Showing posts with label turkey recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turkey recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2 Crowd Pleasing Easy Casseroles: Mexican Lasagna, Turkey Tetrazzini

From Denny: Our local newspaper often runs some very easy recipes that are real crowd pleasers. They are great to have on hand for entertaining, gatherings for christenings, homecomings, reunions or funerals. Even though this is a big city people still rally together when there is a death in the family. When that happens neighbors always bring over a dish of food so the grieving family does not have the burden of cooking during a stressful time when friends and relatives gather.

Other times neighbors pull a dish out of their freezer, ready to go, when there is a new baby born or other special homecoming like a soldier returned from Iraq or Afghanistan. Around here in south Louisiana people love to cook and love to share their simple food with everyone. It's just tradition to give of your food!

Both of these recipes can be made ahead and then reheated, often tasting better as the flavors have a chance to sit and have a long conversation of mingling. :)

The Mexican version of lasagna will please all your beef eaters in the family. Ground beef is cooked along with green bell peppers and taco seasoning spices and diced Ro-tel tomatoes (jalapenos and tomatoes). Then this ground beef mixture gets layered up with a cream cheese and sour cream combination, then layers of lasagna noodles, yummy cheese and olives.

Now Turkey Tetrazzini is one of those comfort food casseroles you like to make for someone when they are recovering from a cold or the flu. You can also make it with chicken or include bits of ham.

This recipe comes from the local newspaper food writer, Carol Anne Blitzer. She adapted this recipe from Mrs. Lenton Sartain’s Chicken Tetrazzini recipe from local but nationally popular cookbook, “River Road Recipes.” She doubles the recipe so she can freeze one casserole to have ready to go.

Another version of Mexican lasagna by moacirpdsp @ flickr

Mexican Lasagna

From: Lynette Nolan, "This makes a big dish so I always make this for company. It’s one of those dishes everyone likes, and all you need to go with it is a vegetable and a big green salad."

Makes: 12-15 servings


2 tbls. vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. lean ground meat
1 (10-oz.) can Ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies (original or mild)
2 tbls. chili powder
1 (1-oz.) pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 (8-ozs.) cans tomato sauce
8 ozs. lasagna noodles (either the precooked or the type you cook)
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 or 2 green onions, chopped
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese
with jalapeño peppers (or plain, if desired), shredded
1 (2.25-oz.) can sliced black olives
1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives


1. In skillet, heat oil and add onions, bell peppers, garlic and ground meat. Cook until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are beginning to soften. If any fat accumulates around edges, remove it with a spoon. Add Ro-tel tomatoes, chili powder, taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 325 degrees and cook the noodles according to package directions. Some brands do not require cooking beforehand.

3. Blend sour cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Stir chopped green onions into cream cheese mixture and set aside.

4. Spray 9x13-inch baking dish or pan with nonstick coating. Layer bottom of dish with lasagna noodles. Spread half of the meat mixture over noodles. Add half of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture. The easiest way is to drop spoonfuls of the creamy mixture over surface and then spread. Sprinkle with half of the cheese.

5. Repeat layers but add olives before adding grated cheese: (noodles, meat, sour cream/cream cheese mixture, olives, then grated cheese). Cover with foil but tent it slightly so top will not stick to cheese.

6. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour or until bubbly and noodles are tender.

Another version of Turkey Tetrazzini by jasonlam @ flickr

Turkey Tetrazzini

From: Mrs. Lenton Sartain from “River Road Recipes” is adapted by Carol Anne Blitzer, food writer from 2theadvocate.

Fills 2 (9 x 11-inch) aluminum foil, deep-dish pans, each of which serves about 8.


1 to 1-1/4 lbs. spaghetti
1 stick butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 qt. whole milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, to taste
4 to 5 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 (8-oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 to 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated


1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions to the al dente stage.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and blend in the flour. Slowly add the milk, stirring over low heat until mixture forms a medium white sauce. Add dry mustard, black pepper, lemon juice and Tony Chachere’s seasoning.

3. Mix in the turkey and the drained mushrooms.

4. Drain the spaghetti and add into the sauce mixture.

5. Divide into 2 casseroles. Top with cheese. At this point, Carol Anne Blitzer freezes the casserole(s) until needed. When ready to serve, thaw casserole in the refrigerator and reheat at 350 degrees until bubbly. Be careful to make a tent of a sheet of aluminum foil to place over the casserole as it bakes so that the cheese does not stick to the foil and the spaghetti doesn’t dry out.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Video: Unusual Exotic Thanksgiving Menu, Poll on Turkey Vs. Sides Debate

From Denny: This video is pretty funny as well as informative. Two NYT writers who are best friends have a friendly rivalry about which do people like best at Thanksgiving: the turkey or the sides? At the end of the video (no fast forwarding to peek now) is a poll of viewers with the astounding results.

