Interview with Melissa d'Arabian and a Thanksgiving leftover recipe

posted on: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I had a phone chat with Melissa d'Arabian, the Food Network Star behind Ten Dollar Dinners, a couple weeks ago. I told her I have two kids. She told me she has four. Who's your mama?! Melissa was awesome to talk to. So enthusiastic and  practical and gave me some good advice on what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.  

Tomorrow you're all going to be cooking and eating the year's most important meal. No pressure.  It will be fun, don't worry. You'll work super hard then eat super hard and then on Friday you'll have all the left overs to deal with. I mean, to enjoy.

Melissa's advice on using up leftovers is basically to give the leftovers a different flavor profile. Make something else entirely new. Instead of just heating up your turkey and mashed potatoes and eating a second Thanksgiving meal, she suggests that you use the leftover ingredients to create a new dish, for example make a cranberry salsa from your left over cranberry sauce.

Melissa d'Arabian Cranberry Salsa
  • 1/2 cup canned whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
  • 1 white onion coarsely chopped and microwaved for 1 minute
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup Mexican-flavored canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
serving suggestion: serve with Turkey Taquitos, recipe follows

Place the cranberry sauce, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, onion, red pepper, green pepper, tomatoes, and salt, and pepper to taste in a food processor and pulse until blended, but still chunky. Serve with Turkey Taquitos.

What are you planning on making with your Thanksgiving leftovers, any ideas?
Happy Thanksgiving.
See you back here on Friday.


  1. Seeing all these great Thanksgiving recipes I'm starting to wish we would celebrate it too! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I love her, I wanted her to win since the very beginning :) I love her recipe... too bad I couldn't find cranberries :(

    Happy thanksgiving, friend!

  3. Thanks for the well wishes. I love my international readers and if you were here I would invite you over for Thanksgiving in a heartbeat.

  4. Ahhh! Turkey tacquitos with cranberry salsa?

    We are definitely talking like California girls now.

    Happy Thanksgiving to your beautiful family.

  5. mmmmmmmi love cranberries and salsa...never thought of them together!! i never even thought of turkey taquitos ...your just full of good ideas today!

    Happiest Thanksgiving my friend.

  6. So jealous that you got to chat with Melissa on the phone! How did you get to do that? I am a huge fan of cranberry sauce. Sadly, I actually really love the canned version. Then again, I don't think I have ever been exposed to fresh cranberry sauce. Maybe I should try making one of my own one of these days?

  7. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Astrid- to answer your question I was contacted by the Food Network. I've also done an interview with Claire Robinson. It's fun for sure and there's a reason why these people are stars. They're fun to talk to. If you can I can give the Food Network PR person your contact info.

  8. My the ingredients I could tell it is delicious.

    Have a great day!

  9. HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY DA! hope your day is filled with love, food and gratefulness. much love!!

  10. So jealous that you spoke with Melissa! She seems so nice!!

  11. Hope- She was super nice. I kind of wish I had asked for her home number so I could call her more often. hehehe

  12. How cool! I love her!! We record her show, and get so many great ideas from her!


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