My family and I usually feel like different flavors the night after Thanksgiving (too soon for straight-up leftovers!). We started off thinking that we’d make my grandmother’s turkey croquettes with our Thanksgiving leftovers, and this turned into a little tapas night.

We made some clams, spicy limas with chorizo, and patatas allioli to go with the croquettes. We served it all with sliced baguette and a simple salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. As much as I love a traditional Thanksgiving, this kind of food has a special place in my heart.

Patatas Allioli (potatoes with garlic mayonnaise)

1 c. olive oil (we sometimes use a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil)
½ – 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped (depending on how garlicky you want it to be)
1 large egg
Lemon juice
Potatoes (we used two russets, but you could use different types and as many as you like)
Hot smoked paprika

Steam the potatoes and let cool to room temperature. Slice in 1/8-1/2 inch slices.

Meanwhile, make the allioli by pureeing the olive oil, garlic, and egg with a hand blender. When it has emulsified, add a small squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

To serve, arrange the potato slices on a platter and spread each one with some allioli. Sprinkle each with some salt and spicy smoked paprika.

We usually put out the leftover allioli for bread dipping…but it’s seriously good on everything.

Turkey Croquettes

4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 c. whole milk
1 ¾ c. cooked turkey (or chicken), finely chopped
¼ tsp. celery salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat and add the milk. Turn up the heat to medium-high and cook until the sauce is very thick (almost like dough). Add the turkey, celery salt, cayenne, lemon juice, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper. Spread this mixture out on a plate and put in the refrigerator until completely cooled and hardened.

When the dough is chilled, roll into balls about the size of a large egg. Beat one egg with a drop of water. Lay the breadcrumbs out on a plate and, if using unseasoned breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper. Roll the croquettes into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, back into the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs again.

Deep fry the breaded croquettes in a combination of vegetable oil and olive oil. We don’t actually take the temperature of the oil; we just test the oil with a piece of bread. If the bread fries lightly in the oil, then the oil is ready. Fry the croquettes until golden brown on the outside. This makes about 9 medium croquettes.

Spicy Limas with Chorizo

My family makes these limas often, but we never really use a recipe. The basic method is to sauté some chorizo in olive oil, add a package of frozen limas, a healthy splash of white wine, a couple of bay leaves, and some red pepper flakes. Simmer it until the limas are soft, but not mushy. We used a spicy Portuguese chorizo instead of the Spanish chorizo we usually use, so you can really use any kind of cured sausage. You will want to adjust the heat with the pepper flakes depending on the heat of the sausage that you use.

Clams with Saffron Sauce

Again, my mom makes these all the time but doesn’t really follow a recipe. Start by soaking the clams in some water, cornmeal, and salt to clean them. Sauté a little bit of chopped onion in some olive oil. When the onion is soft, add a good amount of white wine and either some clam juice, seafood stock, or water. Add a pinch of saffron or some sazón seasoning (which is a good, cheap alternative), a large handful of chopped parsley, a clove or two of chopped garlic, and some red pepper flakes. Add some salt and pepper, to taste. When the mixture is simmering, add the clams and close the lid until the clams have opened up. Finish off with another small handful of chopped parsley. Make sure you have plenty of bread to soak up the sauce!

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