White Turkey Chili

Leftover turkey can be a blessing or a boon, depending on how much meat you have and how many recipes you have that your family likes. One option that we like is white chili, which also works well with leftover chicken.

whitechiliThe following recipe, courtesy of the North Dakota State University Extension Service that I collected years ago, is a real winner. It’s a 30-minute meal that would go well with cornmeal muffins, carrot/celery sticks, apple crisp and low-fat milk.

White Turkey Chili
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
2 16-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups cooked turkey (or chicken)
Shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa, optional
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender. Add the chilies, flour and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and mix well. Add the beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until lightly thickened. Add the chicken and heat through. Garnish with cheese, low-fat sour cream and salsa, if desired.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 338 calories, 10 grams fat, 37 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber.

Day-After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

Thanksgiving is over, but for those who hosted a holiday meal, there’s the dilemma about what to do with leftovers. If you come from a big family, you’re lucky. You can send some home with them.

turkeysoupEven if that’s the case, there still is the turkey carcass. However, most cooks will tell you that’s no problem. Just make some turkey soup.

That’s what I did today. It was quick and easy, especially since I had some raw sliced carrots and some cooked green beans left over from Thursday’s feast. And frozen peas that we always have on hand cut are an easy addition.

The soup, which was on the table in less than two hours, and is very delicious as well as nutritious.

Day-After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
1 turkey carcass
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup green beans
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
10 cups water
1 cup pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Place turkey carcass in water with onion and celery. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove carcass and let cool. Add vegetables and pasta to pot. Take meat off turkey bones and return to pot. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with crackers.

Apple Pie in a Jar

Pie-making usually is a two-step process. The first is preparing the crust. Then comes the filling. But the time to make a pie can be cut in half if you only have one task to do.applepienewPremade pie crusts are one way to accomplish this, but a purist wouldn’t stand not having a crust made from scratch. Another way to cut your prep time is to have a premade filling. And that’s where the following recipe for apple pie in a jar comes in handy.

I was given the recipe years ago by a former exercising companion. It’s one I’ve made used several times since, when we’ve been the recipients of apples from generous neighbors.

This fall, we received apples from two friends, about three 5-gallon buckets to be precise. After freezing several 6-cup bags of peeled, cored and sliced apples, I canned some pie in a jar, which we also like to use on our morning oatmeal.

Apple Pie in a Jar
4½ cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons lemon juice
10 cup water
Apples, peeled and sliced, enough to fill 7 quart jars
Combine all ingredients except vanilla and lemon juice in a large kettle. Cook, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. (This will change from cloudy to clear.) Cool slightly and add vanilla, stir well and then add lemon juice and stir well.
Pack apples up to neck of clean quart jars. Pour sauce carefully over apples in the jars. Run knife or spatula around inside of jar to remove air pockets and distribute mixture more evenly. Leave ½-inch headspace for processing.
Process in water bath for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and cool.
To use as pie filling, place contents of 1 quart jar in pie crust and place crust over top. Seal edges and vent for steam. Bake in 350-degree oven for 40 minutes.

Marinated Carrot Salad

The more the merrier. That’s the motto of a lot cooks when it comes to side dishes for holiday celebrations. And you certainly can count salads among the tasty goodies, too.

marincarrotsOne side salad that we’ve come to like over the years is one made with carrots. My late Aunt Harriet Hendrickson used to make one that we just loved. We had the recipe, but it got lost in the clutter of all the recipes I have stuffed into several of my cookbooks. (No, I’m not as organized as a lot of cooks.)

Recently, though, when going through my Mom’s orderly recipe boxes, there it was. So, since we had an abundance of carrots in our refrigerator, I decided to give the carrot recipe a try. And I couldn’t have been more pleased. The only thing I changed from the original recipe was substituting shallots for onions.

So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is definitely something I would recommend.

Marinated Carrot Salad
2 pounds carrots, sliced and steamed (al dente, not overcooked)
1 can tomato soup
¾ cup vinegar
½ cup salad oil
1 cup sugar
6 to 8 shallots, chopped
Combine vinegar, sugar, tomato soup and oil in saucepan. Barely bring to a boil. Pour over cooked carrots and onions. Store in refrigerator overnight and serve the next day.
Note: The longer the carrots marinate the better.

French Apple Pie

Just about everyone has heard the saying it’s as American as Mom, baseball and apple pie. At our house, you can substitute Grandma for Mom.

applepieThat’s because Therese is affectionately know as Grandma Apple Pie by just about everyone in our family. And the reason is simple: She makes the best apple pie. At least that’s my opinion. And it doesn’t matter what kind or apple pie you’re talking about.

Recently, she made the following recipe, from her “America Cooks” cookbook, which was put out in the 1960s by The General Federation of Women’s Club.

I didn’t think any pie could top her traditional apple pie, but this one takes the cake. It’s kind of a combination of apple crisp and apple pie, which is maybe why it tastes so good. And with a dollop or two of French vanilla ice cream, it’s to die for.

French Apple Pie
Pastry for 1-crust pie
6 cups sliced, cored and peeled apples
Presifted flour
1¼ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
Whipped cream or ice cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry.
Combine apples, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup of the granulated sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice; spread in pastry-lined plate.
In mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, remaining granulated sugar. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over apples.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Turn temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes longer.
Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Grandma’s Spare Ribs

If you are among the fortunate to have been born into a family that loves cooking and baking, consider yourself lucky. Good cooks usually come from good stock.

newribsI was reminded of that recently when three of my cousins invited me to go deer hunting with them and to share a cabin on Round Lake near Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge north of Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Not only did it offer me a chance to catch up with Kim, Joe and Tom Menard, it also afforded aus an opportunity to share some meals together and reminisce about our family.

The Menard boys are the sons of my mom’s kid brother, Fritz, who also happened to be my godfather. Fritz, my Aunt Harriet Hendrickson and my mom, Lilah, all passed away within a year or so of each other since May 2012, so it’s not like we haven’t seen each other, but the hunting getaway provided us an opportunity to meet under more pleasant circumstances.

While you may think hunting would be focus of our get-together, it actually was cooking and eating. I provided a meal of spaghetti with meat sauce, but it was cousin Kim who was the head chef at the hunting camp. He cooked up some great wings, knephla soup, chili and enchiladas and also some shrimp scampi in homemade garlic butter.

Over the course of the four days I was with my cousins, we talked a lot about our grandparents, the late Albert and Vella Menard. Grandma was quite the cook and baker, and she passed it on to her children. My mom, as well as her three siblings, were pretty adept in the kitchen,

Both Kim and I carry on some family cooking traditions, including making Grandma’s baked oysters, which are a staple at both our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.

One night while we were sitting around, Kim asked me if I had Grandma’s recipe for spare ribs with apples, prunes and bread dressing and wondered if he could get it. I said sure.

Pork was a favorite of my grandparents. Grandma liked to combine pork and veal roasts for Sunday dinners. But it was her recipes for spare ribs and sauerkraut and the aforementioned one with apples, prunes and bread that were staples on our dinner table.

Here are those two recipes, which are among my favorites.

Spare Ribs and Sauerkraut
3 pounds spare ribs
1 quart sauerkraut
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown ribs in roasting pan in 350-degree oven. Next, top with sauerkraut and bake another hour or so, until the ribs are tender. Serve with mashed potatoes.

German Spare Ribs with Apple-Prune-Bread Dressing
4 pounds lean, meaty pork spare ribs
12 prunes, cut up, with pits
8 apples, pealed and cut up
8 slices dried bread, broken in pieces
Cinnamon to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Place ½ of ribs in the bottom of a roasting pan. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Mix prunes, apples and bread and season with a little cinnamon. Place on top of ribs.
Place the remaining ribs on top of prune mixture and season with more salt and pepper.
Add water to pan and cook for 3 hours at 350 degrees.

Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes

What comes to mind when you hear the word meatballs. Undoubtedly, many people will respond “spaghetti.” That’s understandable since the two are a dynamic duo.

meatpotsBut when you come right down to it, meatballs go with a lot things. For example, they are pretty good served over rice. Or how about on a hoagie bun? In a soup? Maybe some sweet and sour meatballs?

Those all sound pretty good, but just give me some mashed potatoes with my meatballs, and I’m in heaven.

Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes
1 pound ground beef
¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup finely diced onions
1 egg
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoom salt
1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
½ cup sour cream
Mashed potatoes
Mix thoroughly the beef, crumbs, onion and egg. Shape into 20 to 24 meatballs. Brown in skillet. Pour off fat. Add soup, sour cream, wine, salt, pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and ¼ cup water. Cover, simmer 20 minutes. Stir often. Serve with mashed potatoes.