Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Are You Going To Do with All of Those Thanksgiving Leftovers

So Thanksgiving is over, all of the family members have gone back to their respective homes, and you are left with more leftovers than you know what to do with. One can only eat so much traditional turkey day dishes until they get tired of it all and decide to toss it all away. I however have some ideas for what you can do with those leftovers so that you don't get food boredom.

Turkey Croquettes
Got some mashed potatoes and gravy leftover? Take some of that leftover turkey (about 8 oz.) you've got, dice it up small and mix in some of that gravy to moisten it. Now take the mashed potatoes (a couple cups will do here), mix in an egg until smooth. Take a few ounces of the masked potatoes, flatten them and cup slightly so that you can add a few oz. of the turkey and gravy. Wrap the mashed potatoes around the turkey and seal on the edges. Now roll the stuffed potatoes into a cylinder and then dredge in some bread crumbs. Prepare a fryer or a pot with some frying oil (vegetable oil work well) to 370 degrees. Deep fry the stuffed mashed potatoes until golden brown, and you've now got some delicious turkey croquettes. Perhaps some of that leftover cranberry sauce thinned out a little with some orange juice and heated slightly would make a good sauce to go accompany the croquettes.

Turkey Soup
I enjoy soup in the winter, and if you aren't a vegetarian then you likely have a carcass left from your turkey along with some meat. Peel and small dice three onions, five carrots and five stalks of celery and mince a couple cloves of garlic. Now take your turkey carcass, remove all the meat from it, dicing the meat into small pieces and reserving. Break the carcass into smallish pieces. Heat up some olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add half of the diced vegetables and saute until soft, about five minutes. Add five peppercorns, a bay leaf and a couple stems of thyme, then add the turkey carcass pieces and add water until fully covered; bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 60 minutes. Strain the solids out of the liquid, this will be your broth for your soup.

One more vegetable to dice, peel and dice two large turnips. In a clean large pot heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute all of the remaining vegetables until the onions are soft. Add one cup of a fruit red wine, perhaps that Beaujolais Nouveau and simmer until reduced by half. Add the diced turkey and the turkey broth you made earlier and bring to a boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the carrots and turnips are tender. Season with salt and pepper as desired. A couple cups of boiled egg noodles added to the soup will make this a delicious turkey noodle soup. If you don't like noodles, you can substitute a couple cups of boiled long grain rice.

The What the Heck Do I Do With All of Those Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole
This one os pretty simple. Take one of those 13x9 glass casserole dishes you've got hiding in the cabinets and spray it with some non-stick spray or better yet grease it with some soft butter. Put down a layer of stuffing on the bottom of the dish. If you have some green bean casserole lay it down on top of the beans. Next, dice some of your leftover turkey and put down a layer, if it looks a little dry, add some gravy, but hopefully you have enough liquid from your green bean casserole becasue we are going to need some of that gravy later. Now layer your mashed potatoes ver the top of the turkey, place some pats of butter on top of the potatoes, this will help in the browning of the top of the casserole. Place the casserole into a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until the top of the casserole is lightly browned and the filling is nice and bubbling hot. Heat up your remaining gravy and place a little on top of each serving of the casserole when serving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

WNYT Truffled Salt Cod Cakes

Hello everyone, I was on WNYT Channel 13, a local channel here in upstate New York. I thought I would share with all of you the recipe I prepared today. It was actually a componant of a dish I prepared a few weeks ago at an American Culinary Federation competition which I took a gold medal in. I hope you might enjoy making this recipe, it is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional New England Salt Cod cake.

Truffled Salt Cod Potato Cake

by Chef Christopher


¼ lb. Salt Cod

½ lb. Yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

½ each Spanish onion, small dice

½ teaspoon Rosemary, minced

½ tablespoons Flat leaf parsley, minced

1 each Egg, large

1 each Egg yolk, large

2 tablespoon Truffle oil

To taste Black pepper, ground fresh

As needed Flour, all purpose

As needed Grape seed oil


1. Place salt cod in a small pot and cover with water and bring to a simmer for five minutes. Drain and reserve.

2. Place potatoes in a separate pot and cover with water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and boil until tender. Drain and dry in oven for 2-3 minutes and reserve.

3. Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute onion until soft, add rosemary and sauté another minute.

