Monday, November 29, 2010

Southwestern Turkey Chili

Still have leftover turkey hanging around? Try this super easy recipe for turkey chili. It is perfect for the cold weather and you can make it in a snap!

You can also substitute chicken for the turkey if you want to make this any other time of year when you don't necessarily have leftover turkey!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. leftover turkey, shredded
1 14.5 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
1 10 oz. can of Rotel
1 15 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1 teaspoon dried onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups water

Optional toppings:
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Tortilla Chips

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion and bell pepper for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a slow cook and add all remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Turn slowcooker to high and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Serve with desired toppings and tortilla chips or corn bread.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey and Dumpling Soup

True or False: It's the day after Thanksgiving and your fridge is loaded down with leftovers from the day before. I'm going to go with True.

While you definitely can't go wrong with just heating up a little turkey, mashed potatoes and drizzling on a little gravy, here is a great recipe if you want something a little different or have more turkey than you know what to do with! Plus this the perfect thing to make on a cold rainy day like today! )Well, at least here in Louisiana--even though it was 80 degrees yesterday!)

1 tablespoon oil or butter
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small onion-baseball size)
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon flour
8 cups turkey stock, see below for recipe or purchase at the store
2 cups water
1 lb. leftover turkey (more or less, depending on your leftovers)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

In a large stockpot, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrot 3-5 minutes. Sprinkly veggies with flour and cook for one to two minutes. Pour about one cup of stock into the pot, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom and stirring to incorporate. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Pour in remaining stock and water. Add turkey and stir in bay leaf and rosemary. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper, as desired.

1 1/2 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped or crumbled in your hand

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until you get a slightly sticky dough. Bring broth mixture to a boil and spoon about a teaspoon at a time of dumpling dough into the boiling liquid. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes and then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with leftover rolls and whatever else you have! And if you have leftover soup, save it for the next day--it'll be even better!

Turkey Stock
Turkey Carcass,  meat removed and broken down to fit into the pot
16 cups of water
2 celery ribs, cut into two inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into two inch pieces
2 onion, quartered
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons black peppercorn

Add all ingredients to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, skimming fat, occasionally. Strain the stock and use in your favorite recipes, like this one, or freeze for later use.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

Planning your Thanksgiving Day menu? Need some ideas? 

Here's what will be on my table this Thanksgiving:

 Turkey Gravy

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Baked Brie en Croute (with cranberries and pecans)

In need of an easy yet elegant appetizer? Look no further! This recipe can be prepared in less than ten minutes and will look great when it comes out of the oven--and will taste even better! I recently made this for a dinner party and it seemed to be a big hit because it was gone fairly quickly!

The creamy brie goes really nicely with the tang of the cranberries and the crunch of the pecans while the buttery, flaky pastry holds it all together and imparts a decadence in both taste and appearance.

1 wheel of brie cheese
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped
3 tablespoons cranberry preserves
2 tablespoons dried cranberries (Craisins), roughly chopped
1 tablespoons flour
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove brie from packaging and carefully cut the rind off using a serrated knife. Hold your knife parallel to the counter and carefully shave the brie off the top and bottom. Turn the brie up on its side to cut the rind off the sides. Don't worry if you don't get it all off, you just want to lightly remove the rind but not too much that the cheese will lose the shape.

In a small pan over low heat, toast pecans for several minutes, until warm. Toasting nuts releases the oil in the nuts and intensifies the flavor. Remove pecans from pan and roughly chop. Add the pecans, preserves and cranberries to a small bowl and mix until well combined.

Dust your countertop with the flour and carefully unfold the puff pastry. With a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry out to expand the size a bit. Spoon the pecan mixture onto the center of the puff pastry. Place the brie directly on top of the pecan mixture. Carefully fold up the sides of the pastry around the brie, crimping the sides together and tucking the folds under. If you can, trim off any excess pastry. Flip the brie and place on a pan seam side down. If you have any excess pastry, use it to decorate the top. I attempted to make some leaves for mine and they didn't turn out so hot, so I hope you have a bit more talent than I-which shouldn't be hard...I am not much of an artist! In a small bowl, beat the egg and add about a teaspoon of water. Brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is a nice golden brown color.

Allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into the pastry to allow the cheese to set a bit. Serve with an assortment of crackers.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mashed New Potatoes

Who doesn't love mashed potatoes? Well, I don't really know anyone! I personally, love  potatoes--there are so many things that you can do with potatoes and mashing them up with different ingredients is both super easy and super delicious. In this version, I use red new potatoes with the skin on and mash them up with a bit of cream cheese. This is just one of the my favorite ways to do mashed potatoes. The creamy consistency of the potatoes goes really well with the cream cheese and the skin gives a the potatoes a nice texture.

