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!


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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Visit Our #Thanksgiving Recipes Page!





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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.

AND...


Click Here for my
Perfect Turkey Gravy post
from last week.


(Marc and I have been
loving all your comments!!)



And now for today's recipe...







"Fast Truck" (Firehouse)
Turkey Casserole


Recipe Note from Captain (no not Kirk!) Colston:


"When I first started as a firefighter," said the good captain, "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


Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.



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