Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mama said, winter is comfort food season...

Wintry comfort food time!

What to do with leftover turkey from the past while? If you need a hint, I have just the very thing to do with it! A soup of course should be on your menu, and here in our home, a soup was so very welcomed with the recent weather patterns, white fluffy flakes creating wintry landscapes for all to admire.

Winter is a fine season as any other to create in the kitchen. Ingredients are a personal preference of course of what type of soup will be in your soup pot, and this past week, our own pot was filled with refrigerator and freezer leftovers.

Heating up the broth from the freezer that I saved from the turkey dinner, followed by checking for wee bones using a strainer.

First up, let’s grab all those leftovers from a turkey dinner; cranberry sauce, gravy, the handful of mashed yams/potatoes, a few brussel sprouts to chop up for additional green coloring, a bunch of fresh spinach, and of course all the turkey remnants available. The best turkey for a soup, as the best chicken is the darker meat, adding a rich flavor to the broth. But if the breast or white portions are all your have around, certainly chop them all up to your desired serving size. We like our meat chopped into small bite sized pieces, so a French cook knife seems to suffice for the duties necessary to complete this.

I had half of a rather large green cabbage left in the fridge, so chop, chop it went before placing in with the rest of the items thus far. A whole white onion, a large leek, spices and of course a tablespoon of yellow curry to enhance the flavors within the broth saved from the turkey dinner, and any additions thereafter to complete the amount necessary for the bubbly boiling stage. One other secret I will share with you here is the fact I aways add at least 1/4 cup of dried kale (found in Dutch food stores or your specialty aisle in the grocery store) to the brew, adding a splash of "greens" color and more goodness for all.

Wow, it looked great in the pot just with the color glaring up at me.

This pot of soup had an addition of skinny soup egg noodles added in the concoction.

If you want to know my secrets for making a hearty and delectable soup, you can check out previous soup tutoring both HERE and HERE As well, I have other written posts about homemade soups in our kitchen and you can find them in the label links on the right side bar under “In the Kitchen”.

A terrific accompaniment to any bowl of hearty soup.

With any good soup, salad is a terrific accompaniment, and if not, consider adding a nice hearty loaf of fresh baked bread or aromatic fresh from the oven buns.

Here’s our recipe made famous by two of our daughters who very much enjoyed making these for our family meals. Usually a parent or a neighbor was often gifted with a plate full of these as well, or their famous cinnamon buns.

Recipe for yummy homemade buns;

1 ¼ cups oil
3 eggs
¼ cup sugar
4 cups lukewarm water
4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. yeast
Enough flour to make a soft dough, approximately 11 cups.

These buns can be assembled two ways, one in a huge mixmaster as we use here in our home, or in a breadmaker. However if choosing the latter, you’ll want to pull out the dough after it’s completely mixed and form them into buns on a baking sheet before entering them into the oven, rather than cooking the dough more in the breadmaker.

I’m afraid our directions are a wee bit sketchy as habit has formed a memory for making these in our minds rather than on the paper. Here’s the way to do it, but feel free to ask questions if you have any.

  • Blend all dry ingredients together in your baking bowl.
  • Make a hole in the center using a wooden spoon or other item, and add the wet ingredients into the mix.
  • Very slowly add the flour until a soft dough forms as mentioned above.
  • Have another large bowl ready to place the dough into when this step is completed, and assure it is greased a bit before placing the dough into it.
  • Place a clean towel over the bowl and allow the dough to rise, approximately one hour.
  • Punch the dough down and knead in the bowl a few times.
  • Form buns by rolling dough into the shape of buns, followed by placing each onto a greased cookie sheet.

  • Bake at 400-425 degree oven, until gold brown.
  • Melt a little butter and brush on top of the buns after they come out piping hot from the oven.
Happy Comfort Food making.....