Friday, November 30, 2012

Brussel Sprouts were not my favorite growing up. In fact I used to feed them to my grandmother's dog under the table. Babe would eat just about anything, including my much hated Brussel Sprouts. I recently confessed this to my Mother. She laughed so hard. She couldn't believe I fed them to the dog. I would do anything to not eat them. Now they are one of my favorite vegetables. You just need to dress them up a bit. They take well to the butter, garlic and wine that I am roasting them in. These are perfect for a Holiday meal. This so easy yet tastes so divine that you can easily fool your guests. If during your holiday season your ovens are all in use, take to your gas grill or even use your crock pot (no foil needed!)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2 bags of Brussel Sprouts or about 4 cups
5 cloves of garlic minced
3/4 cup white wine
3 TB butter melted
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon juiced
salt and pepper

You will need enough foil to completely cover a cookie sheet. I like to line the bottom for easy cleanup too.
Take the Brussels sprouts and slice in have from the stem. Toss on the foil lined cookie sheet.

Squeeze 1/2 lemon on the sprouts. This will keep them a nice vibrant green. Add the minced garlic, butter and pepper flakes to them.

Cover with the wine.

Seal up well and roast in a 350 oven for about 30 - 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is Spinach Dip only for Christmas?

I don't make this very often. It isn't because its hard to make. It's very easy. It just seems to be only made around the holidays. Most of the other get togethers, I am known for making Spicy Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Baked Pub Cheese. But each time I make this dip, I get rave reviews and it happens to be one of The Tortured Teenager's all time favorites. She looks for it each and every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I really should make it for her more often.

Be sure to make this either the night before or early the morning of. It really needs to refrigerate at least two hours for the flavors to combine. The Tortured Teenager happens to love it the second day when she can start taking apart the bread bowl I place it into.

I have never tried to lighten this dip up using light mayo or light or fat free sour cream. This year I just may have to make a small batch and see if the taste is different. Let me know if you try it lightened up and if it is a hit.

I put Parmesan cheese in my dip. I don't think it is traditionally in the original dip. I like the way the salty Parm plays off the crisp water chestnuts. But I am a cheese freak.

Spinach Dip
1 package of Knorr's Leek or Vegetable dip mix (Leek is preferred but very hard to find)
2 cup of sour cream
1 cup of mayo
3 green onions diced
1 rib of celery diced
1 can of chopped water chestnuts (find them on the Asian aisle)
1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 box of frozen chopped spinach-thawed and drained
1 sourdough bread bowl

To drain the spinach, take a clean dish towel and wring the spinach out in it. You will be amazed how much water comes out the spinach. Place into a very large mixing bowl and break the spinach up. Sometimes I chop it up additionally if it looks like it isn't chopped finely.

To the bowl of spinach, add the additional ingredients (except the bread bowl) and mix well.
Be sure you get chopped water chestnuts! For some reason I bought them whole and have to chop them myself.

Cut off the top of the bread bowl.

Hallow it out of the bread but do it carefully so you can use the bread to dip the spinach dip in. I like to cut the inside of the bowl into quarters, carefully not going through the crust. Then I take the knife and line out the interior. Carefully pull out all the bread. Chop up and but back into the original bag the bowl came in. Since the dip will need to refrigerate, there is no need to have the bread drying out in the refrigerator.

Place the dip inside the bread bowl. It all will fit just perfectly.
Place onto a serving dish that is big enough for the bread to surround the bowl. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. I like to do it the night before.
When ready to serve, place the bread you saved around the bowl.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creamy Turkey Enchiladas

If your house is anything like my house, you have a ton of turkey leftover and are starting to wonder what to do with it other than another midnight turkey sandwich (guilty) this happen to be my favorite. This will take a big chunk of your leftovers, just as a warning. Make a HUGE tray. They are creamy delicious. You will be picking at them all night. If you do not eat them all for dinner, I recommend you freezing them for another night when turkey is not so overpowering. You will want these in your freezer when you are making a ton of cookies next month.

Creamy Turkey Enchiladas
3 cups chopped up cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 cup sour cream
1 cube cream cheese softened
1 large can diced green chilis, undrained
1 cup jack cheese for filling
2 cups jack cheese for topping
1 can (not large) med green chili enchilada sauce
6-9 flour tortillas (fajita size)

In a medium size bowl mix the softened cream cheese, sour cream, chilis, and 1 cup of the jack cheese together.

Mix in the leftover turkey meat.
Now here's where the sloppy part starts!
Pour enough sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan to cover the bottom.
Pour 1 cup of sauce in a pie plate. Take a tortilla and place in the pie plate. Flip over to sauce both sides. This is important to my family...they do not like dry enchiladas. Note: I skip the pie plate and just do it in the baking pan. You can save the dish to wash!Add 1/2 cup meat mixture and roll up. Keep refilling sauce to moisten tortillas. I am really over packing them. I am using maybe 3/4 of a cup.
Roll carefullyRepeat until the pan in full or the meat is gone.
Cover the top of the enchiladas with cheese. Take remaining sauce and pour over top of enchiladas Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes uncovered.
Try to resist seconds.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Brined Turkey Breast

There have been years that we have just been too busy to do up a BIG turkey. And in that case I have been so happy that the grocery store has had just turkey breasts. It is just as easy to brine a turkey breast (and in just 24 hours) and it still feeds a full family of four. Cook up two and you have leftovers. So if you are looking to lighten the load or lessen the leftovers, this might be your option. I still prefer to brine my poultry when I have the time.

Brined Turkey Breast

1 Turkey Breast (or two)
3/4 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup white sugar
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
black pepper corns
1/2 -1 lemon sliced
carrot chunked
poultry seasoning

you will need 3/4 cup salt
and 3/4 cup sugar
and 4 cups water
warm it up on the stove until the sugar and salt disolve
to a big stock pot that can hold the turkey breast
add the turkey
and all the veggies
just dump them on top of the bird
add a tsp of the whole black peppercorns
just dump them
and a tsp of poultry seasoning
again just dump it
you have to let the mixture completely cool off before adding it to the bird so you dont cook the bird but I dont have time for that...
I mean look the bird it waiting...
So I add 4 cups of ice. That will do it
And add this to the bird. I mean it needs it.
the whole thing
Ok maybe I saved a glass for me even though it is cheap wine...don't judge

add the ice water and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours
Then take it out and dry off with a paper towel. Salt and pepper
cover with melted buter or olive oil
Roast 400 degrees for 15 minutes per pound
Still juicy inside.
Ok lets make some gravy!!  Take 2 TB butter to a bowl
add 2 TB Wondra Flour.
I love this flour
Add 1/4 cup of wine to the drippings and let simmer and reduce
Take the flour butter mixture and add to the wine drippings mixture
and just let the butter melt while you grab some chicken stock or turkey stock But keep stirring
And stirring
The flour melts while your whisk
and becomes thick
and then you need to add stock and just enough until you have gravy.
beautiful gravy. Just enough for four!
Now that turkey breast made this whole plate of turkey meat.We even had leftovers for sandwiches the next day.
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