Showing posts with label turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turkey. Show all posts

Monday, December 7, 2015

Turkey Without All The Trimmings



I wasn't going to post this. After all, it barely qualifies as a recipe. It's not particularly pretty, even if it does taste good, and it only has two ingredients. But in the end, I decided someone might appreciate it.

Some of my friends have already had their big family Christmas get togethers. There are a lot of new traditions because families are so large and people live so far away. You might be one of those who wants turkey for two without a fuss at Christmas. Or maybe you're going to a relative's house for dinner. You won't have a fridge stuffed with leftovers for the turkey sandwiches you love so much. Or you're going to a friend's house for dinner, and she's serving ham. Waah! You wanted turkey! Or maybe you just can't deal with all the work. After all, a big Christmas dinner involves a lot of cooking. So here's my quick and easy solution.

In all honesty, I cook this at least once a month. It's fast, it's easy, and my dogs and cats can eat it, too, as long as it's relatively plain. The oven does all the work!

Now, if you must have some of the traditional side dishes, then pick the ones that are important to you. Cranberries or stuffing, perhaps? It's still an easy meal.

I usually (gasp) roast the turkey and the sweet potatoes without any seasoning. Seriously, turkey and sweet potatoes don't need a lot of help. If you're inclined, you can always rub your turkey with salt, pepper, and herbs or baste it with butter. If you're big on the skin, then by all means season it. If you discard the skin anyway, then leave it plain. Oh, and no skin for the dogs or cats, please, it's too fatty for them.

I recommend using small sweet potatoes. Have you seen the ones the size of a small watermelon? Don't use those because this won't cook long enough. When you take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, the peels will almost glide off. You can mash them if that's what you want, or top them with marshmallows and stick them back in the warm oven, or serve them sliced. They're so good for us! And they're so naturally sweet. They really don't need a lot of help for terrific flavor.

If your turkey breast doesn't want to sit up properly, you might want to use a V-shaped rack. You can also use the sweet potatoes to prop it up a little but don't crowd it so that the meat doesn't cook.


Roast Turkey Without the Trimmings

1 turkey breast
2 to 6 smallish sweet potatoes

Preheat the oven to 400. Rinse the turkey breast, pat it dry, and set it in a large baking pan. Wash the sweet potatoes, remove any price or brand stickers, and pop the potatoes into the pan. Plan on the turkey breast roasting for about 1 1/2 hours. I usually set the timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes and then check it periodically after that.

Be sure to let the turkey stand for 30 minutes before cutting it! Otherwise, it will be dry.

Speaking of cutting - I heard recently that the best way to cut the turkey is against the grain. So slide a knife along the top of the breastbone, pull off the meat in a big chunk, and slice against the grain. It's not pretty, but it's very tender!


Pop the turkey breast and sweet potatoes into a baking pan.

The peel glides off!

See how easy they would be to mash?

Or just slice them!

Slice the meat across the grain.

The juices from the pan. The fat rises to the top in the fridge and you can use the rest when you warm leftovers!


Can you stand one more giveaway? Leave a comment with your email address
 and you could win your choice of these two books! Good luck!




























                                                               

 
















Thursday, November 19, 2015

Visit Our #Thanksgiving Recipes Page!





Do you need some ideas for your Thanksgiving feast? 
Let the crime-writing cooks of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen help!

Our Thanksgiving Recipe Page is now LIVE
and includes plenty of recipes for you,
including tips on choosing and cooking
the perfect Thanksgiving bird.






TO VISIT OUR PAGE,


and 

Have a
Happy Thanksgiving,
Everyone!




The Cooks of 
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen









Friday, December 5, 2014

Turkey Enchiladas

by Sheila Connolly

Five days after Thanksgiving, I was still staring at the mangled corpse of a turkey. It was a small turkey—11 pounds—but there are only two of us eating it. In the past I’ve made turkey pot pie, turkey a la king, and probably Thai turkey and turkey chili. There must be more recipes somewhere!

For a change of pace, I thought I’d try making enchiladas. Confession: I don’t often cook southwestern or Mexican recipes, although I am well supplied with the ingredients, including dried chiles. So I turned to Epicurious, but even there I found only a couple of recipes, one from 1994, and one from 2014. The earlier one started with a jar of enchilada sauce, the later one with a list of ingredients. My, how times have changed!