4. In a medium bowl combine simmered salt cod, potatoes, onions, parsley, egg yolk and egg, truffle oil and black pepper. Use a pastry cutter to mash all ingredients together until smooth.

5. Shape potato/salt cod mixture into four cakes and coat with flour. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough grape seed oil to coat the bottom. Place the salt cod cakes into the heated pan and pan-fry on each side until golden brown.

Christopher Allen Tanner, CEC
Department of Hotel Culinary Arts and Tourism
Schenectady County Community College

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving with Dad

Oh goodness, so what does one do that has cooked everything for Thanksgiving. I've done the turkey, I've made a fairly large number of turduckens, I've done the Asian themed, Creole themed and every other theme in between. This weekend I thought of what I truly want this next Thanksgiving, simplicity. It will be just my father and I, and as I don't get to see him as often as I have in the past, I want to make the dinner really special.

Now simplicity doesn't mean boring. I just finished ordering a wild turkey from D'Artagnan, a company I love to do some of my specialty ordering through, they may be a bit expensive but the quality is well worth the price. The 5-7 lb. bird costs 78.99 retail. Yes, it is more expensive than your supermarket turkey with the freakishly large breasts, but unlike the supermarket freak, it will have much more flavor.

I'm thinking of slicing some pieces of butter underneath the skin along with some minced rosemary and then drizzling a bit of black truffle oil over the skin. Gonna do some simple roasted fingerling potatoes with rosemary (got tons from the garden still) along with some porcini oil and salt and pepper.

For vegetables I'm gonna go with so haricot vert with obliques of carrots tossed in a veloute sauce with some fresh tarragon, chervil and parsley. I also have to make Brussels sprouts this year. I made an amazing brown sugar smoked bacon recently, which I am going to render and then caramelize the quartered sprouts in, seasoned with (wait for it) rosemary and thyme, and then add a bit of Calvados along with apple cider, cover them in my copper saute pan until they are tender.

Well we need stuffing don't we, I so love a cornbread stuffing, a simple American standard that can't be beat. As for gravy, I have a recipe for sweet potato eggplant gravy from Paul Prudhomme which I will be using this year, pretty tasty with great texture.

So there ya have it, oh wait, dessert you say. Well I am getting it from my students this year. I ordered a pumpkin pie and pecan pie. my dad's favorite pie is pecan, so I'm hoping he will enjoy it. I think I might make a honey and lavender ice cream to go along with it. That's all, nothing else, I think it will go well with the Beaujolais Nouveau for wine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Judged an ACF Show in Washington DC

I just spent the last weekend in Washington DC judging an American Culinary Federation competition. A great time was had by all, including the competitors and the judges. The event took place in the Washington Convention Center. There was two days of competition, the first day on Saturday was the Market Basket competition. One version was an F/1 which was a four course meal, ten portions each and the competitors had no idea of their ingredients, sort of like Iron Chef, but on steroids; they had four hours to prepare the meal. The second group had the same guidelines, except they had a shorter time frame and there were two people on each team.

On the second day we judged about 30 competitors in a category known as Contemporary. The category involves the competitor creating one entree course, preparing four portions, in 60 minutes, with a 5 minute plating window. Additionally there were competitors that produced some amazing watermelon carvings (one of the competitors happened to be the guy who won the TV Food Network vegetable carving challenge); while others prepared a variety of "cold food" (charcuterie) show platters.

It was a great time, a number of golds were attained in the contemporary category, a guy I have known for awhile who has improved vastly over the last year or so I have known his. Another chef who I would call a friend Peter Dweyer did a great job in the F and cold food categories. More admirabley, he trained five students to compete who preferomed wonderfully in the contemporary category. One student attained a silver, after haveing never competed before this point. Peter himself attained a few medals in the categories he comepted in.

I judged with some amazing chefs, humbling actually looking at who they are, Chef Alfonso Contrisciani CMC, Chef James Hanyzeski CMC , Chef Rene Marquis, and Chef Gunther Heiland CMPC. We had a few great meals at restaurants in DC, Jose Adreas' Turkish/ Israeli style tapas restaurant and an ACF member's restaurant, Agraria which was even more amazing than Andreas place.

I had a great time, can't wait to see the judge's I worked with and the chefs that competed again soon.

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