Monthly Archives: November 2008

Turkey Leftovers: Two Wonderful Ways

One of the perks of being in charge of the turkey this year, is all the leftover meat! On Friday night, I was browsing Tastespotting as a break from my advanced tax transactions take home and found a recipe for some yummy Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup.
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It was easy to make and allowed me to use up some leftover broth and whole milk from other Thanksgiving recipes (I mixed in skim to make the “1% milk” the recipe calls for). I also doubled the amount of corn because I love corn. It was mellow with a hint of spice. Throw in some more peppers if you can handle it.

Since I still had a TON of turkey left after making (and finishing all the leftovers) of the Creamy soup, I thought I should make some turkey chili. I had tagged a recipe in Nov’s Gourmet that just looked perfect for leftovers. Indeed it was. The recipe calls for two kinds of chili powder, including chipotle chile power which lends a hit of smokiness.
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I added a jalapeno since I had one on hand and chopped up a few cloves of garlic to saute with the onions and the peppers.
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It was perfect for this snowy/sleety Sunday night. This will be a keeper since it could be easily made with leftover chicken. I ate mine with a dollop of creamy sour cream to mellow a little of the spice.

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Now it is time for me to hunker down for finals since I will be done in 12 days!?!…and I have barely begun to outline-no joke :( I get my 2nd take home (yes-I have two this semester and I HATE them) on Tuesday, then I have two real finals to study for which come up the following Thursday and Friday and then I am DONE until 2009! Can you tell that I am a bit burned out from school? :-P

Try both of these recipes if you still are eating away at leftover turkey. I’m not sure which is my favorite! Head over to Recipe Girl to see Lori make her creamy style soup.

Turkey Chili
Adapted from Gourmet-Nov. 2008 p. 10
* 1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
* 2 bell peppers (any color**), cut into 1-inch pieces
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
* 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
* 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
* 1 (19-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces
Cook onion and peppers in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Add spices and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, breaking them up with back of a spoon, then add beans, water, and 1 tsp salt and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Stir in turkey and let stand, covered, until heated through, 5 minutes.

**I used green because that was the only kind that Treasure Island had in stock that weren’t from Latin America and were actually grown in the US….I am going to miss farmer’s market season…

A Happy Thanksgiving

Wishbone

Wishbone

I didn’t manage to post yesterday because after I got back to my apartment at 11, unloaded all the bags and granny cart of half my kitchen items that I took to Mehul’s to finish up the cooking, took a hot bath, I was ready to go to bed!  Even though I didn’t travel to Texas or PA with Dave, I had a very wonderful Thanksgiving.  I cooked for two full days (corn bread stuffing, Twofer Pie for this week’s TWD, Caramelized Apple and Pecan Pie , French Silk Pie, and my first TURKEY.)

The wonderful spread

Sliced Turkey and Stuffing (with and without sausage)

Pies...3 different ways

Since I really need to get working on my Advanced Tax Transactions takehome final, I should finish right here. I had a great time meeting new friends and trying new recipes. I will post about everything that I made in the future but the next 2 weeks are going to be stressful and finals packed.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

TWD #8: Arborio Rice Pudding

[Note: I accidently made this as a new "Page" rather than a "Post" because I'm an idiot but now it is fixed]
Since I am writing this after a 13 hour day and my pudding wasn’t really pudding like, even though I did cook it for almost an hour, this recipe was a bit of a dud. Here are the pictures to document the process. Not sure about next week’s Twofer Pie either because I have an apple/pecan blend I also want to make for Thankgiving but we will see if anyone makes it early and sings its praises.

It started simple enough

It started simple enough

and then I let the first batch of milk boil over

and then I let the first batch of milk boil over

then I chopped up some chocolate

then I chopped up some chocolate

But sadly the pudding was more like soup...

But sadly the pudding was more like soup...

Spaghetti Squash

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Like I mentioned yesterday, I went a little crazy at the market but I did pick up two, beautiful spaghetti squashes. Until this fall, I had never even considered cooking with squash and now I have an easy recipe that I am already craving to make again. Thanks Kristin at The Kitchen Sink for opening my eyes to another great ingredient!

It is really easy to make. Preheat to 400. First you take a spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Use a sharp knife and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Then scrap out all the seeds and gunk, quickly rinse, then paper towel dry. Rub some olive oil onto the cut sides and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast on a foil lined pan for 50 min, until the squash has started to soften. Now comes the fun part. Scrap the flesh with a fork and you should get these little angel hair like tendrils that you toss with some sauteed garlic and shallots with a few shakes of crushed red pepper. Finish it off with some freshly grated parm. It is truly yummy and I can’t wait to cook up the second squash that I bought at the market this week. I even saw spaghetti squash at Dominicks today, so you really have no excuse but to try it.

Why hello there.

Why hello there.

