What to cook this weekend

Well it’s over and you made it! You made Thanksgiving (or at least survived it) and you’ve got leftovers in the fridge to prove it. Well, here’s a good problem: What are you going to do with all of this?

I’ve always thought that alongside the requisite sandwiches (please squirt some chili sauce in the mayo on mine), soup is the highest form your leftover turkey can take. Even if you don’t have the energy to cook the plucked carcass in broth, you can still make all sorts of beautiful soups. I recently wrote for The Times about three chefs’ approach to leftover soup, and the recipes are truly wonderful — and different than my usual casserole of turkey, veggies, and kidney beans.

There’s a thick and hearty turkey barley soup by Cristiana N. de Carvalho, scented with herbs; a gorgeous (in a good way) spicy gumbo with shrimp, tomatoes and collards from Gail Jennings; and a comforting, silky instant pot congee (above) that Liyan Chen makes with leftover duck from her Thanksgiving table, but you can make with turkey. I loved the soups, but most importantly, I loved learning about these different Thanksgiving traditions.

If soup isn’t your thing, we have plenty of other reincarnations for your leftovers. One thing I’m excited to try for the first time is Samin Nosrat’s turkey tikka masala, fragrant with spices and spiked with yogurt and cream. Keep the partying going all weekend long! For something lighter, I like the look of Samins Pho with its clear broth and lots of herbs, green chilies and bean sprouts. Sarah DiGregorio’s cookie-topped turkey pot pie, which can accommodate any leftover veggies looking for a home, is also supremely cozy.

You know what else is going to make it cozy this weekend? Turn on the oven to bake some easy no yeast cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Or, if you’ve got guests on hand and need an elegant but unfussy dessert, you can choose between this lemony carrot cake or a ginger maple pecan galette, which is even easier than cake.

For the recipes you need a subscription because that keeps our busy kitchen going. As a New York Times Cooking subscriber, you can now gift up to 10 recipes a month, a boon to holiday planning for your family and friends. You can also find us on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, where Sue Li’s caramelized onion galette that’s so perfect for the holiday season gets a snazzy demo of its own. (The recipe you can find here).

Today, of course, is Black Friday with its glitzy frenzy and shady deals. As you dive in, you can take the guesswork out by following Wirecutter’s Black Friday coverage. They’ve tested the duds and lemons so you and whoever you’re buying gifts don’t have to.

Like your leftovers, it’s a day-long celebration – after Friday, there’s Small Business Saturday (shop local, shop small!); but for dessert there is #GivingTuesday. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this generosity extravaganza, which was created in 2012 by Henry Timms at 92nd Street Y as “a day good for the soul”. In its first decade, #GivingTuesday has helped send billions of dollars to charities worldwide, but it’s not just about money. The organizer’s website lists practical ways you can use your time, effort and everyday actions to build community and alleviate suffering, near and far. That ubiquitous Hashtag offers many more.

There are a million ways to express your overflowing generosity—but that’s a good problem, too.

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