Thanksgiving Leftovers Make Sweet Potato Rolls & Turkey Gumbo Soup

November 28th, 2013 / Comments 5

Last November, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I opened the fridge to get a slice of lemon for my morning cup of tea and was overwhelmed by bowls, containers and aluminum foil wrapped packets of leftovers. Charles had been in charge of clean up the night before and, with the help of a couple of other non-cooks, had done a splendid job but the overstuffed fridge needed immediate attention.

Stock Pot c egbert Thanksgiving Leftovers Make Sweet Potato Rolls & Turkey Gumbo Soup

The turkey carcass was precariously perched on a jug of gravy and a bowl half filled with roasted cranberry sauce. Mashed sweet potatoes flavored with chipotle peppers and mashed white potatoes rested side by side in one container and a forlorn slice of pumpkin pie wrapped in plastic sat on a small bowl of gingered whipped cream. After I found the lemon for my tea, I began to deal with the wealth of leftovers by topping the piece of pie with the whipped cream and eating it.

I made run-of-the-mill turkey sandwiches dinner-worthy by making sandwich rolls with the leftover sweet potatoes. These yeast rolls are not difficult to make but need to rise twice before baking so I got started as soon as I’d read the paper and emptied the dishwasher. Here’s how I made them:[/donotprint]

Sweet Potato Rolls

I dissolved one package, about two and a quarter teaspoons, of active dry yeast and two tablespoons of sugar in three quarters of a cup of warm milk in a medium mixing bowl. I covered the bowl with a towel and waited for the yeast to make the milk foamy. It took about ten minutes. Then I added one cup of room temperature mashed sweet potatoes, three tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, half a teaspoon of kosher salt, one egg to the milk mixture and three cups of all-purpose flour and beat the dough with a wooden spoon. When it was well combined, I stirred in enough flour, about a cup more, to form a soft dough. I turned the dough out onto a floured board and kneaded it for about five minutes, until it was smooth and elastic. I put the dough into a bowl that had been smeared with butter, covered the bowl and put it in a warm place to rise. In about an hour and half, the dough had doubled in size. I gently folded it in on itself to deflate it, (I’m not one who punches anything), and then formed the dough into twelve balls. I put the balls of dough into a buttered, nine-inch square pan, covered them and put the pan in a warm place for about forty-five minutes, until the dough had risen a second time. I baked the rolls in a preheated 375º oven until they were golden brown, about twenty-two minutes.

The sweet potatoes I used were seasoned with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and had a bit of a chili zing. If the leftover sweet potatoes in your fridge are topped with marshmallows or sweetened with maple sugar, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe or omit it.

I made turkey noodle soup for Saturday night supper but wished that I had made the turkey gumbo soup that my friend and fellow painter, Kathy described to me over coffee on Sunday morning. Here’s the recipe she shared:

Turkey Gumbo Soup

Boil a turkey carcass in eight cups of water for one hour. Remove the carcass from the pot and pick the meat from the bones. Drain and reserve six cups of broth. Combine four tablespoons of flour and four tablespoons of bacon grease in the bottom of the soup pot and cook over medium heat until the mixture is a rich dark brown. Add one cup of chopped scallions, one cup of chopped celery and four tablespoons of chopped parsley to the pot and saute for five minutes. Add the broth slowly to the vegetable mixture, stirring until well combined. Add three bay leaves, half a teaspoon of thyme, one cup of chopped, smoked, hot sausage and three cups of leftover turkey meat. Simmer over low heat for one and a half hours. One pint of oysters can be added for the last five minutes of cooking. To finish the soup, add one tablespoon of file powder just before serving. Soup should not boil once the file has been added. Remove bay leaves and serve gumbo in a large, shallow soup bowl over a generous mound of white rice.

This year we are having dinner at the Bartletts. I’m making cranberry relish, sweet potatoes and dessert and looking forward to being with friends. I’ve made extra sweet potatoes, pre-holiday leftovers, and I’m pretty certain that our hosts will send us home with turkey for sandwiches. I don’t think it would be polite to ask for the turkey carcass, but I’m planning to make turkey gumbo even if I have to cut Kathy’s recipe in half and make it with a roasted chicken from the grocery store. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Sweet Potato Rolls
Recipe type: Bread
Author: Carol Egbert
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 22 mins
Total time: 32 mins
Serves: 12 rolls
Golden, yeast raised dinner rolls made mashed sweet potatoes. Perfect use of leftovers.
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk, heated to 105ºF
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour – divided
  1. Combine yeast, sugar and milk in a medium mixing bowl, stir until dissolved. Cover bowl and set aside, in a warm place, for 10 minutes, until mixture is foamy.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, butter, salt, egg and 3 cups flour to milk mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead in enough flour, about 1 cup, to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Put dough into a bowl that has been smeared with butter, cover bowl and put in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Deflate dough, form dough into 12 balls, put balls into a buttered 9″ square baking pan, cover and let rise until dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  6. Bake in a preheated, 375º oven for 22 minutes or until rolls are golden.
  7. Serve warm with butter.

The dough has to rise twice so the overall prep time total is 3 hours.

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• 5 Responses to “Thanksgiving Leftovers Make Sweet Potato Rolls & Turkey Gumbo Soup”

  • Jenny (VintageSugarcube) says:

    Carol.. Could it be possible for you to get any more fabulous? Sweet potato chipotle Sammie rolls? My mouth is watering. Love your writing, love your pics, love your recipes. Happy Holidays:)

  • Mary says:

    Hi, Carol–loved the place cards and had a granddaughter make 12 of them. Thanks. BUT though I’m subscribed (newly), I didn’t get the Nov. 26th posting. Gremlins in the system? Wanted you to know–

  • Drick says:

    your rolls sound amazing – esp with the chipotle… to me, there is nothing better than left over turkey for just the best of things like turkey gumbo and it sounds like Kathy has a great recipe… I like turkey hash too, made with left over dressing, it is great with over-easy eggs for breakfast…

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