Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Hash

Hashes are all over the web and are one of those dishes that don’t really have (or need) a proper recipe.  It is a quick, easy, delicious dish(that I favor as breakfast, but could be made for any meal) that uses up copious leftovers.  It was a no brainer for me, as I love hash with eggs.  And, while I did forget to make the sweet potato souffle for Thanksgiving, I had already separated the six eggs I would need.  So I had to use up a lot of eggs on top of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and the rest. If you still have some bits of dishes hanging around, try a hash for a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Hash is easy.  Choose the ingredients you want to include in your hash.  Meat and potatoes are traditional, but from there, the sky is the limit.  I choose some brussel sprouts and some sausage stuffing from Thanksgiving, a bit of onion and some tomatoes.  Chop all your ingredients into equal-sized pieces (shoot for smaller than bite-sized, so you can have a bit of each ingredient in each bite).  Heat some oil or butter in a saute pan, and, when hot, added your ingredients, cooking until heated through and the potatoes have a good crisp crust.  If you want to add some spices or cheese, right before removing from heat, feel free.

Scrape hash onto plates or find a new pan to make your eggs in.  Make your eggs however you like, and slide on top of the hash.  I had some cranberry relish alongside because I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Tada!

 

Good luck with the last of your leftovers.  M’s mum made turkey pasta salad last night so I think (*crosses fingers*) we’ve almost gotten through all of our leftovers.  Last thing left to do is try my hand at homemade stock!

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Thanksgiving 2012 recap

Well, Thanksgiving was about as successful as we expected it to be…so, not half-bad. 🙂  We had a ridiculous amount of food, as all cooks involved got slightly overzealous.  The six of us found ourselves with enough food for at least a dozen guests, if not more.  At final count we had the turkey, 2 types of stuffing, cranberry relish, popovers, spinach, gravy, sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, braised carrots, ratatouille, hummus, crab dig with french bread and brie with cranberry chutney.  As I said, ridiculous.  Ah well, we’ve reached day four of leftovers and  I’m just about done with “Thanksgiving” flavors.  That being said, the shredded Turkey barbecue sandwiches, re-fried roasted potato salad, and coleslaw that graced last night’s dinner plater were awesome.  Use the strong flavors of regional foods (Asia, Barbecue, Mexican, etc) to jazz up the last of the leftovers languishing in your fridge!

I stayed in my pajamas through the parade and the dog show (and most of the cooking).  And started the day off right with one or three of these:

M was (mostly) in charge of the turkey this year.  We talked briefly about brining, something neither of us have ever attempted and decided not to try it.  Instead, we rubbed the whole turkey with herbed butter (including beneath the skin), tossed an onion, celery, carrots, apple, thyme, and cinnamon into the cavity and let it go.  It roasted for about 5.5 hours and we found ourselves with this transformation:

We followed Alton Brown’s tips generally and look at the perfect browning!  M and I have agree to try brining next year, simply because we are curious, but the herbed butter added succulence to the crisp skin and help keep this mostly moist.  The loose “stuffing” of vegetables shortened the cook time, reduced our risk of undercooked bread dressing, and added a boost of flavor to the turkey.

Meanwhile, I made my Gluten-Free Knockoff Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing again (and in the crock pot again), and added toasted pine nuts and cooked cranberries (cranberries+1 Tbsp each sugar and water, cooked for 15-20 minutes over medium heat until most berries have burst) as I ladled it into a casserole pan and finished it to crispy in the oven.  Unfortunately (again! ughh!) I forgot to take a proper photo of the stuffing.  I’ll have to stuff a chicken soon (when we’re ready to face a roasted bird again) and get some proper photos for you all!  The addition of pine nuts and cranberries was amazing!  I think I’ll try some new flavors (sausage!) next time.

The sweet potato souffle was forgotten amidst the last minute popover baking.  But I’d trade souffle for popovers any day.

