Turkey Mushroom Barley Soup

Doesn’t soup just hit the spot after the holiday meals?

Feeling lucky? Carve the wishbone from the turkey breast. Clean and dry the wishbone. Two people each grasp one end and twist until it breaks. The person left with the longer piece (the one who got the “lucky break”) gets to make a wish, a wish to be granted by the great turkey spirits!

Cooking the carcass for soup makes the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving all over again. I break up the carcass then simmer it for a few hours in water with rough chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Strain, cool, refrigerate overnight, remove some fat.
Add 2 bay leaves to the turkey stock and a generous cup of pearl barley. Cook for about an hour or so until the barley is tender. Meanwhile sauté chopped onions, celery, and carrots in butter until soft, then add sliced crimini mushrooms, and finally chopped garlic.
When the barley is tender, add the vegetables and leftover diced turkey to the soup. Simmer for about 10 minutes more, remove the bay. To finish, add chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
Wishbone lucky break or not,
May all your holiday wishes come true…

Thank You Blogger

Blogs of Note
Interesting and Noteworthy Blogger-powered Blogs
Compiled by the Blogger Team
We had a terrific Thanksgiving here, if you celebrate, I hope you did too. And the icing on the cake (or should I say pie?) was that Blogger picked Taste With The Eyes as the Blog of Note for Thursday, November 27! WOW. In between cooking the Big Bird (25.90 lbs.) and making the dressing, other side dishes, and playing with my nephews, I took a break to post that adorable photo of Stone. Little did I know that a neat surprise was waiting for me! There were comments from folks far and wide who had never visited Taste With The Eyes before. All this was due to the absolute honor of being chosen as the Blog of Note. I am really excited to meet new bloggers. The friendships that I have made so far are amazing. It is a special relationship that we form and how we come to care for strangers met through our blogs, a unique experience indeed. To my old and new friends alike, I sure do relish your input. To the Blogger Team and Blogger Buzz at Google thank you so much for this awesome distinction and wonderful opportunity to make new friends.
Oh, the party is not over yet. At 1 o’clock this afternoon we have 20 or more friends stopping by for our annual open house, we call it Leftover Day. We’ll be putting the leftovers out on the buffet and grilling some delectable turkey and honeybaked ham sandwiches on the new panini maker!

Last night was a blast. After dinner, we played a hilarious game called Mad Gab. Everyone was in stitches. The boys insisted we play charades, so we did that too! So I’m wondering, how do you feel about leaving the dishes until the morning? Me? I feel just fine about it. Would rather laugh and play while everyone is here. The dishes can wait. But they can’t wait too long, now we’ve got another party in a few hours, so I gotta go take care of business…

Sándwich Cubano

The Cuban Sandwich:
A common lunch for Cuban cigar and sugar mill factory workers for over a century. Popular with Cuban immigrants in Miami and Tampa, Florida. Now this sandwich is the favorite of locals and tourists alike.
The Ingredients:
Ham, Roast Pork, Swiss Cheese, and Pickle
The Spread:
Purists say yellow mustard only. Others like mayonnaise.
I made a mustard mayo blend with chopped pickled jalapeño peppers.
Spread each side of the bread with the mustard jalapeño mayonnaise.
Layer with ham and roast pork.

Slice the big pickle lengthwise. Add pickle and Swiss cheese to the sandwich.

Butter the outside of the bread then grill the sandwich on a traditional plancha, or use a panini maker. This is my new toy “The Griddler.”  I promised my brother that I would have a panini maker in time for Leftover Day, so now, on the day after Thanksgiving, we can grill up some awesome turkey sandwiches. But I’m thinking when he sees this blog post, he is going to want a Cubano too.

A tender bread with a nice crust, a piquant spread, lots of thin-sliced deli ham, melting Swiss, zesty pickle, and juicy roast pork. A sandwich masterpiece! ¿Qué piensa usted?

Foie Gras

The Whole Foie Gras – presented on a platter to the table…
…taken back to the kitchen and served thusly!
Per Se, New York City

Foie Gras ‘en torchon’ with Wasabi Crisp
Muscat, Cardamon, and Chenin Blanc Syrup
Alex, Las Vegas

