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Thankful for Leftovers!

The day after the big feast offers a unique opportunity to reimagine your holiday spread

As the Thanksgiving festivities wind down, you may find yourself facing a familiar dilemma: a fridge packed with leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and all the trimmings. But fear not, for this is where the true culinary adventure begins!  Joe Racioppi, executive chef of McLoone's, shared ideas with us about how to breathe new life into turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Whether you're a seasoned home chef or a novice in the kitchen, these easy recipes will transfer your leftovers into stars of the show the day after.

Turkey Cranberry Panini


  • 3 ounces mayonnaise
  • 1 ounce cranberry sauce
  • 2 slices focaccia bread
  • 4 slices of turkey breast
  • 3 ounces arugula 
  • 4 slices of brie cheese
  • 1 ounce butter or olive oil


1. Mix mayonnaise and cranberry sauce together. Spread on one side of the focaccia bread.

2. Add turkey, arugula and brie. Place other focaccia slice on top.

3. Use 1-ounce of butter or olive oil in sauté pan, and brown the panini on both sides.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet-Potato Cakes


  • 6 ounces sweet potatoes or leftover mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 ounces vegetable or olive oil


1. Mash the sweet potato. Shape into cakes, and then place in the freezer until the cakes hold their shape.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

3. Mix all-purpose flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs in a bowl. Coat each sweet-potato cake with the breadcrumb mixture.

4. Heat up vegetable or olive oil in a sauté pan. Brown sweet-potato cakes on both sides 

5. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Serve, and enjoy!

Mashed-Potato Croquettes


  • 1 baked potato or one cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces grated cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

3. Grease a baking pan.

4. Add the mashed-potato mixture to a piping bag and create 4-ounce balls on the greased pan, even spaced apart. You can also use a spoon to create the 4-ounce balls.

5. Press down a little on each ball, and place the pan in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Turkey Soup

  • 1 boned turkey carcass
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 large stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 pound egg noodles

1. Place turkey carcass, onion, carrot, and celery in large stockpot and cover with water.

2. Place pot on stovetop and cook on medium heat for 1½ to 2 hours.

3. Strain stock, and remove carcass. Return stock to pot.

4. Let carcass cool and strip off all remaining meat (be careful to remove all bones and tendons).

5. Dice up turkey meat, and return to stock.

6. Add diced onion, carrot and celery to stock.

7. Cook on medium heat 20 minutes.

8. Add egg noodles, and bring to a boil.

9. Remove and serve.

  • Executive Chef Joe Racioppi

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