Feast of Leftovers: Sour Cream Biscuits

The wonder of this time of year is how much food can be squeezed into a refrigerator, and how much food I can consume without trying!

I seem to have extra sour cream and since I have been making soup – what every soup needs is a nice freshly baked biscuit. And I love sour cream biscuits. Simple and easy to make – and helps get rid of that sour cream sitting in my fridge.
(My soup recipes are: Prime Rib, Turkey)

 

Ingredients
2 cup white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to blend.
Add the shortening and cut shortening until mixture has course pea-sized texture.
Add the sour cream and cut mixture until it is course crumbs.
Knead dough 6 to 8 strokes; if dough is too dry and not binding together, slowly add a bit of water a teaspoon at a time.
Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Fold in half. Roll out again and fold in half, and half again.
Now roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut biscuits;
bake on greased cookie sheet 10 to 15 minutes (until desired golden brown on top)

Let cool a few minutes – and then enjoy!
Not only excellent with soup but also really tasty with butter and strawberry jam.

About these ads

Feast of Leftovers: Pass the Cheese!

English: Cheese: Le Rustique (French Camembert...

Christmas is a feast.
Christmas is a beast.
Tasty, tasty
eat so hasty
now we gotta leave!

This time of the year is about joy and celebration and family – and excess! That last part is optional really – yet it does seem to be part of how many of us celebrate Christmas. Too excess.

Time for a slow down and a stop. Wind down, feet up. Pause. Today we do not cook!

The leftovers in my fridge are somewhat under control now. Prime rib turned into frozen stock and delicious soup. Turkey magically shrunk from a massive blob in my fridge into more frozen stock, and a hearty turkey soup.

What I seem to have an over-abundance of now is a bunch of odds and ends. Cold cuts, fruit, and cheese! This year I have an plethora of cheese. Whew – I have now used plethora in a blog post so that is off my 2013 bucket list of words.

So today we eat the remains of the soups, and sandwiches made from the cold cuts that need to move on before they become alive! For some reason I went a little wild on cheese so I have Cheddar, Havarti, Camembert, Swiss, and Mozzarella. I did say no cooking – but does toasting count as cooking? Not if the toast involves wine – Cheers!

Wine male

Well yeah I am having wine with my lunch – because the bottle is open and needs to be saved from being wasted. And really there is nothing quite like wine and cheese to satisfy the palette !Fear not the wine will not be wasted! Other things may be wasted in the process…

A toaster oven

I will also be toasting the cheese (not just with wine!) but also in a toaster oven. I don’t count this as cooking – it is simply placing cold ingredients on some bread and clicking a dial. I like ham and cheddar on rye (even if it hasn’t been toasted yet!). But toasted it becomes a warm gooey treat full of flavours.

I am quickly writing this as my open face sandwich toasts. Two pieces of bread. One holds the ham slices. The other holds thin slices of cheddar. If the cheese had not been sliced for an cheese tray I would shred the cheese to help it melt faster. Place on a toaster safe dish or cooking sheet and pop in the toaster oven for a few minutes at 375. Hotter if you like the bread crunchier and the cheese browned slightly.

Then flip the two pieces of bread together. Like a grilled cheese with no grilling!

DING!

My lunch is ready.

Ham and Cheese Toastie

Now to go read a book and enjoy my leftover feast of the day!


Feast of Leftovers: Turkey Soup!

homemade turkey noodle soup

The Feast of Leftovers is far from over! Yesterday, I wrote about making soup with my leftover Prime Rib dinner. I seem to have hit a current trend! I have never had so many Google hits on my site on one day. The search terms: Prime Rib leftovers

While my Prime Rib problem has been solved, my fridge is still groaning with turkey that needs some serious attention. You can start making a turkey stock at any time – and usually I start right after Christmas dinner is completed. The first step to dealing with turkey overload is stripping down the carcass to the bones.  Taking the choice meat off the bones for sandwiches and nibbling.  This is easiest to do while the turkey is warm, but really it isn’t like the turkey will fight back if you wait a day or two. If you don’t have time to strip the meat, just make sure you wrap the bird well so it doesn’t dry out.