The paler rolls are made from my French bread recipe.  Those were slightly disappointing.  I had trouble getting the rise I wanted out of the dough, but I’ll be working with this dough to see what other kinds of bread I can make in the future!  The actual loaves of French Bread turned out beautifully:

Picture-perfect next to my bread cubes, pre-stuffing. 🙂

Our downfall this year, aside from the vast quantities of food, was offering very filling appetizers.  The family tradition of pickles and olives is just right, enough to nibble on when the smells drifting from the oven become overwhelming.  But we also put out crab dip and my mother’s infamous brie with cranberry chutney.  Bad choice.  My mom was the only one to think to pace herself while I, as usual, inhaled the brie.  (There’s a reason I don’t stockpile cranberries in the freezer…the ability to make this chutney outside of Oct-Jan would be deadly).  By the time we sat down at the table, my mother was the only one who could finish her first plate!

Really, how could you resist?  I’ll be posting this delectable chutney recipe very soon.  I’m planning to can up a few jars for Christmas gifts within the week!  I have a ton of recipes and posts to share–Punc graduated her Puppy class on the Monday before Thanksgiving, I have several more recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers (in the meantime, check out last year’s Turkey-Broccoli Quiche and Mashed Potato Pancakes).  I already mentioned last night’s barbecue dinner.  It was simple enough: I shredded up slices of Turkey and added storebought barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and a touch of chicken broth until coated.  I modified this Mustard-Dill Vinagrette and poured it over sliced roasted potatoes that I had pan-fried.  I cobbled together a poor excuse for coleslaw dressing and shredded some cabbage and a couple carrot.  Serve as sandwiches and you’re done!  Bet you won’t guess it’s Thanksgiving leftovers!

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!


#19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

 

Thanksgiving recap will be posted soon.  In the meantime, I’m frantically making entrance lists and searching the 6″ layer of leaves in the backyard for the necklace that Punc took outside.  Ugh.


Thanksgiving Gameplan 2012

Yes, I know, I’m pushing this one a bit close, but it is better than last year.  Planning for Thanksgiving this year has been trying, and I’ve hardly started cooking, yet!  But I think all is –finally–as settled as it can be.  From here on out, I’ll have to cross my fingers and hope that my general time schedule for shuffling dishes in the oven actually works out.  Here is this year’s line up:

Appetizers

  • Brie with Cranberry Chutney– My mother’s infamous chutney, found years ago in one magazine or another.  A delicious compote of cranberries, cider vinegar, and spices, served over warm, melty brie with crackers.  The number one “holiday smell” for me, my friends have proclaimed that it “tastes like Christmas” and it earned the coveted space on one friend’s father’s annual cheese-plate with one bite.  I will add the recipe after Thanksgiving (because it is perfect for Christmas, I’m just greedy enough to find room for it on Thanksgiving).  I’m just waiting for photos!
  • Crabdip with Gluten Free French Bread— M’s mum is making their family recipe and I’ll be providing the baguette.  Seems like the typical recipe (crab, cream cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, etc) as far as I can tell.  I’ll get the recipe from her someday
  • Pickles and olives, as mentioned last year, are an annual tradition in my family.  Not sure how it started, but it stayed.  It is so engrained that it was the first thing my sister asked when Thanksgiving discussion began.

Meal

  • Turkey–is under M’s direction (I think).  There was some discussion of cooking it on the grill to free up the oven, but with all of us so unfamiliar with that process, I believe we’re just going to make the oven ‘work’ and do the side dishes around that.  Aside from a rub of butter, I don’t think we’re planning to do much else with it.  M’s mum will make the gravy with the drippings.
  • Cornbread Stuffing–my tried-and-true Knockoff Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing, Gluten Free.  I’ll be making it the crockpot again, and am toying with the idea of adding some other tasty additions.  Maybe pine nuts or some apples or cranberries.
  • Potatoes–two kinds: mashed, from my mother (mixed with cream, butter, and chive & onion cream cheese) and slow roasted, from M’s mum.
  • Green Bean Casserole–by M.  We managed to find fried shallots at the asian market that do not contain gluten ingredients, so we’ll have the traditional crispy topping as well.
  • Ratatouille–my sister will be bringing that.  Don’t know much more about it…
  • Cranberry Relish–another recipe of M’s mum, cranberries and oranges and spices whirled in a food processor without any cooking required.  I’m a lover of all cranberry sauces (including the can-shaped jelly), but this sounds especially refreshing against the richer flavors of the other dishes.
  • Sweet Potato Souffle— I’ve been trying to track down the recipe for the dish I sampled at M’s mum’s friend’s last year, but I’m afraid it might be too late.  Emeril’s recipe seems promising.  It’ll be my first try at a soufflé, which does make me nervous.  Maybe I’ll have Pioneer Woman’s Sweet Soul ‘Taters on standby.  They’ll make a delicious breakfast the next day, if we don’t need them.
  • Popovers–my go-to, favorite buttery puffs of bread.

