Sad to see that this is happening to a New York institution, but it is the way of the restaurant business I suppose. I had the pastrami sandwich there once and it was well worth it. Overstuffed like you wouldn’t believe, hot with great mustard and a nice deli pickle. I’m sorry to see them go.
Monthly Archives: November 2012
I haven’t had much free time to do any posts since Thanksgiving so I didn’t get a chance to post some of the things we did with the leftover turkey. I actually was able to make three different things with the leftover turkey. The first one we made was a Turkey Barley soup. I used the turkey carcass to make some turkey stock to use for the soup. The rest of it was very easy to do and took no time at all.
Turkey Barley Soup
8 cups turkey stock made from leftover turkey carcass
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
black pepper to taste
4 cups diced leftover turkey
4 cups water
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 cup frozen peas
While the vegetables are cooking, bring the turkey stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the vegetables and the turkey, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the water, bring the soup back to a simmer, then add the barley and simmer until the barley is soft, at least 30 minutes.
When the barley is cooked, taste the soup for seasoning, and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Simmer for 10 minutes more then serve hot.
We love caramelized onions in this house. They can add so much flavor to nearly add dish that you want to add them to, as evidenced here in this blog post from Food Republic with 7 different ideas for using caramelized onions in your dinner. They really can go with anything. I personally love them as a side with any steak or burger, they can mix nicely in with potatoes, rice or polenta and can go with any entree. Check it out and see if you like anything.
Here’s some more things you can do with leftovers from Thanksgiving, this time courtesy of Williams-Sonoma. The turkey soup sounds really good to me. Check it out and see if you like any of the suggestions.
Well we all Thanksgiving day leftovers, and sure we can go the turkey sandwich route, who doesn’t love that? But more than likely, you have some other things left as well and you need to try and figure out what to do with all this stuff. Bon Appetit has some good ideas in this blog post about some different things you can make with leftovers I have some of my own ideas as well which I will be posting this weekend. Check it out and see if there is something you want to try. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed the day with your family and friends.
I have been posting dishes all week that I am using for my meal, but here are some great ideas from Williams-Sonoma if you need something extra at the last minute. Thank you all for taking the time to visit my humble little blog and hope everyone has a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones, family and friends. Enjoy!
Yesterday I covered the side dishes I am making for Thanksgiving, and on Monday it was the soup for the day, and Sunday I wrote about the turkey, stuffing and gravy. There’s not much left to write about unless you want to make some appetizers for everyone before the meal. Here’s my advice on appetizers for the holidays. You have enough going on in the oven and on the stove, so try to do things that you don’t have to cook at all if you can avoid it. It’s just one less thing you have to cook for the day and you may not have the room or time to do it anyway. You can go simple, and just do a nice selections of cheeses and crackers, maybe some sliced apples and pears, some grapes and some pepperoni or sliced dry sausage. I am trying to keep it simple by doing some shrimp cocktail and some homemade horseradish cocktail sauce.
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup Horseradish Cocktail Sauce (recipe to follow)
Bring the lemon juice, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, Old Bay and 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the shrimp. Cover and steep off the heat until the shrimp are firm and pink, about 7 minutes. Drain the shrimp and plunge them immediately into ice water. Drain and refrigerate the shrimp until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour. Arrange a platter and serve with the cocktail sauce.
Horseradish Cocktail Sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus extra for seasoning
2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Stir all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with additional horseradish and hot sauce as desired.
The cooked shrimp and the cocktail sauce can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 day, so you can make them ahead if you want to. If you get uncooked shrimp that is already peeled and deveined, you can save yourself some extra work and make things a little quicker for yourself.
You’re likely to have some people who don’t like shrimp cocktail, so you’ll need to have some other things available too. You can always put out an array of different chips and snacks or vegetables and have some dip for them. Instead of using the soup packet for your onion dip this year (I have nothing against it, I do it a lot, but it is often a little stale and always very salty), how about making a simple onion dip on your own. It’s not really any work and it tastes a lot fresher. You can just use straight sour cream or try this dip base and add the onions to it.
