From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Leftovers" stew

Thanksgiving was a nice no-stress event.  I roasted the turkey and sweet potatoes on Wednesday.

Thursday friends brought roasted carrots, dressing, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake.

All I had to do Thursday was make some gravy, heat up what needed heating, put out a dish of celery cuts & homemade pickles (yes, that one and only jar I successfully made in August), open a jar of cranberry relish, and voila.  


Friday I rested (and washed a lot of dishes).

Saturday I took the leftover sliced turkey, roasted carrots, gravy, added some boiled potatoes & frozen peas and 2C of frozen turkey broth and again - voila.  

A thick and hearty turkey stew to share with my Mom and her brother on "Leftovers Saturday".

Even the leftover dressing (which was baked into a loaf) was sliced as bread and used for dipping as well as a savory platform for the cranberry relish.

The Hunger Games producers should have such success with sequels!  (Mockingjay Pt I - thumbs down)

Hope your holiday was a satisfying mix of fun, family and friends.


This morning (Sunday), more washing of dishes first and now simmering the turkey carcass with veg, herbs and spices to make more broth.

Turkey - the bird that keeps on giving.  Gobble gobble!

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Quick bean soup

It had been a long day outside in 40F temps and when I came in I wanted something quick, hot and savory.

Didn't have anything in the freezer ready to microwave (I've been too busy to batch cook).

I thought I still had a package of chili, the perfect meal, but -- no.  Dang!

When I was eating gluten I always had some cans of Progresso soups on hand for occasions like this.

I looked in the cupboard and saw I had a few cans of refried beans.  Hmmm.  I could fix them, layered up with chopped onions, cheese, salsa.... oh, it just sounded like way too much work.

As I was putting the can back, I happened to spot somthing on the label:

For a simple and satisfyiing soup, thin Goya Refried Pinto Beans with chicken stock or water to desired consistency.

Hey, now that sounded pretty good.  I had some frozen chicken broth (1C containers) so emptied the can into a pot, added in broth (about 3/4C) and stirred it until it bubbled.

I then tossed in a handful of kale shreds, let the soup simmer for 5-6 minutes while I grabbed some chips and a drink and VOILA!   Quick hearty lunch. (Too much for one meal actually. Well enough for 2 bowls.)

And let me tell you, this bean soup is waaaay beyond Campbell's  condensed bean/bacon soup to my taste buds.  Check the ingredients:

Cooked pinto beans, water, salt, soybean oil, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder (chili peppers & spices), natural flavoring.   (Look ma! Real ingredients. Lower salt and no MSG or fillers! LOL)

Compare to Campbell's:  (I've tried finding this info on the web, even Campbell's site doesn't show ingredients in their soups - anywhere.  Now why IS that I wonder?  Next time I'm at the store I'll copy the info and update this post.)

Bottom line - best quick bean soup I've ever had.  I'll keep a few cans in the cupboard.  If I'd had more energy when I made this I would have trekked downstairs and brought up some chopped Easter ham to add to the mix.  Next time....

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Got my groove back!

With fat Pat blowing and raining outside, I decided (one day ahead of planned schedule) to roast up the turkey I bought Saturday morning.

It was frozen at the store and its been in the 'fridge since then.  Package says to defrost in 'fridge 24-48 hours.  Well, ignore that!

It was 96 hours and there was still an iceball in the cavity and some of the giblets were icy.

So I made sure all the ice was out and then ran cold water through the bird for about 10 minutes.  When all the meat surrounding the cavity was supple, I popped it (along with the giblets & neck) in the broiler bag.

Chart says - 14-16# = between 2.25 & 2.5 hours.  Ignore that too.

This thing didn't start browning until 2 hours, and didn't start getting fragrant until 3.  Nice and brown then, but I let it sit in the hot oven for another 20 minutes.

After brought out and rested for another 20 minutes, I collected all the meat juices (almost 2 qts! man they really 'enhance' birds these days).

When I started to cut the bird it was obvious cutting wasn't the answer.  I just used tongs to pull it to pieces, like a pan of warm cinnamon rolls.  Succulent! Dark meat delicious and white meat creamy (benefits of roasting breast side down).

With all the pieces parts in the big bowl, I covered it with plastic wrap and set the bowl out in the breezeway to cool down before putting it in the fridge overnight.

Yep.  Got back on that horse and rode it all the way home.

I'll freeze the bones for now and pull them out on the next cool day to make broth.

Bring on the holidays!  Hmmm, I'm gonna need more turkeys....

==== next day:

2# 12oz white meat; 
1# 12oz dark meat; 
5# 4oz the rest (bones, giblets, neck, skin, cartilage, etc.)
3# 8oz (6.5C of 'drippings'/juices)

Total: 13# 4oz from a 16+# bird.

Wonder where the other 3# went?

Oh well, soup broth on Saturday!

========= Saturday update:  
for my records:  
4.5Q water; 
near 1Q boxed chicken stock; 
7C gelled drippings 
carcass et al & veg
= 11-2C bags of broth   --- best bang for my buck to date

========= days later:


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