Desserts

  • Pecan Pie–M’s mum’s task again.  
  • I was left to come up with the second dessert.  My family is a big fan of pumpkin pie.  M’s family is not.  I’m hoping that this Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake might just be the bridge in between.  I might even sub in part goat-cheese…I’ll let you know!

So.  The plan is set.  But between now and then, I have a pile of work that should get started.  Most of my recipes are gathered on my planning board.  Best of luck as we enter the food Olympics!  What are you making for Thankgiving?


Revisiting Snickers Pie

Well, around this time last year (actually, to the day, I’ve just noticed) I posted a recipe for Snickers Pie that I made for a ‘special friend’…blahblahblah.  You guessed it.  The special friend was M, and, having only just started dating, we were caught in a strange trap of how much to share, with whom, and when.  Anyways, clearly that’s worked out pretty well: here we are a year later and I’m bringing you another Snickers Pie with tips, tricks, and a warning label (and minimally better photos).

I made this year’s pie almost exactly like last year’s.  I did substitute ground up Annie’s Snickerdoodle Bunny Cookies for the graham crackers (I’ve tried the new Snickerdoodle and Gingersnap flavors, both are wonderful!).  Because the cookies themselves were flavored, I excluded the brown sugar and the cinnamon in my graham cracker crust, and dropped the melted butter down to 3-4 Tablespoons to accommodate for that.  This crust was awesome!  It shined through, even against the chocolate, caramel, and peanuts.  Annie’s cookies will be my new go-to for cookie-crumb crusts.

I also very nearly burnt the caramel sauce (it cooked up to about 5-10 degrees hotter than the recipe recommended).  After I tasted a smidge of cooled caramel, I was worried.  It had the distinctive burnt, bitter edge.  I didn’t have time to make more caramel and was rather upset, but M insisted that paired with the chocolate and run through with peanuts, it would be fine.  He was right.  The nearly-burnt caramel helped to cut through the sweetness of this pie.  I wouldn’t recommend purposefully trying to reach this point of near-burning caramel, unless you have a lot of experience with the substance.  Non-burnt caramel is equally delicious, and a better participant in this sugar-riot of a recipe.

Now for the warning:  now that I have perfected my original recipe, I hereby give this warning: This pie is extremely rich and very sweet.  This is a tiny-sliver for a serving type of dessert, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side to help cut through the sugar.  I sliced far too big of slices the first round, and though we gamely and happily ate all of our servings, M and I fought off sugar comas all the way through Skyfall.

I still love the idea of this pie…if it can actually be called that.  Pie is the best term I can think of, as it is filling in a pie shell.  I make it in a spring-form pan, so, uncut, it looks like a chocolate-topped cheesecake.  In all reality, it is a giant candy bar.  But, if Pecan Pie is consider pie, I think this should be as well.

Snicker-themed desserts are a likely theme for M’s birthday, at least until he requests  something different.  But I think that next year, I will have to cut this pie with another layer.  I was considering adding a layer of nougat (minus the almonds) like an actual snickers bar, but I think it still might be near too much sugar.  We’ve found that dairy cuts through the sugar very well, right now, I think my best bet would be to put a layer of cheesecake (or chocolate cheesecake) under the caramel-peanut layer (and probably make a half-batch of that recipe).  It would help to vary the flavors, and the tang of cheesecake is very welcome here.

Even so, this decadent pie is still our to enjoy.  We’re careful to eat only thin slices, if only to keep ourselves alert and functioning for the hour after eating. I’m wondering if we’ll finish it by Thanksgiving, and the influx of desserts that come with that holiday.  But for now, if you feel the need for a dangerously decadent dessert, follow the link below to my earlier post with the full recipe.  The only tweaks I made were mentioned above, and either crust pairs wonderfully with the candy filling!

