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Leftover cranberry sauce can be something new

For some reason, I am the only person in my family that thinks cranberry sauce is a necessity on the Thanksgiving table. Because of that, I usually have a good bit of left over sauce to either throw out or use.

This year, I’ve gotten ahead of the ball on this one and have been on the hunt for dishes that use the left over sauce and I’ve hit the jackpot.

Now, whether you prefer the whole berry cranberry sauce or the kind with the can ridges on it (the gelatin kind), these ideas for how to use instead of waste the left overs are actually sensible.

I have made cranberry sauce from scratch and even made a relish that uses cranberries and oranges, but my favorite is still the old-fashioned kind that you slice on the ridges the can left in the gelatinous sauce.

There are recipes out there that use either whole or jellied cranberry sauce and the two are often interchangeable in recipes. However, some recipes would be prettier if you used the whole berry kind.

I’m sharing a few recipes with you this week that look at Thanksgiving leftovers and turn them into what may be a new dish for your family. I know I’ll have leftover sauce and of course, there is bound to be a little turkey left over as well. I hope these recipes will give you some idea on what to do with your festive left overs.

This next recipe is a little more out there for my family, but I intend on trying it just to help convince them cranberry sauce is a good thing.

Thanksgiving Monte Cristo

8 slices bread (egg bread is recommended)

3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

10 oz. thinly sliced turkey

6 oz. smoked Gouda slices

½ cup whole-cranberry sauce

3 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

3 tsp. butter

3 tsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread four slices of the bread with mustard and pile on the turkey and top with a slice of cheese. Spread the cranberry sauce on the remaining four slices of bread. In a shallow dish, combine milk, eggs, salt and pepper and whisk to blend well. Heat a large skillet over medium heat adding half of the butter and half of the oil until the butter is melted. Dip two sandwiches in the egg mixture and add to the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about two minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, butter and oil. Transfer the sandwiches to a baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted (about four or five mintues).

If you just don’t feel like doing all of that on the day or two after Thanksgiving, keep in mind that you can certainly freeze the cranberry sauce to use at a later time. As a matter of fact, one recipe I plan to try is this next one. Since I typically do this kind of thing around the holidays, I may freeze my leftovers and plan to make this dish closer to Christmas. (Or, I may just open a whole new can just to give this one a try.) And, you can either make your meatballs from scratch or use your favorite frozen variety for this purpose.

Cranberry Glazed Sausage and Meatballs

For the meatballs:

1 large egg, beaten

1 small onion, chopped

¾ cup breadcrumbs

1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp. salt

1 pound bulk sausage

For the glaze:

14 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce

3 tbsp. cider vinegar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. mustard (brown or yellow)

1 lb. cocktail smoked sausages

For the meatballs: Combine the egg, onion, bread crumbs, parsley Worcestershire sauce, salt and sausage in a large bulk. Mix well and shape into one-inch balls. Cook meatballs in a large skillet over medium heat until done. Drain well. In a large sauce pan, combine the cranberry sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard. Cook and stir over medium heat until the cranberry sauce is melted. Add the meatballs and sausage links. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the sausage is warmed through and the sauce is slightly thickened. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Finally, this next recipe is one you can make and use for the rest of the holiday season. This cake is good served warm, but is certainly good the next day as well.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup chopped nuts

14 oz. can whole cranberry sauce

For the glaze:

¾ cup confectioners sugar

2 tbsp. milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each egg. Stir in almond extract. Combine flour, baking power, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Sprinkle the chopped nuts in a greased 9-inch tube pan. Spread one third of the batter over the nuts and top with half of the cranberry sauce. Repeat the process ending with the final layer of batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until tested done with a toothpick. Cool, in the pan, for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool. Combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cake (this is best done after the cake has cooled to room temperature.)

Happy cooking!