Tag Archives: turkey

How to Eat Out on a Budget

The answer is .. you don’t.

At least, if I do, it’s very rare these days.

Dim sum, sushi and Red Lobster are my only dining out treats, but even they are quite rare … a few times a year.

Let’s do the math of dining out in comparison to cooking at home.

The last time I went out for AYCE sushi, I spent $17 and change. And that didn’t include a $3 tip.

In comparison, I spent $10 ($14 regular price with a 30% discount 30%) on a smoked picnic shoulder ham, and another $7 for a package of 4 fresh, skinless, bone in chicken breasts. Sometimes you can find boneless chicken breasts on deep discount.

After boiling the ham, I ended up with 18 cups of broth. I used half of the broth to make 11 cups/servings of ham and bean soup. I used 2 cups of diced cooked ham in the soup and still had enough ham left over for eight generous servings for other meals.

As to the chicken breasts, which were big enough to serve two people each if just simply breaded and baked, the possible usages are plentiful. Another option is turning the meat into breaded cutlets or chicken fillets.

Admittedly, chicken and pork are the most inexpensive proteins available … $2 – 2.50 a pound. Fish and seafood are a lot pricier. And a premium steak. The savings of cooking at home aren’t as obvious, but it’s still cheaper than dining out … two meals in for the price of one meal in a restaurant.

Every time I get tempted to dine out, I do the math.

Although, being frugal in my grocery shopping means that I CAN afford to treat myself occasionally.

What’s your favourite dining out treat? Do you eat out as much as you used to 5 yrs ago, 10?

ETA: I spent $18 on this name brand (Butterball) turkey bought frozen for $1.49 a pound. Lots of breast meat, thighs turned into a spicy Indian curry dish, roasted wings and drumsticks, turkey and rice soup, giblet and rice dressing, delicious gravy and the carcass will end up in a big pot turkey stock.

Thanksgiving 2016 – An Economical 12 Pound Turkey

Sorry for the picture overload but I wanted to show how many meals you can get out of one 12 pound turkey … 16 servings of boneless breast meat, 10 turkey patties, at least 2 or 3 turkey mole wraps or whatever you want to do with the drumsticks. And then there’s the turkey stock from the carcass. Oh, and that wingette snack.

The best part was that it was only 99 cents a pound.

PICTURE HEAVY

This year’s turkey was a frozen, young male, utility grade and weighed twelve pounds. Tasty and, as always, economical. He’s missing his left wingette and wing tip, which is what makes him utility and not Grade A.

Thanksgiving 2016 Supper – four servings just from the tenderloin roll

Leftovers – Hassleback potatoes and the rest of the swiss chard and mushrooms stuffing instead of a salad.

Because I had boned a whole chicken before, I thought I’d be able to bone this turkey too. However, I forgot all the tendons and ligaments on the drumsticks (pliers would have helped), and, my less than optimal boning knife had a hard time removing the flesh from the bone. It didn’t help that I decide to try de-boning from the front. I ended up hacking up the skin of the back.

After spending about 15-20 min on one drumstick (the guy in the video I watched did the whole turkey in 20 minutes) I gave up on boning the other drumstick.

Mostly boned turkey – Those are most of the tendons found in the drumstick, on the blue plate.

The breast on the left was marinated with garlic, dried sage and rosemary, salt and pepper and lemon zest. The one on the right was stuffed with sauteed swiss chard, mushroom and diced onions as were the 2 tenderloins (pounded flat first) in the middle. All three were tied and baked at 350 deg F for about an hour.

Close-ups of the sage and rosemary marinated turkey breast

After baking and cooling, the two breasts were wrapped up tightly in saran wrap and foil and frozen away in a large freezer bag. Each one will provide 6 servings of boneless breast meat.

The wingette was baked along with the carcass (stored away for stock) and served on Saturday … my reward for that boning job.

Drumsticks, bone in and mostly boned, seared and then braised in mole sauce.

Thighs and some of the white meat (ie drumsticks and breast trimmings) were ground up along with green onions, water chestnuts, an egg, soy sauce, 1/4 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs, and salt  and pepper before being formed into 10 quarter pound patties.