SNICKERS PIE RECIPE (link to my earlier post)


Autumn Harvest Stuffing with Apples, Sausage, Gouda, and Quinoa

We had our first frost last night.  When I’m home this evening I’ll have to rescue the basil and turn most of it into pesto.  But, for now, I want to share one of my new favorite recipes.  I needed to clear out the vegetable bin and I was craving a healthy, heart, warming meal.  I took stock of what we had, and starting throwing things in a pan…an unusual approach to cooking, for me.  I like measurements and precision and details.  Throwing ingredients together is more M’s style, which I appreciate.  It’s nice to be surprised by how ingredients combine.  So I was even more proud of myself when this toss-together dish turned out to be so delicious!  This is what I had to work with:

Plus some quinoa and wild rice and a yellow onion I added later.  I had purchased the sopressata (sausage) and the gouda in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.  Both are smoked, dry, and aged, strong additions to any grain salad.  The peppers, onions, celery, and carrot were simple enough, a fairly common modified-mirepoix that we make.  I wanted some sweetness to link to the basil and the acorn squash, which was begging to be paired with a flavorful, filling stuffing.  An apple was the perfect bridge.

So, I set up the quinoa and wild rice to simmer while I preheated the oven.  I cleared the seeds from the squash (rinse them clean, dried ’em, and roasted them up–perfection!) and rubbed the halves with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce.  After tossing them into the oven, I diced up the onions, celery, and carrots, and finely diced the peppers, sausage, apple (coat with a few teaspoons of lemon juice to keep from browning), and gouda.

With a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet, I added the chopped carrots, celery, onion, peppers, and the white portion of the green onions, and cooked them until the onions turned translucent and all softened.  Then I added the apple and cooked for a few minutes more, seasoning all with 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and salt and pepper.  I added 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil, warming enough to melt the butter before removing the pan from the heat and adding the cheese, sausage, quinoa, wild rice, almonds, green onions, and chopped basil.  After stirring it all together, I ladle the mixture into the squash, pop it back in the oven for 20 minutes and serve.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I am in loooove with this dish.  The complex flavors still compliment one another, from the sweet, soft apple against the nutty wild rice, to the peppery bite of sopressata sausage and the spice squash.  Plus, there’s the added benefit of knowing how healthy the dish is.  I always feel better when I eat quinoa, and this dish is no exception.  It was even better the next day, after the flavors settled even more.  M and I finished this off within three days.  I had grand plans for filling omelets with the mix, but, inevitably, I finished the serving before I could add this stuffing to any other dish.  By itself, it is enough to make me smile (and chow down!)  I think this would make an excellent, unique stuffing or dressing for Thanksgiving dinner!  If you do not want to serve it in squash (despite the lovely presentation that makes), you can just serve it in a large casserole dish, with the addition of chopped squash or without.  We will add this to our Christmas dinner list, since our Thanksgiving is already overwhelmed with stuffings, but, I wouldn’t be surprised if this dish becomes dinner again before then!

Autumn Harvest Stuffed Squash

For the Squash

  • 1 large acorn squash, halved and de-seeded
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil, melted and cooled

For the Stuffing

  • 1/3 cup quinoa, toasted and well-rinsed
  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 large stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium banana peppers, finely diced
  • 1 small apple (honey crisp, gala, fuji, or granny smith), finely diced
  • 2 green onions, diced, whites and greens separated
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) sopressata (or similar dry smoked sausage), finely diced
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) smoked gouda, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (about 12 leaves) basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp almonds, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (plus more for coating apple)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. chinese 5 spice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: 1/4-1 tsp cayenne pepper (I would have loved a little more heat!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Set wild rice to cook according to package directions.  Toast dry quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant, stirring constantly to keep from burning.  Rinse quinoa well in fine-mesh sieve, then cook according to package directions.  Rub squash with mixture of coconut oil, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce, set to roast in oven for 1 hour.  Dice vegetables, nuts, herbs, and apple.  Coat apple with lemon juice to keep from browning.

