We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room. It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort. I had dumplings in mind. I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours. The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin! Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce. I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings. They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.
I rolled out my gas grill for the season and grilled a couple of burgers to get into the swing of it. Gah! It won’t be long until the grass it high enough that I can’t put off mowing. I wonder what this season will bring. Last year it rained so much that the grass was always high and wet – I smoked the PTO belts that drive the blades. Hate it when that happens.
Amazon tempted me with one of their lightning deals on some silicone muffin trays. I’m pretty easy. These corn muffins from smittenkitchen looked like a good way to test drive them.The method was interesting, 1/2 cup of cornmeal was simmered in the milk until it started to look like porridge, then cooled slightly in a bowl in which the rest of the ingredients were added in their turn. The cup of sour cream was a nice touch.Two eggs were the last of the wet ingredients added before the dry mixture was folded in.The resulting batter was pretty stiff. The cookie dough scoop worked great in portioning between the dozen cups. It wasn’t the perfect size so I did have to top off the cups by eye.I’m not sure how long these were in because I forgot to set a timer. These passed the toothpick test.Mmm… red beans cooked with a smoked ham hock – a perfect way to enjoy these perfect corn muffins.
Made the tomato soup from a big can of those San Marzano tomatoes. I found a couple of 280z. cans in the bargain basket at Kroger a while back and this last one sat in the cupboard till I had this flash of inspiration.
Mince a carrot and half an onion and sweat them down in butter in a sauce pan. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the veggies and stir for a minute, then add chicken stock and a can of tomatoes. Season with celery salt, a pinch each of nutmeg, ground cloves, and black pepper and bring to a simmer for half an hour or so. Let cool a bit, then puree in a blender or with a stick blender. I like the stick blender because it’s easier to clean up. Add more chicken stock if it looks too thick. Some folks like to add cream right before serving but I never did eat it that way.
The soup is a plain potato soup – no cheese or cream, I made it small to eliminate leftovers, there are three peeled red potatoes, half a medium onion, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in chicken broth. The potatoes were diced small to hasten cooking and I used a potato masher to help it along. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.
I had a turkey breast that made a couple of plates worth of sliced turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, and cranberry sauce, and still had enough for a turkey salad. It has mayo, green bell pepper, Spanish olives, celery, and the other half of the onion from the soup.
We had a last bit of vegetable beef soup and what better way to make leftover soup better than a couple of fresh biscuits? These were from a half-recipe of JP’s Big Daddy Biscuits. It made 4 of a decent size.I like to break one up in the soup to soak up the gravy and have another to eat out of hand with butter or jam.
Some friends persuaded me to buy a few cans of Wolf brand chili for those times when I wanted a chili something something but didn’t have any leftover chili and didn’t want to take the trouble making any. They’ve been sitting in the cupboard for a few months and today I finally opened a can:They make good chili! It was a tad thin when heated – the picture on the can has to be of cold chili – but it had good flavor and I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve it to a guest for lunch.