Home Cooking: Cozy and easy dishes when you’re done with Thanksgiving cooking
On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the last thing you might have in mind is cooking. However, eventually you will get hungry. That’s when you should head into the kitchen and whip up one or all three of these very easy and delicious dishes. Not only will they help you work through the inevitable Thanksgiving leftovers, they’re the perfect cozy meal to enjoy when you come in from skiing.
Turkey pot pie
Honestly, this pot pie can be made with lots of short cuts if you’re in a hurry, as you’ll see below. I won’t tell, and your guests likely won’t notice. If you’re feeling adventurous, substitute the chicken with hearty chunks of salmon and cod and shrimp, and leeks for the onions. Gently sauté the uncooked seafood in the milk (bechamel) sauce for a minute or two, it will finish cooking in the oven.
- Leftover turkey (or rotisserie chicken)
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced (or use thinly sliced fennel)
- Shortcut – you can buy a bag of pre-cut carrots, celery, onions in the frozen vegetables aisle
- Two tablespoons of butter
- Two tablespoons of flour
- 1 cup of milk or half-and-half
- Grating of fresh nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste, sprinkling of paprika
- 1 sheet of defrosted puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
- Heat oven to 400. Tear turkey into bite-sized pieces. If using a rotisserie chicken, do the same with the cooked meat.
- In an ovenproof skillet, for instance a cast iron skillet, saute the diced vegetables in one tablespoon of butter until just tender but not soft.
- Remove the vegetables from the skillet and then melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, add the flour and allow the flour to cook until a golden color. Then add the milk and stir vigorously with a whisk or fork until the milk sauce (bechamel) thickens. Stir in the seasonings to allow the sauce to absorb their flavors. Add in the sautéed vegetables and turkey. Gently mix together and remove from the stovetop and allow to cool for five minutes. Top the skillet with the puff pastry, gently pressing the pastry edges along the outer edge of the skillet since it will shrink as it bakes, cut two-inch slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape, brush pastry with beaten egg (an egg wash that will give the pastry a golden glow).
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the puff pastry is puffed and deliciously golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Yes, all good things come to those who wait.
My favorite turkey avocado BLT
- Thick slices of a rustic bread, lightly toasted
- Sliced turkey
- Crisp bacon
- Avocado slices
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Iceberg lettuce leaves
- Tomato slices
- Salt and pepper to taste
Slather, yes slather, one side of each lightly toasted bread slice with mayonnaise. You know what to do from here. This is my all-time favorite sandwich.
Smoky root vegetable soup with apple and Gouda cheese
This is the perfect soup to make when you have leftover vegetables that need to be cooked. It pairs beautifully with a grilled cheese sandwich. Best of all, it’s so easy, you can make it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 1 large parsnip, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 small apple, large dice
- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a Dutch oven, add the vegetables and saute for three minutes in the olive oil and butter. Then add the chicken stock and the seasonings and herbs and allow to come to a gentle boil. Cover almost all the way, turn your heat down to medium low and allow all the vegetables to cook until tender, about 20 minutes on the stovetop. Then remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, and use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables until you reach the desired texture. Grate in a handful of regular or smoked Gouda cheese. Serve with a dollop of cream fraise or sour cream.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Home Cooking” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson taught herself to cook after college when she discovered dinner parties were a cure for loneliness. Her latest cookbook is “A Year in the Mountains Cookbook.” She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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