Chez Madeleine

Sunday, November 26, 2006



Today, I transformed my turkey carcass into turkey noodle soup. I boiled the bones and meat for a few hours, and it yielded a flavorful broth. It has undertones of the carmelized lemons and the roasted garlic that stuffed the turkey. Its flecked with the herbs that were underneath the skin. I shredded the last clinging bits of turkey from the bones and added them to the broth. Then I added egg noodles and a few stalks of carrot and celery. Served it with a yummy wedge of crispy white mountain bread.

SO, you may not have reincarnated your turkey-but how did you enjoy your leftovers? In your pajamas the next morning? or perhaps as part of some other turkey-based meal?

Tell me in the comments!

Friday, November 24, 2006

friends are the family you choose


Yesterday I accomplished two significant "firsts" in my life.

1. I ran a half marathon
2. I cooked a turkey!

Guess which one was more exciting?

Since this is a food blog and not a running blog, I won't bore you with the details of my little jaunt down Peachtree, but suffice it to say it was greuling, challenging, but also very rewarding.

When I finally got back to my place over two hours after the finish (walking, Marta, driving took a while), it was all I could do to not take a shower sitting down. Every part of me hurt, and I was so exhausted I found it difficult to even speak. I laid down on the couch and pretty much decided that this thanksgiving was going to be vegetarian. There was no way I could make a turkey when I couldn't even walk to my bed which is two feet away. I would either disinvite everyone, serve them a plate without turkey, or try to switch the whole thing to Friday.

But then tradition and culinary ambition got the better of me. I slept for a few hours and woke up ready to tackle the challenge. I hadn't been very good about getting instructions on the whole process, but I figured I could master it. So-a few notes about what I did (the results were excellent!):

1. I did stuff the cavity with lemon wedges, garlic, and bunches of herbs


2. I did not brine my turkey.
3. I did chop all of the herbs in my herb garden (sage, thyme, parsley, basil) and mix it with half-way melted butter and rub that stuff under the skin and all over the turkey.
4. I did not use a rack-just sprinked a few onions in the pan.


5. I did cover the breast with foil for the first half of cooking.
and what I believe to have been the most important step:
6. I removed the bird from the oven when the temperature in the thigh was 170. I then let the turkey rest for about two hours before I carved it.

The result was succulent--truly moist and flavorful turkey.


I also made gravy from scratch. I put my Le Creuset roasting pan over two burners and scraped up all of the good bits and put the drippings into a cup and skimmed off the fat. I added chicken stock to compensate for my lack of juices (I only had about 2 cups as opposed to 4), and then added it to a simple roux. The gravy rocked--smooth as silk.

So, the full menu was:

Lemon-herb roasted turkey
turkey gravy
Curried Prawns with rice (courtesy of An'del)
Pecan & Cornbread Dressing (from Scott Peacock)
Sweet Potato Souffle
Prosciuitto & Parmesan Mashed Potatos (Kathleen made these--to die for!)
Green beans with a lemon vinaigrette and pine nuts
Tres Leches Cake (Kathleen again! She's the best)
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes (Paula Deen)

I set the table:


Personalized my guest's napkin ring holders:


Carved the turkey:


snapped a photo of An'del's plate:


and enjoyed my first thanksgiving with friends:




I'm thankful for everyone who reads my blog. Thank you for supporting me and listening to my ramblings about food. I hope your thanksgivings were filled with friends, family, great food and memory-making moments. I am so thankful for each of you.

Monday, November 20, 2006

roasted root


I know you won't believe me once you see this neatly typed recipe on my secret bag of root vegetables, but I actually had the idea to make root vegetable soup before I even got the veggies. I still had a butternut squash from the week before, and I wanted to diversify its rich flavor with some other stuff. Then, when I got my delivery (which was all mine because Anne was in China for the past few weeks), I saw this adorable little crumply brown bag with this note. Who knew what would be inside?

Just like I wouldn't want to know the sex of my baby if I were to ever be pregnant with one, I didn't want to know the sex of my vegetables until the day I made the soup. It was kind of like an Iron Chef challenge. Madeleine watched me intently from the side of the counter, rolling her eyes and her body simultaneously.


