Turkey Cranberry Appetizer Wreath

Turkey Cranberry Appetizer Wreath
recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef

2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
1/2 C. celery, sliced
3 T. fresh parsley, snipped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
4 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded (1cup)
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 egg, separatedPreheat oven to 375°F.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. With wide ends of triangles toward the center. arrange 8 triangles in a circle on Large Round Stone. Corners of wide ends will touch and points will extend 1 inch beyond of baking stone. Arrange remaining 8 triangles in center. matching ends. Seal seams using pizza roller. (Points will overlap in center; do not seal.)

Measure mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper into a bowl. Grate cheese into a bowl. Mix filling. Scoop filling over seams of dough, forming a circle.

Coarsely chop walnuts; sprinkle over filling. Beginning in center, lift one dough triangle across mixture. Continue alternating with outer triangle, slightly overlapping to form wreath. Tuck last end under first.

Separate egg over bowl. Beat egg white lightly; brush over dough. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Yields 10 servings.

Project Pastrami…

I love spices… probably too much. I have a whole drawer full of spice jars and another shelf of random spices. I came across this recipe for Pastrami-Style Salmon and thought the spice mix was rather interesting.

Since I didn’t have any salmon on hand, I did have some ground turkey to use for dinner. Combining the pastrami spice mixture and ground turkey was truly an experiment that turned out to be delicious! I decided to use this spiced ground turkey and stuffed some large portabello mushrooms and voila… dinner is served. I accompanied my stuff mushrooms with roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Here’s my recipe for Spiced Turkey Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms:

2 large portabello mushrooms
8 oz. ground turkey
garlic, minced
onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
cooking spray for browning turkey
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese (I used fat free)

Remove stems from mushrooms and gently brush off any debris.
In a large bowl, combine garlic, onion, sugar, and the spices and mix thoroughly.
In a saute pan, brown seasoned turkey.
Once browned, remove from heat and toss in cheese and green onions.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place mushrooms gill side up and top with the turkey/feta/onion mixture.
Bake stuffed mushrooms in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

*I’m also submitting this to the “Go Ahead, Honey – It’s Gluten-Free” blog event started way back in the wintry depths of February by Naomi of Straight into Bed Cake-Free and Dried. This month, Rachel of The Crispy Cook is hosting and the focus is seasonal veggies. Be sure to check out Rachel’s site in early September for the round up!*

L’eau de Cilantro

My hubby loves cilantro. In fact, the other day after I made a cilantro cream sauce, I walked past him and he complimented me on my perfume. This silly man must have forgot I don’t wear perfume… but what he was smelling was cilantro!

Tonight I wanted something light and citrusy so I made Cilantro Turkey meatballs with Lemon Couscous. I basically followed my usual Cilantro Turkey Burger recipe and shaped into small meatballs, which I sauteed until nicely browned. Here’s my recipe for Cilantro Turkey Meatballs:

1 pound lean ground turkey
1 half large red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt olive oil

In a bowl, grate onion. This allows it to add moisture to the turkey and even cooking.
To the grated onion, add turkey, cilantro & spices.
Combine thoroughly without over handling.
Shape into meatballs, (walnut sized).
Heat up saute pan.
Add a little oil and cook the meatballs until nicely browned.

**I’m also submitting this to the Culinarty Original Recipes blogging event hosted by Lore! Check out Lore’s site for additional recipes and the upcoming round up for this blogging event next week!**

Freezer Meals: The Recipes

In my initial freezer cooking post, I didn’t include the recipes since I was still recovering from the day of cooking. But here are the recipes for some of the dishes I made, including the Chicken Pot Pie & the Southwestern Turkey Chili:

Chicken Pot Pie

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
3-4 cups chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
frozen mixed vegetables, kept frozen
1-2 cups cooked chicken
prepared pie crust

In a dutch oven, saute onions and garlic in oil.
When onions soften, add the butter.
Once butter melts down, add the flour and stir, cooking for about 1 minute.
Slowly add the heavy cream and stir.
Once you have a roux and cream is all mixed in, add the broth.
Simmer until it thickens.
Add frozen veggies and chicken, seasoning to taste.
You can also add your choice of dried herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano, etc.
Place mixture in a disposable loaf pan.
Mixture should be luke warm and once cooled completely, cut prepared pie crust to fit the top of the loaf pan, to sit above the filling.
Cover with foil and place in heavy duty freezer bag.

To cook, preheat oven to 350.
Place thawed pot pie on a baking sheet uncovered and bake for 45-50 min.

Southwestern Chicken Chili

Chili is a great dish to freeze and is great during these cold winter months too. I made a southwestern chili and once it cooled, I ladled it into quart size freezer bags. The bags hold a perfect serving amount for 2 people and I like how I can freeze them flat like a book – maximizing the space in my freezer!

(you could even make this in a crock pot, cool then place in heavy duty freezer bags)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato puree
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth
2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
flour as needed

In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
Add bell pepper, onion and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up large chunks, until turkey is browned. Do not drain fat.
Add tomatoes, tomato puree, kidney beans and corn. Stir in broth.
Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne.
Bring to simmer, then reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or scalding.
If the chili is too thick, add additional broth. If it is thin, stir 1/4 cup masa flour into an equal amount of water, then stir into the chili. Cook 5 minutes.
If the chili is still thin, repeat with an additional 1/4 cup masa flour.
Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings and spices to taste.

Leftover Turkey never tasted so good!

After a cold day out in the snow and battling crowds of shoppers and tourists, I wanted nothing more than a good hot bowl of soup! I’m currently trying to use up as many ingredients as I have on hand to avoid a grocery trip out in the cold weather. So fortunately, I had all I needed for cream of turkey, rice & mushroom soup! Using the leftover Thanksgiving turkey I had froze after our party, it came out wonderful and hit the spot.Here’s my recipe for Cream of Turkey, Rice & Mushroom Soup

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups leftover cooked turkey
10 oz sliced cremini (baby ‘bellas) mushrooms
2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
4 quarts chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon rosemary seasoning (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil and add onions and garlic.
Cook until onions are translucent.
Add mushrooms and turkey & cook until mushrooms soften.
Add uncooked rice and stir to coat.
Add broth and stir, cooking over medium heat.
Add rosemary seasoning (optional)
Allow it to cook until rice is cooked & absorbs the broth.
Continue to add more broth or even water until you reach the consistency you prefer.
Season to taste.
Add whipping cream and stir.
Turn off heat and allow soup to thicken slightly.
Serve hot and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Cilantro Turkey Meatballs

Here are the recipes for the appetizers I’m serving up 2 hours prior to the Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I figured I’d post the recipes now before the kitchen chaos begins…

Cilantro Turkey Meatballs

1 pound lean ground turkey
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt olive oil
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375.
In a bowl, combine all the above ingredients.
Combine thoroughly without over handling.
Shape into gold sized meatballs.
Place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until juices run clear.

Rosemary Herb Turkey

Rosemary Herb Turkey

For the Rosemary Herb Turkey, I have to confess that we decided to purchase a cooked turkey from a local supermarket. I still have my cast on (which doesn’t get taken off until November 29th) and I surely couldn’t make my turkey one handed – the weight of the turkey alone is too much for me! Secondly, my husband was really nervous about making a turkey under my direction for a house full of foodies. So, this year we opted for a cooked turkey to make it easier and less stressful. It was super simple only because the bird just needed 2 hours to warm up! However to add some personality to our bird, I did brush it with melted butter and sprinkled some rosemary herb seasoning for extra flavor.