Simple Onion Dip
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup caramelized onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Stir all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the dip for at least 1 hour so all of the flavors can blend together nicely. The prepared dip can keep covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
For the caramelized onions, if you have never done it before, simply melt 1 tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat. Add about 4 onions, halved and sliced thin, 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deep brown, about 40 minutes. Take them off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of water, season with salt and pepper, and you’re done.
Yes, it takes some planning ahead if you are going to use caramelized onions, but they are so tasty, not just for dips but as a condiment for nearly anything.
If you want to make something ahead of time and like nuts, you can try this recipe for spiced nuts. I tried this with some mixed nuts and a spice blend I got from PepperMary’s Spice Blends and boy was it good. I used the Cajun Blend for the nuts, but Mary was kind enough to send me samples of her other spices, which I plan to try after Thanksgiving on some fish that I got. Thanks Mary, they are awesome. I also used the Mesquite Blend on a London broil I marinated last night for dinner and it had a nice taste and kick to it. Give her stuff a try if you get the chance.
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound of mixed nuts, unsalted
2 tablespoons sugar, maple syrup or honey
4 teaspoons PepperMary Cajun Spice blend (or other spice blend you like) or:
2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika
Adjust 2 oven racks to the upper and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 275 degrees. Whisk the egg white, water and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the nuts and toss to coat. Drain in a colander for 5 minutes.
Toss the sugar, maple syrup or honey with the spice blend or desired spices with the nuts. Spread the nuts evenly on two parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until the nuts are dry and crisp, about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally and rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Remove from the oven and let the nuts cool completely on the baking sheet, about 30 minutes. Break the nuts apart and serve.
These can also be made ahead and stored at room temperature wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 1 week.
If you still aren’t sure what to make, you can always try going for an antipasto platter. This lets you put out a variety of meats, cheeses, olives and vegetables that people like and you can pretty much choose what suits your crowd the best. I put together just a few ideas in this one.
1/2 pound soppressata salami or other dry sausage, skin removed and sliced thin
2 cups mixed olives, black and green, marinated, such as Kalamata, Nicoise or others
1 jar marinated roasted red peppers
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
Arrange all the items on a platter for people to choose as finger foods. You could always add other cheeses, like marinated mozzarella, or other meats like ham, or even some marinated and grilled vegetables like eggplant, asparagus or zucchini, and some sliced tomato. The options are endless with this. Have some good extra-virgin olive oil on hand if you want to do any marinating of anything.
Okay, I think that covers the appetizers. There are a lot of other choices out there, that I didn’t go into, but I could be here all day writing suggestions and I still have prep work myself to do. Later on today, I will post a couple of dessert options if you are still looking for ideas. Check back and see what I have. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day!
Okay, so Sunday we did the turkey and stuffing, yesterday we did the soup, today we’ll do some side dishes. I wanted to choose some classic sides but maybe try something a little different with them, and I ended up choosing both of these recipes from Cook’s Country. The first takes the traditional sweet potato casserole and makes it a little differently. I am not a fan of marshmallow and didn’t want to make something that was going to use them and this recipe seems just perfect and it is not hard to make.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon-Brown Sugar Topping
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
5 slices bacon
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay two 24 by 12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil perpendicular to each other inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the sweet potatoes in the center of the foil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Fold opposite sides of the foil toward each other and crimp edges to seal tightly. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 60 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and heat the broiler.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it into bite-size pieces. Pulse the bacon and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses; set aside.
Carefully open 1 end of the foil pouch, taking care to avoid escaping steam, and pout the potatoes and accumulated liquid into the food processor. Add the butter, cream, orange zest and juice, salt cinnamon, pepper and cayenne and process until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Transfer the potato puree to a 2-quart souffle dish and sprinkle evenly with the reserved bacon-sugar mixture. Broil the sweet potatoes until the topping is lightly browned and bubbling, about 2 to 4 minutes.
You can make part of this ahead of time to save you time on Thanksgiving. The processed potatoes can be refrigerated without the topping for up to 2 days. To serve it, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack of a 400 degree oven until hot throughout, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil, add the bacon-sugar topping and broil as directed.
