Asian Turkey Noodle Soup

I’m not a big fan of leftover recipes, preferring to just eat the leftovers as they were the night before. Every once in awhile, however, I find a recipe that does leftovers justice and adapts them enough that eating them is a whole new experience. This soup is one of those, taking turkey from the holiday feast and turning it into a spicy bowl of Asian yumminess that is both healthy and satisfying after a holiday season of indulgence. A glass or two of 2009 Willi Haag Riesling ($18.95) would be the ideal compliment. – Janet

1 14 oz package fresh Udon noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 cups stock (turkey or chicken)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili sauce or oil to taste (more can be added at the end)
2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
2 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
4 sprigs cilantro leaves as garnish

Rinse the noodles in hot water to loosen and drizzle with a little oil. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and fry the onion, garlic, mushrooms, ginger and salt, stirring occasionally until the onion is softened and translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the stock, chili sauce and soy sauce and bring to boil. Add the shredded turkey, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the noodles and green onions, simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the bean sprouts, ladle into heated bowls and garnish with the cilantro.

Braised Lentils & Sausage

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed and finely chopped
2 garlic clove, minced
2 cups dried puy lentils, rinsed and picked over for small rocks
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 oz can tomatoes
3 cups organic chicken stock
6 links lean, organic Italian style sausages
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
pinch dry chili (optional) to taste
salt and pepper to taste

In a large heavy casserole dish warm the olive oil and add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft and fragrant. Stir in the lentils and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break them into smaller pieces in the pot. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock and continue cooking until the lentils are soft, about 15-20 minutes. While this is cooking, place the sausage in a warm pan with a bit of olive oil and brown on all sides. Add the spinach and balsamic to the lentils and allow to infuse for a few minutes. Add the sausages either whole or sliced at the same time. Just before serving, then add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with some crusty rustic bread and a glass of your favourite Cotes du Rhone.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Charmoula and Grilled Asparagus

T’is the season for outdoor cooking! This is a simple pre-prep dinner with a zesty herb and garlic sauce from the Middle East.
Makes: 4 servings

1 Tbsp               cumin seeds
1 1/2 c               fresh Italian parsley leaves (lightly packed)
1/2 c                  fresh mint leaves (lightly packed)
1/2 c                  fresh cilantro leaves (lightly packed)
2 large               garlic cloves
1 Tbsp               sweet smoked paprika or Hungarian paprika
1 tsp                  course kosher salt
1/4 tsp              cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp               EV olive oil ( you add this one Tbsp at a time)
1 Tbsp               lemon juice
8                        lamb loin chops (1 1/4-1 1/2″ thick)
3 Tbsp               EV olive oil
1 1/2 lbs           asparagus, trimmed and tough ends peeled
3 Tbsp               shallots, minced
1 tsp                  lemon peel, finely grated

Heat a small skilllet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast until aromatic and slightly darker, stirring as you go, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and add the parsley leaves and next 6 ingredients to the processor. Using the pulse button process until a course paste forms. With processor running gradually add 4 Tbsp of olive oil one Tbsp at a time. Transfer 2 Tbsp of charmoula to a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Cover and chill.
Transfer the remaining Charmoula to a large re-sealable plastic bag or container. Add the lamb chops, seal the bag or container and turn chops to coat well. Chill at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Preheat the grill to high. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness. Transfer to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the grill down to medium. Coat the asparagus with the olive oil and put on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes depending on thickness. When slightly charred and tender, place on a platter and add the shallots and lemon-peel. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining Charmoula on the chops at time of plating. Serve with crusty bread and a bottle of your favorite Cotes-du-Rhone.

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