Coat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  Add diced onion, celery, carrot, pepper, and whites of green onion, cook until softened.  Add apple and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Season with all spices, olive oil, butter, and lemon juice, then add remaining ingredients (green portions of green onions, cheese, sausage, garlic, almonds, basil).  Stir to combine.  Add quinoa and wild rice, mix thoroughly, and spoon into cooked squash.  Place stuffed squash back into oven and heat through for 20 additional minutes.  Serve.

Variations:  Remove skin from squash, dice, and stir into stuffing mixture.


Pumpkin Scone Clones (Gluten-free & Whole-Grain)

Fall is my favorite season.  By August, I’m done with sweltering heat, longing for cool breezes, jeans, boots, and sweaters.  I will always choose a hot drink over something iced, which can be slightly difficult on summer mornings when the last thing I need is any more cause for rising temperatures.  But I can’t help it.  Hot coffee is so much better than iced.  I am also utterly in love with fall flavors.  Squash, apples, slow-simmered soups, tender braised meat, and the wonderful mix of spices that accompany the season.  There’s another fact: I will always pick herbs and spices or fruity or sweet flavors.  Non-mint candy canes are an abomination.    Fruit-flavored gumdrops, a disappointment.

What was equally a disappointment was that we were halfway through October and I had yet to make anything with pumpkin in it.  I know, it’s a craze, but it’s one in which I wholeheartedly take part.  As of October 20th, the closest brush I’d had was a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte.  (Yes, this post is a long time coming.)  So, when I found myself with close to an entire day off, in addition to making a shawarma-inspired meal to last all week, I dug out my pumpkin and set to work adapting Karina’s pumpkin scones.  Before I swore off gluten, especially in my junior year of college when a Starbucks opened on campus and ran 24 hours a day through weekends and finals weeks, Starbucks’ pumpkin scones were a veritable treasure.  You had to be there when they were stocked for a chance to grab one.

After going gluten-free, these were a seasonal longing, filed away and forgotten all summer until I would spy the first batch laid out in the pastry case window.  Te spicy, sweet support for the wonderful pumpkin flavor has been elusive, but now, after seeing several gluten-full copycat versions on Pinterest, I went in search of a gluten-free version to start from.  I’ve had very little experience with scones.  Luckily, Karina was there to rescue me.  I love that her version starts with sorghum and millet flour, both hearty and whole-grained.  I, obviously, have de-veganified her recipe and fiddled with some spices and flavorings, as well as mixing up my own version of glaze.

If you are looking for a vegan recipe, or to sub out a particular additional allergen (milk, eggs, etc) I would highly recommend jumping over to her recipe.

 

Gluten-Free (& Whole Grain) Pumpkin Scones (copycat recipe)

For the Scones

Adapted from Karina at glutenfreegoddess’ recipe

  • 1 cup (sweet, white) sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 5 Tbsp dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 7 Tbsp butter (cold)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (make sure you get plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp buttermilk

For the base icing

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp whipping cream, half&half, or milk
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup

For the spiced icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch each: nutmeg, ginger, cloves
  • 2 tsp whipping cream, half&half, or milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9″ pie plate or a 9×9 pan and line with parchment paper.  Mix all the dry ingredients (flours, spices, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar) in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.  Add diced cubes of butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, two butter knives, or press and break cubes with your fingers until the mixture looks like cornmeal (I favor the hand method, since I do not have a pastry cutter).  Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin, egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup).  Beat the mixture until it begins to hold together in a mass.  It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.  Spread the dough into prepared pan (I used a square pan to make mini scones).  With a sharp knife, cut into four even squares, and cut each of those squares into four triangles.  If using a pie pan, cut into 6 sections for large scones.  Brush the tops with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the tops are beginning to brown.  Halfway through, I ran my knife along the seams again, as the scones were rising and blending together.  Allow to cool before removing from pan.

When scones have cooled, mix the two separate icings.  The base icing should be liquid enough to be brushed or poured onto the scones.  The spiced icing can be drizzled from a fork or place into a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off to be piped on.  Allow icing to set.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.