Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Whole Enchilada: Turkey Enchiladas And Yellow Rice

This is hands down my families favorite leftover, I usually serve it two days into munching on things like Turkey and Cranberry Paninis, and once we need to diversify our palette. Flavors that pack a punch,  recreate turkey into something "south of the border". Nothing like, what we have enjoyed for the last few days, but grow weary of. Enjoy!

Turkey Enchiladas and Yellow Rice

1 medium Onion, diced
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 Diced Oven Roasted Chilies, Or (1 can mild fire roasted chilies)
1/4 cup Sliced Black olives(optional)
8 tbs Butter
1/4 cup all-purpose Flour
1 cup Sour Cream- divided to 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
2 cups Turkey stock, (see Making Turkey Stock) if not, use storebought chicken stock
3 cups Turkey, White and Dark Meat; boned, meat shredded or cut into small pieces (or chicken)
1/2 tbs Salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups Ranchero Sauce, see below (or canned Mild Red Enchilada Sauce)
10 large flour tortillas
1/2 pound Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, shredded

Chopped tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

Ranchero Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
5 teaspoons red chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
6 ounces tomato paste
2 1/4 cups water
salt and pepper

Yellow Rice, recipe follows

Warm oven to 350 degrees F

Melt butter in large pan, as soon as melted add onions. Cook until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic in last minute. Melt other 6 tbs butter and stir in flour. Cook the "flour taste" out of the flour over medium low for about 2 minutes. Add broth and stir briskly, bring up heat over medium to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let sauce thicken. About 7 minutes. Mix sauce with chicken in large bowl. Let cool a bit. Add chopped chilies and 3/4 cup sour cream.  Stirring until combined.

Take a large baking dish (preferably 9x13) and cover the bottom with some of the 1/4 of reserved red sauce. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved red sauce coating both sides(this step can be skipped but sometimes to prevent any exposed tortilla I do this to prevent drying out). Put a scoop of the shredded turkey and white sauce on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold about 1/4 of bottom of the tortilla over the filling and then roll the sides like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over the remainder of the red sauce covering all exposed tortillas, and top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly. Garnish Options: Red Onion, Shallots, Sour Cream, Salsa, cilantro and tomato.

Yellow Rice
2 cups long-grain rice
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2-1 tablespoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

LEFTOVERS- Turkey, Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish, Stuffing and Havarti Panini

There's Something about the crunchy creamy panini that warms the soul. I happen to love the Italian's souped up version of a grilled cheese on any day! Finally a way to use my George Foreman Grill so lovingly gifted to me years back! It makes a perfect panini when you add a little weight to the top.

Turkey, Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish, Stuffing and Havarti Panini

Thinly sliced turkey breast
8 slices Havarti
8 slices Ciabata or Italian Bread
Cranberry Orange Relish (or canned cranberry sauce if not available)
Optional Additions:
Very thinly sliced red onions
Olive Oil

Plug in Panini Grill/George Foreman Grill/ or Skillet over Medium Heat. Arrange Bread slices. Using a basting brush, or Olive oil Spray Bottle is preferable, spread one side with olive oil. On other side of bread arrange in this order: Cranberries, Turkey, Stuffing,(and Gravy, Onions, Stuffing, Cranberries again if preferred) finally Havarti.  Place inside panini maker.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Note for Use of Other Pans: If using a skillet or George Foreman Grill apply weight to top. I've used all sorts of sources; cast iron skillet, tea pot, even a rock camping once! Flip Sandwich over half way through, and reapply weight. .

Paninis can be assembled ahead of time and cooked when it is convenient! Delicious!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mastering The Two Hour Turkey

I struggle with big beasts.  Foremost my lack of patience at cooking anything for 6-7 hours, or even 4 for that matter, always leaves me with an under-cooked bird.  This can not be said of the chicken.  Chicken does not daunt me in the same way, as well... It only takes an hour! My patience can handle this! Many Thanksgivings have gone by that we have microwaved the sliced turkey to make sure it is thoroughly cooked.  And frankly I find that most turkey cooked all day is darn dry!

