Monday, December 31, 2012

no bird shall die in vain

when I'm cookin' him! Our Christmas turkey has been roasted, sauteed, tossed, pulled and eaten for days. Here are some ideas for leftover turkey. 
A modern Cobb with turkey, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrot, sautéed zucchini, and roasted potatoes. Topped with green onions and a dijon balsamic vinaigrette.
turkey a la king

1 cup turkey, roughly chopped/pulled
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 jar diced pimento, drained
1 small yellow onion, diced
3/4 to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter (for roux)
2 tablespoons butter (for sautéing)
1 puff pastry sheet or 4 shells
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup Cream Sherry
1 egg, slightly beaten
3-4 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Sauté onions until translucent in butter. Add mushrooms and saute until lightly golden, add pepper and pimento and continue to cook for a few more minutes. When all vegetables are lightly softened, set aside. In a Dutch oven, add 3 tablespoons butter. When butter is melted, add 3 tablespoons flour and whisk to make roux. Slowly add milk, continuing to stir. Stir in all milk - ensure sauce is smooth. Add turkey and vegetables into creamy mixture. Remove Dutch oven from heat add sherry (or a bit more if you like). Return to medium heat and stir well for a few minutes. Remove from heat again, add beaten egg yolk and stir constantly to avoid the egg from cooking quickly. Return to heat and add generous amount of S&P.
While you are preparing the a la king mixture - follow the directions on the puff pastry. Either slice a sheet into circles or rectangles or place frozen shells on cookie sheet. When puff pastry is done, carefully separate so you have a top and bottom piece. Before serving, mix in parsley and serve in warm pastry shells.
Spicy Turkey, White Bean & Swiss Chard Soup inspired by Closet Kitchen

2-3 cups turkey (pulled or chopped - I pulsed the turkey slightly in the food processor)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 bunch swiss chard, rough chopped or torn
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 red pepper flakes
1 Parmesan rind
chicken or turkey stock|
1 handful parsley
Parmesan chunk
S&P to taste

Heat the oil in a stock pot or large Dutch oven, add onion and saute until tender, add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add turkey, celery, carrots, tomatoes, white beans, swiss chard, oregano, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add Parmesan rind and stock to cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Season with S&P. Serve with chopped parsley and grated Parm.
This made about 2 and a half quarts of soup - we are set for the winter chill!
I am now headed off to begin our New Year's Eve dinner - a jazzy salad and seafood entree. Hope it's good!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the hap-hap-happiest season of all

How does Christmas always go so fast? A week of eating, drinking, cooking and enjoying time with family - what a great holiday! I really need to get better at taking more photos - but here are a few that made it (and some recipes).
Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe - what is Christmas morning without Bloody Mary's?
4 cups tomato juice
juice of 1 large lemons
1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
vodka, to taste
lemon wedges, for serving
celery sticks, for serving and munching
Mix ingredients well and pour 1 part vodka and 3 parts Bloody Mary mix over ice in a shaker. Shake well. Pour into glasses. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over drink (do not subsequently stir or shake drink), discard used wedge. Garnish with a large stick of celery and a large lemon wedge.

The first night my parents were here, we had Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon with a zesty French salad. The vinaigrette was adapted from La Bonne Soupe in New York City.
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup good white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup EVOO
S&P to taste

Christmas Eve hors d'oeuvre - Bosc pears wrapped in prosciutto ham with some balsamic Blaze (reduced balsamic vinegar) underneath. This recipe is from A Cozy Kitchen
great blog.

Traditional Christmas Eve cheese sampler (clockwise from the top), Black Creek sharp cheddar, Rogue Creamery Gorgonzola, Murray's Drunken Goat cheese. Served with grapes, berries and Harry & David Pepper Jelly. We also had Whole Foods smoked gouda and caramelized onion dip (so good).
The main event - 16 pounder, stuffed with Mary's Famous Stuffing.
Mary's Stuffing
loaf of white sandwich bread (I tend to use the store brand - most generic white bread possible), torn into small pieces and dried for about a day
1-2 yellow onions, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons marjoram
2-3 tablespoons sage
2-3 tablespoons thyme
about 1/2 cup of fresh parsley finely chopped
S&P to taste
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Place stuffing inside turkey - you will have some leftover that can be baked in the oven in a covered dish (about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees). Fresh herbs are the preference (but we actually used dried).
The Master Chefs
Only Mary and Bill could be photographed as Vance was at the hospital, Billy was inhaling the brie with current jam, and I was still in my pajamas (at 8:30 p.m.). Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

o' tannenbaum

Last night was the first time Vance and I trimmed the tree together - in our house, as family. Vance hadn't decorated a Christmas tree in about 15 years, he was a quick study though. Note, last year's tiny Emerson Pine, decorated while Vance slept on a post-call day.
Our first "big tree."
While we decorated and danced to Christmas music, I enjoyed a scotch 'n soda and Vance had a Manhattan. Traditional cocktails for a night of tradition. Our Christmas cocktail glasses were a gift from  my parents last year. 1950's rocks glasses - I love these! Manhattan for Vance - 3/4 whiskey (Seagrams 7 or other), 1/4 sweet vermouth, dash of bitters. Shake and serve over ice with a cherry. My beverage - Johnny Walker Red with some club soda - twist of lemon.
In keeping with the classic theme, we had turkey Tetrazzini - very tasty. 
12 oz egg noodles
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup cream
14.5 oz chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup peas
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (divided into 1/3 and 1/3 cups)
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
ground nutmeg 
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating salted water for the pasta.  Cook the mushrooms in about 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Set aside. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. If water boiling, add pasta. Follow the package directions and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe. Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, cream, broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes. When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Grate about 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg if using, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.  In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits. Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.
Happy Monday all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

a family affair

I was originally going to title this blog "a German invasion," as Vance's family is either all German or all German wannabes (read - the Polish brother-in-law, Peter), but I thought that may be in poor taste. Now that we are true home-owning adults, Vance's family members gathered in Nashville last week. Traveling from the four corners of Pennsylvania, the Hamor-Vicinski Clan helped us welcome in December with good drinks, great story telling, laughter and some tasty food.
The patriarch, Pap, and eldest grandson.
My mom suggested I try a recipe from the Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle, PA. She attended a class there a few weeks ago and raved about a roasted pork with sauce and a zucchini gratin. In hindsight, trying a new recipe that involves over four ingredients, with a full (hungry) house is not the most stress-free option, but it did turn out quite nicely! Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, and well all enjoyed the drinks.
The pork begins with a EVOO and mustard-based rub.
mustard and fennel rub 
Pork loin, about 5 lbs
2 tablespoons EVOO
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
3 cups chicken stock
Mix all ingredients and rub all over pork loin. Place pork in roasting pan. Pour 3 cups of chicken stock over the pork. Place in preheated oven (400 degrees). Roast for roughly 1 1/4 hours or until cooked through. Cover in tin foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing thin.
2 shallots minced
3 tablespoons flour (I used Wondra)
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock (2 cups reserved to add sauce if needed)
2 teaspoons dijon 
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup green peppercorns (in brine, drained)
1/4 cup sun dried tomato pesto
2 tablespoons red current jelly
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pour the liquid from the roasted pork into a gravy separator (scraping up the pan bits), reserving about 1/4 cup of fat. If you don't have that much just add some melted butter. Pour fat/butter into a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the shallots until tender, add flour and whisk for a few minutes until sauce begins to slightly thicken. Stir in wine and scrape the pan, making sure to get up the brown bits. Whisk in roughly 3 cups of pan juices/chicken stock. Add mustards, peppercorns, and tomato pesto. Stir continuously and bring to a boil. Whisk in jelly and cream and remove from heat. Slice pork and serve with warm sauce.
A creamy, sweet and savory sauce really gives this pork the punch. The Gruyere and zucchini gratin was equally as pleasing (and a bit less labor intensive). 
Roasted small potatoes with sour cream and chives rounded out our side dishes.
I picked up about 4 bags of small potatoes from Trader Joe's. Clean them up a bit with a peeler and boil for roughly 10-12 minutes until almost done. Remove and toss with EVOO, S&P. Finish by roasting in the oven at about 375 for 10 minutes until skins are crispy.
On Saturday, we went to The Carter House in Franklin.
KK and Peter
The Clarbaugh's - Holiday 2012