Friday, December 5, 2008

Monday night meal -- Thanksgiving style (plus cookies)

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for me. I love to get creative with the day-of meal, but even more so love to get creative with left-overs.

This year my dad asked me if I was going to boil the turkey carcass and make soup. The thought hadn't crossed my mind, but I liked the sound of it. In San Diego, it's often times hard to think of wanting a hot bowl of soup when the weather outside is balmy, but with a little crispness in the air and even some rain, this sounded like the perfect left-overs meal to make.

I read through a lot of different recipes on and and ended up taking a little from several recipes. Here's what I came up with.

2 tablespoons olive oil (eye-ball it)
1 1/2 yellow onions, diced
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
White and dark chunks of turkey leftovers (about a pound - 2 pounds)
9 cups broth (I used the broth from boiled turkey carcass)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes in juice
3 carrots, peeled, chopped (quartered or halved depending on size)
4 stocks of celery, sliced in half moons
1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta) I got some at the bulk bins at Henry's Market for $0.39
2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained, rinsed
1 can corn (white or yellow)
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; saute until translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add broth and oregano. Cover and bring to a simmer.

Once simmering, add turkey meat, tomatoes with juices, carrots and celery. Cover and let simmer until vegetable are crisp-tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add orzo and garlic salt; simmer, covered, until pasta is tender, stirring often (about 10 minutes). Mix in cannellini and corn; cook until heated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

I served the soup with a large chunk of toasted rosemary bread. Variations include: adding fresh, sliced avocado or topping with fresh basil. This recipe made about 10 main course servings.

In addition to the Monday night Thanksgiving left-overs meal, my Nana was in town and we spent the day baking holiday cookies that she and I would make when I was a kid. I thought the recipe was some secret family concoction, but turns out, she got it from the Betty Crocker recipe book ages ago (my bubble burst upon hearing this). Nevertheless, I share the recipe with you.

Merry Christmas Cookies:
Mix thoroughly: 1/3 cup soft shortening, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 2/3 cup honey, 1 tsp lemon flavoring.
Sift together and add: 2 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt.
Chill for at least an hour, roll 1/4" thick, cut into shapes (we use various holiday cookie cutters).
Bake at 375 deg for 8-10 minutes or when touched lightly, no imprint remains.
Cool and have fun decorating .

1 comment:

RedJester said...

I experienced the same heartbreak when I found out the "secret family recipe" for lasagna came off the back of a box of noodles. And you know how important lasagna is to a good Japanese family. Crushing...