The remains of the day, Part II

turkeycarcass1Earlier this week, I asked readers for tips on how best to use Thanksgiving leftovers. It seems that Penny watchers love their turkey in its purest state–sometimes without even reheating. But they had a few creative suggestions as well:

Dorothy Y. pointed out that there’s more to a leftover sandwich than the leftovers: she recommends piling turkey, stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes on homemade rosemary bread. Try this bread recipe from allrecipes.com.

Turkey Lover is a fan of the turkey pot pie, “with a pie crust bottom, turkey and whatever other leftovers fit (for example, we have green beans every year) inside, and a top crust of mashed potatoes that gets crispy in the oven. A sprinkling (or more) of stuffing on top makes a great finishing touch.” For cooking instructions, check out this recipe from Recipezaar.

Karen B. likes an old world recipe for a new world holiday: she recommends Nigel Slater’s recipe for spicy turkey curry, which you can find at the Too Many Chefs blog.

And as Dorothy points out, be sure to boil your turkey bones and carcass, with any onion and carrot peels or celery ends you have lying around, for an hour or so to make stock. Use it in soups and stews, or in place of water when you cook rice or couscous or simmer veggies.

For more tips, check out these recipe lists from Better Homes and Gardens (our favorite: layered turkey enchiladas) and Gourmet (our favorite: the breakfast turkey hash).

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and don’t feel bad about gorging—you’re just storing up layers for a cold winter.

Classy Hour of the Week: Crush Wine’s Holiday cocktails

elderflowerWhen you’ve finally conquered your food hangover this Friday, keep up the merry-making in style at Crush Wine Co. (153 E. 57th St., Manhattan–map) in midtown Manhattan. From 3 to 6 pm they’re pouring samples of “Simple Home Cocktails for the Holidays,” including harvest rum punch, elderflower cocktail, “Viking mojito,” and more.

Crush will also have experts there to show you how to make these drinks at home, so be prepared to take notes. Then you can save money at the bar and spend more time with family–or invite that date to stay in and show off your mixological mastery. The drinks will be fiery enough to keep you warm while you rest your feet by your non-functional fireplace.

crushwineCheck Crush’s website regularly for their impressive schedule of free tastings, including a Corzo tequila event on Saturday and a champagne gala in December (RSVP required). And take advantage of the friendly and knowledgeable staff as you search for palate-pleasing wine bargains.

The remains of the day

turkeycarcassOur country’s annual celebration of excess (and gratitude and humility, of course) is almost upon us. All that excess means a lot of leftovers. This Black Friday, I’ll offer tips for what to do with the messy remains of your Thanksgiving meal. But as much as I love my Mom’s turkey stew, I know some of the best suggestions will come from you (or your mom).

Leave your favorite secrets—sandwiches, casseroles, pies, soups, and anything else you’ve created—and stories here in comments, or contact us. I’ll cull all the best ideas I can find and report back on Friday in time for your first of many leftover meals.

Collard greens from the deeper south

churrascoWith all the heavy meat, beans and rice in Brazilian food, it’s easy to forget that Brazilians need vegetables, too. In fact, they wield their greens with as much skill as they do their steak. One of the most delicious, yet easiest and cheapest, of Brazilian green dishes is couve, collard greens sautéed in butter. If you’ve ever eaten feijoada—Brazilian pork, beef, and bean stew—you’ve probably had couve on the side. But it’s a perfect accompaniment to all kinds of protein, Brazilian or not.

dscn3131The cooking instructions, which I adapted from the Maria’s Cookbook website, are incredibly simple. Just wash one bunch of collard greens, roll the leaves together like you’re rolling a cigar, and slice them into ¼ inch strips. Then dice half a small onion and a clove of garlic. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until they soften. Throw in the greens and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until they start to wilt—only a couple minutes.

dscn3135That’s all there is to it, but your finished product will be delightfully crisp and flavorful. The bitterness of the raw greens dissipates as they cook down, leaving only a subtle bite that’s a perfect complement to the garlic and the sweetness of the onions.

The price? At my local supermarket collard greens cost 88 cents a pound; the bunch cost 69 cents. The couve served six, meaning a vegetable side dish for about 11 cents a person. That gives you plenty of money leftover for a few caipirinhas.

The Circular Jerk: An omelet by another name

img_0649This week’s batch of circulars provided scant options for cheap meat. It hurts, but I’m getting used to the fact that eating cheap means fewer meat-based meals. So I delved deeper into the circular and came across a 3 pound bag of yellow onions for $1.99.

Onions alone can’t make a meal, but mixed with a perennially cheap and delicious protein—eggs at $2.39 a dozen, they make a delicious frittata. A frittata is like an omelet, but it sounds much sexier. And the filling is cooked into the egg rather than folded in the middle. The only other ingredients I needed were salt, pepper, butter, and parmesan cheese—a 5 oz. block was on sale for $2.99 (To save money, buy cheese in blocks. Do you really need to pay extra for someone else to grate it for you?).

img_0654I got my recipe from a 27-year-old copy of Marcella Hazan’s classic Essentials of Italian Cooking (you can buy a new copy here). Since I only used a fraction of my onions, eggs and parmesan, the total cost of the frittata was about $3.50. It serves 4, so my cost per person was 88 cents. Not bad for a delicious dinner.

Marcella’s timeless, quick and easy recipe is after the break:
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Welcome to the Penny Palate

pennyWhat is it about New York that can make folks with average means and decent jobs feel left out? Somewhere between the bustling bankers, the bright lights and shiny boutiques, and the haute cuisine and swanky bars, it’s easy for the modest majority to get lost. But that doesn’t mean we’re not here. And we’re as hungry, thirsty, and fun-loving as ever.

Luckily, there are droves of businesses throughout the five boroughs that cater to us. They serve up great food and drink and they’re a lot of fun, but they toss out the pretense of luxury and the price hike that goes with it. They’re living proof that you don’t have to be rolling in dough to enjoy the city life. You just need to know how to find the deals.

The Penny Palate is here to find those deals for you. We’ll post every day about a new way to eat, drink, and be merry on a budget. We’ll include special categories like a “Happy Hour of the Week;” “Tuck for a Buck,” which points you to great food for only a dollar; and “The Circular Jerk,” epic journeys in food shopping and cooking led by the treasure map that is the circular.

New deals pop up every day, and we’re not omniscient, so we’ll rely on tips from our thrifty friends and readers to spot all the best joints, recipes, and techniques. Leave comments and contact us and we’ll credit you for your deal-spotting prowess.