Archive | November, 2010

Turkey and Cabbage Soup

30 Nov

Soup is always comforting on a dreary, rainy, Cleveland day.  It’s warm, it’s healthy, and it’s fast and easy.  Since I had a boatload of beautifully gelatinous and flavorful fresh turkey stock to use up as well as some cabbage and turkey, I decided to whip up a quick turkey and cabbage soup.  Zak really loved this.  Though I thought it could do without the mushrooms, it was really delicious.  It had a really nice interplay of textures, as the cabbage and potatoes had a little bit of crunch to them and the rest of the vegetables were quite soft.  Overall, I thought it was a really comforting, tasty, healthy dinner served with a slice of buttered homemade sourdough bread.

Turkey and Cabbage Soup

6 cups homemade turkey stock (same as homemade chicken stock but with a turkey carcass)

2 cups water

2 tbs. unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tsp. dried sweet basil

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 small potato, diced

1/4 head cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup leftover turkey, chopped (preferably white and dark meat)

1 tbs. red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium stock pot, melt butter.  Add garlic and onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms, and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes.  Add potato and dried sweet basil and sauté until lightly browned, 7-9 minutes.  At this point, the onions, carrots, and celery should be very tender and the onions almost caramelized, while the potatoes should have a light golden brown color on their edges.  Add cabbage and stir to coat with butter and moisture from vegetables.

Add turkey and stir to combine.  Add turkey stock, water, and red wine vinegar.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Jalapeno Croquettes

29 Nov

My parents always have a second Thanksgiving the weekend after our actual family Thanksgiving to provide themselves some leftovers and the opportunity to make their very favorite dishes exactly how they want them.  Zak and I attended on Sunday and were sent home with some leftovers of our own (including a turkey carcass … helllooooo turkey stock!), and I wanted to find some creative ways to use them up.

Inspired by my success with arancini, I thought I would try something similar with mashed potatoes.  A quick Google search confirmed that this was something that was commonly done and I adapted this recipe very loosely from Paula Deen.  I really loved this as an alternative to another meal of reheated turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  The outside was crispy with just a touch of salty goodness and the inside was creamy, spicy, cheesy, and decadent.  It tasted a bit like a jalapeño popper with the added bonus of some delicious turkey morsels and extra creaminess from the potatoes.

Should you not want to turn the oven on, you can flatten these into patties and I imagine you would be able to skip heating the centers in the oven.  I really loved the large portion of creamy mashed potatoes, though, and would stick to the recipe if you think you might feel the same way.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Jalapeño Croquettes

Loosely adapted from Paula Deen

Turkey and Jalapeño Croquettes:

2 1/2 cups leftover, chilled mashed potatoes (I didn’t use this recipe, but it would work very well here)

1 jalapeño, finely diced

1 cup leftover turkey, finely chopped (preferably white and dark meat)

1/2 cup very sharp cheddar cheese, grated

4 eggs, beaten, divided

3-4 tbs. all-natural, whole wheat flour (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, finely crumbled (about a sleeve, minus a few that may accidentally fall in your mouth)

1/4 cup canola oil

Nonstick cooking spray

Combine mashed potatoes, jalapeño, turkey, cheddar cheese, 1 beaten egg, and kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  If necessary, add a few tablespoons of flour to thicken mixture so texture is easily malleable and stays together when formed (my mashed potatoes were on the less firm side originally so I used about 1-2 tbs. of flour).  Using about 1/4 cup of mashed potato mixture, form tubes roughly 1″ in diameter.  Chill in freezer until set, roughly 30 minutes.

Dip each croquette in remaining beaten eggs, then roll in crushed Ritz crackers.  Repeat.  If croquettes seem loose, chill in freezer or refrigerator until well set.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat canola oil in large, deep skillet.  Working in batches that allows 2-3″ of space around each croquette, fry until golden brown (roughly 3-4 minutes per side).  Place on a tinfoil lined baking sheet or large pie pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Place in oven and bake until heated through, roughly 15-20 minutes.¹

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Cannellini Beans with Garlic Swiss Chard and Carrots

28 Nov

Since I made White and Butter Beans with Feta (or Cheddar) and Breadcrumbs, I was looking forward to a variation of it.  I loved bright colors from the carrots and Swiss chard in this version.  Look at how pretty!  It was also, if possible, even more delicious than the original version.  There is a great interplay of textures between the cream of the cheese and beans and chickpeas and crisp of the Swiss chard and panko breadcrumbs.  The hint of sweetness from the roasted carrots and parsnips is a real winner alongside the savory Gruyére, beans, and greens.  Plus, this meal is incredibly easy to make and has very minimal clean up.

