Sometimes holidays are not what you planned. Often they take on a life of their own. Perhaps that’s what Christmas is all about. Welcoming or being open to something new, something loving, maybe even moving on from what you thought you had to have.
It’s all over but shouting. Hopefully you gave thanks with the best of them and enjoyed a feast fit for you. If the shouting turns out to be what goes on a day or two after Thanksgiving when you get on the scale, no worries. You’ll not eat like that again for…oh, probably a month. Meantime, you’re back to your regular life and my guess is those extra couple of ounces–ok, pounds–will jump right back off the scale in a few days. And if they don’t? Salad and soup for a week could fix it. So how about some soup?
I adore Thanksgiving. It loves me back. It is my favorite holiday out of the whole year. There’s nothing that makes me more thrillingly anticipating than to bring the last of the sage in, save bread for dressing, take stock of my canned pumpkin supply, or bake cranberry bread along with any pie you can name. To say nothing of the fact that I don’t like Christmas decorating (or shopping or wrapping), but can’t wait to put up pumpkins, corn stalks, leaves, scarecrows, and all things autumn come October. Ok, September. Continue reading
If you kept or froze your turkey carcass from Thanksgiving and aren’t quite sure what to do with it, this is your method for soup. While it looks like a recipe, it’s merely a method and you must yourself judge which ingredients you have or want to add; it’s all about flexibility.
Note the options of using your leftover vegetables, gravy, stock, or just adding all purchased low-sodium chicken stock and so on.
In about an hour an a half, you’ll have just about the best turkey noodle soup you ever ate. If you are skipping noodles this week, leave them out and, instead, add extra fresh or frozen vegetables. (Brown rice, wild rice, or barley are other possibilities.) Continue reading
I had no leftover turkey as I traveled for the holiday, but I did have some from the deli and, in need of lunch, made this sweet and savory salad. It was just the ticket for a day when, after boatloads of family dinners, my jeans were not exactly in their happy place. This meal is fast, nutritious, figure-friendly, and family-pleasing. Could you add a little of that leftover cranberry salad or relish off to the side of the plate? I’m thinking you could. Happy Giving Tuesday!
STILL HAVE FROZEN TURKEY? Take out a bit, unthaw, and use that. By the way, your frozen turkey is at its best-tasting for 2-3 months if it’s wrapped properly and stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, according to STILL TASTY DOT COM, my go-to for storage questions. If it’s in your refrigerator since last Thursday, it’s past time to throw it away; it was good/safe for 3-4 days only. In fact, even simple vegetables cooked Thanksgiving day and stored in the refrigerator should be tossed after today. Sad, I know.
TURKEY-ACORN SQUASH SALAD WITH APPLES AND PARMESAN DRESSING
It’s spring in name only in Saint Paul. Whereas many food writers and bloggers are already complaining about too many fresh pea or asparagus recipes, people here are still sniffling and shuffling around town in their by now worn-out snow boots. (Uh, there are not even pea tendrils in St. Paul because snow covers the vegetable gardens; see below.) In fact, if you move here, you’ll save a lot of money on shoes; you only need them May – September. Not only that, you can write about fresh peas, rhubarb, and asparagus when folks further south are eating their first tiny tomatoes and are getting tired of grilling already.
This picture is out my front door this morning.
While people keep emailing or texting me, “Aren’t you tired of snow?” I’m not. I’m happy to make one more bubbling cauldron and a big pan of biscuits. I might be sick of my sweaters, though.
If it’s not too warm where you are, maybe you’re still in the mood for a big pot of soup with bread. (It’s also a perfect way to use that leftover Thanksgiving turkey if it’s that time a year. ) Try this:
turkey-wild rice + vegetable soup
makes about 10 quarts of soup
Using up leftover turkey from a holiday meal? Skip that 1 1/2 hours cooking the turkey thighs and just add your 2-3 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey after the rice (#3).
- 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, divided
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 quarts chicken or turkey stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 cups water, divided
- 2 turkey thighs, skin removed (or 2-3 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey)
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 cup wild rice, rinsed several times and drained*
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (can sub 2 medium potato, peeled, and diced)
- 1/2 cup each fresh or frozen green peas and corn
- 1/3 cup dry sherry for garnish at the table
- 1 cup roasted, chopped walnuts or almonds for garnish (optional)
- Heat butter and olive oil with red pepper over medium heat in a 12-quart stockpot for one minute. Add onions, 1 of the cut-up carrots, the celery, fennel, parsley, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt with 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook five minutes or until vegetables are beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook another minute or two, stirring.
