Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Waste Not Want Not

We came home on Sunday with a turkey carcass from Mojo's and 
a very meaty hambone from Mom in VT.  On the left is turkey 
stock which usually is turned into turkey noodle soup, but
eighth grade daughter requested a velvety potato-cabbage
soup instead.  Usually, that soup is made from the remnants 
of the corned beef, cabbage, and potato pot.  The contents are 
boiled and pureed with a stick blender until smooth.  Cream
of Saint Patrick's Day.  They love it.

On the right is the ham stock with celery, carrots, and onions, 
a bag of split peas, chopped garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.
The ham bone was removed and the ultra-tender meat was
cooled and broken into chunks to be added later.  Again,
the soup was zapped (foodie term for pureed) and seasoned.
I cook for my family every day, but today I thought of our
friend Kelly while making this soup.  All you need to do is 
tell me once that you really liked something I made, and I'll
think of you every time I make it from then on.  

I made a pizza on Sunday night quickly, no fuss, because we 
were tired and I didn't want to use every pot in the house like
I usually do.  Again, I used leftovers to top the pizza:  2 
microwaved potatoes from last week, a half of an onion in the
veg drawer, and a piece of kielbasa from the freezer.  The plain
half was for my non kielbasa-eating wife.  Eighth grade
daughter dove in mouth first. Save all leftovers - throw nothing away.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prelude to OFD

Smoky Sweet Potato Gratin.  Not yams, which are orange,
but sweet potatoes which are much paler colored and red-skinned.
The smokiness came from a dash of Wright's liquid smoke, which
I'm not afraid to admit.  Apparently it's not bad for you and it really
gives a nice flavor to things if you don't overdo it.  

Humongous U-7 dry sea scallops from Barnegat Light.  I went to the 
store to buy salmon for gravlax, and when I saw these I stopped at 
the kidney donation booth for some extra cash.  I pan-basted these 
with brown butter and pine nuts, then poured the baste over boiled 
broccoli florets.  And the big day isn't for three more days?
We're all in serious trouble. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Root of our Family Tree

Celeriac, otherwise known as Knob Celery, has been
the root of our family tree longer than I've been around.
OFD  is when we all enjoy it in a salad made very much
like German Potato Salad.  In fact it's virtually identical,
except that the knobs are used in place of boiled potatoes.
And the keeper of the tradition (Mom) includes chicory 
leaves for garnish and texture.  They're tangy and add a
slight crunch.  They happen to be my favorite part.

It's a grotesque looking vegetable, with roots and knobs
protruding in all directions, and I imagine most folks are 
just plain scared to tackle the thing.  The stalks resemble 
celery, but are more tough and bitter than their cousins.
The prize is definitely the bulbous root.  The whole root
is boiled in salted water in its jacket 'til tender, cooled, 
and then peeled and cubed.  Next step is to toss the cubes
in a simple vinaigrette with thinly sliced onions and chicory
and left to sit, marinating.  Close to service is when
mayonnaise is folded in, although not too much, just enough
to coat all involved, and then salt and pepper to taste.

It's a cold side dish to an otherwise warm array of 
accompaniments (except for cranberries which I don't 
dislike but have never found a use for on THXG).
You'll find yourself raiding the fridge early Thanksgiving
Friday morning, in your underwear, eating it from the 
tupperware with a fork, alternating bites with tugs of 
cold milk straight from the jug. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Oh man....Bacon, Arugula and Tomato sandwich.