I think it is going to turn out quite nicely and I’ll be sure to take some pictures of it so you can see it on Thursday.
My second recipe frees up some stove or oven space for you by making good use of your slow cooker. it is a version of the classic green bean casserole, but made using the slow cooker to make things a little easier for you along the way.
Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole
1 cup canned fried onions
3 tablespoons butter
10 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 slices white bread, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups canned fried onions
To make the sauce, pulse the canned onions in a food processor until finely ground; set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and ground onions and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and the cream and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine the sauce and the green beans in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, 5 to 6 hours.
Meanwhile, pulse the bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. Toast the bread crumbs and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Top the green beans with bread-crumb mixture and serve.
You can also start making this ahead of time as well to save you some effort on Thanksgiving. The sauce and the topping can be made and refrigerated in separate airtight containers for 2 days. To finish it, microwave the sauce, covered, for 1 minute before proceeding with slow cooking. Crisp the bread-crumb mixture in a skillet before topping and serving.
I like the idea of using the slow cooker, but I also like the not using canned green beans or cream of mushroom soup to make it. Personally, I am not a big fan of canned vegetables and soups. If you like them better, stick with what you like, but I think giving the freshness is worth the little bit of extra time it takes to prep everything.
Okay, so we almost have a complete meal for Thursday. Tomorrow, I am going to talk a little bit about some appetizers and a dessert to round out the meal if you want to check back and see. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
Since I posted what I plan to do with the turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving in yesterday’s post, I thought I would put down today the soup I plan to make as well. I had planned to make a butternut squash soup all along, and I have several recipes that I like, so I was trying to decide which one would be the best to go with. I finally settled on this one from America’s Test Kitchen and am combining it with some others I have seen to sort of make my own. This recipe also uses some Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons, which are a nice little touch at the end.
Butternut Squash Soup
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium shallots, minced
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
5 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs thyme
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the squash, broth, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to simmer, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in the cream. Bring to a brief simmer, then remove it from the heat. if the soup seems too thick, thin it out with additional broth or water. Season it with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with nutmeg, if desired.
You can make this soup ahead of time, which I plan to do, right through the puree step, and cool, cover and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Just re-heat the soup over low heat, adding additional water or broth to adjust the consistency before proceeding with adding the cream.
There are a number of things you can top this soup with to suit your tastes. You could use the nutmeg, or paprika, a little balsamic vinegar, some crumbled bacon, slices of crispy prosciutto or even slices of apple or pear. I saw this quick little recipe for CInnamon Sugar Croutons from America’s Test Kitchen, so I am going to try that one.
4 slices white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes with the crusts removed
2 tablespoons melted butter
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the bread cubes and toss to combine.
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for several days. Sprinkle over the soup just before serving.
I think they will add a nice flavor and crunch to the soup. Overall, I think it is the perfect opening course to Thanksgiving dinner.
Okay, so we have the turkey, stuffing and soup taken care of, so tomorrow I will talk about some of the side dishes I am planning, which are a slow cooker version of the classic green bean casserole and a sweet potato casserole. Check back and see if you like them. I plan to post pictures of everything after I cook it all on Thursday, so check back for that as well. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!
So I did a test dinner tonight that will be a lot like what I will make on Thanksgiving Day for dinner. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about how well this recipe would go. It is one I picked up from America’s Test Kitchen on a braised turkey with gravy. The trick in this one is that you butcher the chicken so you are cooking all the parts. They also recommend brining the turkey. Now I have heard both sides of the argument on this one and I am still not sure which would be best. I know that brining does help to keep things moist, but if you are like me, you may not have the room in your refrigerator for a tub to brine a whole turkey in, so I skipped the brining process. Everything turned out really well without it so I think you can get away with not doing it.