- Pour in stock, wine, and 2 cups of the water. Stir well and add turkey thighs, poultry seasoning, another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and another 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until turkey is tender.
- Remove turkey to cutting board and let cool several minutes. While the turkey is cooling, add rice and 3-4 drops of Tabasco (or more to taste) to the broth. Bring back to a low boil. After turkey is cooled, shred using two forks, and return to pot. Let cook about 20 minutes and add parsnips along with the rest of the carrots. Continue to cook another 20 minutes, skimming off fat as needed.** Stir in peas and corn.
- Continue to cook until turkey, rice, and all vegetables are tender –another 5-10 minutes. Continue to skim off fat. Add more water or broth if necessary. This should not be a thick stew, but rather a rich, brothy soup. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over or with biscuits. Pour sherry into a small pitcher and pass at the table with the walnuts, if using, to garnish soup. (Just a teaspoon or so of sherry per bowl is plenty, but it’s a matter of personal taste.)
**Turkey thighs give off a lot of fat. You might have 1/4 cup of fat skimmed off (or more) by the end of the cooking.
makes 12 2-inch biscuits
- 2 cups all–purpose, unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and cream of tartar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, cream of tartar and baking powder. Add butter and cut in well using a pastry blender, two forks, your fingers, or even a food processor until some of the mixture is the size of peas and some are larger, some smaller.
Stir in the milk all at once and keep stirring until a ball of dough is formed. Place dough on a floured board and knead 10-12 times. Pat out (or roll) into a rough circle until dough is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out using a 2-inch floured biscuit or round, fluted cookie cutter. * Place biscuits on a baking sheet or in a glass pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold. (I like to bake biscuits in a Pyrex pie plate or casserole pan because they stay warm at the table.)
*You can use the mouth of a small, floured glass to cut biscuits if you have no cutter. Another option is to cut them with a knife into squares or rectangles. They’ll bake.
( Biscuit recipe courtesy FANNIE FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham.)
… … … … … … … …
|My south window today.|
If you like turkey thighs, you might want to try this if the weather is warmer where you are:
By the way, I still have a few soups left to test for my soup cookbook. Interested? Leave contact information in a comment or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. No pay, but hopefully a good meal and fun!
Sing a new song,
Please read all the way through before beginning.
“It’s not what’s on the table that’s important. It’s who’s in the chairs.”
This post includes:
- Guide to cooking and baking hotlines
- Links to great Thanksgiving sites for tips, food, decoration, kids’ activities
- My own favorite Thanksgiving photos, recipes, music, wine, and even a blessing or two …
I can’t preach about giving thanks. I’ll just say I think it’s healthy. It’s lovely in that it’s a discipline folks of any religion or country can take part. But of course, our fair “Rabbie” had it best:
Some Hae Meat
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You could have guessed.
My worlds all come together on that day.
Giving thanks– being grateful–is a practice or discipline of many religions and cultures, including mine.
I need it. I need that discipline. And:
Creating a meal to honor that…is my idea of a great day!
I wish you a day of totally beautiful, grateful life.
A grace could be very simply giving thanks for the hands that made the meal, for the workers in the stores, on the trucks, in the gardens and the vineyards. Even a toast to all who made it possible would work. Mark the moment.
Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.
Awareness. Awakeness. Appreciation. Peaceful breath.
A table that includes something you love.
Someone you love.
Some of the best new scripture these days is found on paper napkins.
I have some that say, “It’s not what’s on the table that’s important. It’s who’s in the chairs.”
Ah, that we have to print that somewhere.
