Test Kitchen Thanksgiving: Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes don’t have to be the bland, passed over side dish they usually are. Fry them up with stuffing and veggies, and they’ll become the king of leftovers. (Andrew Johnston/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Turkey and stuffing and green beans! Oh my! With all the holiday feasts coming up, there’s bound to be more than just a few bowls and plates full of leftovers floating around. While warmed up mashed potatoes and corn is great the first dozen times, sometimes eating leftovers as they were originally served can get boring.

We’re not re-inventing stuffing here, just re-imagining all the possibilities made possible by holiday leftovers.

Thanksgiving Croque Monsieur

2 slices of bread

Shredded cheese (any kind as long as it’s mild, preferably gruyere)

Leftover ham or turkey

Cranberry sauce


Dijon mustard

A Parisian café staple, a croque monsieur is basically a gussied-up grilled ham and cheese.

Butter one side of the bread, Dijon the other. Throw it down in a skillet butter side down. Pile it with meat, but not too high, or else your sandwich will be cold in the middle. Lay down your cheese, and spread cranberry sauce on the inside of your second piece of bread with butter on the outside. Depending on how French you want to be, you can also melt more cheese onto the butter sides of your sandwich and serve it with French onion soup.


Mashed potato and stuffing patties

Mashed potatoes


Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil

Think crab cakes, but dress them up in turkey feathers and a colonial Puritan hat. Mashed potato patties are a great way to use up some of those extra mashed potatoes lying around after the feast is over.

Unlike the croque monsieur, potato patties aren’t an exact science around my kitchen. A couple of beaten eggs, a few handfuls of cold mashed potatoes, salt and pepper, some stuffing and mix it all around until it’s one, mostly homogeneous blob.

Be careful with the consistency: too thin and you’ll be making pancakes, too thick and your patties will break apart. Aim for a stiff, mashed potato feeling. The mixture shouldn’t stick to your fingers or spatula.

Form palm-sized balls of the mix. Give the balls a little hand hug, flattening them into about three-fourths inch thick patties. Drop them into a hot, oiled skillet and cook until both sides are golden brown.


Turkey, veggie and stuffing enchiladas


Turkey, shredded

Veggies (corn and beans work really well)



Cranberry sauce to taste

Gravy  (lots of it)

OK, maybe enchilada isn’t the best descriptor for this, but I think it works.

In a bowl, mix up everything except for the tortillas and the gravy. You’ll notice you’ve got this loose mix of stuff. Add gravy and cranberry sauce, which are the binding agents to hold everything together. Be careful, though. Too much gravy and your enchiladas will melt away, too little gravy and they’ll crumble.

Wrap up a big spoonful of the mixture nice and tight in a tortilla, and then place it seam-side down in a casserole dish. Once you’ve got a dish full of nicely-rolled tortillas, cover it all with gravy and cheese.



Share: [feather_share show="twitter, facebook, mail" hide="reddit, pinterest, linkedin, tumblr, mail"]

1 Comment

  1. Make a sandwich and grill it? Stuff a tortilla with food? Another waste of my time. I’ve noticed that Abigal Payne’s articles are always pointless.

    How about an article about tips for cooking a turkey? Something the average college student probably hasn’t done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.