Day 6: What’s cooking

I didn’t cook today. Actually, I haven’t cooked in a few days. We’re eating leftovers from the weekend. So, today’s picture of What’s Cooking is actually What Was Cooking most recently.

Turkey enchilada casserole!

Hot Turkey Sandwich

Happy New Year!

I love taking home leftovers from the holidays. You can make so many new meals with leftover turkey: casseroles, enchiladas, wraps, and of course, sandwiches. One of my favourites is the hot turkey sandwich. It only relies on having leftovers (no new ingredients), so you don’t have to make a shopping trip during the holiday rush. It’s simple. It’s quick to prepare. And it’s delicious.

What is your favourite dish to make with your holiday leftovers?

Hot Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients

  • Leftover cooked turkey – approximate cost $1.00
  • Leftover gravy – approximate cost $0.25
  • Leftover stuffing (optional) – approximate cost $1.00
  • Leftover dinner roll – approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Heat the ingredients that you would like warmed (gravy, turkey, stuffing).
  2. Assemble the sandwich.

Enjoy!

Makes 1 serving (approximate cost: $3.25 per serving).

The Main Course: Turkey with Lemon and Rosemary

Lately, I’ve read a lot about different methods for preparing a turkey. Unfortunately, living in a small apartment limits my options.

During my last visit to Florida, I tried deep fried turkey. My friend had raved about this dish for years and I was anxious to try it myself. After years for cooking turkey in an over, it was an exciting experience to watch the turkey prepared outside in a huge pot of oil. So good and I can’t wait to have deep fried turkey again someday. But this just isn’t a safe method for cooking indoors (not to mention it’s a bit colder here and not pleasant to cook outdoors this time of year). I’ve also read a lot about cooking turkey on the barbecue to allow for more space in the over. Again, looks fantastic but we just don’t have the means to cook our turkey this way.

I ended up borrowing a counter-top roaster from my mom to cook our turkey. And reluctantly put away my toaster oven to make room for the roaster.

I can now see why mom cooks turkeys in the roaster instead of the oven. It’s convenient; just the right size for a turkey and the wire rack makes it easy to lift the turkey out of the roaster. It also allows you lots of room in your oven to prepare other dished.

Turkey with Lemon and Rosemary

Adapted from Martha Stewart recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole turkey (about 8 pounds) – approximate cost $25.00
  • 1/4 cup olive oil – approximate cost $1.00
  • 2 tablespoons butter – approximate cost $0.25
  • 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced – approximate cost $1.50
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 3 lemons with the rinds sliced into wide strips and the pulp cut into quarters – approximate cost $1.50
  • Salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • Pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 large onions – approximate cost $1.00
  • 5-6 carrots – approximate cost $1.50

Method

  1. Ensure your turkey is completely thawed. Remove neck and giblets from the turkey cavity.
  2. Gently separate the skin from the meat (careful not to tear the skin so the liquids do not escape while cooking).
  3. Slide the lemon rinds, garlic, rosemary and olive oil between the meat and the skin.
  4. Fasten the skin to the meat using toothpicks to keep as much of the mixture as possible in place.
  5. Stuff the cavity with lemons, onions and carrots.
  6. Rub butter on the skin then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake covered until completely cooked (uncover the turkey during the last hour of cooking to make the skin crispy).
  8. Baste the turkey a few times while cooking.

Tip: Use the time charts at About.com to determine how long it will take to cook your turkey.

Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 10 servings (approximate cost: $3.24 per serving).

Peppers Stuffed with Leftovers from Thanksgiving

I attended three Thanksgiving dinners this year. I was sent home from each with leftovers of one type or another. Needless to say, turkey and mashed potatoes became less appealing on days 4, 5, and 6. So, I started looking for ways to ensure that we used up out leftovers.

I had an odd assortment of foods: broccoli, carrots, green peppers, stuffed squash, mashed potatoes, maple-glazed sweet potatoes, and of course, turkey. My goal: to use as many of these items as possible while still having a tasty meal. Let’s face it, making everything into one huge casserole just isn’t very appetizing (though I did briefly consider it).

What did I come up with? Green peppers stuffed with a variety of leftovers. It was difficult to take my notions of stuffed peppers and throw those ideas out the window for one evening. Usually I would make stuffed peppers with rice, tomato sauce, maybe some mushrooms and sometimes with meat. However, I held firm to my goal of making the meal entirely from leftovers.

The result? A bit strange, but surprisingly tasty stuffed pepper.

