Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts


Day After: Mushroom and Leek Turkey Meatloaf Panini

I'll make anything you want for dinner, I told Burger Boy. We were standing in our kitchen, feeling particularly haggard from a crazed week as we did our usual scurry around for dinner routine of grabbing random bits of whatever is in our fridge and piecing them together to make something resembling a meal. He took a thoughtful pause and I sat back, waiting for his response, half expecting him to request something complicated and half expecting him to be craving the obvious burger. When he broke the silence, he prefaced his response with a "don't judge me" but then continued on to request that I make him meatloaf.


I can't remember the last time I had meatloaf and never in a million years would have pegged him to pick meatloaf but the more I thought about it, it just seemed to make sense. It's simply comforting in every which way and was exactly what we needed. I have fond memories of my Mom making us meatloaf as kids. The way the meat is spiked with herbs and held together with eggs and breadcrumbs and topped with that classic tangy ketchup concoction that crusted up so perfectly when baked. One bite, and you just know that you're loved. There's a reason why they call it comfort food, I suppose.

So last night, I gathered up some traditional meatloaf making supplies - ground turkey (we're eating a little leaner these days), eggs, assorted herbs and panko. Then, to boost up the flavor a bit, I added thinly sliced mushrooms and leeks to give my 'loaf some personality. Gracing the top, a mixture of tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Miso and black pepper, which gave the whole thing a nice, tangy finish. We enjoyed our meatloaf with a heaping serving of rosemary-buttermilk mashed potatoes, just to drive home the classic spirit of this dish all the way home.

Today, we were left with the remnants from last night's feast: a tupperware container of meatloaf and the craving for more. A quick purchase of some crusty sourdough bread and a couple of slices off of a brick of Cabot cheese and we were in business - meatloaf paninis for all!

Mushroom and Leek Turkey Meatloaf

- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1 package of crimini mushrooms, scrubbed clean and sliced thin
- The white part of one leek, root and green part removed and discarded

- 1/2 lb. ground dark turkey meat
- 1/2 lb. ground light turkey meat

- 1 tbs. finely chopped fresh sage, rosemary and thyme
- 1 TBS Dijon mustard
- 1 egg
- Panko, as needed
- A splash of Worcestershire Sauce
- Meatloaf Glaze (recipe below)
- Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large skillet, heat the mushrooms and leeks in a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt until the leeks are translucent and the mushrooms have browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add both 1/2 lbs. of ground turkey, the herbs and mustard. Add the egg and splash of Worcestershire and mix (I find with your hands is easiest!) until it comes together. Add just enough Panko to help keep it's shape. Shape the meatloaf into a pan and spread the meatloaf glaze on top evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Remove from oven and let the meat cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Meatloaf Glaze

- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Miso
- Black Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients until well incorporated.


How To Deep Fry A Turkey

Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal in my house and it's taken pretty seriously.  While the menu remains relatively traditional, there's always an experimental wild card dish on the table.  After much speculation as to what that dish would be, I got a call from my Dad, “Katie! I got it! We’re going to deep fry a turkey this year!”  “It” in this case was a turkey frying kit (highly, strongly and definitely recommended).  This was something that we had talked about doing for a couple of years now and it had been decided that this year would be the year of the two turkeys. One baked traditionally and one deep fried.  So, newly purchased deep frying kit in hand, my Dad and I, along with my sister’s boyfriend Matt, deep fried a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Turns out, it’s pretty easy to do, but you just have to be really careful because, you know, there’s that whole risk of burning down the house or catching things on fire.  I said it once and I'll say it again, I do recommend buying the kit (my Dad got it at Walmart for $45) because it comes with everything you’ll need.  All you have to buy is the peanut oil and of course, the turkey.  So how do you deep fry a turkey? Let me walk you through it..
1. Read instructions and do your homework (I recommend this article)
2. Be careful! Fry the turkey outside and away from flammable objects.  
3. Pour oil into the pot (peanut oil is expensive but provides a great flavor)
4. Carefully start the flame
5. Let the oil heat to 350 degrees
6. Carefully and slowly, lower the turkey into the hot oil
7. Submerge the turkey entirely into the hot oil
8. Cover and let it fry for about 2.5 minutes per pound (ex: 8lb turkey =  20 mins)
9. Remove the turkey from the oil and check the temperature 
10. The temperature should read 145 degrees
11. After the turkey has rested, slice the turkey
12. Enjoy!
Cautions aside, it was pretty easy to deep fry a turkey and the flavor wasn't wildly different from a traditionally baked turkey but the moisture yielded from the deep frying process was totally worth it.  The turkey was incredibly rich and had a roasted nutty flavor courtesy of the peanut oil.  The skin was also crackling and incredibly addictive.  I would definitely do this again and would recommend it for those adventurous foodies looking to change up a traditional meal. 


Baked Pasta in a White Wine Herbed Mushroom Sauce

Baked Pasta in White Wine Herbed Mushroom Sauce 
I do love me a good baked pasta.  It's just so comforting on a chilly gray Boston day but I tend to find myself in a rut when it comes to a good baked pasta.  Most I find are tomato based, which is all fine and good but sometimes it's nice to shake things up a bit and create something a little different.