Finally, this meal super healthy.  Cannellini beans have tons of protein and fiber as well as healthy amounts of iron and calcium, Swiss chard has loads of vitamins A and C, chickpeas are loaded with protein, fiber, and iron, and parsnips have a ton of vitamin A and carrots have a bunch of vitamin C.  Although Gruyére does have quite a bit of cholesterol and saturated fat, it also has a lot of calcium and its bold flavors and perfect meltiness make it sooooo worth it.  Pretty, tasty, quick, easy, and healthy … basically everything you could ask for!

Cannellini Beans with Garlic Swiss Chard and Carrots

1 19 oz. can cannellini/white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 parsnips, peeled

4 small carrots, peeled (I used a mix of purple, orange, and white)

4-5 ribs Swiss chard, ribs separated from leaves and all roughly chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 white onion, diced

4 tbs. olive oil, divided

1/2 cup Gruyére cheese, roughly chopped

1/4 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375º.

Place peeled carrots and parsnips in a single layer on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.  Coat with 1 tbs. olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Roast in oven 20 minutes or until browned and tender.  Set aside to cool.  Once cooled, dice into 1/4″ pieces.

Heat remaining olive oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan.  Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Add Swiss chard stems and sauté 4-5 minutes until tender.  Add greens and toss to coat with oil.  Sauté until wilted, 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots, parsnips beans, and chickpeas and toss to coat with olive oil.

Spray two oven safe bowls with nonstick cooking spray.  Transfer bean/Swiss chard mixture to bowls and intersperse with cheese.

Place bowls on baking sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Jalapeno Hash Browns and Eggs

27 Nov

Zak whipped up this simple, yummy breakfast this morning (confession: technically it was this afternoon because we were out late last night and slept in until almost noon).  I really loved the light heat of the jalapeños combined with the cool bite of the sour cream and warm creaminess of the eggs.  Plus, it’s nice to have a really swell fiancé who helps with the cooking and cleaning and does such a darn good job of it.  I’m a lucky gal.

Jalapeño Hash Browns and Eggs

2 large Idaho potatoes, washed and shredded

1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 small white onion, diced

2-3 tbs. canola oil

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup sour cream

2 large free-range, organic eggs

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes.  Add potatoes and jalapeños and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, roughly 10-15 minutes.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Remove vegetables from pan and top with a dollop of sour cream.  Crack eggs into pan and cook to desired consistency (pictured is over-easy).  Top with mozzarella cheese.

Apple and Pear Frangipane Galette

27 Nov

When we asked what I could contribute to Zak’s family Thanksgiving, I was told I could bring a dessert.  We all know I am not a dessert person.  However, I figured it couldn’t be that hard, and I wanted to contribute.  I’ve never worked with puff pastry before because I always found it intimidating, but it turns out it’s actually really easy to work with.  I’m glad I bought an extra package, because I have a few ideas of how I would like to use puff pastry again in the near future.

Anyway, this dessert was easy, pretty, and tasty.  I prepared it the evening before Thanksgiving and served it chilled and everyone who tried it seemed to enjoy it (or maybe they were just being nice, but I liked the few bites I had).

Apple and Pear Galette

Adapted from The Wives with Knives


2 sheets puff pastry

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 green apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1 Anjou pear, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

2-3 tbs. butter, melted

2 tbs. honey

1/2 cup slivered almonds


1/2 cup sugar

6 tbs. unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. French vanilla extract

2 cups slivered almonds, ground finely in food processor (yield 1 cup ground almonds)

2 tbs. all natural, whole wheat flour

Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer.  Add egg and French vanilla extract and blend with hand mixer until smooth.  Add almond meal and flour and beat until a smooth past is formed.  Cover and cool in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375º.

Roll out puff pastry until 1/4″ inch thick, if necessary.  Trim edges if necessary to  make even.  Layer sheets over one another with about 1″ overlapping.  Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2″ border along edges of puff pastry (this allows the sides to rise above the rest of the pastry).  Prick the center all over with a fork.  Brush the borders with egg yolk.

Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cooking spray (or line with parchment paper).

Top scored area with frangipane.  Layer fruit slices over the top, alternating between apples and pears.  Brush lightly with melted butter.  Bake for 30 minutes until golden and puffy.  Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with almonds.

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