Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Rich, Hearty and Creamy Turkey and Mushroom Soup (dairy-free leftover solution!)

3 Dec

A 13-lb turkey is really too much for four people, but that’s what we got from the farm and of course we are going to use and enjoy every last bit! Over the weekend I posted on how to make delicious stock from the carcass of your roast. Now, here’s how to incorporate that stock with the leftover meat and loads of mushrooms to make a creamy soup that you won’t believe has no cream or butter!

The moms pronounced this turkey and mushroom soup "heavenly:

The moms pronounced this turkey and mushroom soup “heavenly:

The instructions are kind of longer than my usual, as normally for soup I would just sauté the basic veggies a bit, bung the rest in and leave it to simmer away. But the added steps of sauteing the vegetables separately and then making a roux (a cooked up paste of fat and flour) adds a creamy silkiness that makes this a bit more special. Don’t be afraid to try it…I have separated everything into easy steps that I believe will be easy to follow!

I found some of my inspiration from Kalyn’s Kitchen Turkey Mushroom and Wild Rice recipe, so thanks Kalyn for the idea of a roux.

Luscious and velvety leftover turkey soup

Luscious and velvety leftover turkey soup

Dairy-free Creamy Turkey and Mushroom Soup

2 Cups leftover roast turkey meat

1 quart turkey stock (or whatever you have on hand), plus more water to cover

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or one teaspoon dry (not powdered)

Handful garlic scapes or two cloves chopped garlic

1 Tbs olive oil

½ Cup chopped carrot

½ Cup chopped onion

½ Cup chopped celery

½ Tbs olive oil

20 oz chopped fresh mushrooms (white button, baby bella – no dried)

1.5 Tbs olive oil

3 Tbs flour

Salt and pepper

Step One: Place turkey, stock, thyme and garlic scapes in a big pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer.

Step Two: In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil until loose and fragrant, then sauté carrot, onion and celery at medium low until translucent and browning. Add vegetables to stock mixture and return the skillet to the heat, adding additional ½ Tbs olive oil.

Step Three: Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until they begin to soften, brown and release their juices. Add the mushrooms to the soup pot along with an additional two cups of water and return the skillet to the heat source, raising heat to medium high.

Step Four: Add the remaining oil to the skillet and add the 3 Tbs of flour, whisking to combine. Lower heat to medium and cook the roux a bit until relatively smooth and colored (you want to cook the floury taste out of it). Then add two cups of the turkey soup liquid to the skillet and whisk briskly until smooth and beginning to thicken.  Pour the thickening liquid back into the pot of soup and stir well.

Salt and pepper to taste and serve over rice or barley (you can throw cooked rice or barley directly into the soup and heat through, if desired) or on its own. Makes about 1.5 quarts.

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Cranberry Sauce…Finally!

1 Dec

I have never posted a cranberry sauce recipe before because frankly every time I tried I ended up with a lip-puckering nasty gloopy mess and we’ve just used lingonberry jam from IKEA instead.

A happy surprise for the table

A happy surprise for the table

So this year, I did not even tell my family I’d bought cranberries! I told no one that I was going to attempt it again. I just put it together surreptitiously on the day, figuring that if I failed yet again, no one would be the wiser. And wouldn’t you know, it came out deliciously — just the right tartness and sweetness, beautiful color and rich texture. It was great on the turkey and the ham, and even on bread! I have visions of using it on duck or venison one day…(Mad Dog? Are you there?)

I used a recipe from Simply Recipes (one of my go-to spots for solid fundamentals clearly presented) and then played with proportions and seasonings. And it’s a good thing I went for it. Unbeknownst to me, there was no lingonberry jam in the house, so we would have had to do without. Some things are just meant to be, and this was one of those things!

I will absolutely do this again next year for Thanksgiving, and will very likely not wait that long to try it again.

The blueberries were left over from the summer. Had them in my freezer: serendipity!!!

The blueberries were left over from the summer. Had them in my freezer: serendipity!!!

Cranberry Sauce

¾  Cup sugar

¾ Cup water

7 oz package fresh cranberries

1 Cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Orange/Clementine zest (barely 1/4 tsp)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. In the meantime, wash and pick over cranberries. Add cranberries, bring to a boil again and then lower heat and simmer until the cranberries are mostly popped (about 10 minutes).

Stir in blueberries, spices and just a tiny bit of zest (use only the colored part of the peel. The pith –white part – will make things bitter). Cook for a bare minute, then remove from heat and cool enough to pour into your serving container. Then cool to room temperature and refrigerate. The sauce will set as it cools.

