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Thanksgiving leftovers for chef challenge - Lia Fallon (Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Thanksgiving leftovers for chef challenge - Lia Fallon of Amarelle restaurant in Wading River. (Nov. 11, 2011)

The leftover challenge: three chefs shine

For most of us, a turkey sandwich with a schmear of cranberry sauce is about as much effort as we're likely to put into Thanksgiving leftovers. But we're amateurs. Newsday wondered: Could a professional chef make a silk purse out of a turkey's ear? To find out, we challenged Ben Durham (Four Food Studio), Lia Fallon (Amarelle) and Scott Bradley (Snaps) to create a memorable dish using cooked turkey and other foods you probably have in your refrigerator. The ground rules: Aside from the turkey, the chefs didn't know what the other three ingredients would be until we showed up with a mystery basket. As on "Chopped" and "Iron Chef," staples and seasonings from the chef's kitchen were OK to use, but the main focus of the dish had to be the ingredients we supplied. The dish could not require more than 45 minutes to prepare. By the way, no one got chopped from this challenge; every recipe was a winner.

Ben Durham, executive chef at Four Food Studio
(Credit: Handout)

Ben Durham, executive chef at Four Food Studio & Cocktail Salon in Melville.

Thanksgiving leftovers for chef challenge - Lia Fallon
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Thanksgiving leftovers for chef challenge - Lia Fallon of Amarelle restaurant in Wading River. (Nov. 11, 2011)

Chef Scott Bradley of Snaps American Bistro participates
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Chef Scott Bradley of Snaps American Bistro participates in the Thanksgiving leftover challenge. Bradley created a pasta dish out of leftover turkey, mixed nuts, squash puree and cranberrry sauce. (Nov. 16, 2011)

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Snaps' Chef Scott Bradley adds turkey meat to
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Snaps' Chef Scott Bradley adds turkey meat to a pan. (Nov. 16, 2011)

Scott Bradley of Snaps in Wantagh plates his
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Scott Bradley of Snaps in Wantagh plates his dish: turkey-squash pasta. (Nov. 16, 2011)

Bradley plates the finished dish. The Snaps chef
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Bradley plates the finished dish. The Snaps chef created a pasta dish of leftover turkey, mixed nuts, squash puree and cranberry sauce. (Nov. 16, 2011)

Chef Scott Bradley's pasta dish uses leftover turkey,
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Chef Scott Bradley's pasta dish uses leftover turkey, mixed nuts, squash puree and cranberrry sauce. (Nov. 16, 2011)

The surprise ingredients given to Chef Ben Durham
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

The surprise ingredients given to Chef Ben Durham of Four Food Studio: leftover turkey, green beans, Jarlsberg cheese and mashed potatoes. (Nov. 14, 2011)

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Durham makes a topping with cranberry sauce. Chef
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Durham makes a topping with cranberry sauce. Chef Ben Durham of Four Food Studio participates in the Thanksgiving leftover challange. Durham created fritatta dish out of leftover turkey, green beans, Jarlsberg cheese and mashed potatos. (November 14, 2011)

Chef Ben Durham chops green beans for the
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Chef Ben Durham chops green beans for the Thanksgiving leftover challenge. (Nov. 14, 2011)

Chef Ben Durham of Four Food Studio whisks
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Chef Ben Durham of Four Food Studio whisks eggs for his fritatta. (Nov. 14, 2011)

Chef Ben Durham's Thanksgiving leftover fritatta, with green
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Chef Ben Durham's Thanksgiving leftover fritatta, with green beans, Jarlsberg, mashed potatoes and, of course, turkey. (Nov. 14, 2011)

Thanksgiving leftovers for Lia Fallon of Amarelle in
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Thanksgiving leftovers for Lia Fallon of Amarelle in Wading River. Items for her to work with included a winter ale. (Nov. 11, 2011)

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Chef Lia Fallon stirs up some turkey skin
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Chef Lia Fallon stirs up some turkey skin cracklings. (Nov. 11, 2011)

Thanksgiving leftovers for chef challenge -- Lia Fallon
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant, 2011)

Thanksgiving leftovers for chef challenge -- Lia Fallon of Amarelle restaurant in Wading River. (Nov. 11, 2011)

Chef Fallon's results: pulled turkey with sweet potato
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Chef Fallon's results: pulled turkey with sweet potato hash. (Nov. 11, 2011)

Lia Fallon's challenge was to make a savory
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Lia Fallon's challenge was to make a savory leftover dish of pulled turkey and roasted sweet potatoes. She created a hash and garnished it with fried turkey skin. (Nov. 11, 2011)

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