Peppers Stuffed with Leftovers from Thanksgiving

stuffed pepper

Ingredients

  • 2 green peppers– approximate cost $1.00
  • A few pieces of leftover turkey, chopped into small pieces– approximate cost $1.00
  • A few scoops of leftover mashed potatoes– approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 carrot, chopped into small pieces– approximate cost $0.50
  • A handful of leftover broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces– approximate cost $0.50
  • ½ teaspoon of dried sage– approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese– approximate cost $0.25

stuffed pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the tops off the green peppers and discard the seeds. Place the hollowed out peppers into a baking dish. (Keep the pepper tops!)
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine turkey, carrot pieces, broccoli pieces, mashed potatoes, and sage. Mix thoroughly. Add more mashed potatoes, a spoonful at a time, to the mixture until the ingredients stick together.
  4. Heat the mashed potato mixture in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is warm, but the vegetables are still crisp.
  5. Spoon the mashed potato mixtures into the peppers, pressing the mixture down gently with a spoon.
  6. Sprinkle each pepper with cheddar cheese and place the pepper top back on the pepper (when the cheese melts, it will hold this in place).
  7. Bake peppers for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.93 per serving)

stuffed pepper

Happy Thanksgiving! Rosemary Roasted Turkey, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Garlic Peas, and Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year when I get to visit with my extended family and enjoy their wonderful cooking. And this year is no exception. Because I don’t cook any of the meals for this occasion, I’m sharing the Thanksgiving meal that I prepared for the American Thanksgiving celebration last year.

I prepared my very first Thanksgiving meal last November. The dinner turned out pretty well, actually! Sorry, no horror stories of a burnt turkey here. I was worried about the amount of work and timing, but everything seemed to fall together nicely. All of the recipes are from one of my favourite recipe websites, allrecipes.com (Except for the salad, which is my former roommate’s recipe). Our menu consisted of: Candied Sweet Potatoes,  Garlic Peas, Spinach salad with dried cranberries, almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette, and Rosemary Roasted Turkey.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

These candied sweet potatoes were another wonderful dish, though not very healthy. The sweetness was a nice offset to the savory turkey. This dish was received so well that I decided to make a second serving the next day so we could enjoy it with our leftover turkey.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 sweet potatoes  – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1/2 cup butter  – approximate cost $2.50
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon salt  – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 cup water

Makes 6 servings – approximate cost $1.00 per serving (See allrecipes.com for the complete recipe).

Garlic Peas

Mmmmmmm garlicky. Our guests are not fond of onions so I omitted them from the recipe. The peas were delicious without; though I’m sure adding onions would also be tasty. This dish had a very strong garlic flavour, which we all loved. If you like garlic, but want a milder version I’d suggest starting with one clove and adding more as needed.

Green peas

Green peas

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 onion, chopped  – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  – approximate cost $0.40
  • 16 ounces frozen green peas  – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1 tablespoon condensed chicken stock  – approximate cost $0.20
  • salt and pepper to taste  – approximate cost $0.10

Makes 6 servings – approximate cost $0.76 per serving (See allrecipes.com for the complete recipe).

Spinach salad with dried cranberries, almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette

This salad is something I learned to make from a former roommate. I realized the day after that I forgot one ingredient, goat’s cheese. However, even without the cheese the salad was tasty. I’m not sure where the recipe came from, but it is delicious! This is a wonderful salad for those who “don’t like vegetables.”

Spinach salad

Spinach salad

Ingredients

  • 4 large handfuls of baby spinach  – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 scoops of dried cranberries  – approximate cost $1.00
  • 4 scoops of sliced almonds (unsalted)  – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese  – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 teaspoons of raspberry vinagrette  – approximate cost $0.25

Method

  1. Divide all ingredients (evenly) between four salad bowls.
  2. Toss to coat ingredients with dressing.

Makes 4 servings – approximate cost $1.56 per serving.

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

A few years ago, I had tried to make this same recipe. My first attempt was a disaster! I didn’t know to cover the turkey while it baked and it was quite crispy and dry when it came out of the over. Despite my failed first attempt, I remembered that what was salvaged from the meal was tasty, so I decided to try it again (I even splurged for fresh herbs). This recipe was quite a bit of work, but turned out fantastic! I will definitely be using this recipe again.

Fresh Rosemary and basil

Fresh Rosemary and basil

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil – approximate cost $2.00
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • salt to taste – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey – approximate cost $12.00

Makes 10 servings – approximate cost $1.76 per serving (See allrecipes.com for the complete recipe).

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