Turkey Breakfast Sausage

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My lovely friend Miranda from Hundred Mile Table gave me a jar of home made breakfast sausage seasoning that is so good, I went into panic mode wondering what I would do when it was gone.  

Luckily, I figured something out.  

Makes 6 servings.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 lb ground turkey breast

In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and marjoram together until well combined.  Sprinkle over ground turkey and mix in with a knife or your hands.  Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion and mold into patties.  

Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium heat and cook turkey patties about 8 minutes on each side.  

 

Turkey Tacos

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What to do with all the leftover thanksgiving turkey you're about to have.  I normally eat it standing in front of the open fridge, dipping it in cold gravy hours after dinner when eveyone has gone home and I'm too tipsy/tired/happy to get a plate.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  (Am I alone here?)

This year I'm going to make these turkey tacos.  Pretty easy and something different.  Serve with your favorite taco fillings or use for quesadillas or enchiladas.  

Serves 4.

Turkey Tacos

1 lb leftover cooked turkey, shredded  (i used white + dark meat)

juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 small orange

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon agave

4 sprigs cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

s + p

high heat oil, like canola, grape seed...

Toss all ingredients, excluding oil, together in a bowl.  In a large skillet, heat a splash of oil over high heat.  Add seasoned turkey and cook, stirring occasionally until hot, about 5 minutes.  

Roast Turkey and Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving is almost here and it's time to start planning the menu and sourcing recipes.  I love a good food holiday.  I also really like turkey but eat it only once a year on Thanksgiving.  It's the delight of the table.  And gravy, there must be gravy.  

This month is going to be dedicated to classic Thanksgiving recipes.  Look out for mashed potatoes, garlicky green beans, glazed carrots, stuffing, craberry sauce, dinner rolls and maybe some desserts!

Let's talk about the turkey.  Whether you decide to go fresh, frozen, domestic, kosher, wild or heritage; it's going to be great.  If you do get a frozen one, you will have to decide if you will be thawing in the fridge or in a cold water bath.  Fridge thawing, where the bird remains unwrapped, breast side up and on a tray,  is easier but requires at least 1 day of thawing per 4 lbs.  Cold water thawing, where the bird remains completely covered in cold water,  requires more attention as the water must be changed every 30 minutes to keep the temperature constant.  Cold water thawing takes at least 30 minutes per pound.  Ours took a little longer than originally calculated.

Once thawed and ready to roast, unwrap, remove giblets, neck and what not from cavities.  Wash turkey inside and out with cold water.  Dry inside and out with paper towels.  

Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Place turkey, breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.  Place giblets, neck, carrot, onion, celery, fresh herbs and 1 cup water or stock in bottom of roasting pan.  These add aroma and flavor to the turkey and drippings.  Rub the turkey with oil or butter.  Rub with prepared rub if using.  If not, salt and pepper.  Oil and season inside and out, and under breast skin.  Stuff turkey with stuffing if stuffing.  Neck and body cavity maybe stuffed.  Do not pack stuffing too tightly.  Tie legs together with cotton kitchen twine.  

Place in oven and roast 20 minutes of so until top browns nicely.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting.  Baste every 30 minutes with pan liquids.  If the skin becomes too brown cover with foil or if pan liquid disappears add water or stock 1/2 cup at a time.  Roast until thermometer inserted inthickest part of thigh reads 165 degrees.  This will take 3 to 5 hours for a stuffed turkey depending on size.  Less for an unstuffed bird.  

Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a carving board lined with a kitchen towel and let rest 20 minutes before carving.  I recomend making the gravy while it rests.  

Place the roasting pan on the stove oven two burners.  Skim off what fat you can and remove the large solids of giblets, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and herbs.  Turn both on to high heat.  Add stock and scrap bottom of pan to dislodge any brown bits stuck to the pan.  Reduce about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper as needed.  Strain liquid into a sauce pan or into a bowl and then back into the roasting pan.  Shake a little flour in a bit at a time while whisking until thickened. Keep warm and serve with turkey.

Carve turkey as you like and remove stuffing.  Stuffing is what's cooked in the bird and dressing is what's not.  

