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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, December 8

Gapers Block

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Thanksgiving is over, and you got stuck with a ton of leftover turkey. What are you gonna do with it? Turkey sandwiches for a week?

Not necessarily. Turkey is almost as versatile as chicken, so an easy way to get rid of that extra bird is by using it in dishes that would normally involve that other fowl. Here is a recipe for the turkey enchiladas I whipped up this past Saturday; it's easy and tasty, and if there are any leftovers, they'll be even better the following day, just like lasagna.

1 small yellow onion, minced
1 tsp. olive or corn oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 14 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 14 oz. can of tomato sauce with green chiles
1 tsp. of granulated sugar
1 10-pack of corn tortillas
8-12 oz. of shredded cheese (depending on your cheesiness)
2 cups of turkey leftovers, cut into bite-sized bits (chicken, seitan, or tofurkey would also work)
1 14 oz. can of black olives
pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375° and grease a rectangular 6"x12" glass casserole dish. You could halve this recipe and put it into a 7" square baking pan, or double it and put it into a 9"x13" cake pan.

Add the minced onion and oil to a sauce pan that is large enough for the tortillas to fit inside. Over medium-low heat saute the onion until it softens, turns clear, and then begins to darken again, stirring occasionally. (If you let the onions darken without burning, you've got carmelized onions. How gourmet of you!)

While the onion cooks, slice each black olive into 3-4 pieces and shred your cheese. By the time you've finished these tasks the onions should be ready. Mix in the cumin and chili powder and stir constantly for about a minute -- this will extract more flavor from the spices. Pour both cans of tomatoes and the sugar into the pan and let the sauce warm up. Once it's warm, set the pan on a back burner and turn the burner to the lowest setting possible.

Place an empty plate on the front burner and add one corn tortilla to the sauce. Let it soak for about 30 seconds, then using a pair of plastic tongs or your heat-resistant fingers, pull the tortilla out of the pan and put it on the plate. Soaking the tortillas in the warm sauce lets you roll them without breaking them. If they begin to crack as you roll them, let them soak for longer. Sprinkle some of the meat, some cheese and some olives down the center of each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla loosely and place it seam side down into the greased baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and arrange them evenly in the pan.

Scatter any remaining meat over the tortillas and pour the remaining sauce over it all, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the cheese and the olives on top. Place uncovered in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble and the cheese looks nice and yummy. Serve with a salad and a glass of chianti, or your beer of choice.

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Roni / December 5, 2003 10:30 AM


Maybe I'll have to try this on the hubby. Gawd knows he loves it when I throw turkey into a Mexican dish. You are just way more brave when it comes to experimenting with food. I'm too whimpy...I have to follow a recipe.

miss ellen / December 5, 2003 11:59 AM

this sounds great, cinnamon. our friend came by the other night with his leftover turkey chili; we whipped up a chili-mac with some egg noodles & it was so delicous.

great way to use up all those leftovers!


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