Leftover Turkey Salad

Have you ever had one of those sandwiches with leftover roasted turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce? It’s very tasty but also a lot of bread in one meal. In this turkey salad recipe, I combined the flavors of the dressing with the turkey. I still recommend a few slices of jellied cranberry sauce. It adds delightful sweetness and tang. This salad would also work well stuffed inside a ripe tomato.

Servings: about 3

Cooking time: less than 25 minutes, depending on how quickly you chop vegetables.

  • 1 cup turkey pieces
  • 1 rib celery (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • a few sprigs of parsley (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 small apple (about 1/3 cup chopped)
  • 3/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (less or more to taste)
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4-1/3 cup light mayonnaise (to taste)
  • slices of jellied cranberry sauce (optional)
  1. Chop the celery, parsley and apple into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Combine with turkey pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, combine spices, oil and 1/4 cup mayo. Add this mixture to the turkey mixture. Add a little more mayo if necessary.
  3. Spread onto toasted slices of bread with a layer of cranberry sauce. Mmmm…

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Baked Chile Rellenos

I tried doing something like this a while back, and it didn’t work as well as it did this time. That time, I battered the peppers first and then stuffed them. This time, I reversed the process. The peppers were crisp, as was the crust, and the cheese was flavorful and gooey. I served this with refried beans, corn tortillas and tomato slices. You can either make a little wrap with a slice of pepper and the other ingredients, or eat them separately.

Servings: 2

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes prep, then baking

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe poblano chiles
  • 3 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated (low fat is fine)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 oz milk
  1. Wash the peppers. Cut them horizontally about an inch from the stem end. Carefully, remove the veins and seeds from the inside of the peppers (for a spicier dish, leave some of the veins). Again carefully, cut around the stem and the top of the pepper and remove it. Discard the seeds and veins. Wash your hands well.
  2. Heat the oven to 350. Mince the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the cheese, cumin and garlic. In another small bowl, scramble the egg with the milk. On a plate with a bit of an edge, mix the cornmeal and flour. Spray a small baking dish (one or two quarts) with non-stick spray.
  3. Carefully stuff the cheese mixture into the peppers. Be sure to get some down in the tip of the pepper, but don’t just cram it in or you’ll break the pepper. (Use the handle of a spoon or fork if you’re having trouble.) If there are pockets in your pepper tops, you can put some cheese in there as well.
  4. Again carefully, dip one of the pepper bottoms into the egg mixture, trying to keep it somewhat upright so the cheese doesn’t fall out. Once it’s coated, dip the same pepper into the cornmeal/flour mix and coat well. You might just want to use your fingers to spread the cornmeal mix onto the pepper. If you’d like a thicker crust, repeat dipping in the egg mixture then the cornmeal. Place in the baking dish. Repeat with the other pepper bottom and the tops, matching the tops to the peppers once in the baking dish.
  5. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is starting to brown.

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Rainbow Chard Crustless Quiche

I typed up the ingredients for this post a while back but never finished the post. I’m glad I typed up those, or I never would have remembered! This dish was fairly quick, aside from the baking, very tasty and colorful.

Servings: 4-6

Cooking time: 30 minutes prep plus 40-50 minutes baking time

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch rainbow chard
  • 1 small onion (yellow or white)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup eggs substitute (3 eggs worth)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cheese (I used part Swiss cheese, part vegetable Jack cheese)
  1. Rinse the chard well and shake off the excess water. Separate any ribs of the chard thicker than 1/4 inch from the leaves by cutting along the edge of each side of the rib. Set the leaves aside for now. Slice the ribs into 1/3 inch thick pieces. Dice the onion.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion a few minutes until starting to get tender. Add the chard ribs, stirring occasionally. While that cooks, lay a few leaves on top of each other, roll them up, and cut into 1/2 inch wide pieces (chiffonade). If any of the leaves are particularly wide, you can also cut them in half lengthwise to make slightly smaller pieces.
  3. When the chard ribs are tender, add the leaves to the pan and stir. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick spray.
  4. After the leaves have cooked for a few minutes and are wilted, turn off the heat. Continue to stir and cook one minute more. Then add the chard mixture to the egg mixture. Mix thoroughly. Pour into prepared dish.
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven until set in the middle on the top and golden on the edges, about 40-50 minutes. You may need to rotate the pan once during baking depending on how your oven distributes heat. The quiche will continue to cook for a few minutes outside the oven, so it doesn’t need to be completely set in the middle before removing it from the oven. Excellent with a tomato salad.