Deep breaths and a sense of warm wonder to you as you prepare to give thanks this year.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
Before the fun begins, thanks for reading and responding:
In case you need help with the meal….
|Two Mushroom-Red Onion Soup from my upcoming book.|
*Splendid Table (Radio) from 11am-1pm CT on Thanksgiving Day: 800-537-5252
*Reynolds’ Turkey Tips: 800-745-4000 Open through December 31, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
*Butterball Hotline: 1-800-BUTTERBALL Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time
*Crisco Pie Hotline:
(877) 367-7438 toll-free. Provides answers the most common questions about baking pies for novice bakers as well as offering tips that will benefit the most seasoned baker. The hotline also offers the option for callers to connect to a live pie expert for pie baking guidance. Hours: 9 – 7 EST except for: Nov. 12 – 21 (8am – 8pm EST) and Dec. 12 – 22 (8am – 8pm EST)
*USDA Meat and Poultry Line:
(888) 674-6854 from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Closed weekends and holidays, except Thanksgiving. Special hours of operation on Thanksgiving are 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
It is of course possible to dance a prayer.
Thanksgiving Listening and Watching + Kids’ Stuff:
Download Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Thanksgiving Song here.
Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
Minneapolis Turkey Day 5K Run 8am Nov 22, 2012
Walk to End Hunger Mall of America Nov 22, 2012: 7am Registration; 7:30-10:30
Really Good Websites with Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Ideas
I could reinvent the wheel here and give you step-by-step, day by day, but here’s a list of places that have already done all that work. Have at it. Below that, I’ve listed some of my own favorite recipes or menus from this blog or Dinner Place, Cooking for One. I include an Intimate Thanksgiving, which is a Thankgiving for two (with leftovers) or for four (not too many leftovers.) It was created for those who really don’t have much time to spend on Thanksgiving, but want a special meal nevertheless.
America’s Test Kitchen: Turkey and Gravy
James Peterson’s Gravy Guide
Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Planner
Vegan Thanksgiving: 12 Recipes
LA Times: Great Thanksgiving Photos
Glazed Turkey from the Chicago Trib
Free: Martha Stewart Thanksgiving (2011) Ebook with 40 Recipes
Smitten Kitten’s Thanksgiving
Taste Test: Store-Bought Stuffing
Perfect Pantry Sugar-Free Slow-Cooker Cranberry Sauce
Serious Eats: 16 Salads for Thanksgiving
Kalyn’s Kitchen: 11 Green Bean Recipes
Mark Bittman: 101 Starts on the Day
Giada’s Butternut Squash Lasagne
Melissa Clark: What Can I Actually Prepare Before Thanksgiving?
Gourmet Live: Thanksgiving 2012
Chowhound’s 10 Thanksgiving Cooking Essentials
The Bitten Word’s 2012 Thanksgiving Recipe Index:
Thanksgiving Videos: Mark Bittman
King Arthur Flour Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls
Perfect Pantry’s Squash Muffins
Download Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Baking App
Pie Perfected by Carole Bloom
David Lebovitz’ Pumpkin Ice Cream
Thanksgiving Wine: NYTimeswine:
HGTV’s Stylish Thanksgiving Table Settings
Thanksgiving Decoration from Epicurious
|Maybe it’s a good time to pull out the bread machine?|
More Time at the Table/Dinner Place Thanksgiving Posts:
|Kathy’s Apple Pie (More Time at the Table)|
Alyce’s Thanksgiving: An Intimate View : Very Simple and Quick Thanksgiving for 2-4 people who don’t want to cook much:
- Starters: Olives and Nuts–set out in small bowls served with sparkler/wine
- First course: Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup (purchased)
- Main course: Turkey Roulade, stuffed W/ Proscuitto/Sage/Onions/Garlic
- Sides: Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables with Fresh Rosemary
- Brussel Sprouts (pan-roasted) w/ Parmesan & Pumpkin Seeds
- Home-made Spicy Cranberry Sauce w/ Apples and Lemon
- Bread: Corn Muffins or Rolls from the bakery
- Dessert: Pumpkin Ice Cream, purchased from grocery OR Pumpkin Custards baked the day before and refrigerated (Use any pumpkin pie filling recipe and bake custards in pammed ramekins about 30 min. at 350—No crust)
- Drinks: Wine: A to Z Riesling and Sineann Pinot Noir- Have both! Coffee: French Roast, laced with Cognac and Whipped Cream
|Pears Poached in Port|
Other recipes of mine you might enjoy at Thanksgiving:
