Thanksgiving has come and gone and so has a long, lazy holiday weekend. I’m not sure what I consumed more of in the days that followed our turkey feast, food or movies. After an amazing evening of eating and drinking and eating some more with our Thanksgiving guests, Brad, my mother-in-law, Caryl, and I slipped into movie marathon mode and let the rest of the weekend leisurely pass by.
When it comes to leftovers, I love T2. The reheated and reconstructed plate of Thanksgiving, complete with gravy and cranberry sauce, can sometimes be even better than the original. I often assume this is because it hasn’t followed a long day of cooking and hosting, but maybe it’s just because I’m already starting to feel nostalgic about the annual dinner.
Once I’ve had my second fill, I always make turkey stock. There is a reason why I own a 12 quart stockpot – and it’s not for lobsters. It holds one turkey carcass just perfectly. Even after making some turkey soup with the scrappy meat leftovers, I end up with tons of rich stock to freeze for months to come. So on Saturday I filled that pot with turkey and water, tossed in some onions, carrots and bay leaves and let it go for hours.
This year I opted for a faux tortilla soup using this recipe for Turkey Soup With Lime and Chile from the NY Times. It was pretty darn tasty, although if were to make it again I’d spice up the broth much more.
And speaking of tortillas, turkey stock wasn’t the only make-ahead cooking I did this weekend. My new favorite “feed a crowd” – or yourself a few times – brunch recipe is no longer a frittata, it is a Spanish Tortilla. I’ve found if you sleep late and make this on a Sunday morning, you can enjoy it with your coffee. It keeps wonderfully at room temperature so you can enjoy it again for an afternoon snack, a light dinner with a simple salad, or even sliced on sandwiches.
I made a basic potato and egg tortilla using this recipe the weekend of hurricane Irene – you know in case the power went out, I figured it was “shelf stable”. Later in the Fall, I made one where I sautéed sliced red bell peppers in the olive oil and tossed them in with the potatoes and eggs. This time around, I couldn’t resist the urge to eat some greens, and I folded sautéed kale and onions into the mix.
Here’s the recipe I use. The key to the deliciousness is letting the potatoes “bubble lazily” in the oil. If you want to add sweet peppers, or kale, or anything else you might imagine – return about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan after you drain the potatoes, sauté your ingredients and the gently mix them in with the potatoes and the eggs before you start cooking the tortilla.
Now back to my regularly scheduled program of deadlines and late night dinners.
A Post-Thanksgiving Aside
This year my mother-in-law was in town and so the star of my Thanksgiving table was not the turkey (which was dry-brined and delicious), but the actual table.
In addition to shopping for food and prep cooking for the big meal, I was sure to have some decor supplies ready (including burlap for a table runner, flowers, and branches inspired by a recent photo shoot with my lovely Bad Feather client, B Floral). Caryl arrived with tablecloths, napkins, matching dishes and chargers – you know those plates under your plates that are just for looks? I didn’t know what those were until I met Brad’s mom.