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    Banana Nut Bread

    I bought a few bananas a while back, and before I knew it, they were much too “ripe” for me too eat. I prefer my bananas with a hint of green or possibly a lone brown freckle. But once there are a handful, I can’t quite bring myself to eat them as is. I often take these over-ripe bananas, slice them and freeze them for use in milkshakes. However, my freezer already has enough banana slices in it, and with the cool evenings we’ve had recently, I thought it was time for some banana bread.

    Super ripe bananas are key for this recipe to provide the necessary sweetness. I made mine in three small loaf pans (about six inches by three inches). This made nice rounded loaves with golden tops, but the recipe could easily be spread into four loaf pans with less in them or one larger loaf. Keep the oven temperature the same, but adjust the baking time (more for a larger loaf, less for smaller ones). This recipe is a modification of the Better Homes and Gardens one.

    pretty loaves

    pretty loaves

    Cooking time: 15 minutes prep, 35-45 minutes baking

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas (about 3 large)
    • 3/4 c sugar
    • 1/2 c vegetable oil
    • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
    1. Grease and flour/spray with Baker’s Joy the inside of your loaf pan(s). Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Combine the first six ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl.
    3. In a separate medium bowl, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, sugar and oil and mix thoroughly.
    4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once. Mix well, but there will be some lumps. Add the nuts and mix a few more strokes.
    5. Pour batter into the prepared pan(s). If using several small loaf pans, there should be at least an inch of space at the top of the pan.
    6. Bake in the oven about 20 minutes, then rotate the pan(s). Continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, 15 to 25 minutes more, depending on the size of the loaves.
    7. Cool on a wire rack at least ten minutes. Quick breads freeze well–just be sure the loaves are completely cool before doing so. I froze one of my loaves, wrapping it first in plastic wrap, then foil.

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    Kohlrabi Coleslaw

    A month or so ago, my favorite apple farmer at the farmer’s market, Al, started to get in his apple crop. The early varieties are all tart and best for cooking in some way. But in the middle of summer, I like to keep my baking to a minimum so pies and tarts were right out. That’s when I hatched the idea for this ‘slaw.

    This is a coleslaw in a minimal sense. There’s no thick dressing weighing it down. However, it’s very refreshing to have at an end-of-summer picnic. It’s nice and crisp, which is the point of coleslaw in my mind. It’s there to balance out the chewy hotdogs, tender baked beans and juicy fruit cobblers. And this one does just that.

    Servings: 8-10 side dish servings

    Cooking time: 20 minutes prep, 1 hour+ chilling

    Ingredients:

    • 1 kohlrabi bulb (enough for 1 1/2 cups when chopped)
    • 2 small, tart apples (enough for 1 cup when chopped)
    • 1 lime
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp+ ground pepper (or white pepper if you have it)
    • dash of salt (less than 1/8 tsp)
    1. Peel off the outer layer of the kohlrabi. Chop into thin, matchstick-like pieces (julienne). Place in a medium bowl. Peel the apples and remove their seeds. Julienne them and add them to the bowl. Squeeze the juice of half the lime over the mixture (you may want to squeeze a little bit onto the apple immediately after you cut the first one to prevent it from turning brown). Finely chop the mint and add to the bowl. Add the spices and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional lime juice and pepper if necessary. Serve with sunshine.

    Note: this would be good with a 1/2 tsp of celery seeds mixed in.

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    Courgette Croquettes

    This time of year, everyone needs recipes for their prolific zucchini plants. I dared to plant one myself this year. Unfortunately, one of our windy rain storms toppled it over. Oh well. Zucchini are pretty cheap at the farmer’s market.

    Not only is this a tasty way to use zucchini, it’s a continuation of my series of Greek recipes. The lemon and mint are really tasty here. The thing that’s tricky about this recipe is frying the croquettes quickly enough to cook all of them and get them to the table while they’re all still hot. I’m terrible at that. Nevertheless, they were quite tasty.

    Servings: About 6 as a side dish with other items; enough for 8 appetizer servings

    Cooking time: 40 minutes prep time, 1 hour+ chilling time, 30 minutes for frying

    • 5-6 medium zucchinis
    • half a medium white or yellow onion
    • 3 garlic cloves (enough for 1 1/2-2 tbps once minced)
    • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
    • fresh parsley, enough for 1 cup once chopped
    • fresh mint, enough for 1/3 cup once chopped
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 lemon
    • vegetable oil for frying
    1. Grate the zucchini in a large, mesh colander. Sprinkle lightly with salt (1/2 tsp) and let sit in a sink or over a bowl for at least 15 minutes, or while you complete step 2.
    2. Grate the onion into a large bowl. Mince the garlic and add it to the onion. Finely chop the parsley and mint, being careful to remove any large stems. Add them to the bowl.
    3. Push down on the zucchini in the colander to remove more of the water. Add the zucchini to the large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, eggs and the juice of the lemon. Wash your hands. Mix together with your hands.
    4. Cover and chill the mixture at least one hour or over night. Shortly before you’re ready to serve them, heat 1/2 inch of oil in a pan. When you can feel heat coming off the oil about three inches above it, drop a small piece of bread in the pan. If it sizzles quickly, the oil is hot enough. (Make sure it doesn’t smoke.)
    5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture into the hot oil, trying to keep the mix in a pile. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to fit five to seven croquettes in at once. Make sure to leave space around them though so you can flip them over. When a croquette is golden on one side (3-4 minutes), flip it to the other side. When a croquette has fried on both sides, remove it with a slotted spoon or spatula onto a plate lined with paper bags (to absorb the grease). Serve as soon as they’re all done.