December Round-Up: Bread, soup and a bunch of other stuff

I’m sorry but I’ve been a bit distracted and haven’t kept up with my posts this month. Here are a couple of recipes for buns, 3 for soups and a lot of pictures of meals I’ve made to make you salivate. I hope to do better in 2016.

Bread/Buns

  1. Pretzel Buns

Crumb

Pretzel Buns – makes 6-8 buns

200 ml warm water
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil (ie sunflower oil)
2 1/2 cups (about 300g) all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
4 tbsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
sea salt for sprinkling

Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it rest for 5-10 minutes (it should be foamy).

Put the flour and salt in a medium bowl then pour in the yeast and oil and mix well with a spoon. When it’s well combined, knead the dough with your hands for several minutes. If needed, add more flour. The dough shouldn’t be sticky.

Once ready, shape into a ball and brush lightly with oil. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then with a towel. Leave it to rest somewhere warm. This would take about 1 hour. The dough will double in size.

When it’s ready, take it out of the bowl and knead it again a little bit on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 6 (or 8) pieces and shape them into balls. Cover the balls with a light towel and leave them to rest. This time for about 30 minutes.

Now it’s time for the part that will give these buns their appetizing crust.

First, prepare a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, bring 1 1/2 liters (6 cups) of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the baking soda little by little (it’s going to foam, so don’t just dump all of the soda at once, because it will overflow and turn your stove into a mess). Place back on heat.

Place 2 or 3 of the buns in the water and poach them for 30-40 seconds on each side. Take them out with a slotted spoon and put them on the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C (395-400 deg F).

Brush the buns with the beaten egg, sprinkle some sea salt (or pretzel salt, if you have). Make several cuts on top of them with a sharp knife.

Bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes or until they’re a nice brown colour.

Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.

      2. Easy White Buns for Xmas

Debra C’s Easy White Bread – makes 1 loaf of bread (in 8″ x 4″, 9″ x 5″ or 13″ Pullman), 2 free form loaves, 15 dinner rolls  baked in a 9″ x 13″ pan.

1 1/4 cup warm water
3 tbsp sugar
5 tsp active dry yeast
1- 1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
3 – 3 1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour

Put warm water, yeast and sugar in medium sized bowl and stir until dissolved. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes or until foamy.

When yeast blooms/bubbles, add salt and oil/butter, stir until salt is dissolved.

Start adding flour slowly (1/2 cup at a time) and stir with spoon until you can’t stir any more.

Flour your hands and turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and keep adding flour as you knead. This is going to take several minutes, adding just a bit of flour at a time. After adding flour just form a ball and cover with your bowl.

Let rise 5 minutes in the bowl, covered.

Roll out or gently press with your knuckles, until it becomes a rectangle (10″ x 14″).

Roll up and place the dough, pinched seam down, into a greased loaf pan. Cover with a towel and let rise 20 minutes or until double in size in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cut a slit in the top of the bread. Brush with a little egg glaze or milk.

Bake approx. 20-30 minutes until done.

Cool before cutting.

For rolls – Divide into 15 equally sized portions and shape into balls. Place into an oiled 9×13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish and let rise.

Brush with egg wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp of cold water) and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Let rest in dish for about 10 minutes and ten remove to cooling rack or the bottoms may get a bit soggy.

Soup

  1. Kale and Hot Italian Sausage Tri-Colour Gnocchi Soup

Kale and Hot Italian Sausage Tri-Colour Gnocchi Soup – serves 4-6

1-2 tsp vegetable oil
4 links hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1 small white onion, peeled and diced
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced (optional)
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped (and stems removed, if desired)
1 pound potato gnocchi, tri-colour … for colour
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt (1/2 tsp) and pepper (1/4 tsp), to taste starting with amounts noted

optional toppings: freshly shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage and onion until the sausage is browned, breaking up as much as possible. Drain out as much of the excess grease as possible.

Add in the chicken stock, salt, pepper and diced roasted red peppers (if using), and bring the mixture to a simmer (still over medium-high heat). Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and add the kale and gnocchi and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi are cooked through and tender. Stir in the heavy cream.

Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve warm with desired toppings.

