Turkey Soup with Cabbage and Apples

Post-Thanksgiving, I was looking for a way to use up some of the leftover turkey and was looking through the Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2013 cookbook and saw this recipe for chicken soup with cabbage and apple.  Since I had made turkey stock with the turkey carcass, this seemed like a great opportunity to throw together this soup.  I made a few adjustments, based on ingredients I had on hand (I added some additional leek).  I also substituted turkey for chicken throughout the recipe.

turkey-soup-with-cabbage-and-apples

Turkey Soup with Cabbage and Apples

2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 sliced leek
1/2 c chopped carrot
1/2 c chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz chicken apple sausage, sliced
5 c turkey stock
8 oz chopped Yukon gold potato
3 c sliced green cabbage
2 c shredded cooked turkey
2 c sliced Granny Smith apple
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add caraway and fennel; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Place in a spice or coffee grinder; process until ground.

Heat a Dutch oven to medium heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Add onion, leek, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook 6 minutes.  Add sausage; cook 1 minute.  Add ground spices, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add turkey stock and potato; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add cabbage and remaining ingredients; cook 3 minutes.

Maple Cranberries

I really enjoy cranberries…and I really enjoy the Two Peas and Their Pod blog.  When I saw a recipe for Maple Cranberry Sauce on their page, I knew I needed to make it for the holidays.  This could not have been more simple to make.  And, with the ingredients being sugar-free, it’s a nice change from all the sweet flavors of the holiday season to add a little tartness to this time of year.

maple-cranberries

Maple Cranberries

12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1/2 c pure maple syrup
Zest of one orange
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Place the cranberries in a colander and rinse.  Discard and shriveled or damaged cranberries.

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except cinnamon; bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have broken down and thickened into a compote, about 20 minutes.

Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and stir in the cinnamon.  Let cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator.

Cauliflower and Caramelized Fennel Soup

Tis the season for soups.  When I had some members of my family driving through a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to try some new recipes for them.  The grocery store had cauliflower on sale and I had tagged this recipe from The Vegetable Butcher and I knew I wanted to put it together.  It seemed like something I could do after work was over without too much issue and it would be a fun way to get some different vegetables into our meal.

Cauliflower and Caramelized Fennel Soup.jpg

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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

For the holidays, space in the oven, on the stovetop, and other locations is often at a premium.  When I’ve been hosting, the past few years have resulted in cooking potatoes in the crockpot.  I haven’t done a very good job of tracking the recipe that I’m using, though.  This year I decided to follow the recipe from The Kitchn.  It turned out pretty well, although the potatoes were more liquidy than I would prefer.  Next time, I’ll add the liquid ingredients at the end in smaller batches, until they are the consistency for which I am looking.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes.jpg

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

5 lb russet potatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, optional
1 tsp coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
3 to 3 1/2 c milk or a mixture of milk and cream
1/2 c unsalted butter

Peel and chop the potatoes.  Lightly grease the slow cooker with butter or cooking spray.  Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces, about 1 inch to a side.  The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook.  Add the seasonings.  Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes.  Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.  Pour in 1 1/2 c milk and stir the potatoes.  Cover the slow cooker and cook 4-5 hours on high or until the potatoes are very tender and soft.  Turn the heat to warm.

When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat.  Stir in 2 c milk and warm gently over low heat.

If you used the garlic, but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard.  Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot.  Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.  When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter.  The potatoes will look soupy at first, but will soak up the liquid.  Add an additional 1/2 c of milk if you want them to be even creamier.

Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.

Roasted Cauliflower

Sometimes a recipe is so simple, it seems a little ridiculous to write it down.  That’s what I thought when I first saw this recipe from Poor Girl Gourmet, and then I remembered that part of what I like about the cookbook is that it doesn’t require all kinds of strange and costly ingredients.  Instead, it focuses on things that are likely in your pantry.  So, why not document how I made this amazing cauliflower?

roasted-cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, stemmed, green leaves removed
1/4 c olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1/2 c grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower head lengthwise into 4 equal parts, making 4 individual servings.  In a mixing bowl, toss each quarter individually with the olive oil.  Do not fret if you don’t completely cover the quarter in oil.  Place into a 9×13 rimmed baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining cauliflower-head quarters.  Season each portion generously in salt and pepper and place each quarter cut side down.

Roast for about 20 minutes, turn, and then roast an additional 15-20 minutes.

Turkey Stock

After carving the turkey for Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to make some homemade turkey stock/bone broth.  I like to make soups (which is relatively obvious), but also like to use stock in my homemade gravy.  I had planned to make the stock in the slow cooker, but the carcass was a little larger than expected, so I used a big kettle on the top of the stovetop all afternoon on the day before Thanksgiving.

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Spice Rub Slow-Cooked Chicken

I’ve been cleaning through my freezer and trying to clean out some food.  I came across a whole chicken and knew it was time to make a chicken in the crockpot again.  While some of my favorite ways to do that don’t involve any prep whatsoever, I was looking through Everyday Paleo and found this spice-rubbed chicken.  It gets a little on the spicy side, but also added some really great flavor to the chicken, which I then used in a number of other dishes.

Spice Rub Slow-Cooked Chicken.jpg

Spice Rub Slow-Cooked Chicken

1 large white onion, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
5-6 lb whole chicken

Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with the sliced onions.  Mix all spices in a small bowl.  Using your hands, rub the spice mixture all over the whole chicken.

Place the spiced chicken on top of the onions, breast side down, in the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone.