Stuff & Nonsense: thanksgiving


Showing posts with label thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thanksgiving. Show all posts

26 November 2016

Gobble-Gobble In My Pot

We'd pretty much picked the turkey carcass clean of white meat by Saturday so I decided to go ahead and make soup right away rather than chucking the carcass in the freezer and making it Someday. Also, the freezer is kind-of full right now and I'm not sure it would have fit ... someone needs to do a no-shopping challenge, again.


Each time I make turkey or chicken soup it comes out differently because I don't have a set recipe -- I always start the same way, but what goes in at the end varies as I tend to simply round up whatever open bags of frozen vegetables I can find and dump them in the pot with whatever slightly wrinkly potatoes or rice/barley/noodle bag ends I find in the pantry. Seasoning depends strongly on taste and mood -- sometimes, I make a spicy turkey soup but more often it is just very garlicky and redolent with thyme.

How I made this turkey soup:
  1. Removed all bits of skin/fat from the turkey carcass and then crushed it down a bit to fit in my big French/Dutch oven.
  2. Surrounded the carcass with carrots, onion, celery, bay, and fresh thyme.
  3. Topped the whole thing off with cold water and let it simmer for about three hours (I took an unplanned nap at this point).
  4. Drained pot contents through a cheesecloth lined colander into a big basin.
  5. Picked vegetable bits out and set aside.
  6. Separated edible turkey bits from inedible.
  7. Used my OXO Good Grips (a Thanksgiving gift to myself and well worth it) fat separator to remove the fat from the broth.
  8. Poured most of the broth back into the pot (reserving four cups for another soup)
  9. Broke the veggies up a bit and put them back in the pot. Ditto the turkey, odds-and-ends of bagged frozen corn and peas, and a half cup of pastina.
  10. Let everything cook for about thirty minutes, then taste-tested and added parsley, salt, and black pepper as whim took me.

And the leftover dark meat? I turned most of that into easy turkey enchiladas using kitchen staples like corn tortillas and salsa verde. They weren't fancy (or in any way authentic), but they tasted good.

Also, the cats got some turkey, because it's Thanksgiving and they deserve a little feast of their own. Unfortunately, they now demand turkey every time we wander near the kitchen ...

26 November 2014

Oh, Creamed Onions! My Thanksgiving Favorite.

It's not Thanksgiving without creamed onions! The Internet abounds with recipes for these delicious darlings, but I am partial to Diane Morgan's "Golden Creamed Onions" from The Thanksgiving Table: Recipes and Ideas to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition (2001 or 2006 edition -- 2009 edition has a different recipe). I almost always use bags of frozen pearl onions, because I feel preparing fresh pearl onions takes too much time -- time better spent panicking over other aspects of the Thanksgiving dinner -- and I can't really taste the difference.


I use mace instead of nutmeg simply because one year I was out of nutmeg, but had a jar of mace on hand. Mace and nutmeg come from the same tree -- nutmeg is the seed and mace is the webbed covering (aril) of the seed -- and can be used interchangeably in most, if not all, recipes.


While Morgan's recipe says to either serve these onions immediately or let them sit for up to one hour, I usually makes these a day or two ahead of time. Thanksgiving day, when the turkey is nearly done, I take the onions out of the fridge, decant them into a pretty casserole, cover them with foil and pop them into the oven. They warm while the turkey finishes cooking and then stay warm in the oven while I do whatever it is that still needs doing.

Of the six people the usually sit down at my Thanksgiving table, only three like creamed onions. And yet a recipe meant to serve eight to ten people always yields the teeniest amount of leftovers! Huh.

30 November 2013

Second Thanksgiving

A few weeks ago, I bought a case of satsuma mandarins from The Fruit Company for The Husband. Alas, they weren't very good satsumas -- watery and bland, sayeth The Husband -- and have been lurking in the basement since the third failed attempt to find a "good" one in the box.

I was loathe to compost the satsumas, because even if they weren't good for straight out noshing, surely they might be good for cooking? I had dreams of satsuma-glazed mini bundt cakes and satsuma-roasted chicken thighs, but those dreams never got off the ground.

And then it was Thanksgiving and, while we were going to my parents, I picked up a turkey for us because THANKSGIVING. I recalled that roasting whole chickens on beds of thickly sliced red onion made for phenomenal chicken. So why not satsumas under the turkey? Because, you know, alliums and citrus are so similar ...

I took a bunch of satsumas, plus a few oranges that had been malingering in the produce drawer, and trimmed a thin slice off opposite sides so they would lay flat(tish) in the roasting pan. Then I halved them and arranged them in the pan, packing them as closely as I could.

DSC_0001

Roaster lined with Citrus

I whizzed some of the citrus trimmings 'round in my food processor until they were well chopped, then mixed in four tablespoons softened unsalted butter, and one teaspoon Bell's Seasoning. I gently slid the butter mixture between the turkey breast meat and skin. The excess butter mixture was smeared all over the outside of the turkey and then I sprinkled it with a teaspoon of sea salt.

Citrus Peel

Citrus Turkey

I stuffed the turkey cavity with three or four quartered satsumas -- some didn't fit, so I just tucked those pieces in any gaps in the orange carpet at the bottom of the roasting pan -- and roasted the turkey at 325F°, uncovered, for about four hours.

Then I remove the turkey from the oven, tented it with foil, and allowed it to rest for fifteen minutes while I mashed potatoes and microwaved vegetables.

Our Thanksgiving

The roasted turkey was fragrant, moist, and tender without being overwhelmingly citrus-y. If I ever have satsuma troubles again, I will certainly use this method to dispose of them!

22 November 2012

Thanksgiving Feasting

Thanksgiving Menu
2012

~*~

~ Simple Heritage Roast Turkey ~
(New York Times November 7, 2007)

~ Southern Living's Slow-Cooker Cornbread Dressing ~
(Southern Living's 2005 Annual Recipes)

~ Garlic Mashed Potatoes ~
(Made early and kept warm in my other slow cooker)

~ Bourbon-Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes ~

~ Peas in Buttery Thyme Sauce ~

~ "Roasted Garlic Creamed Spinach" ~
(From the fine cooks at Whole Foods)

~ Corn with Garlic Butter ~

~ "Golden Creamed Onions" ~
(Diane Morgan's The Thanksgiving Table using frozen onions)

~ Whole-berry Cranberry Sauce ~

~ Floury Rolls and Butter ~

~ Assorted Pickles ~

~*~

~ Mom's Pies ~

~*~

You know you've made too much food when you run out of serving spoons! It was all really very delicious and I'm looking forward to days and days of yummy leftovers, but ... maybe scale Thanksgiving back a bit in 2014? I have six "good" serving spoons and a meat fork. That's seven dishes. That's plenty for six people. Turkey and gravy, stuffing, one potato, four vegetables.

I didn't make as much ahead of time as previous Thanksgiving's, but never felt particularly rushed or out of control. This was our fifth Thanksgiving in this house and I think I've got it down pretty pat. Aside from running mad and Cooking All The Things, of course.

And now there be sandwiches! And soup! And pot pie! And waffles! Omnomnom.

25 November 2010

"What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?"

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

-- excerpted from "
The Pumpkin" by John Greenleaf Whittier