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      Soutzoukakia

      Soutzoukakia are tasty Greek, oblong-shaped meatballs that reveal a bit of the influence Turkey had on the country in previous eras. They’re served with a tomato sauce usually over rice or sometimes mashed potatoes.

      The organization through which I did my studies in Greece sends newsletters every quarter or so. Each one has a recipe, supposedly ones that were tried out by students studying in Greece. Unfortunately, these recipes often have the same problems of my Greek cookbook. Said cookbook was only marginally better on this recipe. So for our Greek feast, I did a combination of the two recipes, and it turned out pretty well.

      It will seem as though there’s an excessive amount of parsley in this recipe. Don’t worry: it cooks down, and it takes a lot to get a real parsley flavor. And speaking of, a brief note on herbs in Greek cooking. In the whole meal I made, there was absolutely no dill. I don’t know where this idea came from that Greek food is full of dill, but I hardly tasted any of it when I was there. The most commonly used herb is definitely parsley, followed by mint and oregano. At least according to my taste buds.

      Servings: 5-6 as a main course, more as appetizers (it should make about 32 large meatballs)

      Cooking time: about 2 hours

      Ingredients:

      Meatballs:

      • 2 lbs ground meat (I used 1 lb pork and 1 lb turkey. Lamb or beef would be more traditional.)
      • 1 large or 2 medium yellow or white onions
      • 3 cloves garlic
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 large bunch of fresh parsley (this should make 2-3 cups when chopped)
      • fresh mint, enough to make 1/3 cup when chopped
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
      • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
      • 1 tsp paprika
      • 2 tsp ground cumin
      • 2 tsp dried oregano

      Sauce:

      • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (look for ones that don’t have any additives)
      • 1 tbsp olive oil
      • 1 small onion, or half a large one (about 1/2 cup chopped)
      • 1 clove garlic
      • 1 1/2 cups water
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
      • 1 tsp dried oregano
      • 1 scant tsp sugar (Most tomato-based sauces should have sugar to cut the acidity. Chili is the one major exception.)
      • salt and pepper to taste
      1. Dice the onions for the meatballs and put in a large bowl. Mince the garlic for the meatballs and add it to the onions. Chop the parsley and mint, being careful to remove any large stems from them. Toss these with the onions and garlic and the other herbs and spices (salt-oregano).
      2. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with about 1/2 cup water and let stand a few minutes. If it’s not moist all the way through, add more water a tablespoon at a time. Mix with the items in the large bowl.
      3. Prep a very large, oven-safe pan (I used one 11×7 and one 8×8). Preheat the oven to 425. Wash your hands. Add the ground meat to the large bowl. Add the eggs and olive oil. Use your hands to mix everything thoroughly. This is fun! It’s a great way to take out stress, and it’s the best way to get everything thoroughly mixed. You should use this same technique for meatloaf.
      4. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, shape the meatballs into football-like shapes about 2-3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick at the thickest part. Try to make your meatballs evenly-sized so they cook evenly. Place each one in the pan, each one lightly touching another. I did three rows in each pan. When all the meatballs are shaped, place the pan(s) in the oven. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes, until browned on the outside.
      5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Dice the onion and garlic, and add them to the hot oil. When the onion is translucent, but not caramelized, add the cinnamon and allspice. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomatoes, water, oregano, sugar and pepper. Let simmer at least five minutes or until the meatballs are browned on the outside. Adjust seasonings, adding salt if necessary (be sure to taste-you don’t know how salty your canned tomatoes might be).
      6. Remove the meatballs from the oven and reduce the heat to 375. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cover the pan(s) with foil. Return the pans to the oven and bake 15-25 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is bubbly. Serve over rice.

      Note: I went all the way through step 6 the night before our dinner, then reheated the meatballs for serving. The sauce will be a bit thick when reheated, so I’d recommend adding about 1/2 cup water to the pan before reheating. There’s no need to mix it; it will mix naturally as the sauce heats.

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