Black Eyed Peas and Collard Soup with Smoked Turkey and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cranberry-Orange Relish

Black Eyed Peas and Collard Soup with Smoked Turkey and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cranberry Orange Relish
New Years leftovers done right. I knew right away when I started planning out my New Years day meal (SOUS VIDE “SMOKED” TURKEY, BLACK-EYED PEAS, COLLARD GREENS AND CORNBREAD WITH TURKEY SKIN CHIPS) it would turn into a great soup. The leftovers were “Smoked” turkey, black-eyed peas and spicy collard greens. I also had turkey stock leftover.

I over seasoned the black-eyed peas a bit in the initial recipe so instead of using all stock, I used the rest of the turkey stock and cut that with water. The grilled cheese was a spin on the wildly popular PUBLIX TURKEY, BACON AND CRANBERRY SUB ON MULTIGRAIN post from two years ago. I make those subs at home at least once or twice during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday so I had the cranberry-orange relish already.

Can I just say WOW about this little meal. The soup had so much depth of flavor, like I mentioned in the original post. Sour, spicy, sweet, creamy and earthy. The sandwich had the savory, crunchy, sweet and spicy (from the mustard). Yum!



  • Leftover “smoked” turkey breast (recipe here)
  • Leftover black-eyed peas (recipe here)
  • Leftover collard greens (recipe here)
  • 1 cup no/low sodium turkey stock
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Publix cranberry orange relish
  • Publix multigrain Italian bread (or whatever you like)
  • Boar’s Head smoked Gouda cheese, sliced
  • Dijon mustard (or spicy deli mustard)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the black-eyed peas, collards, stock and water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until desired consistency is acheived.
  2. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.
  3. Open four slices of bread. Add Dijon mustard to one side and cranberry orange relish to the to the other. Add sliced smoked turkey and smoked Gouda cheese. Drizzle the top of the sandwich with oil and season with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Meanwhile, drizzle oil on the now top side of the sandwich with oil and season. Grill both sides until the bread is crunchy and the cheese is melted.
  4. Enjoy!
Black Eyed Peas and Collard Soup with Smoked Turkey and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cranberry-Orange Relish

Succotash Chowder with Country Ham and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Succotash Chowder with Country Ham and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Another leftover delight. If you haven’t been following, here is the back story. I made this and with the leftover I made this but the succotash was just sitting there. I was inspired by a chilly day to make soup and use the rest of the Goodnight Brothers country ham.

The chowder turned out to be amazing. Fortunately I didn’t over cook the vegetables when I first made the succotash, so they didn’t get mushy. This one is a winner folks. Yum!



  • Leftover succotash (recipe here)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced (keep the peels)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 1 cup milk (we use 2%)
  • 4-6 cups stock (I used a combo of several but mostly vegetable stock)
  • ¼ cup AP flour
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sliced bread
  • Country ham, sliced thin
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese slices
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Olive oil

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat until it shimmers. Whisk in flour and cook until light blonde in color. Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cream and bring back to a boil for about 5-7 minutes or until potatoes start to break down. Cut heat down to low and add in the leftover succotash and thyme, season according to your taste.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Drizzle the insides of the bread with olive oil and add the ham and cheese. Drizzle the outside of the bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the pan until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted.
  3. Optional if you kept the potato peels. I don’t like to waste things and I have always wanted to do this. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the potato peels with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the skins on the large sheet pan and place in the oven. Cook until crispy. YUM! They are delicious.
  4. Ladle up the chowder (I topped with the crispy potato skins), cut the sandwiches in half and enjoy.
Succotash Chowder with Country Ham and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Cheese with Bourbon-Bacon Jam

Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Cheese Bourbon-Bacon Jam

Yes, that’s right Bourbon-Bacon Jam. Make this now if you like bourbon and bacon.

I got the basis of this meal from Bourbon Country magazine (Go figure, right?). I was obviously intrigued by the bourbon-bacon jam, but really the whole meal sounded great. I tweaked it a good bit, like I served the soup warm (it was chill outside) and added the chili for heat. The sandwiches would’ve probably been better if the tomato and arugula were added after cooking.

I would have never thought of making the parmesan and olive oil mixture to make the crust on the grilled cheese, nice touch. In the Bourbon Country article the chef (Levon Wallace, Proof on Main in Louisville, KY) used butter but I prefer the more healthy version of olive oil. I’ll be doing that forever.

Ironically, the soup turned out to be the star. It was bursting with fresh corn flavor and the back-end chili heat was a perfect match.