Foie Gras Seared with Cherries and Cassia Gastrique
Water Grill, Los Angeles

Ahi Tuna and Foie Gras Sushi Roll
Caviar Russe, New York City

Foie Gras Parfait with Orange Cognac Gelée
Water Grill, Los Angeles

Seared Sonoma Foie Gras, Figs, Port, Brioche
Carneros Bistro, Sonoma
Moulard Duck Foie Gras in Terrine
Field Rhubarb Relish, Sicilian Pistachio Miettes
The French Laundry, Yountville
Are you a fan of foie gras?
“Oh, ‘crise de foie,’ that French sole was so delicious!” penned Julia Child.
Crisis of the Liver? I get such a kick out of that expression!
This latest compilation of photographs was prompted by an email that came from Thailand yesterday morning. My sister-in-law’s father, Jim, is in Pattaya. He thought we might be interested in what they are serving up over in his neck of the woods: A Complete Menu of Foie Gras! Incredible – I just had to post it here:
Foie Gras Teriyaki  300
Charcoal grilled sweet soy sauce marinated goose liver, baby leek gently glazed with teriyaki sauce
Sushi Foie Gras  400
Steamed Japanese rice topped with pan-seared Foie Gras, scented with a sweet cherry & preserved Chinese plum sauce
Foie Gras Spring Rolls  650
Deep-fried spring rolls filled with duck Foie Gras & scented with port wine, Oriental mushroom duxelles, chilli & coriander sauce
Foie Gras Dumplings  400
A blend of steamed pork & shrimp dumpling, coupled with seared Foie Gras – to amuse your bouche…
Foie Gras Bruschetta  850
Pan-seared goose liver, on toasted brioche with orange sauce & mesclun leaves – how often can you say ‘wow’!
Foie Gras Fritter  850
Deep-fried port wine marinated Foie Gras served, with a wild berry dip – you’ve struck gold!
Foie Gras with Spicy Sauce  750
Wok-fried crispy goose liver, onions, chilli, garlic & hot basil leaves with white truffle scented fried rice – try this Thai twist…
Foie Gras Pizza  850
Pan-seared goose liver, blue figs, tomato sauce, mozzarella & fontina cheese, with wild arugula salad & Italian parsley
Foie Gras with Angel Hair Pasta  850
Capellini pasta & grilled chicken, tossed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil & chicken jus, topped with pan-seared goose liver & grated Parmesan cheese – a little Italian twist…
Foie Gras with XO Sauce  950
Chinese wok-fried goose liver, white asparagus, honey beans, maple glazed walnuts & XO sauce, served with crispy egg noodles… Ohhhhhh soooo fabulous!
Foie Gras Risotto  1,250
Arborio rice gently cooked in special broth, seasoned with Parmesan cheese & truffle, topped with pan-seared goose liver & black cherry sauce
Beef Sirloin & Foie Gras  3,000
Charcoal-grilled US prime selected sirloin of beef, with pan-fried goose liver caramelized onions, sautéed potatoes & a port wine reduction – inspirational or simply sensational?!
Gratinated Beef & Foie Gras  3,500
Lavastone grilled US fillet of beef, artichoke & goose liver topped with cheese, wild mushrooms & black truffle sauce – ah the good life – wine, dine, recline…
MANTRA RESTAURANT & BAR in Pattaya, Thailand. This is their special menu for November. The prices are in baht, approx. 35 baht to one US dollar.

So, foie fans, what do you think? Shall we meet in Pattaya?

The Good Witch

My family and friends often ask why don’t I write about my dogs on the blog? Well, in a nutshell, it is because this is after all a food blog, but over time, I have come to realize it is also a blog about us too. With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I would share this photo of my Boston Terrier, Mrs. O’Mally, from Halloween 2004. She was such a good sport when it came to dressing up.

Mrs. O’Mally
November 28, 1998 – October 22, 2008
This photo was taken on Monday, October 20, 2008. Mally was resting on her pink blanket in a little pen. The neurologist we saw earlier that day recommended that I keep her inactive and quiet to help her recuperate. But due to complications from Cushing’s disease and a ruptured disc, I had to put her to sleep on Wednesday (yesterday). She was unable to use her back legs and the pain had gotten much much worse overnight. I think it is a blessing that we are able to put our beloved pets out of their misery when the time comes. When I took her back to the veterinarian for the second time yesterday morning to control the pain, I knew it was time. And I was convinced that Mally was giving me the same message, “it’s time, mom.”
She was my sweet companion for almost 9 years. I rescued her when she was one year old. After rescuing Mrs. O, I have since rescued Homer and then Wilson from Boston Terrier rescues. Homer was with us for a relatively short time. He was older when I got him and had been abused and had many health issues. We gave him a loving home for his final years. Of course I still miss him terribly. Wilson is 5 years old now; we got him after Homer passed. Aside from being sad and wondering where Mally is, he is doing fine. A couple years ago, poor Wilson was brutally attacked by another dog, his eye severely damaged. And then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, his previous owners decided to dump him at a shelter. Boston Buddies rescued Wilson, but were unable to save his eye. Yet, in spite of his bad experience, Wilson is a love bug. I read about him on their website and soon after, he came to live with us. He and Mrs. O’Mally were great pals. To see a photo of Wilson, just scroll down to the very bottom of my blog.
In honor of my little Mally, I would like to suggest to those that are thinking about getting a pet, to please consider a rescue. These precious beings seem to be so grateful to finally find a safe, permanent loving home. Wilson came from the Southern California Boston Terrier Rescue. These folks are so dedicated and compassionate. Please check out their website to read about the dogs that are looking for their “forever home” and if you have Kleenex handy, take a look at the In Memory page, to read heart-breaking yet heart-warming stories about Bostons that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Dear Sweet Mally –
Thanks for being such a wonderful companion, rest in peace, girl.

Mélange de Haricots, Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

Side Dish Time!
Mélange de Haricots
Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

Sauté sage leaves in butter for a couple minutes until slightly crisp. Remove them to a paper towel. Have you tasted warm whole fried sage leaves? They melt in your mouth like a savory candy…

Add panko bread crumbs to that same butter and toss until browned. Then add grated Parmesan and torn crispy sage leaves. Turn off the heat and mix well. This is my opportunity to thank the folks at Foodbuzz for the gifts: A cool green spatula and a nifty apron. Thanks guys! And a hearty congratulations on the Launch today.

Mélange de Haricots, a mix of French Green Beans and Yellow Wax Beans. Cook the beans then toss with a little butter and salt & pepper.
I have discovered these convenient little bags of fresh (baby) vegetables at the market. Snip the corner and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, and the vegetables come out cooked perfectly. You may have seen the baby carrots I made on Rosh Hashanah? I am equally impressed with the beans and squash.

Sprinkle the warm toasted Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs over the cooked beans. Toss gently.

Makes a great accompaniment to filet mignon! I am sending this Mélange de Haricots over to Sra of When My Soup Came Alive blog, as she is hosting Susan’s Legume Love Affair Event for October. Do you like all kinds of beans? Make sure to check out Legume Love!