Turkey Rub (enough for a 12-22 lb turkey)

4 teaspoons salt

3 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard powder

Cobime all ingredients and use as a rub on meat before cooking.  

Roast Turkey 

1 thawed whole turkey

olive oil or warm butter

s + p or 1 prepared portion of turkey rub

1 onion, quarted

1 carrot, halved

1 stalk celery, halved

some thyme or parsley

1 cup water or stock, plus more if needed

Turkey Gravy

6 cups stock, turkey or chicken

s + p

a couple tablespoons flour

 

A Healthier Meatball

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Who doesn't like a meatball?  This is a healthier version that uses lean ground turkey breast instead of the usual beef pork combo and spaghetti squash instead of pasta.   

For the sauce, I'm pretty flexible.  I just use whatever fresh herbs I have lying around and then supplement with dried ones.  For this I used fresh thyme, fresh savory and dried oregano which went well with the meatballs.   

Serves 4. 

Herbed Turkey Meatballs over Roasted Spaghetti Squash + Simple Tomato Sauce

2 spaghetti squashes  

olive oil

s + p

1 shallot, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

fresh thyme leaves, from 5 sprigs

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the sauce 

olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

fresh herbs and dried herbs

1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes

28 oz tin crushed tomatoes 

s + p

Heat oven to 375.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds.  Lightly oil, salt and pepper squash halves.  Place cut side down on a large baking sheet and roast about 45 minutes or until done.  (A fork will easily pierce the skin and flesh.) 

Meanwhile, get the sauce going.  In a small pot, heat a splash of olive oil and saute onion until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, herbs and chile flakes, cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and simmer, 20 - 30 minutes.  Finish with salt and pepper.  

While the sauce is simmering get the meatballs going.  In pan, heat a splash olive oil and saute shallot until clear and soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add thyme, chile flakes, oregano and fennel seeds, cook 1 minute more.  Set aside.  

In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, and bread crumbs.  Add shallot mixture, turkey, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix ingredients with clean hands until evenly distributed.  Form into 1 inch meatballs, there will be about 12.  

Heat a splash of oil in a pan on the stove and add meatballs.  Turn frequently to cook all sides, cooking for about 10 minutes until internal temperature of meatballs reads 165 degrees.    

OR

Sear/brown all sides of meatballs in skillet on the stove.  Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 8 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.  

Remove squash from oven when done.  Let sit until cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to scrape out flesh into serving bowls.  Discard skins.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with sauce and meatballs.   

 

Chipotle + Turkey Enchiladas

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These enchiladas use the smoky chipotle sauce from the previous post.   

Makes about 14 enchiladas, serving about 7 people.   

Turkey Enchiladas

splash high heat oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 lb ground lean white meat turkey

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/3 cup green olives, pitted, sliced

1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh

handful cilantro, chopped 

prepared chipotle tomato sauce

14 (ish) 6" corn tortillas, room temperature or warm

6 oz grated cheddar cheese

Heat splash of oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onion, cook until onions are soft, about 8 minutes.  Add turkey, cook, stirring frequently, until turkey is done, about 8 minutes.  Add zucchini, olives, corn and cilantro.  Cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.    

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.  Fill each corn tortilla with 1/3 cup filling and a pinch of cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in pan.  Repeat with other tortillas until there is no more filling.    

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with warm chipotle sauce.  (And maybe more cheese, yes?) 

Chipotle Turkey Chili

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This chili is spicy, satisfying and healthy.  Makes about 8 servings.  

Chipotle Turkey Chili

olive oil

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

s + p

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 poblano pepper, diced

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large tins whole peeled tomatoes, blended smooth

1 cup water

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried oregano

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tin black beans, drained, rinsed

1 tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed a bit

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In a skillet, cook turkey 10-12 minutes.  Set aside.  

In a large pot, sauté onion in a dash of olive oil about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, jalapeno, poblano and carrots.  Cook 5 minutes more until onions are clear and vegetables are glossy.  Add blended tomatoes, water, bay leaves, oregano, cumin and chipotle powder.  Simmer 25 minutes.  Stir in bell pepper, turkey, black beans, kidney beans, corn and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.