Bourbon-Bacon Jam Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of applewood smoked bacon (I prefer Niman Ranch)
  • ½ white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup coffee
  • ½ cup maple syrup
Bourbon-Bacon Jam Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until brown mostly rendered. Reserve fat.
  2. Add onions and 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat. Cook until caramelized, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
  4. Place in food processor and pulse to a consistency you like.


Sweet Corn Soup Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, husks removed and kernels shucked, cobs reserved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine (or sherry)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Cheyenne pepper (to taste)
  • Chipotle chili powder (to taste)
  • Olive oil
Sweet Corn Soup Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, add water, chicken stock, bay leaf and corn cobs and bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, strain and reserve the liquid.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, shallot and vegetable oil and cook for 2 minutes, add reserved corn kernels. Toss and cook another 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add wine, lemon zest and juice, Cheyenne pepper, Chipotle Chili powder and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In batches, add corn mixture with corn stock to a blender. Puree until very smooth and repeat until all of the mixture is smooth. Using a strainer, pass the puree slowly through working with a spatula discarding pulp.
  5. Place soup in a pot and cover. Keep warm.


Grilled Cheese Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread (we used multi-grain Italian from Publix)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese (only the best)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • Tomato, thinly sliced
  • Baby arugula
Grilled Cheese Directions

  1. Pre heat a griddle or large pan over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, add parmesan cheese and equal amount of olive oil and mix to combine. See aside.
  3. Assemble sandwiches by adding cheese, tomato, arugula and a small drizzle of olive oil on one side and bourbon-bacon jam on the other.
  4. Slather the outside of the top piece of bread with the parmesan cheese and olive oil mixture and place that side on the griddle. While on the griddle, slather the other side with the remaining parmesan and oil mixture. Cook until golden brown.
Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Cheese with Bourbon-Bacon Jam

Chicken, Shrimp and Udon Noodle Soup

Chicken, Shrimp and Udon Noodle Soup

My take on chicken noodle soup. This was an unbelievable throw together meal. The weather was chilly and we wanted something soothing and comforting. What’s more comforting than chicken noodle soup? I had some leftover rotisserie chicken, frozen shrimp, and box of udon noodles that had been in the cabinet for a while (I’ve been using soba noodles instead). I also had four boxes of different kinds of stock in the fridge. With those and a quick trip to the grocery, I was inspired.

This dish was delicious. It was light, very light. My wife described it as a soup you might get at a spa. It was very refreshing and cleansing. I resisted adding salt and more heat (which I have a propensity to do) and I think here it paid off. The noodles, when eaten alone I felt “needed something” but when eaten with the broth and vegetables it was just right.



  • Leftover rotisserie chicken chunked or shredded
  • Shrimp (I keep frozen on hand but fresh is better)
  • Stock no salt added (I used 2 cups beef, 2 cups vegetable, 3 cups chicken)
  • Water (1-2 cups to fill out the soup)
  • Udon noodles
  • Dale’s steak seasoning (I like this better than soy sauce)
  • Sake (just a splash or use rice wine vinegar instead)
  • Canola oil
  • 2 inches of ginger root (1 inch minced the rest just peeled)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • Bok choy chiffonade the leaves and chop the stems
  • Sugar snap peas sliced on the bias
  • 1 jalapeno sliced thin (you can remove stem and seeds but I wouldn’t)
  • 2 large portabella mushrooms sliced (use whatever kind you like, shitake would be good)
  • 3 green onions sliced on the bias (reserve some for garnish)
  • Cilantro to garnish

  1. First, I prepared my mise en place. This goes much faster once all is minced and sliced.
  2. Heat the stock in a large pot over medium heat. Add the 1 inch of ginger that wasn’t minced and let it slowly flavor the broth (you can do this while chopping). Increase heat and bring to a boil, add udon (usually takes about 10 minutes, but you’ll want to time it so that all the next steps are complete before the udon are done).
  3. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1.5 tablespoons of canola and the chopped bok chop stems. Cook until slightly softened. Add bok choy leaves until they are slightly wilted. Add carrots and jalapeno toss to combine. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add more canola and the minced garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until just softened. Add Sake to deglaze pan. Set aside.
  5. When the noodles are about 2-3 minutes from being done, reduce heat to medium and add everything except the shrimp to the pot. Stir in approximately 1-2 tablespoons of Dale’s (or soy sauce). I would suggest being judicious at first and add more if needed later. Let the soup simmer, stirring to combine.
  6. Just before serving, add the shrimp. Depending on the size, they shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to cook through.
  7. Garnish with green onions and cilantro and enjoy. I served it with vegetable spring rolls from the freezer.
Chicken, Shrimp and Udon Noodle Soup