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From The Kitchen Sink
Spicy, Garlicky Spaghetti Squash

Serves 2 (as a main dish) or 4 (as a side dish)

1 medium sized spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds discarded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
3 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Brush the cut sides of of the squash with one tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet, cut sides up. Roast for 50 minutes, or until the flesh has begun to brown and has softened. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots have softened, several minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash and transfer the strands to the skillet. Toss the spaghetti squash to coat it with the garlicky sauce. Top with grated cheese and parsley.

I went a little crazy this morning….

…at Green City.

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And now I am cooking up some spaghetti squash, while reading about Contractual Exceptions to At-Will Employment. Stay turned to find out how it turned out.

Cranberry-Nut Bread

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Time and time again I realize how much I love going to the farmer’s market because I end up buying an ingredient that I have never used before and I’m not even sure if I like it, but then come home, pull out my cookbooks and find something to do with it. Cranberries are in that category. I can’t remember having cranberries on our Thanksgiving table and the only time I have tasted the flavor is in juice form to ward off a bladder infection. At the last Green City still in Lincoln Park (they have since moved North to the Nature Museum but it is a bit of a trek on my bike rather than a leisurely walk) I picked up a $2 pint of cranberries just because they looked so pretty.

pretty red cranberries.

pretty red cranberries.

After looking through Tastespotting and a few of my favorite blogs, I decided that I would make a quick bread.  I love how easy it is to throw all the liquids in a small bowl.  Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the wet into the dry with a quick stir, pour into a loaf pan and toss it all into the oven.  This bread was super moist and stayed that way for 4 or 5 days when I took the end of the loaf to work.  I got lots of compliments on it.

perfect flavor combo

perfect flavor combo

Try this while cranberries are still in season. They were little bursts of tang mixed in with the bright orange and the moist bread.

I love Zest.

I love Zest.

quick stir

quick stir

Crumbly

Crumbly

perfect with a glass of milk

perfect with a glass of milk

Cranberry-Nut Bread
Modified from p.687 “The Best New Recipe Book

2 Cups of AP Flour (I used 1 Cup AP, 1 Cup White-Wheatand will probably use all White-Wheat the next time)
1/2 cup nuts (I used Walnuts because it was what I had on hand, but pecans would also be lovely)
Zest and Juice from 1 large orange
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-1 teaspoon of cinnamon (My addition-I love cinnamon in all my breads)
1 1/2 cup cranberries, chopped coarse.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Stir together the orange zest and juice, buttermilk, butter, and egg is a small bowl. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in the cranberries and pecans. Don’t over mix! Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the surface.

Bake 20 mins, then reduce the heat to 350; continue to bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 mins longer. Cool in the pan 10 mins, then cool completely on a wire rack.

TWD #7: Rugelach and Election Day (finally!)

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I will admit, I was a little intimidated by this week’s recipe since a) I had never heard of Rugelach and b) they looked pretty complicated. The dough was a little tricky. My food processor couldn’t really handle the volume and I only ended up with a dozen cookies which was way less than was predicted. But they were quite tasty. I knew they would be good because I love raspberries and chocolate. I will have to play around with making them again and hopefully learn some tricks with making the dough.

rolling out the dough...maybe not thin enough?

rolling out the dough...maybe not thin enough?

Mine kinda looked like little turds...at least they were tasty!

Mine kinda looked like little turds...at least they were tasty!

Also…this was probably the smartest thing I have done in a while.  I used up my loose Laura Mercier powder and I have a hard time throwing away recycling cute little containers so it sat on my counter for about a week before I came up with the perfect second use.  I took the container, washed it in the dishwasher (twice) and filled it would AP Flour.   Now I use it to hold flour when I just need a little to powder the counter/rolling pin/etc and dont want to have to drag out the big bag.  Believe me…it works perfect.

)

genius AND green :)

obamalogo

I am going to cut this a tad short because I am heading to bed so that I can get up at 6AM tomorrow to hit the polling place in my lobby right when the polls open! This will be my 2nd time to vote in a Presidential Election and I can’t wait to vote for Obama and can’t wait for election night. I can remember watching Obama’s speech in Springfield when he announced his candidacy. I will admit that even as a Hillary supporter, listening to him speak, even then, gave me chills. Tomorrow will sure be a historic day!  GO VOTE (if you haven’t done so already!)

Warm and hearty: Black Beans and Rice


A few weeks ago at Green City, I picked up a pound of super fresh black beans, bell peppers, garlic and a smoked ham hock.  Then I pulled out my trusty The New Best Recipe Book to find a good way to cook them up. This did take the better half of a Saturday afternoon but it smelled awesome the entire time. The pot made enough for 2 weekend meals, a few packed lunches and a big portion sitting in the freezer for a quick weekday meal.

