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Leftovers cont’d….

Since my previous post, I’ve remained under house arrest (sorta) due to sinusitis.  I’m getting better but still don’t feel up to preparing and cooking a full course meal so… continue the leftovers.  It is times like these that I am so glad I planned ahead.   Since my husband and I don’t live in a big city situation where ordering in is almost as cheap as cooking, planning is essential.

Tomato Soup

Then there is another good reason to plan ahead for meals.

During this week creativelive.com has provided a four day webinar with Justin Seeley teaching Word Press design for blogsites for photographers.  Each day has been filled with many tips, suggestions and advice in marketing ones blogsite in today’s social media.  Again, I stress the importance of having leftovers ready because these classes on creativelive.com run rather late into the evening on the eastern side of the country.  Creative Live is in Seattle. Here is a plug for creativelive.com.  It is free.  One can buy downloads but the information that comes from these webinars have never been a disappointment. Mostly geared toward photographers.  To pay hundreds and sit in a huge refrigerator room watching a big screen just doesn’t cut it for me. I can sit in front of my computer, join in the chat room, ask questions and know they will be answered.  I come away with a wealth of knowledge.

Hence the reason for another night of leftovers. 

Chili and Cornbread

Quick Fix Recipes for each dish

Tomato Basil Soup

Makes enough for six people but since there are only two of us we have plenty leftover.

A good amount of Olive Oil drizzled on the bottom of a large pot
One Large can (28oz) Tomatoes
One quart (32oz) Beef Broth
One medium yellow,sweet onion, sliced thinly
One clove Garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine (Alternative – Marsala)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chiffonade of Basil to top off the soup

Slice onions and mince garlic. In a hot pot, drizzle olive oil then sauté onions until lightly browned. Add minced garlic to cook less than 20 seconds. (Cooking garlic over this amount of time will ruin any dish) Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving add wine for additional flavor. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Chili – Six servings

One pound Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean because it is less fat)
One Large 28oz. can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
One 15 oz. can of Chili Fixins’ with beans. Brand is your choice
One Green Bell Pepper, Diced
One Medium Yellow/Sweet Onion, Diced

Brown the sausage and drain fat. Add the onion and bell pepper and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add the Tomatoes and Chili Fixins’ and allow to come to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Calling for Emergency Leftovers

Colder weather is on the way here in the south.  Snow/Rain/Ice mix expected.

This off again on again cold and warm weather has reaked havoc on my sinuses. Fortunately, my troubles held off through Thanksgiving. The day after, it hit hard. I felt like someone kicked me in the head. I couldn’t even use the excuse “it was the wine”.   Feeling better today but not up to par. Being that we didn’t have serious Thanksgiving leftovers due to everyone getting second helpings, I decided to retrieve the emergency leftovers.

Yes…I call them emergency leftovers. These are the food items one makes extra of and freezes for times when you don’t have time to cook or feel bad or actually get too sick to cook for the family.

In my case??? I feel pretty good in fact but… I have this obsession with drippy noses.  I can’t prepare food when I have to blow my nose.  Despite that I wash my hands, it’s just a thing I have.  I. won’t. cook.   Hence the reason I’m a home chef not a professional.  A restaurant most go on because a pro chef has a huge debt to pay.  I, a home chef, can reach into the freezer and pull out an “emergency leftover.”

To start, I did in fact stick my carcass in a stock pot.  That is…my turkey carcass.

While I do have the broth and meaty pieces from the carcass, I’ve not added ingredients to it such as…celery, carrots, etc.  Later, when I don’t have a drippy nose, I’ll do that.  In the meantime, the stock with meat pieces is in the freezer.  I’ll thaw it later, add the ingredients and maybe have soup then or re-freeze for that emergency leftover day.

Today though…I’m thinking….Cream of Chicken Soup.

A lot of people are intimidated by pastry; pie pastry particularly.  One does not have to have “Pot Pie” to enjoy the comforts of cream of chicken soup. Don’t get me wrong, “Pot Pie” looks and tastes scrumptiously comforting.  In this particular case  (drippy nose syndrome) I just ladle over toast or biscuits. Or eat without bread. Add crackers if you like.  It doesn’t matter. The point is there is no need to handle raw dough.

My make ahead recipe is… Boil three to five boneless chicken breasts for about eight minutes. (I buy in bulk when Kroger’s has them on sale)  I then remove from the pot and cut into chunks.  At this time, I could let cool and freeze.   I generally open two cans of cream of celery soup and two cans of cream of chicken soup and pour  into a pan. Add one cup of water, the chicken chunks.  Bring soup to a boil then simmer a minute or two.  At this time proceed with other ingredients or let cool divide soup into containers allowing for two cups per person and freeze. This amount of chicken and soup makes for six to eight people.  Be sure to write the date on the container.

When ready to cook…add      1 ½ cups of frozen peas and carrots, teaspoon of celery seed, salt and pepper to taste.  One could add celery and carrots but when you don’t have it (or in my case drippy nose), the celery seed makes up for lack of celery and… frozen vegetables are a good substitute.

I learned from my mother, when you use something from your pantry write it down on the grocery list, then and there. Always replinish and stay stocked for those times you don’t have time or have a (drippy nose)and don’t want to handle food with your hands.

Stay warm and embrace whatever wintry mix you get.