Monday, November 30, 2009

GD Round 2 - thanksgiving leftovers!

So, today we are focusing on a few Thanksgiving leftover recipes!  This is what I've got for you:

BBQ pulled turkey sandwiches
turkey and stuffing hash
sopa seca
cranberry banana nut tea cake

I also made a mashed potato-dumpling soup but it was pretty late at night and I didn't have any lovely natural light with which to take pictures.  So I'll give you the recipe but alas, no pictures.  It was excellent though.

For the BBQ pulled turkey sandwiches:
Shred some leftover turkey into a large bowl.

Add some store-bought BBQ sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, and a little hot sauce, all to taste.

Mix, mix, mix!

Taste for seasoning and then build your sandwiches.
Take a toasty bun, pile on the BBQ, pickles and mustard and enjoy!


For the turkey and stuffing hash:
Dice up a few red potatoes and some leftover turkey and throw it in a large skillet with leftover stuffing.

Saute till nice and crispy on the edges - about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Fry up an egg and serve on top!

How easy is that??

For sopa seca:
First of all, sopa seca is a Mexican-style noodle casserole.  It has smoked turkey and fideos in it but I thought we'd go way easy here and use leftover turkey and...wait for it, Ramen noodles.  How easy!

Preheat your oven to 375*.
Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Take four packets of Ramen noodles (any flavor) and toast them in the skillet until golden brown.  (save one of those flavor packets)  Remove and set aside.

Saute one diced onion in the remaining olive oil, until tender.  Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, about a teaspoon each of oregano, chili powder, and cumin and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add one 32 ounce can of diced tomatoes and 2 minced chipotles en adobo and stir until thickened about 2 minutes.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of water along with the reserved flavor packet and the toasted noodles.  Add some salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 cups of diced turkey.

Simmer, breaking up the noodles, for about 5 minutes, cover with cheese and bake for about 20 minutes until heated through.  Serve with sour cream!

For the cranberry banana nut tea cake:
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Crisco
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup fresh cranberries (or 3/4 cup dried)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the bananas with the sour cream.  Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, table salt, teaspoon nutmeg and cinnamon.  Set aside.
Cream butter and Crisco together in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugar and cream again for about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.  Blend in vanilla.
Beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the banana mixture, 1/3 of the flour mixture and so on until using all the flour and banana mixtures.
Stir in cranberries and chopped walnuts.
Pour into a buttered and floured loaf pan and bake for one hour at 375*.

Mashed Potato-Dumpling Soup
About 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
Turkey carcass (I hate that word.)
Any leftover herbs you might have (thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley)
1 cup leftover turkey gravy
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, roughly chopped
A couple garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 egg

Take the mashed potatoes out of the fridge and let sit until room temperature.  Set aside.
Put the carcass, herbs, gravy, onion, carrot, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large stockpot.  Cover with water and simmer until broth is rich and fragrant, about 1 hour.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and return to cleaned stockpot.  Keep at a low simmer until the dumplings are made.
Mix the egg in with the mashed potatoes and turn onto floured surface.  Knead until smooth and dough-like, adding flour all the while.  (Maybe a 1/2 cup total)
Divide dough in half and roll into long ropes.  Cut into 1 inch segments.
Bring turkey broth to a roiling boil and drop dumplings in carefully.  Boil for about 2 minutes, until dumplings float, and serve!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

our thanksgiving dinner

I hope everyone had a great and blessed Thanksgiving!
It was only the two of us this year....usually we are surrounded by family and friends.  My family alone is over 30 so Thanksgiving gets big, fast.  But this year, we decided to keep it simple, both in numbers and in content.  Mike wanted a "traditional" Thanksgiving so instead of trying something new and fancy for each component, we decided to get in the kitchen together and cook those old classics:
Turkey with stuffing and gravy
Baked mashed potatoes
Green bean casserole
Pecan pie
and Pumpkin trifle

So, we hope you had a great day and here is ours, in pictures!  Enjoy!

#1:  Turkey
Brine, brine, brine, people!
Throw together some salt, brown sugar, lemons, herbs, peppercorns and bay leaves in a tub of water...

And stick your thawed turkey in.

Let him sit overnight and he'll be super juicy!

Next, pat him dry and rub some herb butter under the skin and on the top. 


Season with salt and pepper and roast, covered with foil, for 2 hours.  Uncover, baste and cook until the thigh registers 165*.  Take him out and let him rest under tin foil for 30 minutes while you make the gravy.

*If you are stuffing your bird, take pre-packaged stuffing mix, add sauted onions, celery, and garlic to it along with some homemade turkey stock and bam!  Easy peasy.  Stuff your bird after you rub him with the butter and follow along with the above directions.*

For the gravy, take the pan drippings from the roasting pan, pour into a measuring cup and let stand until you can skim off the fat.  Combine that with about 4 cups of homemade turkey stock and set aside.  Deglaze the roasting pan with some red wine and reduce by half.  Add stock mixture and reduce by half.  Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons flour and whisk until you have a roux.  Add roux to the liquids and whisk until you get gravy!

#2:  Baked mashed potatoes
So easy.  And stress-free because you aren't trying to do these at the last minute!
Take 1-2 Idaho potatoes per person, peel, dice, and boil in salted water. 

Drain and add butter, cream, and lots of different Italian cheese and mash, mash, mash! 

Pour into buttered dish and sprinkle with homemade garlic breadcrumbs and bake for 30-45 minutes at 400* until golden brown.

#3:  Green bean casserole
Old school here.  But Mike insisted! 
Take 2 cans of green beans, drain and mix in a cream of mushroom soup, some milk, some bacon and some of those crunchy onions.

Pour into a buttered dish and decorate the top with more bacon and more crunchy onions.  Bake at 400* for 30 minutes.

#4:  Pecan pie
Already gave you my favorite recipe here.  Making it since I was about 10.  Can't go wrong :)

#5:  Pumpkin trifle
A new twist on the same old pumpkin pie.  But with layers of whipped cream.  Mmmm....
Slice a recipe for pumpkin bread (in actual loaf form) and toast at 350* for 20 minutes.  Cube into 1" cubes.  Set aside.

Take a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree and mix with a cup of cream, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and 3/4 cup sugar.  Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, whip 4 more cups of cream until soft peaks form.  Take out half and fold into the pumpkin mixture to make it mousse-like.  Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar to the last half and whip again to combine.

Start laying in a large trifle bowl.  First, pumpkin bread cubes, then pumpkin mousse, then sweetened whipped cream.  Layer until all is used, dust with cinnamon and pecans and keep cold until serving.

Whew!  A lot of information but well worth it for next year's day!  Hope you had a great one!

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