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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers Stromboli

I love Thanksgiving leftovers. Love them. It could be because I usually eat them in the comfort of my home on a nice, quiet Black Friday while everyone else is fighting chaotic crowds. You just mush all your favorites together in a sandwich and voila! But, as with everything, sometimes there are drawbacks. I really dislike messy sandwiches. If sauces or juices drip down my hands, if all the meat and deliciousness start falling out of the bread each time I take a bite...madness. I usually end up giving up on the delicacy after a few bites. Sigh. But it's so good!

However, this year I was determined NOT to have a messy sandwich. I had the luxury of having two Thanksgiving celebrations this year. Yes, two. So last week when I had leftovers and really wanted a sandwich, I had to think about how I would overcome the obstacle that is the messy sandwich. A pita just wouldn't cut it. I had it! Make it like a Stromboli! All your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers wrapped into a pizza dough and baked in the oven! You get the crispy and chewy texture from the dough, and you get to shove whatever leftovers you have into a fantastic roll. I was sold. The beauty of doing something like this is you can use whatever you have. It's YOUR creation, and it was YOUR Turkey Day dinner, so make it whatever you want it to be. I'll show you exactly how I put my Stromboli together. I also cooked some gravy on the side for dipping or pouring it right on top like we did. I made a fantastic cranberry mayonnaise, which we'll get to in a bit. Not that there's much to the cranberry mayo. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. haha (My favorite part) Like I said, none of this is hard, so just use your imagination. 

Start by spreading out your pizza dough on to a baking sheet that is lightly greased or sprayed. This happens to be whole wheat pizza crust. I found it in the grocery store in the refrigerated section near all the cheeses. You can use plain pizza dough, but this happened to be all they had. Obviously I'm no expert when it comes to spreading out dough, but just do the best you can. The more you stretch it out, the better. Just make sure it's not too thin because when you roll it will rip.
Next, cut your turkey and whatever else you're using into nice bite size pieces. They fit better once you roll the Stromboli, and it's a lot easier to eat. Besides, don't you think it looks prettier when all the pieces are nice and uniform? :-) I took the stuffing and crumbled it everywhere. No need to cut that up. I only had mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey. Leave a border around the edges so the filling doesn't ooze out while baking.
Gently start rolling your Stromboli into a log. If you do get a tear in the dough, try and pinch it back together with your fingers.You can either leave the dough horizontally as it lies, or you can slowly move it around as I did. It doesn't matter either way. Score the top of the dough. This will allow some steam to escape as it bakes. Pinch the ends to be sure it is perfectly sealed. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. It may seem like a long time, but remember, you need the dough rolled inside to cook as well. 
Your finished product should look like this. Sorry, for the giant shadow, but that's what you get with an iPhone. Working on that! Cut into as many slices as you'd like. Eat with a fork and a knife or your hands. Aren't our hands really our best tools? We eat with our hands so infrequently that sometimes it's nice to feel like a kid again. Kickball, anyone?  ;-)
If you have some leftover cranberry sauce, mash it up in a small bowl. Add a few teaspoons of mayo to the cranberries and stir. It makes a tasty cranberry flavored mayonnaise. I tend to add more cranberry than mayo because I like mine sweeter. Again, that's up to you. :-)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for on a daily basis, and sometimes it's hard to think like this all the time. The holidays are what bring friends and family together. I'd like to think some good food does as well. I hope you try your own version with your holiday leftovers. Take a picture and let me know how it turns out. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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