The newer recipe wanted me to assemble the ingredients and roast them under the Thanksgiving turkey as it cooked. Well, that bird had flown, although I admire the idea, because the flavor would be very rich (I was also supposed to make the enchilada sauce on Thanksgiving day, which might be difficult for most people). So I had to improvise and make a quicker stove-top version.



The original recipe made enough for eight servings, so I cut it in half.

Turkey Enchiladas

28 oz. (2 cans) chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 dried ancho chiles (seeds removed)
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 Tblsp whole coriander seeds
1 Tblsp whole cumin seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Turkey (or chicken) leftovers

Unsalted butter for greasing the baking dish
2-3 cups of the cooked turkey
4 12” flour tortillas
1-1/2 cups grated queso fresco (the recipe said I could substitute feta cheese, so I did)
1-1/2 cups shredded queso Chihuahua (the recipe allowed mozzarella)

Soaking the chiles
Soak the ancho chiles in hot water, then remove the stems and seeds and chop. Combine the tomatoes, onions, ancho chiles, garlic, chopped carrot, coriander and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a large saucepan and simmer gently for an hour or more (you do make this in advance).


Transfer the sauce mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth (add a little water if necessary—you want a smooth thick liquid).

The pureed sauce



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish (9x13, although 9x9 will do). Spread about a cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom.

Put the turkey meat in a bowl. Add half the remaining enchilada sauce and half of each of the cheeses and mix.



Lay out each tortilla and spread about one cup of the filling on the lower half. Roll each one up (like a burrito) and tuck the sides in. Place the enchiladas tightly in the prepared baking dish, and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.



Cover the dish with foil and bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce has darkened, about one hour. Serve immediately (top with sour cream if you like).

Ready to bake

There was still turkey left. Soup, anyone?


The next book to come out is An Early Wake, the third of the County Cork Mysteries, arriving in February.

Not a lot of enchiladas in Ireland, I must say, although the food is pretty good (and diverse) these days..




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#Thanksgiving Cooking Advice from Captain Kirk and a Great Use for Leftover Turkey via Cleo Coyle



How do you like to use your Thanksgiving leftovers? Here's an idea for you, adapted from a real Fire Captain's firehouse kitchen: Fast Truck Turkey Casserole
But before I share the recipe with you, I have a rather entertaining fire safety warning from another sort of Captain.

Below is actor William Shatner with a new musical version of Eat, Fry, Love, a Turkey Fryer Safety Video he made for State Farm a few years back.


Take it away, Captain!




* * * * * * * * * * * 

Thanks, Bill, we love you!

If you do not see the video embedded
above, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Thanksgiving Day Giveaway!

We're celebrating Thanksgiving this week with
giveaways every day at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. 

I'm giving away my brand new Coffeehouse Mystery
ONCE UPON A GRIND 
in its beautiful 
first-edition hardcover format and a custom-designed 
Coffeehouse Mystery mug featuring 
one of Madame's favorite sayings.


Drawing at 12 Noon 
Thanksgiving Day

To enter my drawing,

Click Here and leave a comment
on my Perfect Turkey Gravy post
from last week.

(Marc and I are loving your comments!!)



AND... 


If you leave a comment
on THIS POST, too,
you will have 2 entries.
Good luck and 
Happy Thanksgiving!

And now for today's recipe...







"Fast Truck" (Firehouse)
Turkey Casserole


Recipe Note from Captain Colston:


"When I first started as a firefighter, I still lived at home, like a lot of us firefighters did when we started out, so I could only cook things from a box. This is a real quick meal that we created from leftovers one night when we didn’t have a lot to spend. It’s a fast meal to make, which is nice when you’re busy at the station."




Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Recipe Note from Cleo:

The recipe that follows is my adaption of the captain's recipe. Why did I have to "adapt" it? Because the captain's original portions were huge! The funny thing is, he claimed his original recipe would "Serve 4." Oh, sure, 4 firefighters maybe. For us mortals, however, the amounts were more like serves 12. I halved it and got a serving of 6, added a bit more detail, including oven temperatures and time, a tweak on the ingredients for better flavor, and quickie directions on cooking chicken breasts, if needed.