Alyce’s Bacon Roasted Chicken or I Don’t Want Turkey
Alyce’s Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash
Alyce’s Roasted Pork Loin, Hot and Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust
Alyce’s Butternut and Other Squash Soup
Alyce’s Pan-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Parmesan New Potatoes
Alyce’s Green Beans Sauteed with Onions and Garlic
Alyce’s Turkey Pot Pie from Thanksgiving Leftovers
Alyce’s Pumpkin Soup or Making Up for Thanksgiving
Alyce’s Spicy Cream of Pumpkin Soup+Wendy’s Sage and Thyme
Alyce’s Pear-Grilled Fig Salad with Goat Cheese
Alyce’s Israeli Couscous-Butternut Squash Salad with Fall Fruit and Cheese
Alyce’s Pumpkin Bread
Alyce’s Quick Prune Bread
Alyce’s No-Knead Bread Post on Dinner Place
Alyce’s Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls (from Bill Kalbus)
Poached Pears in Port
Alyce Morgan’s Pie 101
Alyce’s Derby Pie (Pecan-Chocolate with Bourbon)
Alyce’s Kathy’s Apple Pie
Alyce’s Almond-Scented Pear Crostata
Alyce’s Ask Me About Dessert Post
Alyce’s Pumpkin Custard with Cinnamon Creme Fraiche (One Minute Pumpkin “Pie”–no crust)
|Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread. Thanksgiving morning breakfast.|
my quick take on the (american) wine and other drinks
Need extra wine glasses? Borrow them! If you’d like a large inexpensive set to keep from year to year, and can’t spend much: go to the dollar store or a discount place like Marshall’s. You can store a couple of boxes in the closet or basement and have them available for loan or a February Sangria party.
Drink what you like:
Wine is for your enjoyment and the enhancement of food. So, do not fret and fuss about the wine (or anything.) First and foremost, you should drink exactly what you like with Thanksgiving dinner. If you have no idea what you like, go to the wine shop or liquor store, and find a salesperson who’s willing to talk to you. Do not do this on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Everyone else in the city will be there and the clerks will be infinitely hassled while wondering what they’re having for Thanksgiving and who’s going to cook it all. Tell the salesperson what kinds of wine you (and your guests if you know) like, what your price is (don’t be shy), how many people you’ve having, and what your menu is. Believe it or not, everyone is not having turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie. This person has paired vegetarian lasagne, pumpkin ravioli, goose, steak, and an all-raw menu before you arrived.
Don’t know what you like:
If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of shopper and want to go to the liquor superstore or simply have NO idea of what to buy, then I go with my tried and true recommendations, which are:
A. One bottle of wine per person (total) is the rule. Yes. You’ll be there for hours. I like American wine for Thanksgiving, so my recommendations are based on no wine from outside the United States.
B. Overall: Provide a sparkler for before dinner or apertif, then one white and one red to make everyone at least closer to happy. Some sort of after-dinner drink or digestif is needed as well, though a walk will help, too.
I don’t like a cocktail before this kind of a meal…too many calories and too much alcohol, but then again, I’m a wine person.
Have beer on hand. Get your brother-in-law’s favorite so he’ll be quiet or choose a saison, which would pair admirably with the meal if he won’t drink wine even with food.
Have lots of non-alcoholic choices. Sparkling water is pretty in a wine glass and is good for digestion for everyone, actually. Non-alcoholic beer (Kaliber is about the best), iced Ceylon tea, and plenty of plain water are good choices. Coffee is necessary; have the pot ready and start it when you sit down to dinner so people can help themselves. Some will want it immediately after the meal even if they’re happy to wait hours for dessert. If you don’t drink coffee, borrow a pot. You can’t skip it.
C. For the sparkler, buy a New Mexican sparkling wine like Gruet.
I suggest Riesling for the white (Washington state, Oregon, or New York). The lower the alcohol content, the sweeter the wine. The alcohol content is printed on the label. So if you like sweet, get an 8 or 9% alcohol Riesling. 11? Much drier. Don’t know? I’d go with the sweeter for a group; you’re bound to have people in who want sweeter wine and your red will definitely be dry.