No MORE! If I can cook a perfect chicken, I can cook a perfect turkey! Enter the electronic meat thermometer. Declare the turkey shall be done right, without flaw,  moist, delicious and EVERY TIME!

The Perfect, Juicy Two Hour Turkey

  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 lemon, halved
  • 2 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 4-6 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in 1/4ths
  • 18-22 lb Turkey (anything less you are spending on bones) 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, preheated for around 30-45 minutes prior to putting turkey in oven.
Remove the giblets. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter or olive oil and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. I prefer to rub 2 tsp unmelted butter under the skin as well, makes amazing skin.  Prepare oven bag with one tablespoons flour shaking all over bag. Insert electronic thermostat, into deepest part of breast if you have one.  
Circled is proper thermometer placement
Where to Place the Thermometer in a turkey- Right above the leg is the deepest part of the breast. So on the side of the bird.  Without running to bone as deep as you can .

Place turkey in oven bag and cut 6 air slits on top. Roast the turkey for 2 hours or until thermometer reads 170°F, the juices will run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove and let rest on counter covered for 20 minutes as juices will draw back into the meat. 

This turned out excellent! I'm so happy I tried it and made it work! Simplifies the complications of the turkey dominating the oven all day! 

Make Ahead and Serve Directions- The turkey can be made a day ahead and refrigerated before reheating, or it can be carved 10 minutes after resting.
If you decide to roast and carve the turkey ahead of time, or if you want to freeze a portion of the turkey for another occasion, place the carved turkey in a shallow baking dish, cover it with broth, then wrap with foil or place the dish in a plastic bag; refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.When you are ready to serve, defrost, if necessary, in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350°F. oven for 30 to 45 or until heated completely through (or heat in the microwave).

Moist Juicy Turkey!

Equally as delicious Alton Brown (Good Eats) Brined Turkey. Though more complex the flavor is one that is worth a little extra effort if you can afford it!

Where to Find Organic or Heirloom Turkeys
Diestel Turkey- Sonoma Valley, Ca
Can also be found at PCC

Marys Turkeys -Local Store Finder

Eat Wild-

Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish

Again, I give homage to my mother for this. She's pretty good that one.

By the way,  if there is any of this left, because it still surprises every guest how much they cant get enough of this; use it in sandwiches, turkey panini's," its just so fresh, and bright it makes the Leftovers. "Top of the Chart"!

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
2 Minutes to Prepare. Make 24 hours ahead of time.

1 12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
1 orange(Whole not peeled)
1 cup sugar

Put washed, drained cranberries in a food processor with 1 orange which has been peeled and quartered with all seeds being removed.Pulse for a few seconds, just until coarsely chopped. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl, if necessary, to chop evenly.
Add 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar and taste adjusting sweetness as desired.
Stir well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Cranberry Orange Relish may be frozen for up to 2 months.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Buttered Green Beans with Leeks and Sliced Almonds

A leek is similar to a very mildly flavored combination of onions and garlic. An interesting fact- like all of their cousins(onions, leeks, shallots, garlic) let them sit for 5 minutes after cutting before cooking enhances the healthy qualities!

Buttered Green Beans with Leeks and Sliced Almonds

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed (Haricot Verts are my favorite a long thin green bean)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 leeks, thinly sliced and cleaned
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
Lemon zest and juice
black pepper, to taste


1. Steam green beans in a small amount of water with 1/4 teaspoon salt, until beans tender; drain.
2. Toast sliced almonds in a skillet no oils needed. Stir over medium heat till brown. remove from burner and pan immediately as any additional heat will cause them to burn once they reach the browning point.
3. Heat the butter in the same large skillet you did the almonds in, and saute the leeks until they're lightly browned. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4. Add almonds(setting aside a few for the top) to the fully cooked leeks. Toss the mixture with the steamed green beans and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle remaining almonds on top.

Crispy Leeks
Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.

No leeks? Use this simple recipe with just the green beans! Its delicious either way!