Turkey Leftovers - Try these Delicious Mexican Turkey Recipes

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At a loss for what to do with that leftover Turkey? Try these delicious Mexican Recipes!


Every year my mom would make turkey sandwiches, Turkey Tettrazini and turkey soup with the leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner. After several decades, these got really old. At least to me! I began experimenting-taking my favorite Mexican recipes that called for chicken-and substituting turkey instead. Several of these recipes follow. You can choose between Turkey Enchiladas, Chipotle Turkey Breasts, or Turkey Tacos, Burritos or Tostadas. Try one. Try them all! I'm betting that you will be hooked on cooking creatively Mexican with Thanksgiving leftovers!

TURKEY ENCHILADAS SUIZAS


I first had these mild, yet flavorful enchiladas when I was ten years old and staying in La Paz for the very first time. (They were made with chicken, of course-but who cares? They're great with turkey too!) Enchiladas are the top of the line as far as Mexican food goes, according to my mom (and her mom before her). So of course I was encouraged to try them on my first big Baja adventure. I loved them then and I love them now. In fact, the most recent time I had Enchiladas Suizas was at an bay-front restaurant right on the malecón in Lap Paz-for breakfast! While they're great for breakfast, most people will prefer them for lunch or dinner. This recipe serves four.

1 20 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 - 7 ounce can diced green chiles
1 medium onion, quartered
2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup corn or canola oil
2 pounds leftover turkey breast meat, cut in cubes
4 cups Swiss, Chihuahua or Jack cheese, grated
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup thin sour cream sauce (make with 1 cup half and half and 2 tbsp buttermilk)

In food processor, blend together tomatoes, chiles, onion, garlic and sour cream sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into a large saucepan. Heat thoroughly.

Heat oil in skillet until a drop of water sizzles when placed in it. Fry a tortilla lightly on both sides so it's still pliable. Using tongs, remove it from the pan. Dip it into the enchilada sauce and lay it inside a 9 x 14 pan. Stuff enchilada with turkey, cheese and onions. Roll and place seam side down in the pan. Repeat for all 12 tortillas, reserving a small amount of cheese and onions.

When all enchiladas are made, place the pan in a 350 degree oven for about twenty minutes. Remove from oven, pour remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas until almost covered. Cover with remaining cheese and onions. Broil for two minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately, topped with thin sour cream sauce.

TURKEY BREASTS WITH CHIPOTLE SALSA


This dish is practically effortless to make. The aromatic, smoky flavor of the chipotle salsa complements turkey wonderfully. This entree is not for the timid, however! The chipotle chiles make it quite spicy. Serves six and only takes about 35 minutes to prepare (including the time it takes to make the salsa).

6 - 4 to 6 ounce slices of turkey breast
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
6 tbsp butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups chipotle salsa

Season with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour. Melt butter in skillet and saute turkey breasts for a minute or two on each side, or until heated clear through and nicely browned on the outside. Heat salsa in saucepan until just boiling. Spoon over turkey breasts and serve.

SALSA CHIPOTLE


This salsa has a distinctive, cooked-over-a-campfire smoky flavor. Chipotle chiles are dried jalapenos, cooked and canned in adobo. They're quite hot, but with deep, almost mesquite-like flavors that remind me of colonial Mexico. The sun-dried tomatoes add a modern flair. Aside from being wonderful spooned over turkey, it's also great for dipping with chips. Takes about 25 minutes to make. (Hint: Use our bottled version instead 1233!)

1 - 1 pound 12 ounce can Italian tomatoes in puree
2 tomatoes
8 sun dried tomatoes, boiled in 1/2 cup water until soft
1 onion, quartered
2 - 8 chipotle chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp distilled vinegar

Core fresh tomatoes and cut into large pieces. Place with Italian tomatoes, onion, chipotles and garlic into food processor. Process until coarsely pureed.

Place the salsa mixture in a medium size saucepan along with oregano, cinnamon and vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Store in quart jars for up to a week. Flavor actually improves after a day or two. This makes about 3 cups.

TURKEY FILLING for TACOS, BURRITOS & TOSTADAS


Use this filling in any of the taco, tostada or burrito recipes. It's lean and light, yet delicious. Thanks to the cumin you'll never taste anything that compares to this turkey filling. It's delectable! You'll have enough filling to make 12 tacos or tostadas, or about eight burritos. The filling takes about 10 minutes to make.

2 pounds leftover white turkey meat
1/2 cup salsa fresca
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
Pico Pica sauce or any red pepper sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste


Using two forks, shred the turkey. In a medium sized bowl, mix shredded turkey with salsa, garlic, cumin, Pico Pica sauce, salt and pepper. Heat and serve.

TANTALIZING TURKEY TACOS


It seems like tacos are everyone's first introduction to Mexican food. Initially, the only kind of tacos around were made from ground beef. (Boring!) Now there is a myriad of meat, poultry and seafood fillings for tacos. Today, we focus on turkey.

I've also listed two ways to serve tacos: using fried tortilla shells or hot, soft tortillas. You're probably more familiar with fried tacos, but as you read on the previous page, soft tacos are served curbside all over Baja and mainland Mexico. Aside from being authentic, they're lower in fat and calories. The recipe below serves four to six and takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

2 cups turkey filling
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup corn or canola oil (optional - soft tacos aren't fried)
2 cups Chihuahua or Jack cheese, grated
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 head lettuce or cabbage, shredded
1 cup each salsa fresca and salsa verde


Fried tacos:
In small frying pan, heat oil until a drop of water sizzles immediately when added to it. Fry tortilla lightly on one side. Turn and fry lightly on the other side. Before tortilla becomes crisp, bend it in half, using tongs and a fork to hold it steady and crisp the folded end. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Repeat with all 12 tortillas.

Heat filling until steaming. Place one to two tablespoons filling mixture inside taco shell. Add shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and top with cheese. Repeat for all tacos. Serve immediately.

Street tacos (soft tacos):
The difference here is that soft tacos are not fried. Heat tortillas in the oven or microwave until hot and pliable. Fold and fill in the same way as fried tacos. If your tacos seem inclined to fall apart, try using two tortillas for double the strength. Serve immediately. Soft tacos are served street side in Baja. I include corn tortillas, along with flour tortillas at all fiestas where people build their own tacos and burritos. (See previous section on Carnitas, Fajitas and Carne Asada Barbecues.)

Quesa-tacos (a Baja street taco extravaganza):
One of my all-time favorite tacos are carne asada quesa-tacos. The only difference between soft street tacos and these are that after you fill the corn tortilla with meat, you add some grated Jack cheese and flip it back onto the grill (or frying pan) until the cheese is melted. Then add the rest of the goodies. It is beyond delicious!

YUMMERIFIC TURKEY BURRITOS


Burritos make a wonderful do-it-yourself buffet dinner. The flour tortillas are put on the table in a covered dish, the meat or fish (in this case-turkey) is put in another serving dish and all other fillings, such as those listed below are displayed, along with a variety of salsas. People put whatever ingredients they choose into their burrito, roll it up and eat it. It's easy for the chef and entertaining for the guests. This takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

2 cups turkey filling
8 large flour tortillas
1 cup refried beans
1 cup thick sour cream sauce (made with 1/2 pint heavy cream and 2 tbsp buttermilk)
1 can sliced olives
1 cup guacamole link to recipe
2 cups Chihuahua or Jack cheese, grated
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and diced
1 cup each salsa fresca and salsa verde
1 - 12 ounce can enchilada sauce

Heat tortillas in oven or microwave until hot and pliable. Heat filling in small saucepan or microwave until steaming. Fill with meat, beans, sour cream, olives, guacamole, cheese and onions. (Note that many of these items are optional. You can use all or only a few as your mood suits you.)

Fold one end and roll into a log-like shape. If you prefer sauce over your burrito, immediately prior to serving, pour heated enchilada sauce over burritos and top with cheese. Heat in oven or microwave until cheese is melted, if desired.

TERRIFIC TURKEY TOSTADAS


Tostadas are like flat tacos that usually have a layer of frijoles on the bottom and different fillings (turkey, in our case), lettuce, guacamole, cheese and salsa on top. Tostadas are almost-salads and are perfect for a light meal. They too make great buffet fare. The recipe below serves six and takes 30 minutes to make.

2 cups turkey filling
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup corn or canola oil
1 1/2 cups frijoles
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 head lettuce, shredded
2 cups guacamole link to recipe
2 cups Chihuahua or Jack cheese, grated
1 cup each salsa fresca and salsa verde

In small frying pan, heat oil until a drop of water sizzles immediately when added to it. Fry tortilla lightly on one side. Turn and fry lightly on the other side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Repeat with all 12 tortillas.

Heat filling and frijoles until steaming. Place one to two tablespoons of frijoles on top of fried tortilla. Top with another two tablespoons of filling. Add shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and guacamole. Top with cheese. Repeat for all tostadas. Serve immediately. And enjoy.

 
Recipe and tips provided by Ann Hazard.

Join author Ann Hazard, as she leads you through four generations of historic Baja culinary adventure. She shares not only her family's favorite travel tales, but also the delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes she has collected and created. By the time you've cooked a meal or two and finished reading the book, you're guaranteed a lasting dose of Baja Magic. The book may even turn your perspective slightly to the South, lighten your heart and forever transform your outlook on life!


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