The red: Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s a splurge and it’s worth it. If you need a lower-price Pinot Noir, choose A-Z or Angeline. If you simply don’t like Pinot Noir (why?), buy a good California Merlot. By the way, if you decide you like the Oregon Pinot Noir (and I’m a Pinot girl), buy a couple of extra bottles and squirrel them away in a cool, dry place for next year. This wine doesn’t have to age terribly long to be scrumptious, but it’s usually better with a few years under its belt. The older vintages are sometimes available, but not always. If they are, they’re a lot more expensive. Buy them young.
D. If you’d like a dessert wine, American sherry–or port– is lovely with pumpkin pie.
A little nip of Jack in the coffee would do no one from below (or even above) the Mason-Dixon line any harm. Save the Irish coffee for St. Patrick’s Day.
some pics of blog favorites for the holiday:
|Almond-Scented Pear Crostata from More Time at the Table.|
On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment – halftime.
|Hot and spicy Cranberry Sauce cooking in the pot. It’s done quickly and can be done a day or two ahead.|
|My pumpkin soup topped with Parmesan and chopped peanuts. A nutritious soup for a first course is elegant and will help keep folks from overeating.|
|Pecan or Derby Pie is a great Thanksgiving choice. When else would you make it?|
|Spicy Cream of Pumpkin with Wendy’s Sage and Thyme|
|Pear-Grilled Fig Salad with Goat Cheese (dried figs are fine, too)|
|Don’t bake? One-Minute Pumpkin Custard with Creme Fraiche.|
|Butternut and Other Squash Soup|
|Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables (Leftovers make great soup.)|
|Turkey Pot Pie|
You might have lived when pot pies were a regular feature of your mom’s menus. Maybe you had them instead of TV Dinners. I have a sketchy memory of frozen pies from the grocery @10 for $1. This undoubtedly dates me in an unkind way. I did not have a mother who refused to cook; she cooked a lot. That didn’t mean we never had a frozen pot pie. I remember liking them, though I maybe haven’t tasted one in fifty years.
If you go out to eat at any number of restaurants these days, you’ll find homemade pot pies are on lots of menus and people order them over and over. Definitely comfort food. Certainly fattening. But oh so filling and often luscious. They’re full of all kinds of things–poultry, vegetables, roast beef, sea food, etc.
Before Thanksgiving, I set out to make the best turkey pot pie (using leftovers) I could. No more expensive restaurant versions and certainly no more frozen pies. I invited a group of people for a turkey and roasted root vegetable dinner and then had my way with what was left. I discovered it was a. simple and b. better than the 10 for $1 ones from Garofalo’s on Crawford Avenue. I served it up with a side of lemoned broccolini and a scoop of my red hot cranberry sauce, as well as a handsome glass of Oregon Chardonnay or maybe a French Côtes du Rhône–a lovely, medium-bodied and inexpensive wine that flatters oven-roasted vegetables, as well as pork or poultry. (And lots else)
Dave and I both liked the pie better than the meal from which it came. Go figure.
Feel free to take this filling and top it with biscuits–even Bisquick biscuits– in a 2 qt greased rectangular glass casserole dish. (I made chicken pot pie often for my kids growing up…usually with biscuit topping.) Or buy the Pillsbury pie dough from the refrigerator section. But do make it. You’ll be glad you did. I promise. *If you’d like to make my crust, use the recipe I made for Kathy’s Apple Pie; that’s a good all-purpose crust.
Alyce’s Turkey Pot Pie
There are three parts to this recipe: 1. Crust 2. Filling 3. Sauce
2 9″ pie crusts* (Plus 1T melted butter -or 1 egg white beaten with a bit of water- brushed on top crust before baking.) Made or bought.
1 Tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each fresh thyme and tarragon (or 1/2 t each dried)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (or 1/4 t dried, powdered sage)
2 cups chopped roasted root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, etc)
2 c chopped cooked turkey, white or dark meat
Sauce: (Basically a velouté with added cream or milk)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon each ground sea salt and ground white pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup (8 ounces) chicken stock
1 cup milk, cream or half and half
1. If you have made or bought pie crusts, put one in the pie pan (trim and pinch) and place the other between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the pan and the wrapped dough while you make the filling and the sauce.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add onion, celery, and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic during last minute of cooking and stir in herbs.
