Ground Turkey Fennel Cutlets Sandwich

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It’s fun to experiment and this was a good one. I had some ground turkey that the store had overground, it was closer to meal than meat so the only thing it was suited for is meat balls or cutlets. So, that’s what I went for.

Prepare the vegetables in advance.

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Chop the vegetables in advance, mushrooms, onions, red pepper, fennel bulb and garlic

In a small pan, melt 1 tsp of butter and sauté on medium heat until tender the following veggies. Add salt and pepper.

  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh fennel
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced.

There won’t be any butter to drain. Just toss into a bowl with the following ingredients and form into small cutlets. The flax seed doesn’t add any flavor or anything. They are just a good source of antioxidants and other health benefits. Cooking releases their optimum benefits.

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Mix cooked veggies to ground turkey and saltines.

  • 12 oz ground turkey
  • 12 saltine crackers
  • 1 TBSP of flax seed
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat a skillet to medium heat with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add the cutlets to the pan and cook, turning when browned on one side. Cook until browned on both sides and then put a lid on it, setting it aside on a low heat burner while you toast the bun.

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Flip turkey cutlets after one side has browned, brown the other and then cook on low with a lid on it to cook the meat thoroughly.

1 baguette sandwich bun, sliced and toasted on a griddle.

For the mushroom sauce, use the small pan you cooked the veggies in. Melt 1 TBSP of butter. Add garlic cloves, then the mushrooms, paprika, salt and pepper. Sauté until tender and add white wine, cook it down and add sour cream.

  • 4 mushrooms sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBSP white wine
  • 2 TBSP of sour cream
  • salt and pepper

Meanwhile, chop some fresh cilantro to top the sandwich. This makes two sandwiches.  There is plenty of sauce from the mushrooms that you don’t need butter or mayonnaise on the bread.

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Oops, part of a cutlet broke off Add mushrooms and cilantro on one side, cutlets on the other. No mayo or butter needed because the mushroom sauce has plenty of moisture.The sandwich is so delicious, that little bit of fennel is everything. 

Carrot Soup with Roasted Kale Chips & Turkey Meatballs

Carrot Soup with Roasted Kale & Turkey Meatballs

I love the Bravo TV competition show Top Chef. The chefs I root for never win, but that’s okay. I kind of know they will not win early in the season. This season of Top Chef, I was rooting for Carla Pellegrino who sadly has been eliminated all too soon. I loved her joie d’vivre and lively exuberance. She has more energy and enthusiasm in her little finger than the next 10 people put together. As so often happens on Top Chef, one week she was on top, winning with a carrot soup recipe, and the next she was gone.

I was curious about Carla’s carrot soup because the judges raved about it and awarded it first place. I could not quite imagine how it could be that good. First off, I will just put it out there that I am not that fond of cooked carrots. I think they are too sweet and I generally prefer them raw. I wondered how it was possible her soup was not too sweet and decided I had to try my hand at it just in case the judges were smoking something. I found the recipe online and of course, it makes enough for an army. I also didn’t have all the ingredients and was not going to run to the store to get them, so a little experimenting was needed.

So, the first thing to do was start the soup. Carrots are tough, fibrous and dense vegetables that need lots of cooking time, so the soup will has be well on its way before I start the meatballs. I turned the heat on my sauce pan to med-low (a 3 on my 1 to 10 dial) and added 1 tbsp of butter. While it melted, I chopped up on yellow onion and  tossed it in with the butter. With heat that low, the onions will not brown. Instead they will almost melt away as you sweat them on this low heat. Add some salt and pepper, but use a light hand. Carla also used leeks which add a bit of a mellower flavor and a lot more depth, but I didn’t have any. This will work anyway.

While the onions sweated, I made up a little bouquet garni (a cloth pouch of herbs used so you don’t have to strain them out to keep their greeny goodness from messing with your orange carroty brightness). In the cloth pouch, I put in 1 bay leaf, 1 twig of fresh thyme, 2 tsp of dried parsley and 2 tsp of dried oregano. I also added 2 peppercorns. Now Carla did not add oregano, but I was suspicious of the sweetness of the carrots and wanted the oregano to cut that sweetness a little more than I thought her herb choices would. I tossed the bouquet garni in, making sure it was in the liquid and let it continue to sweat away for about 20 minutes in all.

