Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh Baby It's Cold Outside - Turkey Dumpling Stew

1 leftover roasted turkey carcass, plus 3 - 4 cups shredded turkey meat
1 onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered crosswise (save the leaves for the dumplings)
1 lb carrots (3 quartered crosswise; the rest thinly sliced)
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
4 Tbsp butter
4 shallots, minced
1/4 cup flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
Chopped fresh chives for topping

Make the stock:  Pull the turkey carcass apart into smaller pieces; set the meat aside.  Put the bones in a large, deep pot and add cold water to cover, 4 - 5 quarts.  Add the onion, celery, the 3 quartered carrots and the bay leaf.  Tie the parsley and thyme together with twine and add to the pot, then cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook 3 - 4 hours.  Remove the bones and vegetables with a skimmer and discard, then strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer.  Return the stock to the pot and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half, 30 - 40 minutes.  (You'll have about 8 cups of stock.)

Prepare the dumplings (recipe is below).

Make the stew:  Melt the butter in a large wide pot over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the flour and cook, stirring 30 seconds.  Gradually add the stock, stirring, and bring to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the sliced carrots.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in the turkey meat, lemon juice and green beans.  Add the dumpling (see recipe below) in a single layer.  Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Ladle into bowls; top with fresh chives.

3 cups flour (plus more for dusting)
3/4 cup minced mixed fresh herbs and celery leaves
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

Whisk the flour, herb mixture, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until sandy.  Stir in the buttermilk.

Turn out onto a floured piece of parchment paper.  Pat into a 3/4" thick rectangle.

Cut the dough into rough 2" squares with a large knife.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Keep covered while you make the stew.

Just reading this recipe should make you feel better - this is a true comfort food recipe.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time to Think About Super Bowl Party Food

Those who know me know I love football, and the only thing better than the playoffs is having your team in the playoffs.  For we  St. Louis Rams fans, it's been a long time since our last playoff game, but we have hope.  2010 was a much better year than any of us expected last September.  I know by the time the big game rolls around on February 6th I'll have a strong opinion about who will win.  Right now, all I care about is THE PATRIOTS WON'T BE THERE!!!!!  Way to go Jets - thanks for beating them.

It's time to get started thinking about what food will be served when we get together to watch the big game and analyze this year's commercials.

Tailgate Nut Mix

1 large egg white
1 can (10 oz) deluxe mixed nuts (2 cups)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In medium bowl, with whisk, beat egg white until foamy.  Stir in nuts.  Add remaining ingredients and toss until nuts are thoroughly coated.

Spread nuts in single layer on ungreased rimmed baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Stir and separate nuts, spreading evenly in pan.  Bake 10 minutes longer.  Cool nuts in pan on wire rack 3 minutes, then transfer nuts to large plate to cool completely.  Store nut mix in airtight container up to 1 week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

BLT Salad

I don't know about you, but I'm not too inspired to cook or create new meal ideas lately.  The cold and gray days leave me a little bit uninspired.  This is one of my quick and easy go-to dishes when I need a quick one-pot, or in this case, one-bowl dinner ideas.

Cook 1 lb of spiral pasta according to package directions; drain.  Cook and crumble 1 lb bacon.  Add 1 large seeded and chopped tomato (or 1/2 lb of cherry tomatoes, halved).  Add 1/3 cup ranch salad dressing and toss with pasta.  Combine with  3 cups torn Romaine lettuce just before serving.

Serves 6

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Apricot-Glazed Turkey Breast

Next time you need a special meal, give this wonderfully moist and tender turkey breast a try.

1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
1.2 tsp salt
1 bone-in turkey breast (5 lbs)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Stir together the apricot preserves, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.  Place the turkey breast on a rack in your favorite roasting pan.

Bake (uncovered) for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.  Baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the apricot mixture.  Tent your turkey in foil if it browns too quickly.

Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bacon, Mushroom and Brie Potatoes

This is one good baked potato!  You need to add this to your menu the next time you want to serve something special.

6 medium potatoes (scrubbed)
6 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
10 bacon strips (chopped)
1/2 lb sliced baby portobello mushrooms
6 oz Brie cheese (sliced)
Chive Gremolata (see recipe posted previously)

Scrub and pierce potatoes.  Rub potato skins with oil; sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes or until tender.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 2 Tbsp drippings.  Saute mushrooms in the drippings.

Cut a 2" X in tops of potatoes; insert cheese slices.  Top with mushrooms, bacon, and Chive Gremolata.