Friday, January 17, 2014

In January It's So Nice

while slipping on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup with rice
sipping once, sipping twice
sipping chicken soup with rice...

Hey, I'm in the mood for a food post today!  Anyone with me?

I get to play with food a lot at work.  And by "play with food" unfortunately I don't mean kinky stuff like pouring whipped cream all over lovely ladies, stuffing them with berries and peaches, and making them into my personal "Fruit of the Forest love pie."  But we do a lot with planning special events, planning and costing retail menus, and basically trying to figure out what people want to eat and how to best fix what they want to eat.  One of my favorite things to do at home and at work is to work with left-overs.  Of course to a $'s and numbers guy like me leftovers mean FREE FOOD!  Free food means more money for me and my bottom line!  I like that!

This time of year (post holiday) we often have a lot of those leftovers.  Perhaps, even still, you have some of that holiday turkey left-over and in the freezer (hopefully).  If not you better pitch it.   Normal health guidelines are use it or freeze it in 3 days or pitch it!

Another thing about Ryan (window into the soul now) is that I LOVE soup!  I know you're thinking "Ryan is this a 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' thing, that's so deep."  Unfortunately I am not that deep, I just like soup.  I'll eat it almost every day.  Sometimes I go to Olive Garden and just order the Pasta Fagioli soup for dinner (with bread of course).

So the other day we were working with leftovers and soup and created the following concoction that I bring you today.  I'll give credit where credit is due as well (rare for me) as I'm borrowing a bit from the "Pioneer Woman" and Panera Bread, which I love!  At home we do watch a fair amount of Food Network.  We love to critique Cupcake Wars.  My critique is often "too many ingredients that get muddled and confused, let the food taste like food and for Christ sake let it garnish itself!"  See I tend to be a minimalist with food and Pioneer Woman is spot on with what I like in cuisine.  Then again maybe I just like red-heads who can rope a steer!  Of course now you are saying "I totally get that Ryan, food minimalist - that is  so totally you just like you're an intellectual minimalist in your blog writing skills!"

Anywho, thinking about leftovers and borrowing from Pioneer Woman here is a creation we made the other day:

Turkey Tetrazzini Soup:

Ingredients (serves 10):

Half              Onion (finely chopped)
1 Stick          Butter (unsalted)
1/3 Cup        Flour
4 Cups         Whole Milk
2 Cups         Half and Half
1 Head         Broccoli (cut into florets and "shocked; or puree if preferred)
1#                Turkey (rough cut into cubes)
1/2 Cup        Chopped Carrots
1/2 Cup        Fresh Mushrooms
1 Cup           Orzo (or Wild Rice)
2 Cups         Shredded Cheddar
1 Tbs           Cooking Sherry
As Needed  Chicken Broth
To Taste      Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper


*     Melt butter is stock pot over medium heat and add onions once melted.
*     Cook onions approximately 3 to 4 minutes (do not brown).
*     Stir in flour briskly and combine quickly to avoid lumps.  Stir for approximately one minute and until mixture makes a thick paste.  Hey, you just made a roux!  Here are some simple directions for how to make a roux.
*     Turn heat down so that roux is not simmering.
*     Slowly stir in milk and combine thoroughly.  Then slowly add half and half until mixture completely combined.  Once mixture is complete you can slowly turn heat back up (be careful here nobody likes a broken sauce).
*     Add Orzo pasta and carrots, cover pot, and keep at low simmer for 10 minutes.
*     After about 10 minutes slowly add in turkey (and broccoli if not "shocked").  Continue to keep soup at a simmer and covered.
*     After 20 minutes (if orzo completely cooked) add in "shocked" broccoli (or pureed), mushrooms and combine.
*     Stir in cheese until melted and combined.
*     Add cooking sherry.
*     Add salt and pepper to taste.
*     Add in chicken broth if you wish soup to be less thick.

Victorian FFF!
Tetrazini is one of those dishes I love.  And putting it in soup form is even better to me!  It's really poor peoples food created by taking whatever vegetables and meats you have laying around and combining with pasta.  All my favorite cuisines creole/Cajun, Carolina Low Country, Tex-Mex, and even Asian American, Floribbean, and others basically use this same tenant; see what you got laying around sprinkle in some spice and make it fanciful!  Apparently Tetrazini was created by a San Francisco chef and named after Italian Opera star Luisa Tetrazini who frequented his restaurant in the early 1900's.

Btw, have you ever listened to all those lyrics in that Carol King "Chicken Soup with Rice?"  What gives with those October lyrics?

"to witches, goblins, and a ghost;

I'll serve them chicken soup on toast..."

How the hell do you eat chicken soup on toast?  Remember, I'm an intellectual minimalist!  :)

1 comment:

Seeking Connection said...

:-) there is nothing better than soup and song. I think the whole language of food is sensual for mind body and soul.

Yummy thank you I will have to try it.