Minnesota Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

>> Monday, November 28, 2016

Minnesota Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

I think this is one of the best ways we've ever used up leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a fan of moist white meat on soft white bread, mayo, and a little lettuce for some color. Joe's not giving up his Moist-Maker Thanksgiving sandwich, in which there's an extra piece of bread in the middle soaked in gravy. But this. Oh, I like this a lot.

Minnesota Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

This recipe started out as a classic Minnesota turkey & wild rice soup from my niece Jackie in Minnesota. That state is the biggest producer of both turkeys and wild rice, which has to be harvested by hand. In Minnesota, Native Americans harvest the rice, and it doesn't sound easy.

Along the research path Joe and I also stopped for a discussion on the brilliant Campbell's Soup Company campaign in the 60s and 70s, where they promoted recipes using their cream soup. Who doesn't remember a casserole or hot dish* that used cream of mushroom soup? The funny thing is, Jackie's husband is in charge of the Progresso Soup line. Maybe someday they'll trademark her recipe.


1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 peeled carrots, diced
3 cups cooked turkey, diced
4 cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup (we used the low-sodium, low fat kind)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
10 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed (we used the reduced-fat kind)
1 cup cooked wild rice (or more, depending on your taste)


Saute the vegetables in the oil until tender. Pour in the broth. Stir in the turkey, wild rice, and soup. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted, and heat until thick and bubbly.

Serves 4-6.

* Click here to learn more about Midwestern food and cream soups - interesting!


Joe's Crab Cakes

>> Sunday, November 6, 2016

Maryland Crab Cakes

Joe doesn't own Joe's Crab Shack, unfortunately, but his Maryland crab cakes are fabulous. While imitation crab isn't our first choice for making these, they taste surprisingly good in this recipe and are budget-friendly. Canned crab, which you can probably find next to the canned tuna, is also good.

A few weeks ago our local grocery store advertised a great sale on crab sticks. When Joe got to the store, there wasn't a single package in the store. Apparently they were held up on some dock somewhere. Was it a customs problem or maybe contamination? I could write a thriller about the crab embargo; would you read it? Anyway, it's been two weeks now, and the store keeps advertising the sale so I assume they're expecting the crab shipment shortly. I just hope they've been frozen all this time.


1 lb. lump crab meat (or imitation crab - not as good, but not bad!)
1/3 c finely chopped green onion (white onion with some chives)
1/3 c finely chopped celery
1/4 c finely chopped red pepper
1 small clove garlic finely minced
1 egg
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp creole seasoning
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 c soft bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter (divided)
2 tbsp olive oil (divided)

Joe's Crab Cakes


Rinse and sort crab from small pieces of shell, leaving lumps as large as possible.

Heat 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil over low heat in a large, preferrably non-stick skillet. Slowly saute the onions until starting to soften for about 3 minutes, then add in the celery and red pepper sauting for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute until tender and the onions are just starting to brown, but before the minced garlic burns.

In a small mixing bowl whisk the egg until beaten, then mix in the mayonaise, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and creole seasoning. Fold in the sauteed vegatables and soft bread crumbs, mixing well. Gently stir in the crab meat. Hand form into patties with about 1/2 cup of crab cake mixture, and place on a parchment lined tray/plate. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour (no less than 10 minutes).

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Carefully place the crab cake patties so they are not touching - about 4 to a skillet at a time. Cook for about 5 minutes then gently flip over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, checking each side for browness, and making sure they are cooked through. Transfer to a warm platter and cook the remaining crab cakes. Yield - approximately eight 2 1/2" crab cakes.

Serve with wasabi mayonnaise drizzled over cakes, or with a aioli sauce.

Variation: Form into 1" patties and cook as above being careful not to burn. Serve as an appetizer.

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