Braised Turkey with Gravy
Salt and Pepper
1 cup sugar
1 (5-7 pound) whole bone-in turkey breast, trimmed
4 pounds turkey drumsticks and thighs, trimmed
3 onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sprigs fresh parsley
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry wine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
For the Turkey: Dissolve 1 cup of salt and the sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a large container. Submerge the turkey pieces in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Toss the onions,celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, porcini mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large roasting pan; arrange everything in an even layer. Brush the turkey pieces with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with pepper. Place the turkey pieces, skin side up, over the vegetables, leaving at least 1/4 inch between the pieces. Roast until the skin is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Pour the broth and wine around the turkey pieces (it should come about three-quarters of the way up the legs and thighs). Place a sheet of parchment paper over the turkey pieces. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Return the covered roasting pan to the oven and cook until the breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.
For the Gravy: Strain the vegetables and liquid from the roasting pan through a fine-mesh strainer set in a large bowl. Press the solids with the back of a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables. Transfer the liquid to a fat separator; allow it to settle for 5 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of fat and measure out 3 cups of braising liquid.
Heat the reserved fat in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is a dark golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 cups of braising liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the gravy is thick and reduced to 2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the gravy from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
I’ll be honest- butchering the turkey was no easy feat, even with poultry shears and a good sharp knife. If you could get it butchered before you even bring it home, that would be ideal. If not, it took me about 20 minutes to do it. I didn’t think that was too bad, considering I had never done that with a turkey before. I think the results are well worth the work that goes into it. The turkey came out done perfectly. It was very moist and the skin was nice and crispy. I took the foil off for the last 10 minutes or so to crisp up the skin and it was great. It also made carving easy since all the parts were removed already.
There’s a stuffing recipe that goes along with this recipe so you can make use of the turkey wings (thought I forgot about them, didn’t you?). This recipe is designed to make stuffing for 10-12 people, so if you have a smaller group coming, cut the recipe down appropriately. I cut in half for today since they were only 5 of us for dinner and it was the perfect amount with just a bit left over.
Bread Stuffing with Sausage, Dried Cherries and Pecans
2 pounds hearty white sandwich bread (20 to 22 slices) cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I actually used a large loaf of french bread instead, and it came out fine, so use whatever bread you like)
3 pounds turkey wings, divided at the joints
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound pork sausage
4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for the baking dish
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 celery ribs, chopped fine
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 large eggs
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped fine
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 250 degrees. Spread the bread cubes in an even layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until the edges have dried but centers are slightly moist, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring several times during baking. (You can toast the bread up to 1 day in advance.) Transfer the cubes to a large bowl and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Use the tip of a paring knife to poke 10 to 15 holes in each wing segment. heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the wings in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the wings and continue to cook until golden brown on the second side, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer the wings to a medium bowl and set aside.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the sausage; cook, breaking the sausage into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet.
Heat the butter with the rendered fat in the skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onion, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the thyme, sage, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, using a wooden spoon to scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl with the dried bread and toss to combine.
Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, remaining 1 1/2 cups of broth, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and any accumulated juices from the wings until combined. Add the egg/broth mixture, cherries, pecans and sausage to the bread mixture and gently toss to combine; transfer to the greased baking dish. Arrange the wings on top of the stuffing, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake on the lower-middle rack until the thickest part of the wings registers 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 60 to 75 minutes. Remove the foil and transfer the wings to a dinner plate to reserve for another use. Using a fork, gently fluff the stuffing. Let it rest 5 minutes before serving.
The stuffing was great! I think putting the wings on the top was a great idea and added some turkey flavor to the stuffing. The dried cherries add just the amount of tartness to the dish and they rehydrate a bit with the broth while cooking.
I served the meal with mashed turnips and boiled potatoes, but on Thanksgiving I will be making mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce. We’ll also be starting the meal off with a butternut squash soup. I’ll be posting the recipes for the butternut squash soup, sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole over the next few days if you want to check them out.
I also made a triple berry pie for dessert, which I have posted on here before. This time I used only frozen berries, but it turned out just as well if you want to try it that way.
I hope everyone has great plans for their Thanksgiving. I’ll be posting more recipes and I promise to take pictures of everything on Thursday while I am cooking (I am very bad about remembering to do that, I apologize). Until next time, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal.