Put Your Leftovers In Your Stomach, With Spicy Turkey And Squash Soup!



People have gone home. Our memories of a fine dinner with people we care about linger, while the evidence has been scooped into plastic containers and refrigerated. Re-purpose what is left into hot and hearty soup, as fast as you can, before they over-stay their visit and resentment sets in!

Thanksgiving leftover soup is not a recipe that can be measured. This is a soup we prepare by sight and feel which does not require an additional trip to the store. I am taking for granted that most of you had a traditional turkey dinner. If you have not — my apologies. Your dinner was lovely, no doubt, and I would love to hear about your own leftover soup. For those who did the typical thing, you know that no two soups made from leftovers will taste the same but each design will be familiar, hot and easy to prepare.


Let's start with uncooked vegetables. If you are in possession of uneaten crudités, boy are you in luck! Vegetable trays are a gift that keeps on giving. Peppers (red and green), carrots, celery — all of the usual suspects — we can use these. If you have a spicy habanero handy (mine are in the freezer), mince it. Chop an onion, mince some garlic and sauté your vegetables in butter and oil until tender.

Do you have any leftover broth? Maybe it's fresh, or maybe in cans? Use that along with any chicken stock you have — enough for one or two quarts. Add a can of tomatoes, leftover fried corn (or whatever corn you have canned or frozen), because everything must go!

Move on to a few peeled and diced potatoes, and leftover squash. Squash is a must! Blended squash, or fresh squash (peeled and cubed), adds sweetness and depth. Roasted root vegetables like parsnips, turnips and rutabagas? Perfect. Add some or all of these to the pot. Season with bay leaves, thyme, sage, parsley (and whatever else you like). Pepper flakes? Yes, do it. A squirt of citrus juice is a great idea, too, or even a shot of apple cider.

Bring this to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmering. Cook for about 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, and stir occasionally.

Shred some turkey meat. Anything between two or three cups should be plenty enough. Eyeball it and see what you think, one hand full at a time.

I also use broiled turkey skin in my soup (and on sandwiches). It's a salty, greasy flavor bomb. Broil strips of turkey skin, sprinkled generously with kosher salt and ground pepper. Using a sheet of foil, use a few drips of olive oil and place under a medium broiler. Keep turning the skins until they are the same color as crisp bacon. There will be smoke and popping, and that's normal. I pull the battery out of my smoke detector when broiling turkey skin, and nothing has burned down yet. Drain the skins on paper towels and refrigerate, but only after you have taste tested a least a few pieces. I find they taste best in the dark, by the light of the cracked oven door.

Bring the soup back to boiling, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes more. Add some of that cream or half & half the guests were using, why don't you? And you know what's cool about leftover soup? You can freeze it for later because this soup is an ouroboros and it never stops.

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Put Thanksgiving In Your Mouth With Grown-Up Baked Mac And Cheese, For Grown-Ups



[Note from Evan: I make this every year, with few modifications besides whatever I do on the fly because I am feeling frisky. It takes some time, but oh damn it is worth it.]

Baking macaroni and cheese on a Monday night was a miserable experience. I had to boil water, tear the hell out of cheese, make a sauce, and then bake this whole deal before I had a chance to take off my bra. When I finally had time to sit down and browse through Faceborg, about ten million flame wars were happening in the two groups I even care about. Oh, and guess what else? No elbow macaroni on hand! I had to use the nice casarecce pasta I was saving for company.

Casarecce looks like ziti on Adderall and it picks up a ton of gooey sauce. It is amazing. Yet here it is on Wonkette in a mac and cheese. [Note from Evan: If you can't find casarecce, just use penne. It's fine.]

Listen to me, this was delicious. For the entire five minutes I had to eat my dinner, I didn't have a crap to give. I served our mac and cheese with thyme-stewed Roma tomatoes canned over the summer (BY MYSELF), though you will most likely pop open a can of something and eat it with a parfait spoon. Only God knows what you do, and it's not my business.




Ingredients

1 box of Casarecce pasta, boiled and drained

¾ stick of butter, sliced

½ c. all-purpose flour

4 c. milk (1 quart okay!)

