Today we pay homage to the lowly croquette, which is a clever food concoction that makes good use of all that big-bird meat (or ham or chicken) you might have left over. It was a supper favorite when we were children but has in recent years fallen out of favor since “croquette” often is associated with “deep fried.” Well, that is not necessarily the case! Here’s an economical way to deliciously rework your turkey leftovers…

Mince leftover turkey (or ham or chicken) very finely to make two cups, add one tablespoon of white sauce* and a beaten egg, and shape into tightly packed small logs (about two to three inches long). If the logs seem dry, add a little more white sauce. Refrigerate for an hour. Remove the croquettes from the fridge, roll them in fine breadcrumbs, heat up three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a nonstick frying pan and lightly fry your croquette logs until golden brown. Serve immediately.

And here’s good news: If you don’t finish these croquettes, they’ll freeze perfectly for up to six months. Talk about going the distance!

Thanks to Baking Soda, Banana Peels, Baby Oil…and Beyond (Reader’s Digest and Bottom Line Books) for help with this tip.

*Easy white sauce recipe: Melt in a saucepan two tablespoons of butter or margarine, two tablespoons of flour, one-quarter teaspoon of salt. Cook the flour in the butter over medium heat for three minutes. Using a wire whisk to prevent lumps, stir in one cup of milk or milk and stock combined. Keep whisking, turning up heat if necessary to a slight bubble. Stir until thick. Makes about one cup. (Recipe adapted from More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre, Herald Press, 1982.)

More help with leftovers…