I hate leftovers. 364 days of the year, I am an absolute snob, and refuse to eat them. But come the day after Thanksgiving and I am ALL. ABOUT. IT. My Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich has become a bit of a legend amongst my friends and family, and while of course I'll be making a sandwich come Friday this year, I am also (apparently) incapable of cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 2 (thanks, COVID), and have enough leftovers to feed an army. So obviously, I had to turn them into a mac and cheese for you! Here's a brand new way to use up all those amazing leftovers, and it's so good, you might even forget about the sandwich.
THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS MAC AND CHEESE
serves 6 - 8
4 c whole milk
½ ea yellow onion
7 ea whole cloves
1 ea bay leaf
1 Tbs kosher salt
¼ tsp ground white pepper
12 oz pasta, shape of your choice
½ c unsalted butter
½ c all purpose flour
1½ lb/6 c sharp cheddar, grated
½ - 1 c of each of your thanksgiving leftovers (pulled turkey, gravy, yams, mashed potatoes, green veggies,
brussels sprouts, stuffing, etc)
2 Tbs cranberry sauce
Press the stem side of the cloves into the cut side of the onion. Put the onion cut side down into a large pot, then add the milk, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Place over the lowest heat possible, to infuse the flavors without steaming or simmering, for at least 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to one minute under al dente instructions, then strain.
Remove the onion and bay leaf from the milk, then add in the butter and flour, and whisk to combine. Bring the heat up to medium, and continue to whisk until sauce is smooth and thick, about 7-10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in all but ½ cup of the cheddar.
Preheat a high broiler.
Stir the pasta in, and all leftovers (except cranberry sauce). Mix well, so leftovers are evenly distributed throughout the mac and cheese. Transfer to your baking dish. Using a small spoon, dot the cranberry sauce over the top of the mac and cheese, then use the tip of the spoon handle to swirl it in to the sauce.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, then place under the broiler, about 2-3 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately!