Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie

At the end of our faux-Thanksgiving dinner party, we had an entire turkey breast left over. All of the turkey tips I read said to have about a pound of turkey per guest and we had 6 guests (our 7th couldn't make it), so I made 2 5-pound turkey breasts. I was really happy to see how much we had leftover though, since it meant I got to make turkey pot pie. I'm not sure where this recipe came from, but it is SO GOOD. Like lick-your-lips-like-crazy good. There are two pieces left in the fridge and they are calling my name . . .
Turkey Pot Pie

2 refrigerated pie crusts, thawed (let them sit on the counter while you are making the filling)
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of nutmeg
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded turkey (or chicken)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 egg
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook for 3 minutes, whisking frequently. Gradually add in milk and chicken broth, whisking to combine.
Stir in seasonings.
Continue cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables.
Roll out one crust into a 9-inch glass pie dish. Press into the bottom of the dish. Spoon chicken and vegetable mixture onto the crust.
Top with a second crust, seal and flute the edges. Cut several slits in the top of the crust. Separate the yolk from one egg and discard. Brush the top of the crust with the egg white.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown. During the last 15-20 minutes of cooking cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent excessive browning.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

For our wedding, Nick and I decided that a regular wedding cake wasn't what we wanted. Cakes are dry and boring and didn't fit with our Thanksgiving themed dinner. So we had pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. And it was amazing! This cheesecake was also yummy, although a little difficult to get out of the pan. A lot of the crust stayed in the pan, in fact, but it was still delicious. I can't wait to make it again!

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

38 ginger snaps
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 butter, melted
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup whipped cream
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, crush ginger snaps and pecans. Mix with melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat cream cheese and sugar with a mixer until blended. Add pumpkin, spice, and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one just until blended. Pour into crust.

Bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from the rim of the pan. Cool completely before removing the sides of the pan. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Top with cool whip and a dusting of nutmeg. Enjoy!

Sourdough and Cornbread Stuffing

Our Thanksgiving meal always consists of the slightly soggy and sometimes gluey standard stuffing. It tastes fine, but it is no one's favorite. I set out to change that when I found this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I changed it a little bit to fit our tastes and came up with a delicious final result. Hello new stuffing recipe!

Sourdough and Cornbread Stuffing
*Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 pan of cornbread (I used an 8x8 pan of homemade cornbread)
1 loaf crusty sourdough bread
1 stick butter
1 shallot, diced
2 Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored, and diced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I used 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2-3 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt, to taste

Chop up the cornbread and sourdough bread into 1-inch cubes. Toast in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until slightly crispy, but not browned.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it's melted, add the shallot and apple and cook until the shallot is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Add in the herbs and stir to combine.

Place dried breadcrumbs in a large bowl and gently mix. Add in broth mixture a ladleful at a time and gently toss to coat. Taste as you go to adjust seasonings. Salt carefully! You don't want to over salt your stuffing. If the breadcrumbs are still a little dry once you've added all the broth mixture, add more broth and stir.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!

Herb Roasted Turkey

So this year I still feel like I'm not quite ready to host a huge Thanksgiving dinner at our house, but I really wanted to try some Thanksgiving-style recipes, so Nick and I had a dinner party for some friends instead. It was a LOT of work, but it was a lot of fun and we had a ton of leftovers, which is always a bonus when those leftovers are delicious!

For my first Thanksgiving recipe post, I decided on herb roasted turkey since, let's face it, what's Thanksgiving without turkey?

Herb Roasted Turkey

5 pound turkey breast (I made two)
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
Handful of chopped fresh sage
Handful of chopped fresh basil
Handful of chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 onion, finely chopped (we used a whole shallot-better flavor in our opinion)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Kosher salt and pepper
Olive oil
Chicken or vegetable stock

Combine parsley, sage, basil, rosemary, shallot, and garlic together in a bowl. You should have about 1 cup of the mixture. Lay your turkey in a roasted pan and rub the herb mixture under the skin and in the pocket fold of the breast. Rub the remaining mixture on the skin. Season with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil.

Pour about 1 cup of stock around the breast and roast in a 375 degree oven for 1 1/2-2 hours or until a meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees.

Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

For gravy: Whisk a tablespoon of flour into the drippings in the roasting pan and simmer on the stove. Continue whisking the gravy until it reaches the desired consistency and pour over the turkey. Enjoy!

Hungry Man Dip

This is a dip that my mom makes all the time for casual gatherings. It's always a hit and disappears quickly. I wish I had more right now . . .

Hungry Man Dip
*From Mom!

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 loaf of Velveeta cheese
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, hot (you can use original too, but hot is better!)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3-4 shakes worcestershire sauce
Turn a 1.5 to 2 quart CrockPot on high. Brown and drain the beef. Cut up the Velveeta into 1-inch cubes and toss in the CrockPot.
Add in a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and peppers. (Don't drain it!) Then add in the spices and worcestershire sauce.
Finally, add in the browned ground beef. Stir carefully. Put the lid on and let it all melt (this should take at least a half hour).
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

While we were in France, we had a lot of lamb. Nick has always been a fan, but I'd never tried lamb before. I didn't know what I was missing! Lamb is delicious and melts in your mouth, if it's cooked right. I really wanted to try it once we got home, and when I found this recipe, I knew it was a good step into the world of lamb. I'm so glad I chose it because it was delicious! This one will go into my permanent recipe file. I really want to try a rack of lamb, but I'm still a little intimidated. Maybe I will just go buy a rack and then I'll have to use it. I love lamb!

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
In a small bowl, mix together rosemary, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture into the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes so the lamb can absorb the flavors.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet and cook for 3 1/2 minutes, uncovered, per side for medium rare or cook longer to desired doneness.
Remove lamb chops from skillet and place on a foil lined baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
Meanwhile, add the shallots to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, until just browned.
Stir in vinegar, scraping up any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then add in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour over the lamb chops and serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Butter

Fall is my favorite time of the year: the brisk chilly air, the holidays and family time, the warm blankets and sweaters, and the food. From the warm, comforting nature of soups and hot chocolate to the spicy smell of baked goods filled with cinnamon and nutmeg, fall food is the best. And this pumpkin bread with cinnamon butter is no exception. It was easy to put together and it made the house smell like heaven. Spread on a little bit of this wonderful cinnamon butter and you have yourself a perfect day. The best part about this bread, besides the smell, was the cakey, moist texture. I had some for breakfast and didn't feel even a little guilty because it's full of pumpkin. Pumpkin overrules the cake guilt every time. It's bread! Pumpkin bread with cinnamon butter!

Pumpkin Bread
*From In Good Taste

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 cups (16 ounces) pure pumpkin purée
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional-I left this out)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans, line the bottoms with wax paper or parchment paper, then grease the paper. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat the sugar and oil together in a large bowl until blended.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Then add the pumpkin.


Add the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Don't stir too much or it will become tough.

Fold in the nuts, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Remove from pans and allow to cool completely before serving. Remove wax paper before slicing. Enjoy with cinnamon butter!

Cinnamon Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together and then beat with an electric mixer.

Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Enjoy with pumpkin bread!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pulled Braised Beef and Onions

Let me start by saying wow! This was so delicious! And that means a lot coming from me, because I don't like onions. I know, that's weird. Blame it on my dad, who ate an entire jar of pearl onions as a child and then promptly threw them back up, effectively beginning his hatred of onions. We didn't have them in our house and my mom worked very hard to adapt recipes that included the pungent little things. So I think I'm biased. However, I would eat these sandwiches anytime. The cooking beef and onions made our house smell wonderful. It was such an inviting aroma that one of the trick-or-treaters asked if he could come eat dinner with us! Kids are so cute! Anyway, if you have a beefeater (and not the British kind) in your house, make these now! The recipe is beyond easy and so flavorful.

Pulled Braised Beef and Onions
*From Dinner with Julie

Olive oil for cooking
1 eye of round or top round beef roast
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced (I only used one-plenty for me!)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (we used a vinegary Carolina style, but any one will do)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons grainy mustard (we used dijon)
a few cloves of garlic, crushed

In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides. (Use a splatter screen to prevent a huge oily mess in your kitchen-lesson learned!) Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients except the onions in a slow cooker or ovenproof casserole dish.

Add in the onions.

Top with the browned meat. (Mine isn't too browned because of the oil mess-I gave up!)

Cover and cook on low (if using a slow cooker) for 6-8 hours, or cover and bake at 275-300 degrees for about 6 hours.

Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart in the sauce. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to thicken the sauce. Serve on soft buns. Enjoy!