Turkey Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup

It’s getting to be soup time again. This is one of those things I like the most about cooking, getting a good hot soup made for those cool days when nothing else will do. The turkey vegetable soup in this recipe also gave me the time to try out my new One Pot, which makes a very creditable full-flavored soup,  in much less time than I thought it might take — about an hour, in fact.

The soup is straight forward, with some Asian-inspired vegetables and good old turkey thighs. The veggies were what I had on hand, so you can play around with them a bit, but generally, you want to pay attention to when you add them if you’re doing the soup in the normal way, adding them so that the cooking time works out right. And of course, the times for finishing up the soup should probably take at least two hours, with veggies going in  little later than in the One Pot. You can use whatever veggies you happen to have handy.

If you have a one pot, I generally put all the veggies in at once, near the beginning. The pressure cooker in the soup category on the One Pot uses a pressure setting and the veggies get done much faster and more evenly that way.

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Orange Basted Turkey Thighs

Orange Basted Turkey Thighs

I haven’t made this in a long, long while and I can’t say I know why. That said, I found a really nice set of turkey thighs at the grocery and as soon as I saw them, I decided this was the right dish. It’s not what I’d call a summer dish, exactly, but it does warm the heart on one of those cool summer days we get up here on good old Lake Erie.

Did I mention that I’ve moved myself to a little town right on Lake Erie? Well, I assume that  takes care of it, if I haven’t. 

In any case, turkey thighs are, to my mind, the best part of the turkey. They are moist, tender and with just a little care in the treatment of them, they’re ready to go. The orange-honey-garlic sauce takes them from ordinary to something special, for sure. The main thing is to cook the thighs very well done, not because of food-borne illness (though that’s always good no matter what) but because by cooking them slow, you actually get the very best of the thighs, which have a way of getting better the longer you cook them. They should just fall of the bone.

The orange sauce caries a nice compliment of cumin and coriander and a little hot sauce, which just sends them over the edge. Promise.

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More Asian Meatball Recipes

more Asian meatball

I know. This is really a strange time to be bringing up a new Asian meatball recipe. But the truth is, I just really wanted to have them and in the end, it’s not really Thanksgiving yet, so why not?

I doubt very much you would likely find these meatballs anywhere in Asia, but they have all the amazing flavors you might expect from an Asian cuisine. Yes, they do use turkey as the meat (yeah, there is Thanksgiving of sorts here), but with water chestnuts, spring onions, cilantro, garlic, ginger and a lime-juice marinade that brings it all up to where it should be.

And, like most meatballs, these can be served as a nice dinner, but also as an appetizer and even as a small lunch plate, if that’s your choice. The flavors are definitely Asian in nature, reminding me a lot of Vietnamese or maybe Singaporean kind of fare. They could be served over rice noodles or even with zucchini noodles, perhaps with a little peanut butter sauce.

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Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese

thanksgiving mac and cheese

Thanksgiving mac and cheese is one of the best after holiday dinners or side plates you can get to the table in a reasonable hurry and with a ton of smiles on the faces of those about to eat.

The thing about mac and cheese is that it’s good to start with. Done right it’s creamy, with just enough stick-to-it-ness to make a real meal out of it, if you want to. Add in some leftover Thanksgiving turkey and you’ve got a real winner. And there is really no trick here, guys. Add in the turkey with just a little mayo, combine with the mac and the cheese — I use a smoked Gouda as well as some sharp cheddar (roughly about half and half) and you’re pretty much done. 

Of course, there are plenty of other things you can do, as well, but be careful. Sometimes doing too much really can spoil a good dish. And believe me, I know how that happens.

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Dry-Brined Roast Turkey with Black Truffle Butter and Herbs

roasted turkey

Hi all. This post was originally written in November two years ago, but I thought that since we’re doing much better in a lot of ways, it would be appropriate to include this again as Thanksgiving Dinner approaches. It still, by the way, simply the best turkey I’ve ever had.

There must be a dozen ways to prepare a Thanksgiving Turkey, but this one is my favorite. It uses a dry brine technique that I found on the website of Serious Eats’ Food Lab, some black truffle butter from D’Artagnon and my own concoction of fresh herbs.

The first time I made the turkey this way (without the truffle butter), I was blown away by the moist, flavorful meat and crispy skin it produces. That year, we had what I’ve seen described as an “orphan Thanksgiving,” by which I mean that we invited several people over who would otherwise be alone for the holiday. The bird we had that day was so good that the guests scarfed up all the leftovers and I ended up making a second turkey the next day so we would have some “leftovers” of our own. It was that good.

The linked article above will explain the science behind dry-brining, if you’re interested, but the essential is this: the technique has all the benefits of regular brining, but because the turkey isn’t submerged in liquid, none of the flavor leaches out. One tip: If you’re going to use the pan drippings to make gravy, be sure to rinse the bird well before inserting the butter and herbs. If you don’t, you’ll have the saltiest gravy you’ve ever tasted.

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Turkey Cutlets with Corn and Basil

turkey cutlets with corn and basil

Turkey is not one of those things I tend to think about during summer. Not sure why, because turkey done well really does some nice things if I give it a try. This turkey cutlets with corn and basil is one of those things. It’s easy and quick to prepare and it makes a great summer dish for a quiet evening.

The first thing about this dish is that once the ingredients are prepared, it takes around thirty minutes (maybe less) to make. The turkey is browned and set aside, the shallots and vinegar get a quick saute and then the rest of the ingredients are quickly added, with basil at the end to give it a little herbal flavor. 

That’s all there is.

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A Simple (Low-Fat, Low-Carb) Turkey Stir Fry

turkey stir fry

I’ve never been able to figure out why turkey is considered more healthy than, say, chicken. That seems to be the prevailing opinion, however. So when I embarked on a plan to create something low-fat and low-carb, just to see if I could do it without sacrificing flavor, the idea for this simple turkey stir fry began to take shape. The other consideration was aesthetic. That is, I wanted to follow the Chinese tradition of combining colors and textures in a pleasing way. At every level, this recipe works.

One of the reasons I don’t often cook with turkey breast is that it is very easy to overcook, even when you’re being very, very careful. It turns out that it’s perfect for stir frying, however. The quick cooking, especially when prepared with a Chinese style egg white and cornstarch marinade, keeps the meat moist and tender. It doesn’t brown, but in the end that’s a small price to pay for juicy turkey you can actually chew.

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