Turkey soup made from leftover turkey is the same process as making Prime Rib soup – or any bone soup! This is not any sort of culinary science or magic. It is simply placing the left-over bones with selected seasonings and enough liquids to cover, and simmering a long time. (Usually that liquid is just plain water – but could include pre-made stock, vegetable juices, etc.)

To create any soup from leftovers, I make things up as I go along! Soup from leftovers is improvisational cooking and experimentation. This is about extracting flavour – so while you may remove the excess fat from the bones – remember you must leave some fat on the bones and other scraps: fat is flavour! You can always skim off the excess fat at the end of the cooking.

Poultry bones/scraps are not as rich in flavour as beef bones/scraps. Be prepared for a long slow simmer! If the flavour isn’t quite rich enough I will add pre-made vegetable or chicken stock – BUT only after the cooking is done and a taste-test!  The reason I do this is to control the salt content. Because we are using leftovers that have already been seasoned it is a good strategy to wait before adding more seasoning.  You can always add more of what is missing – but you can never take it back once it is in the pot!

(I have a Sour Cream Biscuit recipe here if you want something to go with the soup. Easy to make while the stock is simmering!)

Step One: Bone Stock

Strip the turkey down saving the choice bits of meat for sandwiches – or adding back to the soup at the end. Now release your holiday stress and go crazy on the bones; break ‘em down! This will make the turkey carcass take less room in the pot, and you will use less water for cooking. Water dilutes flavours.
Place the turkey bones and other turkey scraps in a pot large enough to hold the bones and just cover with water. Again: you do not want too much water at this point as it will dilute your flavour. I also add the scraps of turkey I know won’t get eaten – so skin, giblets(but not the liver!), neck, all go in the pot.

Turkey (poultry) is a delicate flavour so it  needs some help while simmering in the pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 large onion (quartered), 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peppercorns (I add a tablespoon but not everyone likes this much pepper – 5 peppercorns should be good), and 2 bay leaves. Now add root vegetables of your choice. I like adding one large parsnip root, 2-3 large carrots, and celery leaves. If I have leftover vegetables from a veggie platter (cauliflower, broccoli, sliced red/green peppers) I may throw them in as well; CAUTION go easy on broccoli and peppers as it can dominate the flavour of the soup!). You will not be saving these vegetables so no need to peel, or carefully chop. Just make sure they are clean of dirt, and roughly chop them anyway you want! Have fun.

Again, make sure you have enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Set on stove-top and bring to full boil, turn down and let simmer for about 2-3 hours. Or even longer! Remember the bones and meat are already cooked so what we are doing is extracting the flavour. Letting the stock slowly simmer will intensify the flavours – just don’t let your stock boil away!
A large slow-cooker is perfect for this first step in the process. If you use a slow cooker set on HIGH until hot (1-2 hours) and then LOW for 4-6 or more hours. Go skiing and sledding. Or sit back and catch up on Netflix while drinking wine. You may need extra bottles of wine.

Before you walk away you will have to hang around and skim! During the early boiling process a thick foam will appear. Skim this off as best you can to keep the soup stock clear.

While your stock is slow simmering you can prepare any additional vegetables you want to add to the final soup. I like adding 1/2 cup celery, 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots, 2 medium potatoes (cubed), peas, and chopped/shredded turkey meat. Set them aside for later (keep the potatoes in cold water so that do not turn black on you!). I also add egg noodles when finishing the soup – but that is optional

When you think the stock is done (the meat will be falling off the bone)- take it off the heat and let it sit 15 minutes to cool and settle. Once the stock has settled you can skim off some of the the excess fat at this point – or leave it for skimming later. Remove the larger items (bones, meat chunks, root vegetables, onion) from the stock and when they are cool throw in your green bin for composting.

