Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope thanks were given, politics were argued (or conundrums solved), and bellies were overstuffed. Now what are you gonna do with those leftovers?
You’re not going to make some kind of fancy leftover recipe like turkey and leek risotto or turkey samosas. As Jill Hunter Pellettieri wrote in Slate in 2007, these recipes are sad attempts to snazz up leftovers that are better enjoyed on their own. After all, Thanksgiving food, despite what some Philistines might claim, is delicious and does not need to be transformed into a pot pie or tetrazzini.
But eating leftovers the way you ate Thanksgiving dinner—little piles of food, eaten one at a time—is a drag! There are a million Tupperwares to deal with, all requiring different heating times in the microwave. Plus, while some foods gain flavor and force from a day in the fridge, Thanksgiving foods do not. Fixing yourself a plate of slightly dry mashed potatoes, soggy stuffing, and lukewarm turkey is never ideal, but it’s a lot less appetizing when the memory of last night’s perfectly-prepared, picturesque meal is still fresh in your mind.
What you want is a way to eat leftovers that gives you all the flavor of Thanksgiving with a minimum of muss and fuss. Reader, I have the solution: the Thanksgiving leftovurrito.
Step 1: Place modest spoonfuls of your five favorite Thanksgiving leftover items on a plate. I like dark meat, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Scoop some of that nasty congealed gravy out of the boat and plop it on top. Cover in plastic wrap, and microwave until the whole shebang is hot and steamy.
Step 2: Heat up a soft tortilla on your range or in the microwave.
Step 3: Scrape that amazing Thanksgiving mess onto the tortilla. Top with a dollop of cold cranberry sauce for bite. Wrap it up.
Step 4: Enjoy.
Voila! The sloppy aesthetics of the leftover plate don’t matter when all the food is neatly wrapped in a soft tortilla. All the flavors of Thanksgiving are married, delivering festive flavor combinations in every bite. The rich caramel of roasted sweet potatoes melds with the slight gaminess of turkey. Stuffing, once soggy and lame, revivifies with a tang of cranberry. It’s the essence of the holiday in burrito form. Not unlike Proust’s madeleine, the overstuffed leftovurrito delivers gravy-flavored memories of holiday seasons gone by.