I was really happy with the way this turned out and it was exactly what I was looking for.  Sweet bits of Italian turkey sausage swimming in a bubbly sea of penne pasta and a simply rich mushroom white wine herb sauce.  The entire dish was then topped off with a positively delightful blend of gruyere and swiss cheeses.  The entire dish was then popped into the oven and then dusted with fresh chopped parsley.

Aren't new baked pasta recipes the best?
The best part?  This easy baked pasta took little time to put together but yielded some pretty tasty results that totally broke me out of a tomato based pasta bake rut.  Additionally, you could used some shredded chicken or turkey instead of the sausage or you could make this a vegetarian option by omitting the meat all together and using veggie stock instead of chicken stock.  In hindsight, a bit of fresh spinach would have also gone nicely in here.  Next time..


Not Your Average Turkey Burger

Turkey burgers always seem like a good idea.  You get to enjoy all of the pleasure of having a burger, but at a fraction of the caloric intake of a regular burger.  The flaw in this plan?  Turkey burgers are usually pretty lackluster, dried out and flavorless (due to less fat in the meat).  Not this turkey burger creation, no sir!  This is a flavor-packed version that can't even compare with the turkey burgers of yore.  Instead, these are light and you could even describe them as being refreshing.

So why are these so great and what makes them so different?  The secret is the addition of Greek yogurt and a mass amount of cilantro, mint and basil.  When you mix these ingredients into the meat and then hand pack the patties, something wonderful happens.  The extra moisture from the yogurt stays locked inside, yielding a highly flavorful meal.  Then the freshness from the herbs hit you with a punch of summery flavor, this is a great change-up for when you are craving a burger but want something a little lighter.

To compliment the burger and dress it up a little bit, I created a lemon, cumin and basil sauce with some of the leftover yogurt.  This was a refreshing little flavor booster and a great compliment to the meal.  I paired the burger with a light summery salad of mache lettuce, blueberries, and watermelon pieces topped off with some salty feta cheese and a light lemon dressing.  There was so much flavor going on with each bite, this was an exciting meal for the taste buds and a delicious one to enjoy on a nice summer evening.


Water Recovery = Turkey, Apple Cheddar Panini with Cranberry Mustard

Like most Bostonians, I am still trying to recover from this mess of a water situation.  It's amazing how much you miss that stuff when its not there or hard to come by.  Case in point, I was running all throughout Back Bay trying to find someone, (anyone!) who would sell me a cup of coffee yesterday.  I went to Dunkin's, Starbucks, Souper Salad and then finally struck gold at Au Bon Pain, who was brewing it, slowly but surely. I've gotta have my one cup a day....

To give you an idea of the pandemonium that ensued at the grocery stores, here's a shot I took with my Blackberry..
Shelves were literally wiped clean, down to the last bottle of any sort of liquid (soda, OJ, seltzer water, you name it, it was gone).  Notice the coolers above the barren shelves?  Oh, sweet, sweet irony.  And if this madness weren't enough, there is a heat wave blanketing the metro Boston area, bringing unseasonably high temperatures that make the presence of an ice cold glass of water missed even more.  Boston might be my home, but I am certainly not lovin' that dirty water!

So last night, I wanted something easy, delicious and that wouldn't require much water for cleaning.  Enter the humble turkey sandwich, twisted up a bit in true SBK form (pay no attention to the paper plates).  Although nothing super crazy here, this hit the spot.  I started with soft freshly baked sesame bread and smothered on a tangy cranberry honey mustard (see picture to the right, this stuff is awesome) and then added cheddar cheese, oven roasted turkey (I usually opt for a Boar's Head low sodium kind because it tastes a little more natural to me).  I also used refreshing green apples to punch up this plain-jane sandwich.  Thankfully, we got the "all-clear" on not having to boil water today, meaning things should be getting back to business as usual tomorrow.  I'm just looking forward to getting back to enjoying my morning cup of coffee and not having to boil water just to brush my teeth!


TPPF Panini (Turkey, Prosciutto, Provolone and Fig)

When reading the Clean Plate Club's blog a couple weeks back, I came across Alicia's raves on Dalmatia Fig Spread.  I remember being excited about the prospect of a jammy fig spread packaged into this cute little pot.  My mind had already started working on some uses for this new find.  How delicious would this be on cheese and crackers? And what about prosciutto and figs?  I mean they go together like PB & J.  What else, I wondered?  Then life happened and I forgot about my future fig spread endeavors until I was poking around the new Brookline Fine Wine and Gourmet Shop in Brookline Village and I spotted its happy little orange top staring at me from afar.  Excitedly, I purchased it immediately and began thinking of figgy creations.  (As a side note, the Brookline Fine Wine and Gourmet Shop is such a cute little space specializing in unique wines and sweet gourmet food finds.  It's right on Harvard Street in Brookline Village and I had the privilag privilege of meeting Carrie, the owner, and she was super nice and very knowledgeable about wines.  And a bonus, she didn't even make me feel like a wierdo for getting so excited about finally finding fig spread.)

Today I was in a sandwichy kinda mood and thought that would be the perfect opportunity to try out my fig spread.  Layered in between two crispy pieces of oatmeal wheat bread was a nice sharp provolone cheese, Boar's Head oven roasted turkey and then the magical combination of salty prosciutto and sweet jammy fig spread.  This sandwich was awesome.  Nothing too fancy but just the perfect blend of sweet, salty crunchy deliciousness.

I can't wait to see what other dishes I come up with featuring this fig spread find...stay tuned!

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