3 c. extra-sharp cheddar, shredded

½ small wheel of Brie, skin removed

¼ c. crumbled bleu cheese

½ c. Parmesan cheese

Topping

1 c. breadcrumbs

1 c. of cheddar

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and mix in the flour until smooth and bubbly. Pour in milk and stir continuously, to thicken the béchamel sauce. Turn the heat to low and stir in the cheese. When it has melted completely, remove from heat and pour in the pasta. Stir it gently.

Lightly grease a large casserole pan. Pour in the cheese and pasta and spread it evenly. Shake the remaining cheeses and breadcrumbs in a (sealed) freezer bag until well blended. Top the pasta and bake for about 30 minutes.

No, of course this didn't sound difficult. That's because it wasn't you doing it.

Everyone in my house was very comforted with mac and cheese for grown-ups. We hugged, AND I managed to clean out the cheese drawer before Christmas. You want lunch? That is good information, and you're taking some green beans with you, too. Enjoy!

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Y’all Are Eatin’ Collard Greens Up In Here; Or, Vegetables Are Better With Bacon



Collard greens are an ancient food first cultivated in Greece at least two thousand years ago. It is a mildly bitter, leafy plant widely recognized as an accompaniment to meals served in Africa, Brazil, and the southern US. Collard greens have endured the test of time in many nations because they're delicious. Your Recipe Hub is well versed in the down-home, howdy y'all version of collard greens and prepared some for you today.

People in southern states and soul food aficionados will read this recipe for two reasons. First, they can't imagine I would have the nerve to make meemaw's signature dish and will be eager to fix my wagon and hush my mouth. Second, they love collards and enjoy reading about them (between meals served with collards). I can never hold a candle to your grandmother, clearly, but it's OK if I do this because my parents are southern. Plus, your Wonkette comrade, elviouslyqueer, has been lighting up Twitter with stories about collard greens. [At least he was when this post was first published, in a different year! - Ed.] You made me hungry, sir. I regret nothing.


Collards are typically prepared with meats like ham hocks, smoked turkey necks, and/or bacon. Enterprising vegans can re-imagine the ingredient list with tamari, smoke flavoring, and vegetable broth (serve with pinto beans!). It is virtually impossible to screw up collards. Slow cooking will give everyone enough time to correct flavors. I used Porto in my recipe, and elviouslyqueer uses bourbon (or all of the above). No one is wrong. The only thing that matters is what you like.

The following recipe is a small batch appropriate for a few people. If you have guests coming over, double or triple the recipe as needed.

Ingredients

collard greens, 1 bunch (soaked, rinsed several times and stems removed) - or -

1 bag of pre-cut collard greens (about 16 oz.)

3 ham hocks

bacon, 3-5 slices, crumbled (optional)

butter, for cooking

1 yellow onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 c. chicken broth

1 tbs. brown sugar, more to taste

2-4 tsp. cider vinegar

splotches of Louisiana-style hot sauce

cayenne pepper

salt and pepper

Porto or bourbon, some glugs

Put the ham hocks in the crock and let them hang out for a few minutes while working on your greens.

Fresh bunches of collards can be sandy, and you will need to soak and rinse them several times after removing the stems. Pre-packaged collard greens may have some stems, but only need to be thoroughly rinsed.

In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp and set aside. Reserve the grease, add some butter, and sauté the onion and garlic until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Mix in seasonings, hot sauce, vinegar, sugar and booze. Begin adding handfuls of collard greens to the pan, giving them time to wilt between handfuls. When the collards turn bright green, remove from heat and pour the contents of the skillet (plus crumbled bacon) into the crock. Low heat for eight or more hours, or high heat for at least five hours.

Remove the ham hocks, pull off the layer of fat, and pick the meat from the bone. You won't find much but the flavor is worth every morsel. Add the meat back to the pot; adjust the seasonings and heat well before serving. While you're at it, why not sprinkle more crisp bacon on top? Wanda Mae, there is no such thing as too much bacon. Bump up the vinegar when you have some BBQ on the plate. Tang and smoke together, because YASS.

When making collards, you will have a resultant liquid called potlikker (or pot liquor). Potlikker is a value-added feature. This savory, dark brew is even better the next day. Potlikker sopped up with cornbread is the best way to go. Enjoy, and have a great Thanksgiving!

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