Boil the beans and veggies in a big pot

Boil the beans and veggies in a big pot

Lots and lots of garlic

Lots and lots of garlic

Big ole ham hock

Big ole ham hock

Sofrito

Sofrito


Look at all the garlic

Look at all the garlic


Pick apart the ham

Pick apart the ham


Hunting for the 2nd bay leaf

Hunting for the 2nd bay leaf


Tasty meal

Tasty meal

Black Beans serve with white rice
From: The Best New Recipe Book, Page 232

Beans
12 cups water
1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) dried black beans; picked over and rinsed
1 smocked ham hock (about 2/3 pound-mine was almost twice as big)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
1 jalapeno (my addition)
1 medium onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Sofrito
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 medium onion, minced
1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used an mix from Spice House that contained oregano)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 round cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the beans: Bring all the beans ingredients to a boil over a medium-high heat in a large pot (this would be a great place to use a Dutch Oven but sadly I don’t have one…yet.) Skim the surface as the scum rises. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for about 2 hours. Add more water if it is getting low and taste the beans to make sure they are getting tender but not splitting. Remove the ham hock. When cool enough to handle, remove the ham from the bone, discard the bone and skin, and cut the meat into bite-size pieces; set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

For the sofrito: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, and salt; saute until the vegs soften, 8 to 10 mins. Add the cumin; saute until fragrant, about 1 more min.

To finish: Scoop 1 cup of the beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid into the pan with the sofrito; mash the beans with a potato masher until smooth. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid is reduced and thickened, about 6 mins. Return the sofrito mixture with the meat from the ham hock to the bean pot; simmer until the beans are creamy and the liquid thickens, 15-20mins. Stir in the cilantro and salt/pepper to taste. Serve hot over rice.

“Yea, I like Texas”

TCU Horned Frog!

TCU Horned Frog!

I spent last weekend in Fort Worth for my 3rd TCU Homecoming as an Alum (how has time gone so freakin’ fast?)  which is why I have been MIA for the week (and 10/28′s TWD)

I had a whole lot of fun.  My mom came up with my car (Civic!) and we spent the weekend having fun together.  Back in college, my Mom was still working and traveling for Immucor so I was able to see her on a pretty regular basis (every 4-6 weeks).  Now that I live in Chicago it has turned into seeing her a few times a year, so I really relish every minute that I get to spend with her.  When she picked me up at DFW, she asked if I wanted to grab some lunch and where I wanted to go and without hesitation I said Fuzzy’s

I have been craving Fuzzy’s chicken soft tacos and queso since the last time I was in Fort Worth back in January.  In fact I am craving it now. 

This stuff is seriously like crack.

This stuff is seriously like crack.

I don’t know what kind of cheese they use but it is a smooth white cheese, with a handful of spicy/tangy pico and shredded cheese thrown on top.  I add some of their “Butt Burning Sauce” to make it extra spicy.  I could seriously eat this stuff every day (and I pretty much did my last semester-hence the Senior 5 weight-gainage).  Complementing the queso and tacos, is a $2.50 (with tax) schooner of icy cold Shiner.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Frosty Goodness

Frosty Goodness

After we ate at Fuzzy’s we went and looked around all the new construction on Campus. Since I graduated in May 2006, TCU has built a new bookstore, 4 new super nice dorms, a new Student Union, demolished the old Student Center and refurbished and relocated Frog Fountain. It is all pretty amazing but it really doesn’t look like the school I attended for 4 years.

New and improved Frog Fountain

New and improved Frog Fountain

Then we went to the Kimball to see the Impressionist exhibit. It was really awesome because I got to see works that are usually at the Art Institute but are currently on loan while they finish the new Modern Wing. It was pretty amazing to see the 6 Haystacks all in a row in the Kimball (sadly you couldn’t take pictures inside so I can’t show you).

Chicago masterpieces in Fort Worth

Chicago masterpieces in Fort Worth


Afterwards, we went and had a beer at the Flying Saucer in Downtown and I got to buy an Obama pint glass (can’t wait for Tuesday!!!). It really was amazing to listen and see all the support for Obama. I was not expecting it at all down in TCU, especially after living through the 2004 election as a Dem at TCU. Then we went and had dinner at my favorite hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place right on the edge of the Fort Worth/Haltom line.
Smack dab in the middle of two payday lenders...

Smack dab in the middle of two payday lenders...


It was just as good (and cheap!) as I remembered. Hai Yen in Chicago is a good substitute but Tu Hai is truly tasty.
I actually bought a ticket like a good Alum

I actually bought a ticket like a good Alum


The next day I got to watch TCU dominate Wyoming, see many (but sadly not all!) of my favorite TCU friends, breathe in the smoky air at the Pub and remember how much I loved college. I always wonder if I should move back to Fort Worth but I am slowly realizing that while I love the city, I really wish I would relive Fort Worth circa 2002-2006.

Go Frogs!

Go Frogs!