I have been reading several blogs dailyish for the past year or so, and occasionally find a new one by following a commenter who posted in the comment section. (Yes I read those too, and have gotten some pretty cool ideas from them.) It is a simple adventure it find what is just one click away.
One of those I recently started following is All That Junk In My Trunk This week she had a post about vintage cookbooks and how what is now the norm was once thought of as exotic. That prompted me to pull out my grandmother's old cookbook and look through it. I love this book, but I am very careful when looking at it. It is old and falling apart, but has additional recipes and comments about dishes written in Grandmother's hand throughout the book.
Huge surprise! A cookbook from 1939 is not drastically different from some of the cookbooks today. It seems that in the 30's buying local and cooking "real" food was the norm. There were a few surprises though, like the recipe for Potted Pigeon ( It would probably be called Braised Squab in Beurre Blanc today) or Blushing Bunny (Traditional Welsh Rarebit with pureed tomatoes).
While I was looking I was making turkey broth from a pack of turkey necks my local grocer had for $1. I figured the 5 necks would give me about a gallon of broth which I would reduce down to about a quart of super concentrated stock for much easier freezer storage. I had all this lovely stock and about 1 cup and a half of not so lovely turkey which I removed from the bones. (OK I didn't really remove it as much as it just fell apart and all I had to do was sort through it to remove any tiny boney bits.)
When I turned to the poultry section the first recipe I saw was for Turkey Souffle'. It was not exactly what I had in mind, but it would be a good recipe to try using the incredibly overcooked turkey. So, try it I did. (Gettin' my Yoda on here!)
Turkey Souffle @1939
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk, turkey stock, or mixture of both
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup minced turkey
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium sauce pot blend the butter and flour and cook over a low heat until it forms a smooth paste, but do not brown. Add the milk or stock and raise the heat to medium. Stir until the mixture boils, Add the salt, pepper, bread crumbs and lemon rind. Cool then stir in the turkey. Beat the egg yolks well and stir to incorporate. Put the egg whites and baking powder in a bowl and whip the whites until they hold a stiff peak. Fold the beaten whites into the mixture and gently pour into a well greased casserole dish. Bake for about 1/2 hour.
To be honest this sounded a little bland to me, so I added a few things. I always have shallots so I sauteed about a tablespoon or so and tossed it in the white sauce. I also added about a tablespoon of dried parsley and 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard. The sauce still tasted a bit to bland to me (maybe because I used only milk rather than a mix of broth and milk?) and I added about a teaspoon of thyme. Huge improvement!
We were going to the lake so I made the sauce and turkey and packed it in the cooler. All I had to do for dinner was beat the egg whites and fold them in the mixture before pouring it into a casserole. If I had made this at home I would have put it in a souffle dish, but all I have at the lake is a 9x9 pyrex dish. It would have been prettier served as a traditional souffle.
I honestly thought this would be a meal that was just so-so, it would provide fodder for us and I would promise to never make it again. I was seriously surprised at how good it was. It was nice and light, with true turkey flavor. They all asked if we could have it again sometime, so I consider this a huge success. I would use 1/2 milk and 1/2 broth. It would make it a little lighter and intensify the flavor a good bit.
If you have a little turkey and a few appetites give it a try