Slicing the holidays so everyone gets his or her equal share can be tricky. While Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it has always been the one that draws my Mexican relatives up north for a visit. I think it might have something to do with loading a fork with the perfect bite or staying seated at the table long into the night, swapping stories like passed side dishes.
When you’re married, during the big holidays, one blended family becomes two again when you are planning the menu. I play the part of sous chef to my mother-in-law during Thanksgiving, looking for ways to help as she makes a menu crafted from tradition, family favorites, and dog-eared recipes from Bon Appétit. In past years, we have started the meal by sharing what we are thankful for, letting the practice of giving thanks kick off the momentous meal. It’s astounding to see the amount of food one family can polish off, but perhaps equally confounding to think about what to do with leftover turkey when the idea of another turkey, cranberry, dressing sandwich loses its appeal.
With a few snips of leftover turkey meat, chopped vegetables, coconut milk, and cooked rice, you can easily pull together a turkey curry in a satisfyingly different sauce. Using dried cranberries continues the Thanksgiving theme and gives the dish a hint of sweetness, while the curry powder mildly spices up dinner for another evening of housing extended family under the same roof. As my mom would add, “The family that eats together, stays together,” and I think she would concur that this curry is a conversation starter. So, when you open the fridge and start thinking about what to do with leftover turkey, turn it into curry.