Serves 6

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked turkey, chopped (or 2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped)
6 cups leftover stuffing or one 12-ounce box of turkey stuffing 
14-ounce can of chicken broth or 1-3/4 cups of fresh stock
1-2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 slices cooked ham, quartered (or six slices of round breakfast ham or Canadian bacon)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese (deli slices or block cheese)*

*Note: If you don't care for spicy flavor, substitute any mild cheese that melts easily: e.g., Monterey Jack, Colby-Jack, mozzarella, or a young Provolone or Asiago.

Step 1 - You can use leftover turkey or chicken for this recipe; rotisserie chicken; or roast or grill your chicken breasts fresh. To roast raw chicken breasts, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning; place them in a greased shallow pan; and cook them for about 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 325 degrees F. Do not overcook or your chicken will be dry. Chop up the cooked chicken and set aside.

Step 2 - Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a shallow 8 x 12-inch glass dish or casserole pan with butter or margarine. In a large bowl, mix together the stuffing and broth. If you roasted chicken specifically for this dish, I suggest adding the pan drippings to the stuffing bowl for even more good flavor. Pour the stuffing into the pan. Using the back of a large spoon, press it into an even layer, and bake until the top is crispy and brown, about 20 minutes.

Step 3 - Spread the cooked chicken evenly on top of the cooked stuffing. Arrange the ham slices on top of the chicken and return it to the hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pan once more and cover it evenly with the cheese slices (or shredded block cheese). Bake for 10 more minutes, until cheese is mostly melted. Finish under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.

This turkey or chicken casserole is delicious served with sweet corn and a salad. May you eat it with joy.


F o o d i e

Photos













Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
May you eat with bountiful joy!


~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about our books here.
 

On Sale
December 2nd!



Join coffeehouse manager
Clare Cosi as she solves the crime
against "Sleeping Beauty," opens
secret doors (uptown and down),
and investigates a cold case that's
been unsolved since the Cold War.


A Wicked Good
Murder Mystery

Learn more by
clicking here.


* * * 





Haunted Bookshop Mysteries 

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, by clicking here.
Or learn more Learn more here. 


* * * 



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Does Thanksgiving Taste Like? Foodie Poll + Perfect Turkey Gravy via Cleo Coyle




What does Christmas taste like?

That is the question my coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi asks her quirky staff of baristas at the start of Holiday Grind.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=901186549894527&set=a.107584265921430.13885.100000095713933&type=1&theater
Published back in 2009,
Holiday Grind (Coffeehouse
Mystery #8)
reappeared on a
recent B&N.com bestseller list
Read more in my facebook
post here.


Their answers define their charactersand help Clare create a menu of wildly popular Fa-la-la-la-lattes for the season.




fa-la-la-la-lattes!   > > > 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in crime-writing, her
husband, Marc Cerasini. Learn more about them
and their books here.


Now Marc and I are using
the phrase from our own book!


What does Thanksgiving taste like?

*****************************





***************************
If you do not see the poll above, simply click this link
to take it 
at the PollDaddy site.




WIN BOOK AND MUG

Drawing 12 Noon
Thanksgiving Day!


Drawing is Over
Congrats to our comment winner:
Jim Elliott "Library Jim"

After you take the poll, tell Marc and me how you voted in the COMMENTS of this post (or the polldaddy comment area) and you will be entered in a random drawing to win a signed copy of ONCE UPON A GRIND, the new Coffeehouse Mystery, which Penguin is publishing in a beautiful hardcover edition this December 2nd.

You will also win this fun custom-designed mug with a favorite saying of the octogenarian owner of our coffeehouse (Clare's beloved boss and former mother-in-law) Madame...

"Survive everything. And do it with style."

~ Madame in 
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


As for me, my voting on the poll
was tough. I couldn't decide between
pumpkin and pecan pie...


You can get my favorite recipe for Pecan Pie Bars
in my 
November Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter,
going out soon. (Sign up 
here.)

For my husband, Marc,
Thanksgiving would not be 

Thanksgiving without turkey GRAVY!

And that's the subject of
our recipe post today...



The Mystery of Perfect Gravy


When used correctly
(and Marc and I will show you how),
this secret ingredient will let you
serve smooth, velvety gravy to
your guests instead of a lumpy
turkey glue. And this method
(used by restaurants)
will give you enough gravy
to serve a crowd!
Anyone who's thickened gravy using the traditional method (aka, flour) knows that if you use too little, your gravy will be weak and thin, and if you use too much, your gravy will transform into a lump of gelatinous glue as soon as it begins to cool.