NOTE: If you can’t find hot Italian sausage, use mild and add a sprinkling of crushed, dried red chili pepper flakes.

    2. Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup – serves 6-8

4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water and 2 tbsp chicken soup mix)
2 cups chicken breast (cooked, and cubed)
4 oz long grain and wild rice blend
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp butter
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced or 2 tbsp dried onion soup**
1 cup corn, canned or frozen (optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream
~1/2 cup water

** What I used

In a large sauce pot, saute the carrots, celery and onion in the butter over medium heat.

After a few minutes, add the flour, stir into the butter and cook for 3-4 minutes to cook out the rawness in the flour.

Stir in the chicken broth a cup at a time until it’s all been added to the pot. Add the corn (if using), onion soup mix (if you didn’t use onion), black pepper, cubed chicken and rice blend. Bring to a boil then cover the pot and reduce the heat until the soup is simmering and cook for 25 min, or until the rice is tender.

Whisk in the whipping cream and check the thickness. If too thick, add the additional water. Taste for seasoning. If too salty due to using the dried soup mix, you may wish to add a bit more water.

    3. Chicken Chile Verde Soup

Chicken Chile Verde Soup – serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water, divided
1 cup masa harina
1/2** – 1 cup cup green enchilada sauce
1/2 jalapeno pepper**, diced or 1 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or old Cheddar** cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

Garnish: additional Monterey Jack cheese and crushed tortilla chips for topping, if desired

** What I used

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add in the chicken broth.

Combine 2 cups of the water with the masa harina, whisking until smooth. Pour into the pot along with the remaining cup of water, enchilada sauce, and jalapeno or green chiles. Season with the salt, chile powder, cumin and pepper to taste. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the Monterey Jack and cream cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted, whisking if needed, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook until heated through.

Serve topped with additional Monterey Jack cheese and crumbled tortilla chips, if desired.

NOTE: This soup will get thicker upon standing. If you like a thinner soup, use more water or chicken broth to thin it out.

Miscellaneous Meals

Mushroom Alfredo and chicken cutlet

Chicken cutlet, mashed potatoes

Pizza – Italian sausage and mushrooms

Meatloaf, baked beans, onion rings and coleslaw

Roasted chicken breast, baked beans and coleslaw

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, coleslaw

Pan fried pork chop, mushroom gravy over mashed potatoes, corn and salad

More Sourdough and a Turkey Soup

Never say never … to sourdough starter.

Soup is a great way to use up leftover diced turkey meat, especially the white meat which can dry out quickly.

For this creamy turkey soup, I used potato gnocchi, and chopped baby spinach and grated carrots for colour, flavour and added nutrition.

Creamy Turkey and Potato Gnocchi Soup – makes 8 cups/ servings

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter
1 tbsp extra virgin oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
4 tbsp/1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 cups turkey stock (home made if possible)
3/4-1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 pound potato gnocchi
1-2 cups turkey breast, cooked and diced
salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2-1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese – optional

Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain and reserve until needed. Since it only takes 3 minutes to cook the gnocchi once your water is boiling, wait to cook them until you’re almost ready to add them to the soup.

Mise en place

Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat. When the onion becomes translucent, add the flour, and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 4 cups of turkey stock, the starting amounts of salt and pepper and the dried herbs.

Into the roux add the carrots and diced turkey. Once the mixture becomes thick add the whipping cream. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi and the spinach. Taste for seasonings, add more salt and pepper if needed, then simmer until the soup is heated through.

Sprinkle some grated Parmesan on each bowl if desired.

And what goes well with soup?

Home made buns or rolls.

I decided to activate some dried sourdough flakes. I ground them up in my coffee/spice grinder first to make rehydrating them easier and converted an old yeast recipe for Dilly-Onion Bread to use the resulting sourdough starter.

The results were pretty good if I do say so myself. Next time, I’m leaving out the dill seeds though as I don’t feel like crunching on them.

Hybrid Dilly-Onion Bread – 2.2 lb/1 kg loaf

1 medium onion, finely diced and fried in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp dill seed
1 tbsp dill weed
1 egg (a second egg may be used for an egg wash)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter, fed about 4 hrs earlier
3 cups all purpose flour, divided

Fry diced onion and let cool.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water with 1/2 tbsp sugar. Stir well and sprinkle in 2 tsp dry active yeast. Let proof for 5-10 min or until the mixture is foamy.