One interesting fact about using salt for brining the turkey is that salt kills bacteria that poultry is notorious for having. Even when I don't brine I use a salt rub on any poultry or fish, leave it on for about 10 minutes or so, soak another 10 minutes in salt water, then wash it off and proceed with normal cooking, baking or grilling. So, if you are concerned about bacteria then brining a turkey may be your best choice.

The side dishes talked about in the video are simple to make and an unusual twist for the sweet potato category. That dish uses a Thai flavoring of coconut milk and red curry paste.

The dressing has chanterelle mushrooms, thyme, white wine, pears and pancetta for wonderful flavoring.

Recipes that follow the video:

Dry-Brined Turkey

Two-Way Chanterelle and Pear Bread Stuffing

Fiery Sweet Potatoes

Dry-Brined Turkey

The New York Times


• 1 12- to 16-pound turkey, preferably a heritage or pasture raised bird
• 1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 10 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
• 2 small onions, halved
• 2 small apples, cored and halved
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup white wine (optional)


Two days before serving, rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub all over with kosher salt, slipping salt under skin where possible and rubbing some into cavities. Use about 1 tablespoon per four pounds of bird.

Wrap bird in a large plastic bag and place in refrigerator. On second night, turn turkey over. A couple of hours before cooking, remove turkey from bag and pat dry. Place in roasting pan and allow to come to room temperature.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle half the pepper into main cavity of turkey; add thyme, parsley, half the onions and half the apples. Truss legs with kitchen twine. Put remaining apples and onions in neck opening and tuck neck skin under bird.

Rub butter under breast skin and onto thigh meat. Sprinkle bird with remaining pepper.

Roast for 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees and cover breast of bird and wing tips with foil. Add a cup and a half of water or white wine to bottom of roasting pan and roast bird for another two hours, depending on size; figure 12 minutes a pound for an unstuffed bird. Remove foil in last half-hour so breast browns.

When turkey has roasted for two hours, begin to test for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer (digital is best) into two places in thigh, making sure not to touch bone. It should be at about 160 degrees.

When roasting is done, tip turkey so interior juices run back into pan. Remove turkey to a separate baking sheet or serving platter, cover with foil and then a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Pour fat and drippings from pan into a measuring cup. Deglaze pan with white wine or broth and pour that into same measuring cup. Fat and drippings can then be used to make gravy.

Two-Way Chanterelle and Pear Bread Stuffing

The New York Times

Time: One hour plus 24 hours for drying bread

Yield: Enough stuffing for a 12-to-14-pound turkey and a dozen muffin tins. If not stuffing a turkey, recipe will fill two dozen muffin tins or a small casserole dish.


• 1 large loaf Pullman or other firm white bread
• 1 pound chanterelle mushrooms
• 1/3 pound pancetta, diced small
• 10 tablespoons butter, more for greasing muffin tins
• 1 large chopped onion
• 1/4 cup minced shallots (about three)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup white wine
• 3 1/2 cups diced pears (about four or five firm, ripe varieties like Bartlett or Anjou) plus one whole pear
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
• 1/4 cup minced chives
• 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
• 2 cups turkey stock


Tear bread into small pieces and set in roasting pan or bowl. To dry bread, cover with paper towels and leave out overnight. Or, place on a baking sheet in batches and lightly toast. Set aside.

Wipe mushrooms with a clean, damp towel. Trim tough ends. Slice some thickly, chop others. Set aside. Place pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook slowly until fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to fat in pan and turn heat to medium high. Add onion and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft. Do not brown. Remove to plate holding pancetta.

Add 3 tablespoons butter to pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and quickly sauté until starting to brown. Remove and add to plate.

Add wine to pan and deglaze over medium high heat, cooking until wine reduces by about half. Pour remaining liquid over mushrooms. Wipe out pan and add remaining butter. Add pears and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Sauté pears, in batches if necessary, over medium high heat until they begin to brown slightly.

In a large bowl or roasting pan, add sautéed ingredients to bread. Toss lightly to combine. Add herbs and toss again. Slowly pour one cup stock over mixture and toss. Add more broth to make a very moist stuffing. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. If you are stuffing a brined turkey, remember that the bird will add a bit more salt.