As I tore open the staple, this is what I saw:


I got to work slicing and tossing with olive oil. Popped the assortment in the oven for 30 minutes at 375.

Meanwhile, I started chopping a mirepoix of sorts. Sans carrots for the time being.


I fried 3 slices of the best bacon I've ever had. Once the fat was rendered, I added a little bit of olive oil and one chopped onion and a few ribs of celery. I also added a few chopped cloves of garlic and a sliced fuji apple.


Burnt my fingers again peeling the hot turnips (purple and white) and butternut squash, as well as the loner potato. Add them to the mix and covered with chicken broth. Last, I added a bunch of fresh sage, salt and pepper, and some of my fresh honey from the farm.


I paused for a moment to write a note to Santa asking for an immersion blender, and then transfered the mixture to a blender. Back to the pot to simmer and then topped with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of crispy bacon from before.


The result was hearty, more savory than sweet, but with hints of the butternut and honey beneath the complex flavors of the turnips and potato.


For dessert, I had a bath and some Haagen Daaz peach sorbet. What a perfect meal.

It takes a village

I spent another few days in New York City this weekend. Some work and some play. I wanted to tell you all about the eating highlights in case you’re planning a trip soon:



Katie and I grabbed a quick hot meal here after a grueling day of shopping and makeovers. We both had a perfect pumpkin soup, and then shared an order of tea- small tea sandwiches and scones and tiny cookies-a palmier, a linzer cookie shaped as a heart, a nutty brownie cookie, and an amaretti. Katie also convinced me to try Sarabeth’s famous English muffin-which was dense and heavenly. I was very confused as to why there were two bottoms and only one top, but I didn’t ask questions.


Grey Dog’s Bakery
This is one of my favorite havens in Kristin’s neighborhood. Maps of Paris decopaged on the wall and tables, loud music playing and wide open French doors. Its always jammed with people and I spent a really nice few hours there reading cooking magazines and watching people. I tried the goat cheese and spinach quesadilla with chicken. It came with roasted tomatillo salsa with corn. It was the perfect spot of lunch to fortify me for my walk around the village.

Amy’s Bread
Is anyone seeing a pattern here? I was on a bakery craze on this trip. I resisted the to-die-for lemon poppyseed muffins at Gray Dog’s in favor of something from Amy’s. I chose a crumbly, nutty brownie which I devoured with my fingers while perusing Murray’s Cheese Shop next door. The twists are great too-I sampled one a few years ago on a food tour in NY. She had pumpkin twists to sample at the cash register, and I had one spicy bite.

Fatty Crab/Spotted Pig/Wallse


What do three chicks in winter dresses do on a Friday night when the wait at their planned establishment will surely induce painful hunger pangs? Our plan had been to dine at Fatty Crab, but when we arrived, we were greeted with two unpleasant salutations: 1) an oily stinky smell which had seeped onto the sidewalk, and 2) a 1.5 hour wait. Quickly, Anna and Kristin threw out ideas for back-up—The Spotted Pig around the corner? Wallse? We called both and then walked to the Pig. They were even more sour with their greeting—a two hour wait. We could get a drink down the street-they would call us when our table was ready. So, we wandered down to Wallse-which Kristin and Anna were both excited about. A german place-it welcomed us with its crimson red curtain and fiery hot heat lamp. Waiting for us bashfully were three square barstools. A cocktail and a cheese plate to fortify us while we braced for the wait at the Pig. And oh what followed…. A fig manhattan (bourbon shaken with fig puree), a blackberry sidecar (sounds like something from candyland or babes in toyland), and an apple martini with a dried apple cross-section floating on top.

Eventually, we claimed a corner table and settled in for spaetzle with rabbit, venison goulasch with bacon and mushrooms, and for dessert, streudel with roasted apple sorbet. Those germans in the West Village can cook.


The next day I ended up at Kristin’s old GMAT studying spot, Doma. I crammed into the head of a wooden table and ordered a zucchini-orange muffin and an open-faced artichoke sandwich with cherry tomatos and the best mozzarella I’ve ever tasted.

