Need an Idea for Turkey Leftovers?? ((Turkey & Bacon filled Puff Pastry Cups))
The other day, I slow-roasted a turkey breast with the single goal of having enough leftovers to try out a “turkey leftover recipe”. I have been daydreaming about leftover recipes for a few weeks. Is that weird? Probably, but that is just what I do.
For this leftover recipe, I used a few “special” ingredients to make your diners think this meal is far from “Left-OVER”.
First, puff pastry. What else can I say about that? Buttery, crisp heaven. Your family will think “the chef has arrived!”.
Next, cream cheese. Cream cheese is like butter – it makes everything better!
Last, bacon. Last is certainly not least in this case…mmm, bacon!
In addition to these rock star ingredients, we have the equally important back-up singers:
- yummy and tangy, shredded ((by hand please)) sharp cheddar.
- fresh chopped chives
- 1 to 1½ cups of frozen mixed veggies
Oh and of course, leftover chopped roasted turkey.
Chop the bacon & the chives, dice the turkey and dump all of the ingredients ((except the puff pastry)) into a bowl and stir to combine.
An important tip in working with puff pastry is to think ahead ((40 minutes or so before you need to put dinner in the oven)) and thaw the puff pastry according to package instructions. Puff pastry is not difficult to work with IF you follow the ((simple)) instructions outlined on the puff pastry package.
Once the puff pastry ((I am tempted to abbreviate the words puff pastry but I don’t think I should be talking about PP in a food blog – so I will leave the name as is, yeehaw)) is thawed, cut each sheet into 6 even pieces, as pictured above. Roll out each individual piece and place in prepared muffin tin.
At this point, all of the pastry is just begging to stay cool and be shoved into a very hot preheated oven ((450°)). So it is important to move quickly in filling each cup.
The trick to filling quickly: a baking scoop. The scoop is such a handy kitchen tool — I heart the scoop.
Within a minute, the magic has happened – the puff pastry cups are full and a yummy dinner is imminent.
At this point, the goal is to achieve a perfect puffed crispy cup and steamy & gooey insides. In order to accomplish these objectives, you must place the muffin tin on the middle rack ((not middle high)) of a preheated hot ((450°)) oven, allow the cups to bake at that high temp for 8-10 minutes and then reduce the temp to 400° for the remainder of the cooking time ((15-18 minutes)).
Peek in on the baking beauties to make sure they are not getting too dark. If they are verging on dark – lower your rack and reduce the temp to 350°. If you see the slight bubble of the cheese you know everything is ready to be served.
Dinner is served.
- 2 sheets ((1 package)) of puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
- 1 1/2 c chopped leftover roasted turkey*
- 8 oz cream cheese ((I used light)), room temperature
- 12-15 strips of precooked applewood smoked bacon, chopped into 1/2"-3/4" pieces
- 3-4 T chopped chives ((1 T reserved))
- 1 c frozen mixed veggies
- 1 cup hand shredded sharp cheddar ((3-4 T reserved))
- S & P or 3/4 t McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except the reserved chives and cheese. Stir to combine. Set aside until ready to fill puff pastry cups.
- Unfold puff pastry and cut each sheet into 6 equal pieces. Turn floured side down and roll each piece out so that it will be large enough to drape over the muffin cup as pictured in the body of this blog.
- Spray the muffin tin with a non-stick flour coating. Place each square of rolled out puff pastry in each muffin cup, allowing the corners to overhang. Using a 2 T kitchen scoop, scoop and even amount of filling ((approximately 2 1/2 scoops)) into each cup.
- Sprinkle remaining chives and cheese atop each cup and place the tin on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes at 450° and the lower the temp to 400° for the remainder of the baking time (15-20 minutes).
- Keep a close eye on these cups to make sure the puff pastry doesn't get too dark. Depending on your oven, it may be necessary to reduce the temp to 350°. When the top sprinkling of cheese is bubbly and the puff pastry is medium golden brown, the cups are done baking.
- Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serves 6 people, 2 cups each.
- *Of course being leftover is not a prerequisite - diced chicken or turkey will work perfectly.