Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Leftover Turkey Talk

Extension Agent

Leftover turkey talk 
 The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them, the season of great eating. Soon, you’ll have more turkey and dressing than you’ll know what to do with. 

It’s a great idea to save your Thanksgiving leftovers, as it stretches your holiday food dollars and provides quick meals for your family. Leftovers must be stored and reheated safely to prevent foodborne illnesses. Follow these tips to ensure your leftovers are safe to eat: 
•Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of the food sitting at room temperature.  Bacteria grow best at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F. Use an appliance thermometer to make sure your refrigerator is set below 40 degrees. 
•For quicker cooling, divide leftovers into smaller portions in shallow containers. Place the hot food directly into the refrigerator. 
•Once you are ready to eat your leftovers, reheat them so the internal temperature of the food reaches 165 degrees F. Check the temperature with a food thermometer. Safely reheat soups, sauces and gravies by bringing them to a boil. 
•When reheating in a microwave, make sure there are no cold spots in the food where bacteria could survive. Stir and rotate food for even heating.  
•Eat or freeze any remaining leftovers within three to four days. Consume or freeze gravy within two days. 
You can also prepare many delicious leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal. Here’s a recipe suggestion from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: 
Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole 
Servings: 6 
1 package of stuffing mix (6 ounces) 
2 ½ cups cubed, cooked turkey or chicken 
2 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed or 1 can (14.5 ounces) vegetables of your choice 
1 jar (12 ounces) turkey gravy or 1 can cream of chicken soup. 
1.Preheat oven to 350 F 
2.Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish. 
3.Top with turkey, green beans and gravy. 
4.Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes or until heated through, or microwave 10-12 minutes on high.  
Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 21g protein; 20g carbohydrates; 10g total fat; 45mg cholesterol; 730mg sodium. 
More information on holiday ideas, food and nutrition is available at the Webster County Cooperative Extension Service. The source for this article was Debbie Clouthier, Extension Associate for Food and Nutrition. 
We are having a Festive Foods Class at the Webster County Extension Office on Friday, November 14th at 6:00pm. If you would like to attend please call the Extension Office, 270-639-9011 to sign up. This class is FREE to the public. 
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

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