Step 2: Season the Stock

Take a new pot and place a fine sieve  over the new pot, then gently and slowly pour your stock into the new pot. The last little bit in the pot may be quite thick with sediment so you may decide to not use that part of the stock. I strain it all, then let it settle again and do another pour and filter. It all depends on how clear you want the stock to be!

Now for the taste test! Get a small spoon and sample the stock. What does it need? Salt? Spices? More flavour? Does it need a little more water? Or maybe some pre-made stock to add both volume and flavour. This is the part where you use the magic of your senses to make the soup your own! While tasting is an important part of making soup do remember to use a new and clean spoon for each taste test!

Always add any other seasoning or flavouring before adding more salt. If you feel you need more salt add it slowly! Once something is too salty there is no saving it. It is better to let people add their own salt to the finished product.

At this point you can save stock for later – by freezing it. Or move on to make soup! If you have more stock then you want to use right away you can do both!

Step 3: Add vegetables (and other ingredients that need to cook)

Once you have adjusted the seasoning (and the volume of liquid) – add the vegetables to the prepared stock.

Place the soup on the stove and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes or so (until vegetables and are nearly cooked to your liking). In the last ten minutes of cooking I add a cup or two of medium egg-noodles to make a complete meal. For the lower carb or gluten free you can leave out the noodles.

Step 4: Finish the soup and eat!

IF you have meat that you did not use in making the stock then you can add that choice meat to the soup so the meat will be heated, and soften. Make sure it is cut/shredded into bite sized pieces. It is up to you when you add this meat. Some people add the meat with the vegetables so it all cooks for 30 minutes and the meat falls apart easily. I like the cooked meat firmer so I just place it in the soup bowl before serving. The meat is warmed by the hot soup, and speeds up the cooling of the broth. This also stops my kids from doing the fishing for turkey in the soup-pot exercise!

Enjoy!

Remember this is not an exact recipe so you can experiment and find what works best for you.


Feast of Leftovers: Prime Rib Soup!

Prime Rib Soup

The Feast of Leftovers continues for me – and probably for many of my readers. I mentioned yesterday I had a lovely Prime Rib dinner for Christmas Eve. (Prime Rib cooking instructions are here). Yesterday the nicer cuts of leftover prime rib were consumed as part of the Feast of Stephen (December 26)

Now I have 4 nice large bones from the Prime Rib – and the less choice scraps of meat (too much fat, gristle, overcooked – my aren’t we fussy North Americans!). So the solution is soup! (I have a Sour Cream Biscuit recipe here if you want something to go with the soup. Easy to make while the stock is simmering!)

PREP WORK

To create a Prime Rib soup you  make things up!  Soup from leftovers is improvisational cooking and experimentation. For Prime Rib soup trim off the excess fat – but still leave some fat on the bones and other scraps. Remember fat is flavour!  You can always skim off the floating fat at the end of the cooking.

Some recipes for Prime Rib just have you dump all the ingredients into a big enough pot and let it simmer away until done while adding pre-made beef stock or bouillon cubes for flavour.

We will make our own stock base from the Prime Rib bones. Part of the reason I do this is to control the salt content. Because we are using leftovers that are seasoned it is a good strategy to wait before adding more seasoning.  You can always add more of what is missing – but you can never take it back once it is in the pot!

Step One: Prime Rib Stock

Place the bones (ribs)  in a pot large enough to hold the bones and just cover with water. You do not want too much water at this point as it will dilute your flavour. Also add in the less choice cuts of prime rib meat you have in the left-overs. If you have some better slices of leftover prime rib save that meat for adding at the end.

Also add to the pot 1 medium onion (whole), 1 or 2 cloves garlic, and the root vegetables of your choice. I like adding 1 parsnip root and 2-3 carrots. Make sure you have enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Set on stove-top and bring to boil. Then let simmer for at least 90 minutes. Longer is better. Remember the bones and meat are already cooked so what we are doing is extracting flavour.  The longer you allow this to simmer the richer the broth! This is soup foreplay – so a long slow simmer will help intensify the end result.