 

Long Island Organic Poultry and Egg Source – Updated for 2013

12 Nov

This one is for my homies: my readers here on Long Island. I welcome anyone else who has certified organic birds on Long Island to contact me so I can post it! Everyone else, be sure to click on links for additional information on what makes poultry organic and best practices for making the most of your real farm-raised bird.

Local, Fresh and Organic: We’ve been getting our eggs and Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas) birds from Makinajian Poultry Farm in Huntington for a number of years now (They’ve been around and family-owned since 1948). We didn’t discover them by ourselves; once we joined C.S.A. – first at Sophia Garden and now at Restoration Farm – eggs and Thanksgiving turkeys were optional shares. It’s a good thing, as a drive to their farm in Huntington is kind of a hike for us to do on a regular basis – 30-40 minutes from our house. It’s a nice place to go though – farm animals in the front yard, coops out the back and a sweet country-style store…Worth a visit!

The eggs and poultry are organically raised. Importantly, it’s all fresh – the organic eggs you buy in the supermarket can be weeks old (the USDA says eggs are fresh 45 days after being laid), while these are farm to table.

If you want a turkey for Thanksgiving, you should order it now! Click the link or here’s the number: 631-368-9320. And don’t forget to bring your order number when you pick up; it’s troublesome for them to find your order when the line to pick up is out the door…

From the Makinajian Facebook Page

“We will start taking orders for Thanksgiving on Nov.1. We have turkey, turkey breast, duck, goose, capon& cornish hens all available to order. Please call for all prices.”

A Bird in the Bucket is Worth Two in the Freezer Compartment

A Bird in the Bucket is Worth Two in the Freezer Compartment– brining the bird

I usually order extra turkey necks for the gravy and often pick up one of their homemade pies (still warm!) while I’m there. They also have organic produce…pretty much anything you might have forgotten to pick up for the Big Eat. Note: I do brine the bird overnight for extra tenderness and flavor and will probably do it again this year. I’ll let you know all about it!

I will NOT screw up the gravy this year; luscious turkey stock in progress

22 Nov

Regular readers will know that I disgraced myself last Thanksgiving by ruining the stock for the gravy; I put the liver in and rendered the stock (and the air in my kitchen) utterly disgusting. My mom triumphantly saved the day with a jar of gravy and I was mortified on many levels.

Leandro shows off as he pounds the turkey spice rub

That is not going to happen this year, thus this real time post to give you my stock recipe and let you know things are progressing fine! Continue reading

Thanksgiving Sides and Sweets: A Recipe Round-Up

17 Nov

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. No gifts, just massive food, and a chance to give thanks for all that we have. Given how very fortunate my family was through the storms – Sandy and the nor’easter, the grateful feelings are particularly sharp.

Walnut Toffee Triangles (they freeze beautifully!)

The sides I include here are all from previous posts and are meant to give you simple solutions to plugging holes in your menu. This blog is called Hot, Cheap & Easy, and these recipes – made from basic ingredients, easily obtained — exemplify this (except maybe the Butternut Squash Bisque, but that is mostly made-ahead so I think I can be forgiven on that one).

As I say to my classes, “KISS, KISS, KISS: Keep It Simple, Students!” These recipes help me practice what I preach! I expect to be posting more Holiday recipes in the next week, but this is a good start for shopping this weekend. Continue reading

Butternut Squash Bisque and Bonus! Pepitas (roasted winter squash seeds)

27 Nov

In theory, starting a meal with soup will tend to make you eat less during the rest of the meal.

Well, maybe it’s true for some people, some of the time, but not so at Thanksgiving, where no matter how much I snack or soup ahead of the Big Feast I still eat ridiculous amounts of food during the main course.

Incredible Restoration Farm squash - LOOK at that color

However, hope springs eternal and therefore in this house we start the Thanksgiving Eat-a-thon with this creamy winter squash bisque. It is not just for Thanksgiving though; this bisque is lovely for any fall meal, and you can use any of the hard-rind winter squash available in autumn and throughout the cold season.

Bonus recipe? What I call pepitas – roasted winter squash seeds that you can use to garnish your soup, or to snack on while you are making the meal or to give to your kid who is feeling a bit neglected by all this focus on food prep.

 

Pepitas!