Just before roasting turkey, place some room-temperature stuffing lightly inside a prepared bird. Place whole pear in opening of cavity to help hold stuffing in the bird.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter muffin tins and fill each with stuffing, pressing down so each cup is well filled. Top each with one tablespoon stock. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until a golden crust forms on bottom. To serve, use a butter knife to remove each stuffing muffin and invert onto the plate.

Fiery Sweet Potatoes

The New York Times

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


• 5 pounds sweet potatoes
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon salt.


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes on a baking sheet until very soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.

In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter, and salt into potatoes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.

At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover potatoes, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty on top, checking often to prevent scorching.

*** For a wide variety of turkey recipes:

6 Easy Turkey Thanksgiving Recipes and Gravy, Roasting Tips and Advice

Video: 8 Cajun Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes, BBQ Turkey, Deep Fry Turkey, Roasting Tips

*** Check out New York Times and their ideas for Thanksgiving Day where Mark Bittman has all kinds of creative ideas for side dishes for you: 101 Head Starts on the Day

For a typical Louisiana sweet: Louisiana Culture: Heavenly Hash Cake

*** Thanks for visiting! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3 Recipes and Video: Giadas Healthier Turkey Osso Buco For Sunday Dinner

From Denny: Giada is one of those few chefs that cooks healthy without sacrificing taste or texture. She also manages to figure out that fine line between what is easy to cook at home and what the family will actually enjoy. This is her interesting idea for a Sunday dinner.

Turkey osso buco with parsley and rosemary gremolata

From: Chef Giada De Laurentiis

Makes: 6-8 servings

Here's an osso buco everyone will love, even if they aren't big fans of veal. Consider this as the centerpiece of a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal; you'll get both dark and light meat without having to cook a whole turkey. Using a gremolata to spark up the flavor of a long-cooked dish like this one is a very traditional Italian touch that makes a huge difference in the finished dish.


Turkey osso buco with parsley

• 1 half-breast of turkey (cut into 4 pieces, preferably by the butcher)
• 2 turkey thighs
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
• 1 celery stalk, finely diced
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
• 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 whole cloves

Rosemary gremolata

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
• Pinch of salt
• Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pat the turkey pieces dry with paper towels to ensure even browning. Season the turkey with salt and pepper then dredge the pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.

In a heavy roasting pan large enough to fit the turkey pieces in a single layer, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the turkey to a plate and reserve.

To the same pan, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Season vegetables with salt and cook until they are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Return the turkey to the pan. Add enough chicken broth to come two thirds up the sides of the turkey pieces. Add the herb sprigs, bay leaf, and cloves to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pan tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. Braise until the turkey is fork-tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes hours, turning the pieces after 1 hour.

When the turkey is just about done, combine the chopped parsley, lemon zest, garlic, minced rosemary, and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and cut in thick slices , then arrange the slices in shallow serving bowls. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and ladle some over each serving. Sprinkle each piece of turkey with a large pinch of gremolata. Serve immediately.


Prosciutto mozzarella pinwheels

From: Giada De Laurentiis

Serves: 6-8

From Giada: I usually make this in one big log because it is so impressive when it comes out of the oven and you cut it into slices, but if the kids are helping put this together, why not make it as 4 individual rolls? That way everyone can stuff and roll their own selections. Let an adult cut the hot rolls, as the yummy molten cheese retains a lot of heat.


• Flour, for dusting
• 1 pound purchased pizza dough
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 7 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
• 1 cup coarsely chopped baby spinach (about 1 1/2 ounces)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 F and position a rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 12 to 14-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella over the dough. Arrange the prosciutto over the cheese in a single layer.

Sprinkle with the chopped spinach, then top with the remaining cheese.

Roll the dough into a thin cylinder, gently tucking in the ends. Brush the entire roll with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the dough, seam-side down, on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Cool the roll for 3 for 4 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut it into 3/4-inch slices.


Tuscan mushrooms

From: Giada De Laurentiis

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

From Giada: If you think stuffed mushrooms are bland, you'll find these a welcome change of pace — the flavors are quite robust. These are equally good right out of the oven or at room temperature and a nice hors d'ouevre option for non meat-eaters.


• 1/2 cup diced jarred roasted red bell peppers
• 1/2 cup diced pitted green olives
• 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano
• 2 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl mix together the roasted red bell peppers, olives, cheese, scallions, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, arrange the mushrooms, gill side up. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities, mounding it slightly. Bake until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter, sprinkle with chopped basil, and serve.
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