3. Take out pie pan with bottom crust and spoon onion mixture evenly over the bottom of the dough. Top with chopped vegetables and turkey.
|Spoon onion mixture into pie pan.|
|Top with roasted vegetables and turkey. Pour on sauce.|
|Add the top crust and brush with butter or egg whites. Make slits for steam.|
4. Make sauce (see below) and pour over the turkey and vegetable mixture. The turkey and vegetables should be just about covered. If not, drizzle in just a little more chicken stock, milk, or cream.
5. Take the top crust out of the refrigerator and place on top of the filled pie. Trim edges and pinch together edges of the two crusts.
6. Brush entire top crust with butter or an eggwhite beaten with a bit of water. Make several slits in the top crust (for steam to escape) and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
7. Place pie on rack and cool 15 minutes or so. Slice and serve hot with broccolini (squeeze lemon on top) and cranberry sauce.
Making the sauce: In a 2qt saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add salt, pepper, and flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes for flour to cook a little bit and slowly whisk in chicken stock and milk or cream. Simmer, stirring often, until just barely thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings. A quick sprinkle of nutmeg is a possible addition, as is a drop or two of hot sauce.
Two-Dog Kitchen or Around the ‘Hood
A few really random pics from our Thanksgiving Trip to Illinois
|Turkey Soup… of course…Yesterday!
Read my recipe for the above soup on examiner.com
|Visiting with sister and niece on way home.|
|Grandpa and Grandma’s Dining Room|
|Turkey ready for its sauna. 4 cups turkey stock with lots of veggies at bottom of roaster makes for great gravy.|
|Dave’s Tomatoes with Smoked Oysters, Capers, and Horseradish|
|Making Turkey stock. Yes, use the giblets and the neck., though our turkey had NO NECK!|
|Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger and Pecan Topping|
|Cauliflower Gratinee from SILVER PALATE|
|Making a wine cork wreath in the garage.|
|Needs a bow.|
|Grandpa–a last mow of the yard.|
|Me–making homemade rolls.|
|Leftover pumpkin pie filling–in the microwave for a quick dessert.|
I have a friend named Lori. She’s smart and tall, is mom to a big hulking chocolate lab, is beautiful and talented, and does things like run a salon and also fly airplanes. Sometimes in the same day. Did I mention she’s a runner and that she’s from Boston? She also “did” my nails for several years in Colorado Springs. When you spend an hour and a half every three weeks literally face to face with someone for years on end, you either become friends or sleep. Lori and I chose to become friends. (I miss her.)
So, being women and being friends, and being a foot apart so often, Lori and I talked food. (Also family, men, sports–her, not me, work, whatever) Lori’s mostly vegetarian, though she eats some chicken, etc. And Lori makes meatloaf. Turkey meatloaf. It’s good, says she, but she’s a bit bored with it. More than once, she asked if I had another recipe. Recipes, now that we have the internet, are a dime a dozen, but I hadn’t made turkey meatloaf in years. I was intrigued and remembered someone saying, “You cannot season turkey meatloaf like beef meatloaf; it’s awful. You must season it like turkey.” While that brings sage, onions and celery to mind, for me it also brings hot peppers, feisty cheese, and salsa. Living in San Antonio for four years and Colorado for 15 would do that. Taking cooking classes in Santa Fe would definitely do that.
One day, after months of turkey meatloaf ideas perking around in my head from time to time, I decided to try it. Wow! Both Dave and I loved it. This loaf is full of chiles, onions, garlic, and salsa, and I stuffed it with overlapping slices of pepperjack cheese so that when you cut it (make sure and let it sit a while or you’ll have a gooey mess), there are lovely melting bites of sharp cheese right at the center.
I mean, if meatloaf is good, people adore it–right? It’s filling, homey, stretches to feed a bunch, and makes great sandwiches. Though, really, loving meatloaf isn’t something everyone wants to admit. It’s not on top of the trendy list, though come to think of it COOKING LIGHT has a meatloaf article in the October Issue. But trendy or not, if you make it, they will come. And they’ll want the recipe. It’s one of those emotional food-pingers like, “My grandma made the best meatloaf!” Make this even if you have to invite people over to eat it. ESPECIALLY if you have to invite people over to eat it.