In a large bowl, add 1 cup of all purpose hour, salt, remaining 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, dill seed and dill weed, fried onion and oil/butter it was fried in.

In a Pyrex measuring cup, add one egg and beat slightly with a fork. Spoon in 1/2 cup sour cream so you have a total of 3/4 cup of egg/sour cream.

Sourdough Starter

Stir in the sourdough starter and the egg/sour cream mixture. Beat well for a few minutes.

Stir in flour, 1/4 cup at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is too thick to stir. ( I had about 1/2 cup of flour left at this point.)

On a clean work surface, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the flour and turn out your sticky dough onto the flour. Knead gently adding more flour until you have a dough that’s still soft but not sticky. This should only take a few minutes. (You will probably have about 1/4 cups of flour left at this point.)

Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour.

Shape as desired using remaining flour to prevent sticking to hands.

Bake as per loaf, buns or braid. Buns were baked at 375 deg F for 30 minutes. The epi was baked at 450 deg F for 15-16 minutes.

  

And then cause I had some starter left over I fed it and made a sweet sourdough starter recipe … Cinnamon-Raisin rolls. The recipe came from here.

 

 

You can’t tell in the savoury buns, especially with the sour cream in the dough, but with these rolls, there was a definite sour back note. It was good but I’m not fond enough of the taste of sourdough that I’d make it again, especially when regular cinnamon rolls are so good.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2015

I had an inexpensive turkey in my freezer … too ratty to ever present to company, if I had had plans for any, because it was missing most of the skin over the breast. However it was perfect for making a bunch of tasty goodies. Some were eaten immediately but most were wrapped up and frozen away for the future. A lot of good meals starting with a $10 turkey.

I jointed my defrosted turkey. Here are some of the parts in a large enamel bowl from my mom’s hoard.

Supper was breast meat trimmed from the carcass, mashed potatoes and gravy from the drippings, giblet and rice stuffing with the help of a couple of boxes of Stove Top stuffing. And a bit of salad.

Turkey gravy … SO good.

The two turkey breasts ready to be sliced and wrapped away in the freezer. A jar of mint lemonade in the background.

Dessert was fresh strawberries macerated in vanilla sugar and a couple of splashes of Cointreau over French Vanilla ice cream because I was too tired to make anything more ambitious.

The turkey wings were marinated and roasted. The result was Asian Sticky Turkey Wings.

The legs were jointed and braised in a combination of Mexican flavours for Turkey Tinga. Sorry, no pictures of the shredded meat and sauce before it was frozen away … just the pre-braise mixture.

Sweet and Savoury Egg Rolls

I love egg rolls but haven’t ever made any myself until this past weekend when I brought home a package of wrappers and enough inspiration to try both a sweet and savoury filling.

For the sweet filling, I made up a batch of cinnamon-apple caramel syrup which I’d showed in the July roundup and used to fill wonton cups and as a topping for pancakes. I didn’t post the recipe then so I’m including it below, with the addition of 1/2 cup of raisins for added flavour.

If using this filling in egg rolls, drain off any excess liquid, as you want a dry-ish mixture so your wrappers won’t get soggy.

Cinnamon Apple Caramel Syrup – makes ~4 cups

4 large (6 cups) Granny Smith apples
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4-1/2 cup water
3-4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
squeeze of lemon (~1 tsp)

Peel, then quarter the apples. Cut out the core and cut each quarter into 3 or 4 chunks or slices, depending on what you’re going to use it for.

Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl.

Place the remaining ingredients into a saucepan along with the apple slices and cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the apple is tender (but not mushy) and the sauce has thickened to a syrup consistency.

Depending on the amount of juice in your apples, you may need to add a splash of water to get the syrup to your desired consistency. When ready, set aside and keep warm.

The savoury egg rolls were pretty amazing too. I used a jarred sweet Thai chili sauce but next time, the dip below is great too.

