… What a Crock!
Happy Day-After! You survived. Hopefully, you had a wonderful family celebration and feast. But now you’re looking for something easy to prepare and still delicious to eat. And you have a boatload of leftovers hanging out and taking up space in the fridge. Maybe more of some dishes than others. (I know my Streusel Topped Maple Yams always disappear faster than the other dishes.) So, what to do?
Create a layered casserole in individual serving dishes, of course. I know, genius right? Wish I could take credit for it, but it was my husband’s idea. And a really delicious one at that!
There’s almost no work involved. You can use any single serving dishes you have around the kitchen (they don’t even have to match), or create one big casserole. And if you want to get really personal, you can layer more of this or that into each serving dish depending on that person’s personal food love. Please put more yams in mine!
The layers are built with any foods that can be reheated. I built mine in ceramic-lined mini “flower pots”, but ramekins, Pyrex bowls, even muffin pans will work brilliantly. Then just place these individual serving dishes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, depending on the size of serving dish. Check after 20 minutes. The dish is finished baking when the food is heated all the way through to the core, checked by inserting a knife into the center of the dish. Voila! Your super easy “Day-After” dinner is served!
In these pots, I created layers of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, then sweet potato casserole. And to pretty it up so it didn’t look like last-minute leftovers (again), I smattered the top with a handful of mini marshmallows as the very last step in the baking process, let them warm, fluff, and get toasty golden brown. Leftovers, schmeftovers.
Why go through the process of layering and baking when eat item can be easily slapped on a plate and microwaved in moments? Because, not only do you transform leftovers into something “new” with a unique presentation, but by layering and letting the flavors all meld together, you end up with a meal that is so much more rewarding than the sum of all its parts.
If I have leftover cranberry relish, or another cold topping that compliments the meal, I dab a bit on the top, or over various layers, as I’m digging in.
What I especially love about this layered pot concept is that you can use any leftovers you have on hand. Layers of steak bites, roasted Brussels Sprouts, and rice pilaf would work just deliciously as well. This was so yummy, I’m keeping this idea on high alert for the next time I have abundant leftovers taking up space in my fridge … even if it isn’t after a holiday feast.
Be creative. Use what’s on hand. Make it easy. That’s what the day-after is all about, right? And shopping!
Layered Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner Leftovers in a Pot
- Main dish and side dish leftovers
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
- Begin layering your ingredients in whatever combination and order you desire. If I have gravy that I'm including, I warm that in the microwave first (so it pours more easily), then I make sure to drizzle it over layers which tend to have a drier consistency, such as turkey, or meat, and bread-y type layers such as stuffing. Add layers until serving dish(s) are mostly filled. If embellishing your pot with mini marshmallows, leave those off until the very end of the baking process.
- Place pots on foil-lined baking sheet (this makes them so much easier to handle and move in and out of the oven), then bake on center rack of preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, checking after 20 minutes, until knife inserted into center of pot comes out HOT.
- Remove from oven; they're now ready to serve. If embellishing with mini marshmallows, cover the top of the pots with them, then return pots to the oven (still on the baking sheet), and let heat for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. WATCH them carefully. Marshmallows change very quickly!
- Remove from oven and serve. Caution ... Ingredients will be VERY HOT! I like to spoon just a little cranberry relish over the layers as I dig down deeper into the pot.
- Store any leftover "leftovers", completely cooled to room temperature on a cooling rack, covered in the fridge for a few days.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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