To solve this dilemma, celebrity chef Alton Brown recently reminded us what restaurants do to make the perfect Turkey Day gravy. Because this gravy is made with stock, you can make plenty of it--and it will be a smooth, velvety gravy.

So what is the secret ingredient? It’s potato starch! And, no, it's not used for thickening; it’s there to prevent clumping!

The potato starch will stop the flour from congealing, so you’ll be able to serve your guests a rich, smooth, lump-free gravy and not a ball of turkey-flavored glue!

Better still, you can divide the preparation by making the turkey stock the day before, and finishing the gravy right before the Thanksgiving Day meal.

Marc and I guarantee that your guests will (pun intended) gobble this gravy up!



How to Make Perfect Turkey Gravy 

(and enough to feed a crowd!)


Makes 3 cups of gravy! Woo-hoo!





To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here and enjoy! ~ Cleo
Click here for the
downloadable recipe PDF:
How to Make Perfect
Turkey Gravy.





Ingredients and directions adapted by
culinary mystery author Cleo Coyle
from a recipe by celebrity chef Alton Brown

INGREDIENTS:

For the Turkey Stock (this will yield 3 cups):

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 turkey neck saved from the bird
1 bag of turkey giblets, saved from the bird
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1 large carrot, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
¼  teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

For the Final Turkey Gravy:

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼  teaspoon ground black pepper

Step 1 - Make the fresh turkey stock: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Cut the neck in half and sauté for 6 minutes or until browned. Add the giblets, the quartered onion, carrot, and celery, along with the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 or six minutes. Add the 6 cups water and stir in the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and the peppercorns. Cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, cooking for about 1 minute. Now uncover the pot, reduce heat to low and slowly simmer the stock for 90 minutes, until the stock reduces by half, to 3 cupsStrain the stock through a mesh strainer and let everything cool. Discard all solids. You can make the gravy now or refrigerate this stock for several hours or days.

Step 2 - Turn the stock into velvety gravy: Begin by placing 2 (of those 3) cups of your freshly-made turkey stock into a saucepan over medium heat. The remaining 1 cup of stock will be used to create your gravy. Here's how to do it...

Measure out ½ cup of your reserved stock and whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour until it completely dissolves and no lumps remain. You have just created a slurry. Gradually whisk this flour slurry into the 2 cups of stock warming in your saucepan. As you continue to whisk, bring the liquid to a boil and cook for 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Now remove the pot from the burner and allow it to cool off a bit.

*WARNING NOTE FOR NEXT STEP: If the temperature is too high in the next step, the properties that make potato starch so useful are lost, so it is important to simmernot boil—the gravy once the potato starch slurry is added.

*Step 3 - Add the Secret Ingredient: Make a second slurry using that final 1/2 cup of your reserved, cooled stock and the 1 tablespoon of potato starch. (Make sure the potato starch dissolves into the slurry and no lumps remain.) On a low heat, whisk the potato starch slurry into the saucepan of gravy, along with the salt and pepper. While gently stirring, simmer but do not boil the gravy for about 5 minutes, it will begin to thicken. Continue to simmering until it reaches the thickness that you prefer.

Serve immediately or reserve in a gravy bowl or thermos until needed.
To store longer, place in fridge, in a covered container for up to 3 days.




For more Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas, 
including great tips on cooking your turkey,
be sure to visit our Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog
"Savor the Season" Page by clicking here!







Click here for the
downloadable recipe PDF:
How to Make Perfect
Turkey Gravy, and...




Eat with (Thanksgiving-
Countdown) 
joy!

~ Cleo Coyle



New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about our books here.
 

On Sale
December 2nd!



Join coffeehouse manager
Clare Cosi as she solves the crime
against "Sleeping Beauty," opens
secret doors (uptown and down),
and investigates a cold case that's
been unsolved since the Cold War.


A Wicked Good
Murder Mystery

Learn more by
clicking here.

* * * 


are a bestselling series of 
amateur sleuth murder mysteries set in a 
landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse, 
and each of the 14 titles includes 
the added bonus of recipes. 

Get a Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 




Haunted Bookshop Mysteries 

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, by clicking here.
Or learn more Learn more here. 


* * * 



Sign up for my free newsletter here
(contests, recipes, news, fun info)