Turkey/Cabbage Egg Rolls – makes 6 cups of filling, enough for 36 egg rolls

Egg Roll Filling:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey**, chicken, pork or beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp fresh ginger, freshly grated or finely diced**
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
1 14 oz bag coleslaw mix
1/3 cup celery, finely diced
1/3 cup carrot, finely diced
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

EDITED: Add 1-2 cups of bean sprouts to filling along with the coleslaw mixture.

Egg wash to seal egg rolls – 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of cold water
36 egg roll wrappers (2 pkgs of 18)
vegetable oil for frying
Dipping sauce recipe follows

Prepare a baking sheet by covering with a couple of thicknesses of paper towel and setting a cooling rack on top.

In a large saute pan, brown the meat in the vegetable oil. Add the 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving as much of the oil behind as possible.

Add the diced onion, ginger and garlic and fry until the onion starts to get lightly browned.

Add the cabbage mix, carrots and celery, mix and cover and cook until the cabbage is wilted and crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the seasoned cooked meat. Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste. If additional salt is needed, add another 1/4 tsp or so.

Cool to room temperature before filling egg rolls. Drain off any excess liquid that may accumulate on the bottom.

NOTE: You may refrigerate this mixture until the next day if you need to put off filling and frying the eggrolls. Otherwise, freeze the mixture and thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Prepare a deep fryer with oil, it should be about 2 inches deep and 350 to 375 degrees F. You can also shallow fry the egg rolls in a cast iron frying pan. I found that 1 inch of oil was plenty in that case. Since I couldn’t measure the temperature with my thermometer, I turned the temperature knob on my stove to medium (5) and preheated for at least 15 minutes so it would get to the correct temperature. I dropped a very small cube of bread into the oil and checked how quickly it began to brown … almost immediately, so I turned the heat down to 4. Make certain your oil is hot enough. Slow cooked egg rolls will be greasy.

Lay a wrapper with the points of the wrapper facing you, like a diamond. With a pastry brush, paint a thin strip of the egg wash around all four edges of the wrapper.

Take a heaping tablespoon or two of the mixture and place it on the wrapper.

Fold over the bottom point of the wrapper, and tuck the mixture in, as tightly as you can manage, and continue to roll until you have a few inches of the wrapper exposed. Fold over the two outside edges, and press down to seal in the filling.

Continue rolling until the top point seals the roll.

Repeat until all of the egg rolls are finished.

Carefully add about four or five of the egg rolls into your heated oil and fry for a couple of minutes, or until golden brown. Turn if frying in the pan to make sure the second side browns as well.

Remove the egg rolls with tongs, draining as much of the oil as possible, and allow to cool on the cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining egg rolls.

Serve with the dipping sauce below or any commercial sauces ie. sweet Thai chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce or plum sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 – 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Southwestern Turkey and Corn Chowder

ETA: I had a brilliant idea for a turkey mole soup but I’m going to put it on the backburner and use the leftover mole sauce for shrimp instead. I’ve not decided yet whether to serve it over pasta or rice.

Menus evolve and change and my original plan to make migas out of the refried beans, tostadas and pulled turkey leg in my fridge changed. I flirted briefly with a baked casserole, a white chili with turkey and no beans and then finally settled on this Southwestern Turkey and Corn Chowder … mainly because it called for a cup of salsa verde and I had exactly that amount in a jar in my fridge. And a red pepper.

I DID have to run down to the grocery store to pick up a bag of frozen corn … but hadn’t remembered that canned green chilies were also needed. No biggie. I left them out. And, it turned out I really didn’t need them as the soup already had a lovely spicy back note which was delicious.

Southwestern Turkey and Corn Chowder – makes 8-10 cups

6-8 slices bacon, diced
1 large (1 cup) onion, small dice
2 stalks (1 cup) celery, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
6 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup (8 oz) green salsa (salsa verde)
1/4 cup flour + 1/2 cup cold water
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies, undrained (omitted)
2-3 cups diced or shredded cooked turkey* (or chicken)
1 – 1 1/2* cups corn, frozen, canned or fresh
2 large (1 1/2 cups) carrots, small dice
2 large potatoes (1 1/2 cups), peeled and diced medium
1-2 cups additional vegetables (optional ie cauliflower, shredded cabbage, kale, spinach, chard, green beans)
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese*
Salt and pepper, to taste

Extra grated cheddar cheese for garnish

* Used

In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it’s crisp (about 10 minutes). Remove the bacon from the pan and drain off the bacon grease, leaving 2 tbsp bacon drippings in the pan. Add the onion, celery and red pepper to the bacon drippings in the pot. Cook until tender.