Meanwhile, I chopped up my carrots into fairly uniform pieces so they cooked evenly and let them sweat for 20 minutes with the onions. Although they remained quite firm and nowhere near done, I could see a bit of the fluid sweating out, mixing with the onions and butter. I also started drooling from the heavenly aroma from the onions and garni. Once the carrots began to soften, I added enough water to cover the carrots by about an inch. I turned the heat up to a simmer (5) and once it was simmering, I put on the lid and let it simmer away, just checking occasionally to see how done the carrots were getting. It will take 30 minutes to cook the carrots to tenderness.

I turned my oven to 375°F and let it heat up.

I took 12 ounces of ground turkey, 2 cloves of minced garlic (more than Carla used), about 1/c cup of dried parsley, a/4 cup shredded parmesan and mixed in a bowl with one egg. I then began crushing saltine crackers (Carla used bread crumbs, but I didn’t have any and my mom often used saltines in her meatballs.) I kept adding crackers until the meatball held together without being too eggy. I turn a burner on to medium and put about 1 TBSP of butter in my iron skillet. Using an ice cream scoop to make the uniform in size, I scooped the meatballs into the pan and let them brown on one side before turning to brown on the other. Once they browned nicely, I slipped them in the oven to finish cooking. (About 20 minutes.) This made 12 meatballs.

While the meatballs cooked, I took two stems of kale and stripped the leaves off the stem. I sprinkled some olive oil and kosher salt on the kale and, using my hands, lightly worked the oil and salt into the leaves. I set it aside to bake once the meatballs were done. Once the meatballs were done, I turned the heat down to 275 and put the kale in to bake. After 10 minutes I turned the kale over.

Once the kale was baking, the carrot soup was tender. I poured it into my Magic Bullet and pureed it thoroughly, making sure there were no chunks left. You can use an immersion blender, blender of food processor.

Now everything is done, it was time to put it together. I ladled some soup into my bowl, placed 3 meatballs to one side and garnished with the kale chips. Carla made an parsley salad with chopped parsley, olive oil and lemon juice, but I wanted the bitter crunch of roasted kale. The saltines and the roasted kale all add salt to this dish, so when salting on each step of cooking, use a light hand.

So, now it came time to taste the soup. It was magnificent. I am thinking of making it for Christmas dinner. It’s beautiful to look at, kind of foolproof in putting together and the oregano and kale balance with sweetness of the carrots so perfectly. It was so tasty, I called my best friend and told her to come sample my soup soon because it would not last long.

This made 4 servings – which is about as small a batch as you can make using one egg for the meatballs. I can imagine vegetarians might like it without the meatballs and a bit of carrot soup and kale chips is a satisfying mouthful. I would not recommend using olive oil instead of the butter. Part of the richness in flavor comes from that butter. I found the same thing to be true of celeriac soup, with olive oil it is good. With butter, it is delicious.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Turkey Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms & Cucumber Salad

Portobello mushrooms were on sale at New Seasons this week – priced the same as Criminis. Why they aren’t always the same price is a mystery since they are the same mushroom just a few days older. Nonetheless, I took advantage of the sale price and bought two Portobellos.

But let’s take care of the salad first since I made it in the morning so it could soak up the vinegar and dill flavor all day. Using the mandoline, I sliced 1/2 of a red onion, 1 Roma tomato and 1/2 of a large cucumber into thin slices and layered in a plastic storage container. I tossed in 1 tsp of dried dill weed, some salt and pepper and 1 TBSP of olive oil and 1.5 TBSP of vinegar. I put the lid on and shook it all up and set in the fridge to marinate all day. This makes 4 servings of the salad.

I heated the oven to 400° F.

To prep, I minced two cloves of garlic and sliced 1/2 of a sweet onion in thin slices on the mandoline.

With the mushrooms, first I washed them and scrubbed with a mushroom brush. I then cut off the stems. I diced the stems up and put them in a container to use for an omelet tomorrow morning. Using a spoon I scraped out the gills (they are edible but use the space I need for the stuffing). I rubbed a couple drops of olive oil on the top of the caps and put them top down in a baking pan.

In a bowl I put 6 oz of ground turkey, 1 tsp of ground sage, 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1 TBSP dried parsleyand1/4 tsp of dry mustard and mixed them together thoroughly. I then spread half on the bottom of each mushroom cap.

