It seems ridiculous that Thanksgiving is this coming weekend. Finn and I live in Canada and celebrate the big turkey day mid-October, and since I’m mentally still back in September somewhere, I can’t believe that the holiday is next Monday. How did that happen? Time moves much, much too fast as we get older.
In lieu of the upcoming holiday, Matt and I had a couple friends over this last weekend for an early “Friendsgiving”. Just two close friends, and lots of food. This was the first year we celebrated “Friendsgiving”, but it went so well that it may have been the start of a yearly tradition. Good food, good wine, good company, and more good food.
It may have been a week early, but since I won’t be cooking this year on the actual Thanksgiving, and I actually enjoy cooking Thanksgiving food, I was determined to cook my favourites. If only so I could have leftovers. Leftover Thanksgiving food is THE BEST. Amiright?!
I usually make open-faced sandwiches with all my Thanksgiving leftovers. You know, a slice of bread, a layer of stuffing (yes I know, more bread), some cranberry sauce, turkey, and a gravy topping. YUM. But this year I had the idea to make an eggs benedict. Hence, an early Friendsgiving, for the sole purpose of leftovers. I had to make that benny.
As you can tell from the photos, it was a success. I am so excited about this post! I’ve included a recipe for the stuffing, which I must say, is my absolute favourite part of the recipe.
Actually, stuffing is my favourite part of Thanksgiving dinner, in general. I LOVE STUFFING.
I grew up on the boxed stuffing that you buy in grocery stores, where you just add water and magic happens in mere minutes. It was good, and it was my favourite part of Thanksgiving, even when I was little. My love of bread started at a very young age.
But then, well, then I met Matt, and our first Thanksgiving dinner at his parents house introduced me to his mother’s stuffing. I’m pretty sure the clouds parted and angels sung when I took my first bite. Her stuffing recipe ruined me for every other stuffing recipe, and I’ve never been able to have the boxed stuff again.
Luckily, she shared her recipe with me. I still have the photocopied scrap of paper, and it’s covered in food stains and worn out from years of folding and refolding.
It’s a simple, traditional recipe. No fancy ingredients here. I know a lot of people like adding certain things to their stuffing – cranberries, nuts, sausage – but I prefer my stuffing to be traditional. Bread, celery, onions, seasoning. As they say in design school, K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.
I’ve made slight changes to the stuffing recipe over the years, and the recipe here is my perfected favourite. I’ve discovered, despite my love of traditional, that my secret ingredient for the perfect stuffing is sliced water chestnuts. They add the perfect crunch and texture to every bite.
Other than that, the recipe is standard. Lots of bread, sage, marjoram, thyme, savory, salt, parsley, and butter. You just can’t skip on the butter in your stuffing. And you must use a great, fluffy bread. Sourdough is wonderful, or even a soft but chewy french bread.
So once you’ve made the stuffing, it keeps wonderfully in the fridge. I always make it the day before and cover it with tin foil and store it overnight. Pop it in the oven for 30-40 minutes before you serve your meal, until it’s heated through. Simple, easy, and always a show-stopper.
If you plan on making this benny with all your Thanksgiving leftovers, you’ll be so excited for breakfast the next day!
To start, make the stuffing patty. Simply combine some leftover stuffing, leftover mashed potatoes, and some eggs in a bowl and mix until incorporated. Depending on the consistency of the mashed potatoes you used, you may need to add some breadcrumbs – a bit at a time as needed – to help bind the mixture into a shapable consistency. Shape into 6 patties and fry in a skillet on low heat for 5-8 minutes per side until the patties are crispy and cooked through. Now, these patties won’t be solid, they’ll probably still be a little soft and you’ll need to be careful when transferring them to a plate. They should keep their shape, though, and they make the perfect base for the eggs benedict.
Cover the patties with a layer of cranberry sauce, some turkey pieces (or ham, whatever you have), a poached egg, and leftover gravy. The result? Thanksgiving benedict with a runny yolk that soaks right into the stuffing patty like pure perfection.
If you prefer, you can use hollandaise sauce instead of gravy to keep the benedict more traditional. I vote for the gravy, though, since this really isn’t a traditional breakfast anyway! Plus, if you’ve got some leftover, you might as well use it!
So my Canadian friends, here’s a recipe for next weekend. For those who celebrate in November, keep this one bookmarked. It’s worth it.
|Leftover Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict (& the Best Stuffing Ever)|| |
- 1 cup butter
- 2½ cups onions, diced
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 4 tsp crushed dried sage
- 1½ tsp crushed dried savory
- 1 tsp crushed dried marjoram
- ½ tsp crushed dried thyme
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ to 1 tsp salt, depending on your taste
- 14 cups bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 230-ml can of sliced water chestnuts
- 2 cups leftover stuffing
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Breadcrumbs, if needed
- Cranberry sauce
- Turkey pieces, reheated
- 6 eggs, poached
- Gravy, reheated
- To make the stuffing: in a large skillet over low heat, melt butter. Cook onions, celery, sage, savory, marjoram, thyme, pepper, and salt, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add bread, parsley, and water chestnuts to the pot and toss to coat. You may have to add the bread in batches, since there is so much of it, depending on the size of your pot. As it gets coated with the butter mixture it will shrink down. Transfer stuffing to an 8x8-inch baking tray. Cover with aluminum foil and store in the fridge; when ready to serve, reheat in the oven for 30-40 minutes until heated through.
- Once dinner has been eaten, store your leftovers. Use them the next morning for breakfast! for the eggs benny: In a large bowl, combine the leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes and eggs. If your mixture is too runny (depending on how thin your mashed potatoes are) you may need to add some breadcrumbs to help bind the mixture. Add a little add a time until the mixture is shape-able. Shape into 6 patties and fry in a skillet over low heat, 5-8 minutes per side until crispy brown and cooked through. These patties won't be perfect, they'll still be a little soft, so use caution when transporting them to the plate.
- Top each patty with cranberry sauce, turkey pieces, a poached egg, and a bit of gravy. Serve immediately.