While the stock is simmering you can prepare any additional vegetables you want to add to the final soup. I like adding chopped celery, potatoes, peas, and mushrooms. You can also add a chopped carrot or two. Set them aside for later. Keep the potatoes in cold water so they do not turn black!

When you think the stock is done (the meat will be falling off the bone)- take it off the heat and let it sit 15 minutes. Once the stock has settled you can skim off the excess fat at this point. Remove the larger items (bones, meat chunks, root vegetables, onion) from the stock and set aside.

Step 2: Season the Stock

Take a fresh pot and place a fine sieve  over the fresh pot.  Now gently pour your stock into the new pot. Time for the taste test! Get a small spoon and sample the stock. What does it need? Salt? Spices? More beefy flavour? Does it need a little more water? Or maybe some pre-made beef stock to add both volume and flavour. This is the part where you use the magic of your senses to make the soup your own!

If I have leftover Prime Rib gravy I will add it to the stock. The gravy will thicken the stock so go easy! As well in go any leftover sauteed mushrooms I might have. Since these are already seasoned – make sure you add these before adding more salt! If I need more salt I will sometimes add 1/2 teaspoon of Marmite for flavouring, or a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce.

You can now freeze your stock, or use some for the next step in soup making!

Step 3: Add vegetables (and other ingredients that need to cook)

Once you have adjusted the seasoning (and the volume of liquid) – add the vegetables to the prepared stock. Some people like adding barley – remember barley will absorb quite a bit of liquid. I would add no more than 1/2 cup of soup or pearl barley. (Myself I like adding Japanese Udon noodles at the end to my soup so I don’t add barley – this is your soup so make it the way you like!)

Place the soup on the stove and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes or so (until vegetables and are cooked to your liking. Barley also usually cooks in 30 minutes).

Step 4: Finish the soup and eat!

IF you had leftover meat from the Prime Rib that you did not use in making the stock then you can add these choice bits of meat to the soup so the meat will be heated, and soften. Make sure it is cut into bite sized pieces. It is up to you when you add this meat – I add right away so it cooks for 30 minutes and falls apart.

While the soup is simmering – strip any meat from the set aside boiled bones and other meat chunks used to make the stock. This will pretty much just fall off the bone and any gristle. Depending on how firm the stock vegetables are, you can also chop these into bite size bits.

When the soup is just about finished cooking add in the set aside cooked meat and cooked vegetables. If you are using Udon noodles you can add them also. Let your soup come back to a boil and the turn it off. Add black pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Remember this is not an exact recipe so you can experiment and find what works best for you.


Feast of Leftovers!

Ahh Christmas – the celebration of life, light, joy, family and feasting!

If your Christmas is anything like mine it involves too much food, too much wine, and too much laughter. But really can you have too much laughter?

The food starts well before Christmas day. There are office parties, lunches with those folks you need to see before the holidays begin, baking, quick bites to eat while shopping. For me the food kicks in to a higher gear starting around December 21st. Because I still have a school age child – the Christmas holidays usually start around that day and so does eating and drinking in a festive way!

Our tradition has become that the tree goes up on December 21st – to honour the solstice. The tree proudly wearing the a star shining brightly, and covered in many lights. That is when the overload begins – so queue the food! Really you cannot have a tree-trimming without a festive meal. And then Christmas cookies and eggnog as you decorate. A bulb for the tree – and a cookie for me!

December 24th is the time for a pre-feast. In my case in can be anything at all from tourtiere ( a French meat pie) to a nice roast beef. This year it was a lovely prime rib since prime rib was on sale! Gorgeous.

And yesterday was a more traditional turnkey dinner.

So today is the Feast of Leftovers! Prime rib, turkey, masked potatoes, every vegetable you can name. Oh it is glorious laid out buffet style for people to pick and choose. Add some fruit and cheese and whatever else is lurking in the fridge and well there you go: Enjoy!

May you also have a Happy Feast of Leftovers!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,823 other followers