Sunday, January 18, 2015

1 Cup of Turkey= Dinner For 5 or Turkey Souffle

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


  1. Hey! Thanks for the shout out -- that was nice. :) Your comment regarding naming conventions made me smile; it's funny how changing the title of a dish can make it seem so much more appetizing to a modern palate.

    I also find that I play a little fast and loose with recommended seasonings -- that is one way that I think the American palate has definitely changed and become broader.

    I realized that the reason I never really loved my Mom's potato soup was that she uses only milk, no stock/broth, and I don't think she uses nearly as many onions and other aromatics as the recipe I used did. It's a little backwards to realize that creamy soups taste fuller and creamier when you add less milk, but it's proven to be consistently true for me.


  2. The turkey souffle looks good, too -- I think I will try it sometime when I have a small amount of meat to use up or stretch.

  3. I will do this again, plus I plan on changing it slightly for a cup of leftover ham, or beef. It was a very good and filling way to use small amounts of meat.

  4. Okay, I've never made a souffle and just know what I see on TV. It's usually a plot device on a sitcom where you have to be careful or it will fall. Is that true? Is it hard to get it to rise? Otherwise, the ingredients in this look really good.

    1. This was called a souffle in the cookbook but it is not a traditional souffle. I have made cheese souffles many times and they can be very touchy and will lose air quickly. This was much denser to begin with so I really didn't have to baby it at all. The next time I try it, I will probably add an additional egg white just to lighten it a little. This did not rise a lot, but I had a much larger surface area with the pyrex dish than I would have with the souffle pan. I would guess it rose about 1/4 of its original volume.

  5. No blushing bunny for me, please. I love that you have your grandmother's cookbook. And I'm sure that she would love the fact that you are using it!!!!! My grandmother would be shocked to learn that I can cook at all and that I'm not in jail for speeding. She worried and I was a bit wild in my teenage years!

  6. Hahaha! I am not sure what my grandmother thought I might be doing as an adult. I have a jillion first cousins and I came along in the middle of the pack. I just was lost in the shuffle, plus I tended to straddle the fence and if things were out of my comfort zone too much, I could jump back quickly. Plus with so many cousins there was always someone else to take the fall.

    1. I was a problem and the first grandchild. I got yelled at a lot and she was always shaking her shoe at me. I probably should have had therapy but instead I had a drink. LOL

  7. Do you think it would be good with chicken instead of turkey?

  8. Yes Denise,it would taste basically the same. I use turkey interchangeably with chicken all the time and rarely notice any difference at all. Want to do lunch soon?