You Won't Believe What You Can Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

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You can always count on a ton of leftovers after your Thanksgiving meal. Sure, they're ok reheated and of course there's the classic turkey sandwich with all the fixin's but c'mon, we can do better than that. With a little creativity you won't believe what you can do with your holiday leftovers.

Executive Sous Chef Matthew Walker of Great Performances invited us into the kitchen over at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in NYC to show us how to turn day old cornbread into a sweet treat.

With this dish we're taking leftover cornbread and leftover eggnog to turn them into Cornbread Spiced Rum and Eggnog Pudding. If you don't have leftover eggnog from dinner, you can easily make it with eggs, sugar, cream and milk and fall spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. You should have all those ingredients laying around the pantry.

Chef Walker says you can bake the pudding at 350F in any vessel you have laying around. When you can stick a sharp knife into the center of the mixture and it comes out clean it's done.

You can dress the finished dish with whatever you have laying around - chocolate sauce, ice cream, anything goes. He uses some orange marmalade from the pantry and a quick caramel sauce and trust me, it does NOT taste like a leftover.

If you're drowning in Turkey after the holiday, try this recipe from Chef Eduard Frauneder from NYC's Edi and the Wolf for turkey strudel. The strudel combines leftover turkey, leftover shredded potato, onions, leeks and tarragon with some cheese, sour cream and heavy cream in a delightful filo package. If you're sweating out onions and leeks for recipes on Thanksgiving, just make a little more than necessary and reserve. It will save you one more step when revamping your leftovers.

If you're totally over Thanksgiving flavors, but still have the food, the brains over at Rosa Mexicano will help you completely change the flavor profile. Using leftover turkey, garlic and onions and adding Mexican ingredients like cilantro, avocado and tomatillos you can whip up turkey enchiladas. It's a great Saturday or Sunday meal when you've hit holiday food overload.

If your leftover m.o. is to do a turkey soup, switch it up with some of those same Mexican flavors. Rosa Mexicano's smoked turkey soup uses leftover turkey and turkey stock with jalapeno and chipotle chili in adobo sauce to give a warm smoky depth to the broth.

If you're still entertaining guests in the days following Thanksgiving and need to impress, try Chef Walker's sweet potato creme brulee. The Great Performances executive sous chef says you can use any form of sweet potato, even savory, as long as you can get it into a smooth puree.

Chef Walker combines the puree with devonshire cream, sugar and a little lemon juice and lines the bottom of a buttered ramekin with the mixture. He tops with a traditional creme brulee recipe - using vanilla bean, whipping cream and eggs. But, before you make it make sure to place the dishes on a rimmed cookie sheet and give it a nice water bath.

The most impressive part is, of course, the brulee -- if you have a torch and know how to safely use it, by all means, brulee away. But for safety sake it's much much smarter to pop the dish on the top rack of your oven under the broiler. Keep a close eye because it can go from perfect to burnt and bitter in a matter of seconds.

If you get creative this year with your leftovers you'll get better food and waste less and you definitely won't want the holiday weekend to end.

Watch the video above to learn how to get creative with your leftovers. Then, check out the slideshow below to get the recipes featured in the video!

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