Month: November 2011

Turkey Noodle Soup

End of the road for Thanksgiving leftovers

So we come to the last bits of the big bird.  You’ve got some meat left and the carcass.  What to do?  Of course, you know what to do…make soup!  Making any soup from scratch is easy, especially turkey/chicken when you have the leftover bones.  The most important step (in my opinion) is starting with a good stock.  I’ve tried many different ways to make stock but the best way I’ve found, and the only way I make it, is with this oven method courtesy of my personal kitchen hero, Ruhlman.

It’s such a simple way to make stock.  (more…)

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Pecan Crusted Pork with Orange Sauce, Lentils, and Beets

Please please please! No more turkey this weekend!

Whew!  So happy Thanksgiving weekend is coming to a close.  I didn’t overindulge too much, but just enough to make going to the gym tomorrow a must.  Sorry, no leftover turkey recipes for this Sunday Dinner.  All turkeyed out after eating it non-stop for the past few days.  We still have almost half a turkey left so don’t worry, there will be a recipe using it sometime this week.  Just not today!  (more…)

Top Chef Recap

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m coming out of food coma from all the eating today so this is going to be a short recap.  Down to 15 chefs and these looked like really fun challenges.  A chili pepper quickfire where you could win up to $20K based on the pepper you pick and a chili cookoff challenge where you have no time limit.  I mean really, who wouldn’t want to try their hand at these?  Sign me up! (more…)

Thanksgiving Cocktails

Nothing wrong with wine and beer for Thanksgiving but why not jazz things up a bit.  It’s a holiday, get some more holiday cheer flowing.  Heaven knows you sometimes need all the help you can get when dealing with family (not mine, they’re all saints, at least when viewed through the bottom of a cocktail glass they all have halos).  Two favorite cocktails of mine are the Old Fashioned and Manhattan, and I think they fit in well with the holiday.  One is made with rye and the other with bourbon.  Both have a touch of sweetness to them but not too much, and rye is a little spicier and has more grain and earthy flavor than bourbon.  With the heavy, salty, food you’re bound to nosh on you need a drink that will cut through it all.  What could be better on the All-American holiday than some potent potables made with good old American bourbon or rye whiskey?  Ok maybe not better but they’ll definitely help pass the time as the turkey cooks. (more…)

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Ragu Bolognese

Pappardelle with Ragu Bolognese

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving and I haven’t done the shopping yet so the fridge is looking a little bare today.  Cheryl noticed and commented that it didn’t look like there was much to make a dinner out of, then said “but you could probably figure something out.”  Indeed I could.

I knew there was some ground veal in the freezer and we had some eggs so I decided to make pasta and ragu Bolognese.  Normally I use ground beef but sometimes you have to work with what you have.  This particular sauce is one whose recipe is debated and debated and debated and there are many different sides.  Do you add milk or not?  Veal, beef, pork?  Don’t even get into the type of pasta you’re supposed to use (not spaghetti). (more…)

Eater 38 – Maude’s Liquor Bar

This week the Eater 38 club took a stab at another one of Chicago Eater’sEater 38” restaurants.  The choice: Maude’s Liquor Bar.  Not only is Maude’s on the Eater 38 List but it’s also on the newest Michelin Bib Gourmand list, so I was a little excited about it.  Unfortunately that excitement wore off fairly quickly.

Let me say this right off the bat, I thought their frites were some of the best I’ve had.  Perfectly fried, thick sticks of potato with a solid, crisp outer shell, encasing a light fluffy center.  They smelled and tasted like they were fried in duck fat which may explain it.  The frites were so good they didn’t need the aioli which accompanied the order.  Not as much a fan of the other appetizer we ordered, the French Onion Fondue (caramelized onions and melted gruyere).  As far as melted/broiled cheese appetizers go I wasn’t wowed.  Best to leave this type of dish to the Argentine and Mexican restaurants.  (more…)

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe!

Every Thanksgiving the one thing I look forward to most is the stuffing.  I really could care less about the turkey.  For me that is the vessel by which you cook the stuffing.

This is the stuffing my Grandmother (on my father’s side) made and we used to have it every year.  It was one of the first recipes of hers I took from my mother.  As with many grandmothers, the things she cooked were normally not written down in recipe form, it was all a pinch of this, a couple of these, etc. (as you’ll see).  Thankfully, my mother recorded them as best she could when she was learning them.  I had a pretty special bond with my Grandmother, we had the same birthday, and I remember her a lot around this time of year when I make this recipe and her special Hungarian Christmas “cookies” in December. (more…)