Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Post-Thanksgiving Post

Oh, I forgot something else on our Thanksgiving menu. Again, some credit goes to Bobby Flay for insisting that you should always start the meal with soup of some kind. Partial credit should also go to a hilarious young blogger (the niece of one of my PBGV friends) whose Thanksgiving dinner always includes her grandmother's mushroom soup. Here's my own take on it:

Cream of Mushroom Soup

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
24 oz. crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and cracked (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine, optional
1/2 cup flour
4 cups beef or pork stock
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (a few shakes, to taste)
bunch of thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups half-and-half
salt, to taste

Melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic clove with a pinch of red pepper flakes until the onions are soft and the mushrooms start to brown. Deglaze with white wine, if you like, scraping up all the browned bits. Let the wine almost completely cook off. (If you choose not to use the wine, just move directly on to the flour.) Add the flour to the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to take on a golden color, stirring frequently.

A little at a time, add the stock, stirring constantly. When all the stock has been added, and the soup is uniformly smooth, shake in some Worcestershire sauce, throw in a bundle of thyme (or dried), add the pepper, the half-and-half, and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors meld. If the soup becomes too thick, add more half-and-half or stock as you see fit.

*You may also use a stick blender to whiz this all up, but I prefer sliced mushrooms in mine.

Before I wrap up this Thanksgiving follow-up post, I have one turkey leftover idea for you: TURKEY CAESAR SALAD!  Start with mixed greens, leftover turkey, sliced olives, shredded parmesan, Cardini's Caesar dressing (there is no substitute!), and instead of croutons, top the salad with leftover french fried onions from that green bean casserole you probably made. Not exactly low-cal, but crazy good!

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