Butternut Squash Bisque

(makes four to six cups)

2 Tbs unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

2 ribs celery, diced (about 1 Cup)

1 onion diced (about 1 Cup)

2 leeks, carefully cleaned and diced (white part only)

2 lbs squash flesh (about 5 Cups)

2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

2 Tbs dry white wine

1 Tbs grated ginger

Salt, to taste

½ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream or crème fraiche)

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. When any bubbling subsides, add the garlic, celery, onion, and leek. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent (8-10 minutes). Add the squash and broth. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat wine to a simmer in a small saucepan. Immediately remove from heat, add ginger and cover. Steep 10 minutes, then strain the wine and discard the ginger.

Strain the solids from the soup, reserving liquid. Using a food processor or immersion blender, puree the solids, adding enough of the reserved liquid to get a good consistency.

Add the wine to soup and season with salt and optional nutmeg. Grate additional ginger into the soup, if desired, using a fine grater. Serve, garnishing each bowl with a dollop of yogurt. You may also garnish with 

Roasted Winter Squash Seeds (pepitas)

Handful winter squash seeds (however many you get from prepping the squash), rinsed, cleaned and dried

Enough extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat your amount of seeds (start with about a tsp poured into your palm)

Salt to taste

Heat oven to 275°F. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Rub seeds with olive oil, lay in a single layer on baking pan, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 minutes until seeds start to pop. Cool in a bowl and serve.

 

Festive Turkey Salad (With sweetness AND crunch!)

25 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving all! Regular readers will recognize this post from LAST Thanksgiving!!! See you soon; I am off to make broth…

My favorite quick dress-up for food that takes me from workaday-dull to bright and shiny: dried cranberries and walnuts.

My take-to-work breakfast? Plain nonfat yogurt, swirled up with some honey, a handful of cranberries and another handful of walnuts (bought in big bags at Costco – they last and last). Crunchy, creamy and sweet – oh yeah.

At home, I add them to spike up instant oatmeal. I also substitute half the raisins in oatmeal raisin cookies with cranberries for a brighter flavor and add walnuts for crunch and depth.

Boring salad? Add handfuls of cranberries and walnuts and make it fancy-schmancy (especially good with orange/clementine segments, red onion and feta – separately or in combination).

Today I incorporated them into my leftover turkey salad. Zippy!

Leftover Turkey Salad

leftover turkey, removed from bone, gristly bits removed, and chopped into small squares (2-3 cups)

handful dried cranberries

handful chopped walnuts

one celery stalk, chopped fine (mostly because I don’t really like celery)

half a red onion, finely chopped

4 -5 Tbs mayo and nonfat plain yogurt in whatever ratio you prefer

1 Tbs brown or yellow mustard

Mix all together in a bowl and serve in sandwiches or over salad.

Notes: Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), blueberries and Concord grapes, are the only commercially-grown native North American fruits! They are loaded with vitamin C and dietary fiber and manganese and other good things and may very well help prevent some urinary tract infections in women, but the jury is still out on that.

Long Island Turkey (and egg) Source: Makinajian Poultry Farm

10 Nov

This one is for my homies: my readers here on Long Island. All the rest, rest assured that once I fix the weird photo upload problem that is cramping my blogging style, I will have a bunch of new recipes to share!

Local, Fresh and (pretty much) Organic: We’ve been getting our eggs and Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas) birds from Makinajian Poultry Farm in Huntington for a number of years now. We didn’t discover them by ourselves; once we joined C.S.A. – first at Sophia Garden and now at Restoration Farm – eggs and Thanksgiving turkeys were optional shares. It’s a good thing, as a drive to their farm in Huntington is kind of a hike for us to do on a regular basis – 30-40 minutes from our house. It’s a nice place to go though – farm animals in the front yard, coops out the back and a sweet country-style store…Worth a visit!

The eggs and poultry, while not certified organic, are organically raised – no hormones, no antibiotics, cage free, and I believe they also get organic feed. Importantly, it’s all fresh – the organic eggs you buy in the supermarket can be weeks old (the USDA says eggs are fresh 45 days after being laid), while these are farm to table.

If you want a turkey for Thanksgiving, you should order it now! Click the link or here’s the number: 631-368-9320. And don’t forget to bring your order number when you pick up; it’s troublesome for them to find your order when the line to pick up is out the door…

I usually order extra turkey necks for the gravy and often pick up one of their homemade pies (still warm!) while I’m there. They also have organic produce…pretty much anything you might have forgotten to pick up for the Big Eat. Note: I do brine the bird overnight for extra tenderness and flavor and will probably do it again this year. I’ll let you know all about it!

 

 

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