Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Turkey Cranberry Wreath

Hopefully everyone had a happy and festive Thanksgiving whether it was just two people or a whole house full around your table!  Now that we've managed to eat our way through all the goodies, its time to tackle the leftovers! My all time favorite use for leftover turkey is to make a turkey cranberry wreath.  I originally got this recipe at a Pampered Chef party I had as a newlywed (so about 14 years ago...) and its really become a family favorite!

One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can customize it in a wide variety of ways-- the easiest (and most helpful if its not the day after Thanksgiving or your brother Joe hogged all the leftovers) is to substitute ready-made rotisserie chicken for the turkey. Once I changed out the craisins for sun-dried tomatoes and swapped in feta and olives and got a really great Mediterranean flavor.  I've substituted in broccoli for the celery when I ran out. The only limit is your imagination!

Recipe: Holiday Turkey Cranberry Wreath
(adapted slightly from The Pampered Chef Kitchen Catalog, Fall/Winter 2000)

Outer crust
     Shortcut Method:
           2 packages (8 rolls each) refrigerated crescent rolls
     Scratch Method:
            Make a half batch of Make-Ahead Butterhorns from Money Saving Mom
                     *1 pkg  (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast, 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped (about 12 oz)
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
4 oz Swiss cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1) If using the scratch method, prepare your dough about an hour or so before you'll need it.

2.  Preheat oven to 375 F. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles. On a baking stone or parchment covered baking sheet, arrange 8 triangles in a circle with wide ends toward the center and points directed outward. Slightly overlap touching corners.

2) With the other 8 rolls, align wide ends with first circle and points toward the center. Tips may need to temporarily overlap. Press wide ends of outer and inner triangle circles together.

3) Prepare and mix all filling ingredients together. If mix seems too dry, add mayonnaise until slightly moistened clumps form.

4) Spoon filling over circular seam between inner and outer ring of rolls.

5) Gently fold one triangle point from outside, over the filling, to the inside of the ring. Take the opposite triangle from the inside and fold it over the filling towards the outside of the ring.

6) Continue until all 16 triangles are wrapped around the filling. Press all seams closed.

7) Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 4-6 large servings or 8 smaller servings. Pair with a salad (or other Thanksgiving leftovers!) for a complete meal.