Stir in the broth, cream and salsa verde. Mix flour with 1/2 cup water until no lumps remain. Stir into the saute pan. Bring to a gentle boil. Stir in the green chilies (if using), turkey or chicken, corn and carrots. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the diced potatoes. (If desired you can also add 1-2 cups of other vegetables at this point.)

Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Take saute pan off the heat and gradually stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Stir in reserved bacon, or sprinkle on top of individual bowls of chowder as garnish.

“Huevos Divorciados” and Turkey Mole Chilaquiles (Re-imagined)

Huevos divorciados, or “divorced eggs,” is a Mexican breakfast dish featuring two fried eggs separated by a column of chilaquiles. The eggs are each served on a different coloured sauce … red (salsa roja) and green (salsa verde).

I’ve made chilaquiles before, even if it should have been called a Tex-Mex migas in being combined with scrambled eggs. For those unfamiliar with chilaquiles, it’s a dish of hardened corn tortillas (toasted or fried) cooked in a sauce (typically salsa roja or salsa verde) to soften the tortillas and with various toppings as a garnish. Refried beans are an optional component. For meat lovers, shredded poached chicken may be added as well. I had some braised turkey leg meat in my freezer so I’m using it, for convenience.

In today’s dish, I’m using tostadas from the pantry instead of frying (you can bake them too) corn tortillas for convenience. I’m also using leftover mole sauce from my freezer since I’m using each of the 2 salsas under the fried eggs. Instead of incorporating the tostadas into the chilaquiles, I’m going to use them as a base for the eggs and sauce which will soften them.

Usually Mexican rice or fried potatoes are also found on the plate but I wasn’t hungry enough to make any and, for a change, I didn’t have any leftovers tucked away in my fridge or freezer. Surprising, I know. 🙂

The Two Components of the Dish – serves 1

1. Huevos Divorciados

2 eggs, fried sunny side up
2 tostadas
2 tbsp red salsa (salsa roja)
2 tbsp green salsa (salsa verde)

2. Chilaquiles with Turkey Mole

1/2 cup refried beans, warmed
1/4 cup shredded turkey leg
2 tbsp mole sauce

Combine the shredded turkey meat with the mole sauce and warm through.

Optional garnishes

shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, cheddar) or queso fresco (crumbled feta may be substituted)
sour cream
guacamole or diced avocados
diced tomatoes
cilantro

Assembly

Place the 2 tostadas on a large plate, overlapping slightly in the middle if necessary. Spoon the refried beans in a line down the middle of the plate, creating a ‘wall’ between the tostadas. Spoon the mole turkey on top of the refried beans.

Spoon 2 tbsp of salsa over each tostada. Red salsa over one and green salsa over the other. Place a fried egg on top of each tostada. The refried beans and turkey mole will prevent the two salsas from mixing and the salsa will soften the tostadas.

Garnish as desired with the optional ingredients listed or ones you may prefer.

If serving for a brunch, a glass of Mexican beer or a margarita is a great accompaniment. This is also a pretty good late night/early morning hangover dish.

Turkey Pot Pie with Cheesy Drop Biscuit Topping

A while back I broke down a turkey and prepared the breasts and legs separately. One of the roasted breasts was taken off the bone, wrapped up and frozen for another day.

Today was that day.

I made the classic turkey pot pie with cooked diced turkey, cooked carrots and peas in a combined bechamel/veloute sauce. Sometimes, I’ll add dried French onion soup mix to the sauce but this time I didn’t bother. Instead, I went a bit fancy with a cheesy drop biscuit topping rather than my usual biscuit/scone topping. I’ve included both biscuit recipes below so you can use whichever you prefer.

Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie with Onion Gravy – serves 6

2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey meat (mixture of light and dark)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken or turkey broth
1 tbsp French onion soup mix (optional)
1 cup cooked carrots
1 cup frozen peas, thawed or canned
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit.

Warm up the milk and stir in the onion soup mix.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes and then whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Then add the broth. Continue stirring until the entire mixture comes to a boil and then cook for an additional minute.

In a large casserole dish, mix together chicken, carrots and peas.

Pour the onion gravy over the top and stir gently so everything is combined.

Bake for 45 minutes. Raise the heat to 425 deg Fahrenheit and place the biscuit circle on top of the turkey mixture in the casserole dish and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the underside is set. **Or, cut the biscuits into individual wedges and bake on a buttered baking sheet.

Biscuit topping

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
2/3 cup milk (or buttermilk)

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter til it’s the size of peas. Pour in the milk and fork together til it starts to form into a ball. Knead gently 10-12 times in bowl. Pat out into a circle that will fit snugly into the casserole dish over the pot pie mixture. Place the crust on top of the meat/veggie/gravy mixture.

Bake til the bottom of the crust is set, which should take another 12-15 min.** (Or, butter a baking sheet, cut the biscuit circle into 6 wedges, put the wedges on the sheet and bake there instead.)

To serve, cut through biscuit crust and scoop out appropriate amount of filling. Or put a wedge of biscuit on a plate and serve the filling on top or alongside the biscuit.

You can also make this in 6 individual 1-cup ramekins, cutting biscuit dough into rounds to fit on top.

NOTE: Check the underside of the crust to make sure it’s done at the bottom. If the crust is too thick, it will remain uncooked while the top is browned so you may have to cover it with foil and continue baking for at least another 15 minutes. For this reason, baking the crust separately is the safer method.

Drop Biscuit Alternative

Cheesy Drop Biscuits – makes 12-16 drop biscuits depending on size of spoon used

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (or cheddar cheese)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whole milk

NOTE: This recipe assumes you’re baking your pot pie in a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet. If you’re using a casserole dish you’ll have leftover biscuit batter and your biscuit layer will be thick enough to need to be covered and baked another 15 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 450 deg Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine well. Add butter and milk. Stir to combine.

Drop biscuits by the rounded tablespoon full on top of pot pie.

Place the casserole dish or cast iron skillet on a cookie sheet and then slide into the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown. (Test to see if underside of biscuits are done. If they need additional baking, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up, and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. Let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving.)

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, serve and enjoy.

I had some leftover breast that I didn’t use in the pot pie (as well as some turkey gravy) so I ate this the day before.

Spicy Sriracha Panko Turkey Cutlets

I’ve copied and pasted my LJ post here as a test. If it’s easier for bloggers who read my LJ to read it here and comment, I may continue doing duplicate posts. Thank you FrugalHausfrau for the suggestion.

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One of the breasts from my last turkey was sliced into 1/4 inch cutlets and then dipped in a Sriracha based mixture for some of the spiciest oven baked cutlets/tenders I’ve ever had. They were not as crispy as if I’d deep fried them, but I traded a healthier recipe for crunchy texture.

Spicy Sriracha Panko Turkey Cutlets – serves 4

3 tbsp Sriracha sauce**
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil, regular or toasted
1/2 tsp pressed garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pound boneless turkey breast, cut into 1/4 inch cutlets (tenders or fingers are also a possible serving choice)
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs

** I reduced the amount of Sriracha sauce in this recipe because, even though I LIKE spicy food, I found the cutlets a bit TOO spicy to eat straight. I didn’t make a dipping sauce (ie Sweet Chili Mayo) for them, which the original recipe suggests. If you find the results not spicy enough for your taste, increase the amount of Sriracha sauce to 1/3 cup.

Pre-heat the oven to 425 deg F.

Line a large baking sheet or shallow baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking or baking spray. Or, use parchment paper, in which case you don’t have to use the spray.

Combine the Sriracha sauce, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a wide bowl.

Pour the Panko crumbs in a second wide, shallow bowl.

Dip the cutlets in the Sriracha sauce mixture to coat thoroughly, then press the cutlets into the Panko crumbs flipping over to cover both sides. Shake off the excess. Arrange the cutlets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.