Side: Mashed potatoes is the usual suspect, but I did an all-in-one sauté of sliced new potatoes, onions, garlic, and late summer squashes that comes together just before the meatloaf comes out of the oven and while it rests before serving. Top it with finely diced fresh tomatoes and sweet green peppers for color and crunch. That’s not much for directions; let me look in the cooking journal and see if I kept amounts listed when I cooked it. If I did, I’ll include a recipe. How’s that for informality in the cooking blog? Here’s the meatloaf recipe, for which I definitely kept the list of ingredients and, uh–techniques and methods!
Here you are, Lori. Sorry it took so long.
Southwestern Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed With Pepperjack Cheese
Serves 6-8 (or 2 with lots of leftovers for sandwiches or freeze half for later)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (one for oiling pan, one for the top of the meatloaf)
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 ½ cups salsa, divided (1 cup in meatloaf, ½ cup on top for serving)
- 2 cups whole wheat bread, cubed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) chopped button mushrooms
- 4 ounce can chopped mild or hot green chiles, drained
- 1/3 pound sliced Pepper Jack cheese
- Chopped fresh tomatoes and bell peppers for garnish, optional
Note about salt: I do not include much salt as the salsa contains quite a bit. If you’d like to check and see whether or not you’d like to add salt, make a small meatball of the mixture and fry it in a bit of oil. Taste and see (great song, too!) if you’d like any salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 9”x5” loaf pan using 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Wash your hands well and take off your rings and watch. To a large bowl, add the second group of 11 ingredients—turkey through chiles– using only 1 cup of the salsa. Put your hands down into the meat mixture and mix for about 2 minutes or until combined thoroughly.
- Pat half of the meat mixture firmly and evenly down into the oiled loaf pan and place the slices of pepper jack cheese right down the middle of the loaf, overlapping, stopping before the very end. (So that the cheese doesn’t ooze out so much while the meatloaf bakes.) Pat the other half of the meatloaf mixture on top of the cheese—again, firmly– to create the loaf. Brush top of meatloaf with the other tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place loaf pan on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for about 1 1/4 hours or until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes; temperature will come up to 165 degrees F. Invert onto serving platter, first pouring out excess liquid if necessary, and top with the other half-cup of salsa. (Carve in pan if easier.) Garnish with diced tomatoes and green peppers as desired. Surround the loaf with the Potato-Zucchini Sauté and serve hot. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in refrigerator for up to four days. (Can wrap tightly and store in freezer up to 3 months.)
Yes, it was in the cooking journal and here it is…
Potato Zucchini Sauté serves 6
- 6-8 small (1-2″) new red potatoes, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I like Penzey’s; choose your style.)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 each: small zucchini and yellow squash, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Garnish, optional: 1/4 cup each: diced fresh tomato and green pepper
- In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat oil and butter. Add potatoes.
- Cook until potatoes brown on one side. Stir and turn potatoes. Add onions and dust with chili powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook one minute and add squash and garlic.
- Cover and cook until potatoes are tender–perhaps a total of 35-40 minutes and squash is al dente or grandma done (your choice)–another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve garnished with tomatoes and peppers if desired.
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
It’s that time of year. Keeping the cantata on the piano at all times (skipping my own piano lessons), planning holiday travel, getting the last of the outdoor chores accomplished before it snows, changing out the clothes, ordering wool socks, taking as many walks as we can with the doggies, and grabbing yet another bouquet out of the flower garden. This may have been the last rose of summer:
Or maybe this one!
|While very dry, the grass is still mostly green.|
Here are the pies I baked for Pops and Pies, one of the monthly concerts at Prospect Park United Methodist:
|Must be October if it’s pumpkin!|
Sour Cream Apple (above)
|I did make that beef-vegetable soup I mentioned (with three variations plus some ideas on how to make it a bit cheaper) and if you’d like to see how I did it, you’ll need to visit examiner.com where I write cooking and food articles for St. Paul.|
|Basic Beef-Vegetable Soup|
|Pumpkin Custard just for YOU|
Also, on my blog for The Solo Cook (Dinner Place), there’s a great pumpkin custard topped with cinnamon-kissed creme fraiche. It’s made for those who cook for one and is done in one minute in the microwave. Your very own (crustless) pumpkin “pie.”
|Warm enough for flip flops yesterday.|
|Stubborn Tucker: wouldn’t turn around for his picture.|
Happy October, my friends.
Sing a new song,