Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Left Overs are The Best Part! And, More Soup!

By now, I know that all of you cooks out there have long lists of things to do, ingredients to pick up, and cooking planned for the big feast on Thursday.  Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for me. It's all about being grateful, eating good food, and enjoying each other - no gift buying required.   I love cooking for it - and I really love the left overs!  I always like to hear what other cooks are doing with their leftovers - if they have them.  We shop and cook deliberately to have left overs!  Over the years it has not mattered if it is the two of us or a big group around the table. Not having left overs from Thanksgiving dinner is unthinkable to me. Obviously, I cook the feast at home a great deal!

Some of our favorite things to do with all of that great left over food:

1.  Turkey sandwiches of course!  In our home, it's a matter of dinner on a sandwich.  Turkey, cole slaw, cranberry sauce, a bit of stuffing (yes I know it's on bread!), mayo and whatever else there's room to fit in between two slices of soft white bread.

2.  Turkey Tetrazinni.  An old favorite.  My recipe comes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, circa 1968.  There are lots of recipes for this dish - just don't forget the mushrooms! I usually use linguine.

3.  Thanksgiving Strata.  A fabulous casserole.  Butter a casserole dish. Add layers of left over roasted vegetables, stuffing, and chopped turkey covered by a whipped egg and cream mixture and baked until the top is brown and crunchy.

4.  Turkey Stock.  All those roasted bones are going to make a delicious stock.  Toss in some halved onions, a few sticks of celery, some peppercorns, . . . whatever you like to add to your stock, and let it cook all day.  The aroma alone will get you back to the table for more turkey!

5.  Turkey Noodle Soup.  Use some of your roasted turkey bone stock and add some fresh vegetables - whatever you like such as carrots, onions, garlic, kale or other greens and add cooked noodles (I like Pennsylvania Dutch egg noodles).  If you cook the noodles almost to al dente' before you add them, they won't soak up all of your soup liquid.

6.  Turkey Salad.  Just like chicken salad.  Chop up some turkey meat, add chopped celery, a bit of chopped red onion, mayo and salt and pepper.  Mix and serve on toast, bread or endive or romaine spears.

7.  Stuffing (Dressing to some) Croquettes.  Make golf sized balls from left over stuffing.  Roll the balls in a couple of beaten eggs and some seasoned flour.  Fry.  Pop in your mouth deliciousness!

8.  Hot Turkey Sandwiches. A good use for the gravy!

These are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  What are yours?

Recipe:  Spicy Pumpkin Soup

I am still on a Soup Kick - and may be until oh, April or May.  Here's one we recently made that was so delicious, versatile and satisfying.  I highly recommend getting yourself a Sugar Pumpkin - as opposed to the canned stuff.  It makes a lot of difference.

                                             Pumpkin Halves Ready to Roast at 350 for 45 minutes
 Pumpkin Purée after a quick pulse in the food processor 


31/2 cups roasted pumpkin purée (after scooping roasted pumpkin out, pulse it a few times in a food processor) Note:  You can use canned pumpkin but do not use pumpkin pie mix!

7 cups of low salt or no salt chicken stock
1 Tblspoon unsalted butter
11/2 cups diced onion
1 Tblspoon finely minced garlic
11/2 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 - 4 Tblspoons heavy cream 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Yogurt or Sour Cream to garnish
Toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish


In a Dutch oven or similar pot, melt the butter
Add the onions over medium heat and stir frequently until softened
Add the minced garlic and stir for one minute
Add the curry, cumin, paprika, and coriander and stir for one minute until spices give off a good aroma
Add the pumpkin purée and stir to incorporate (one minute or so)
Pour the stock into the mixture and stir
Bring the soup to a boil, lower and simmer for 20 minutes, stir often
Add the salt
Stir in the heavy cream and the ground pepper

Garnish with a dollop of thick yogurt or sour cream
If you toasted the seeds from the pumpkin sprinkle those over the top too.


     Creamy, Spicy & Delicious Pumpkin Soup

Cherish Real Food!

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