole like I did.
This recipe turned out well and was truly simple to throw together. There is a nice taste of sweet potato and spice, but the sweetness is not overwhelming – so yes, syrup would go great with these. That said, my son and I each enjoyed a warm, thick pancake without any spreads or syrups for our mid-morning snack. Other toppings to try include peanut butter, cream cheese, or plain yogurt and honey.
A final positive aspect of these two recipes (and a deciding factor as I debated how to use my leftovers) is that they freeze well. The muffins can be put in Tupperware containers and frozen as is. To serve, just leave them out to thaw. Pancakes, as my mother taught me long ago, should be frozen on their cooling racks before being placed in Ziplock bags. I like to put a layer of parchment paper between each pancake to prevent them from sticking together when you take them out of the freezer. You can toss them in the toaster directly when you’re ready to eat them, or defrost them in the microwave for a few seconds first. This freezing method works great for waffles, too.
Do you have any favorite ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers? Share in the comments! You never know when you’ll find you’re next favorite recipe!