2 lb. red new potatoes, scrubbed well and quartered
1/3 cup milk
4 oz. cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Fill a large stock pot with water, place potatoes in pot and bring water to a boil. Cook potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Drain potatoes and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, slightly mash the potatoes with the beaters (don't turn it on yet). Add cream cheese, salt, garlic powder and pepper and then beat potatoes on low until slightly smooth. Slowly add milk and continue to beat until you reach your desired consistency, but don't over beat as the potatoes can get gummy.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Football Food Friday! Chipotle Chicken Taquitos with Smoky Sour Cream Sauce

One of the great things about having a husband that loves to eat is that in addition to loving almost everything I make (except for that one time I made fried rice...that's a story for another day) he also, on occasion, helps me think of ideas of stuff to make--and for him to eat!

This recipe is one of those occasions. Last Saturday, as we were driving to the city he asked the weekly question,
S: "What are you going to make for the game?"
C: "I don't know, any ideas?"
S: "How about those taquitos that I love that you never make anymore."


I preceeded to tell him that I would make his beloved taquitos but that I thought we should make a new type of taquito. So, what follows is what we came up with as we crossed the Causeway bridge....24 miles of talking about food...Gotta love my huz!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped as finely as possible
1 clove garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, minced
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, grated
6 tortillas

Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute garlic and poblano pepper for about one minute. Add chicken and cook until browned. Spoon out about half of the can of chipotles and sauce and chope finely. Add to pan and stir to combine all ingredients. Cook another minute or so and then remove from heat to cool before assembling the taquitos.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken mixture from pan to a cutting board and chop chicken as finely as possible. Return to pan. Cut each tortilla in half. Starting with one tortilla half, spoon about two tablespoons of chicken mixture into the tortilla. Top with a pinch of cheese, roll tortilla up, wrapping as tightly as possible, secure with a toothpick and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas or until you run out of chicken. Top each taquito with a bit of cheese, if you still have extra cheese leftover. Bake for 7-9 minutes and then broil for one minute. Serve immediately with Smoky Sour Cream Sauce, recipe below.

While taquitos are cooking, make the sauce.

Smoky Sour Cream Sauce
1/3 cup nonfat or light sour cream
1 chipotle pepper plus 1 1/2 tablespoons Adobo sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon honey

In a food processor (those mini ones are perfect for something like this), combine all ingredients and process on high until well blended. Serve with taquitos.

I hope you enjoy these homemade taquitos! I have to warn you that these babies are hot, so if you don't like spicy food, I recommend cutting open the peppers and removing the seeds before chopping them and adding them to the chicken. This will cut down on the heat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Texas-Style Cranberry Orange Sauce (with Jalepenos)

Growing up, cranberry sauce was not the most popular item on the Thanksgiving table (and I know my sisters are laughing right now because they know what I mean...), but since it is a staple in most people's homes on Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to create an easy yet delicious recipe for all of you that are looking for something a little different this year.

This is a pretty typical cranberry orange sauce that is a snap to make, but as they say in Louisiana, I added a little Lagniappe (meaning "a little something extra" and pronounced Lan-yap) and spiced it up--Texas-style--by adding a jalepeno. I hope you like my version!

12 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 orange, zest and juice
1 cup water
1 cup Splenda (or sugar)
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
Pinch of salt

In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, pour in cranberries, water, sugar, orange juice and orange zest stirring to combine. Bring just to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook for five to seven minutes. Cranberries will begin to burst and the liquid will thicken. Remove from heat and stir in salt and jalepeno. Allow to cool, then transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mushroom, Sausage and Sage Stuffing

Thanksgiving is approaching so it's about time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu! I am a major planner, so I have of course been thinking about mine and preparing accordingly. I have cooked my fair share of Thanksgiving dinners; however, I have to be honest...I am not a fan of stuffing and usually let someone else make it! I have a major aversion to anything soggy, so you can see why I don't really care too much for stuffing. But, I am having a Thanksgiving dinner party soon and Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching, so I wanted to come up with a stuffing recipe worthy of sharing with you!

I planned to test out my ideas for dinner knowing that my husband would be happy to eat my share of the stuffing, but I liked the stuffing so much I kept my share to myself! I have to admit, I was surprised at how much I liked it! The sausage gives the stuffing a great flavor and texture and since I cooked it uncovered, the top was crunchy and the inside was not soggy at all! Who would have thought--I like stuffing!

1 lb. breakfast sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
12 oz. sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
14 oz. dry stuffing
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble sausage into a large skillet over medium heat and cooked until browned. Remove sausage from pan and drain on paper towel. Add onion, celery and mushrooms to pan and saute until onions and celery are opaque and mushrooms are cooked through and browned. Add sage and worchestershire and stir to combine. Add sausage back to pan. Add stuffing mix and broth and stir to combine all ingredients.  Spoon stuffing mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.

Enjoy! I hope this recipe graces your Thanksgiving table this year!
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