Leftover Turkey-thon: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner!

The last thing you’re thinking as you roll out of your berth today is to get back in the galley and cook. Take-out sushi, carry-out pizza…dream on. Anything but cooking…anything but turkey. But these three recipes might change your mind. And using leftovers will save you a boatload of money. Let’s start with morning breakfast.

pie close up

BREAKFAST: Turkey, Sage & Leek Quiche

5 eggs
1 2/3 cups milk
2/3 cup chopped leeks
1 tablespoon minced sage
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 cup shredded cooked turkey
1 cup grated Jarlsburg cheese (or Swiss)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated pepper
1 pie crust

galley porthole

Preparing morning breakfast with a peek out the galley porthole. A rather dreary November day. Onto the prep work…pre-heat your galley oven to 350 degrees.


Mince the fresh sage and rosemary. Shred chicken breast, and thinly slice two leeks, enough to get 2/3 cups worth.


Grate 1 cup of Jarlsburg cheese (or the equivalent in Swiss or Guyere).


Whip up the eggs with the herbs.


Add milk, shredded turkey, cheese and leeks. Mix well.


Place a pie pastry into the a 9″ pie pan. This can be a prepared, store bought pie crust or make your own. Pour your egg mixture into the pastry lined pie pan.

in the crust

Place in your 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, until firm.

full pie

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with fresh fruit and French pressed coffee.

slice close up

Take a rest before lunch. Enjoy the quiet November harbor. Time for family stories, dish washing or a good book before preparing your next feast.


LUNCH: THE post-Thanksgiving Day Sandwich

I know…everyone has their particular way of going about a post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich.  I’ve known people who put every single thing they ate including pie between two pieces of bread.  This is our favorite, though.  Fairly simple, it is rye bread, turkey, swiss cheese, lettuce, and a homemade sauce akin to Thousand Island dressing but potentially SO much better.


This is a bit of a “what’s in the icebox” recipe.  Do NOT decide not to make it because you don’t have one of these things, and feel free to substitute others (black olives, sweet pickles or pickle relish, and of all things chopped hard-boiled egg are a few known additions I’ve not seen fit to add here, but you are welcome).  The essential base items are mayonnaise and bottled chili sauce.  Beyond that, something pickled — I went with salad olives and capers; maybe a little mustard (we like Creole for some kick) and some freshness…green onions, parsley, and because we had it and had caliente-lovers, a red jalapeno.  The magic ingredient for post-Thanksgiving?…a little ground cloves.


Trim and cut into moderate pieces 2-3 green onions, a seeded jalapeno, and a small handful of parsley leaves. Give those a quick grind in your food processor — I’m using a hand-cranked one and had to work a bit…if you’re using electric, don’t pulse too long…you want some remaining granularity.


Add the olives (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup), capers (few heaping tablespoons), and a couple healthy dashes of ground cloves,  Pulse this, scraping down the sides of the container as necessary, until fairly finely and uniformly chopped, but not purely pureed.


Add about 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/3-1/2 cup chili sauce, and a healthy tablespoon of mustard, and pulse until a nice, creamy, but textured sauce.  Taste, and add salt, pepper, or hot sauce like Tobasco or Crystal until you’re happy (if you had a jalapeno you probably won’t need hot sauce).


Assemble the sandwich.  Place one piece of rye bread (don’t compromise…rye is critical to how good this is) on a plate and add a generous lettuce leaf, slices of turkey meat, swiss cheese, and a generous portion of sauce.  You are going to eat this open faced with a fork…don’t skimp on sauce!  Here I will also confess that my personally preferred order is bread-turkey-sauce-cheese-lettuce in order to maximize the amount of sauce I can get on this thing and have runoff soak into the bread.  In the pictures I wanted the sauce to show, so on the top it went.  Play with it!  I have a cousin who toasts the rye and melts the cheese over the turkey before adding the lettuce and sauce.  Probably good, but for me would be messing with tradition.


If you have secreted away in the very back of the icebox where nobody would find it the leftover cranberry relish from Thanksgiving dinner, this would be the time to deploy it.  It is SO overwhelmingly delicious when it inadvertently gets mixed up with the runoff from the sandwich.  Inadvertently…of course.

Ahhh. Yum.

Taking a breather before we move onto the next recipe, check out Spa Creek in late November, void of paddle boarders, Optis and kayakers. Empty moorings, peaceful and cold. Off season; bridge openings by call now, not on the half hour. Hail channel 13 for an opening.

Now, switching pirates, onto a rib-sticking dinner casserole…

spa creek bridge

DINNER: Turkey Tetrazzini

So…my cooking/writing/photographer/blogging hero, Ree Drummond, jumped the gun on Turkey Tetrazzini last week. She just had to beat Galley Pirates to the punch. ; ) But our recipes are very different so check ’em both out and let us know your thoughts!

This is my skipper’s favorite leftover turkey dinner. It’s an easy galley meal. If you have left over gravy, use it instead of the canned Cream of Mushroom Soup. And my favorite little touch you’ve seen added to lots of my recipes…truffle salt and Herbs of Provence. Brings depth to any mushroom cream sauce (and french fries…and salad dressings…)

tetrazzini final

Turkey Tetrazzini

1 lb (a box) spaghetti
4 tablespoons butter
1 lb, fresh (cremini, if possible) mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, 2 pressed, 2 minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups, more or less, shredded turkey
3 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (or the equivalent in gravy)
2 cups water
1 tablespoons Herbs of Provence
2 teaspoons truffle salt (or 1/4 teaspoon truffle oil and 2 teaspoons salt)
1/2 cup (freshly grated : ) parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs


Light your oven and preheat to about 350 degrees. Light a burner and boil water in a big pot. Cook your spaghetti al dente. Drain, shock with a bit of cold water running through and set aside. Good chance you’ll need that same pot for the rest of the preparation.

Chop the vegetables. Mince 2 garlic cloves, press 2 garlic cloves. (or mince the whole bunch if you don’t…yet…have a garlic press on board.) Melt butter in your largest pot and sauté the mushrooms, garlic and onions until just soft, about 8 minutes.


Add the celery, red pepper, Herbs of Provence, truffle salt (or salt and truffle oil) and continue to cook for another 8 minutes.


Add the shredded turkey, Cream of Mushroom Soup and water. Mix well on a low flame for 5-10 minutes. Fold cooked pasta into the pot and gently toss until well mixed.


Dump the mixture into a casserole dish, no smaller than the capacity of a cake pan. Top with grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs

grating parmesan

Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until just bubbling. If you have a broiler burner, light it and let the top brown for 5 minutes.


Pull out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

turkey tetrazzini in the pan

Enjoy the setting sun with dinner and a glass of wine while you ponder what the next five days of leftover turkey will be.

spa creek


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