Next, boring plane snacks (sun chips) and I was back home, where we make our own food. I’ll tell you about my roasted winter veggie soup next!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

the man of my dreams


If you sleep with a piece of wedding cake underneath your pillow, you'll dream of the man you're going to marry. Sugared roses, gooey fondant, layers of commitment, edible, crunchy pearls like your grandmother's, and moist cake that sticks in the tines of a fork like the way his smell stays on you all day.

Dreamt of sharing the kitchen with someone-hand over hand, move over so I can open that drawer, graze my cheek while you're salting the pumpkin soup. Wine and one dessert with two spoons. Spoons-a smaller bed because you like to cuddle. Grey weather-and enough socks and movies that it doesn't matter if we stay there all day. Knowing looks and nooks and crooks of arms and legs to rest in.

Dreamt of Paris-of winding streets and winding scarves. Rattan cafe chairs and of walking huddled under one umbrella. Bridges to the safety of open arms and understanding. Heavy coins and cream.

Dreamt finally of mango soda and scratch off lottery cards. And of swimming with sharks, and riding on the back of a Harley. Of my first hockey game, and the first time I met your mother. Writing notes in class about you and dialing you drunk on my way home. Everything blurred together. Old and new. Borrowed and blue. Black and blue. Bruised and pink.

Woke up, and its today. And you're far off. And I'm still here with cake under my pillow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A colorful salad


When I was home in Florida for the wedding, I spent two nights at my parents house before we moved down to the beach. On our last night at home, I made this salad for my family. It was inspired by a salad I recently had at Murphy's.

The best part is the carmelized red onions. The red onions don't have as high of a sugar content compared to other onions, so their caramelization is less dramatic. They mellow as they carmelize, but they can still stand up to the grilled flank steak. An excellent variation would be cornmeal battering and lightly frying the red onions instead of carmelizing them.

I blanched the green beans in salted boiling water--I would've rather used the skinny haricots verts, but Super Wal-Mart didn't have them.

Also-this salad varies depending on the quality of the blue cheese you use. A less-healthy version would've used the blue cheese in the dressing--an easily homemade concoction of mayonnaise, sour cream, and a big block of blue. I used a simple french vinaigrette--2 parts olive oil, one part dijon mustard, and one part balsamic with salt and pepper.

I marinated the steak in just a little bit of garlic, balsamic and olive oil, freshly cracked pepper, and salt. This salad is beautifully served on a large platter--I brought my mom this one from Paris 5 years ago.

So, hurry up and use your grill before it'll be too cold for you to feel your hands. Grill up a large piece of flank steak, and the rest comes together in moments.


Molto Roasto

mario batali

Mario Batali was roasted Tuesday night's dinner kicking off the New York Comedy Festival. I had no idea he had been rumored to have been with Courtney Love. I have this book on my shelf to read over the holidays.

Check out details on the roast, they're pretty hilarious.

Monday, November 06, 2006

From This Day Forward


I'm back. Did you miss me? Did you eat lots of delicious things while I was gone and think, "Sarah would love this." Did you keep Atlanta and your respective cities thriving while I went off to give my sister away?

Well, you did good while I was gone, and now I'm back to tell you about it through photos. After all, I am my mother's daughter. I'm also too exhausted to type, so this is the only medium that is coherant.

The wedding was incredible-and in all my life, I've never felt the swell of happiness that I felt watching Christianne marry Brian on Saturday. I've never trusted her happiness to anyone-never thought anyone was good enough, but seeing and witnessing the way that Brian loves Christianne (and has for going on 7 years), has renewed my faith. I could not ask for a better person to be her rock. I am so lucky to have him as part of my family.

This is just a sampling of my favorites. Wish the Bride and Groom luck tomorrow as they leave for Jamaica, mon... they need it. My only regret is that they can't take me with them...I need a vacation. At least I have a tan...and in November in Atlanta that's about as rare as finding a guy as great as Brian to marry....



wedding party