I put them in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

I then put 1 TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan and sauteed the onions and garlic until the onions turned golden brown. I added 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and the juice of 1 lemon and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.

I removed the mushrooms from the oven and layered the onions on top. I then shredded about 1 oz of Parmesan on each mushroom and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Right at the end, I switched the oven to broil just until the cheese browned nicely.

The stuffed mushrooms had that hearty umame flavor that is so satisfying and the bit of tang from the Worcestershire and lemon was a perfect balance to the earthiness of the mushrooms. The light salad was a good complement to a hearty entree. If served with rice or pasta, I would serve one per person, but with just salad, two makes a meal.

 

 

 

Simple Turkey Wrap

Turkey Wrap

Fast and easy comfort food you can eat with your hands!

In a small pan, add 1/2 tsp of olive oil and sautee 1 tbsp of chopped onion, add 3 ounces of ground turkey, salt and pepper and a dash of garlic powder and let it brown, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Add 2 TBSP of green salsa and 1 TBSP of ranch-style dressing and stir. This makes two wraps.

Heat flat, ungreased griddle on medium.

Place half of the mix in the middle of a large flour tortilla, add a handful of chopped romaine lettuce and about an ounce of shredded pepper jack to each tortilla. Squeeze fresh lime juice all over the lettuce and cheese. !/2 of a fresh lime will do both wraps. Roll into packet and repeat for the other tortilla. Place on the griddle and heat until browned on each side.

This has such a tasty blend of creamy and spicy flavors from the ranch-salsa sauce. The lettuce stays firm and adds a pleasant crisp freshness to it.

Turkey-Mushroom Sandwich & Deviled Potatoes

Mushroom Turkey Burger with Potato Salad

Mix these together
2 potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled and cut into cubes
1 hard boiled egg, cut up in large pieces
1 TBSP onion
1 TBSP chopped celery

Then mix these together to dress the salad.
1.5 TBSP Mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp cidar vinegar
a dash of sugar, salt, pepper, celery seed

For the sandwich,
4 oz of ground turkey
4 oz of crimini mushroom, chopped
2 oz of yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 pieces of frozen okra, chopped

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute onion and garlic, cook until tender and add chopped mushroom, ground turkey and frozen okra. When it’s nearly done, push everything to the edge of the pan and add a small roux of 2 tsp butter and 2 tsp flour. Cook the roux and add a bit of water and mix the meat and mushrooms back in and cook down until it makes a nice sauce that holds together. The okra helps give it body and substance. Toast a couple buns and serve.

Turkey Joe Sandwich

Turkey Joe Sandwich & Chicken Tortellini Soup

I buy ground turkey on sale, package it in 4 oz. servings in little freezer bags and freeze it for easy portion control. For this, I used one pkg (4 oz) of ground turkey to make one sandwich. I have a peeled onion in a plastic bag in the fridge door and slice off 1/4 slices at a time which gives me about 1 TBSP of onion. For this, I heated a small skillet with 1 tsp of olive oil and sauteed 1 TBSP of chopped onions until tender. I added 4 oz. of ground turkey (thawed before hand) and 1 whole tomato and 1 mushroom, chopped into 1/4 or so pieces. I sprinkled a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne on and let cook until down. I served on a toasted ciabatta with leftover soup.

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup & Turkey Burger

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup & Turkey Burger

In sauce pan, add 1 TBSP of olive oil, 2 garlic gloves and 1/4 cup of yellow onion, chopped. Salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Meanwhile chop up 2 tomatoes and toss in and cook until they start breaking down. Add 1/4 of chopped fresh basil and ream a lemon into the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer and let cook down. Add salt and pepper. Puree and serve.

At the same time as you add the basil, heat a skillet to medium and make a patty with ground turkey flavored with some salt, pepper and garlic powder. I added some pepper jack when I turned it over. Toasted a ciabatta bun, and made a burger with some mayo, mustard, lettuce and the patty. I sliced it in half to make it easier to eat.

Hungarian Mushroom Noodles

Hungarian Mushroom Noodles

Heat saute pan to medium, add 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 tBSP of chopped onions and 2 large mushrooms sliced in half and then sliced into 1/4 slices. Add salt, pepper and 1 TBSP of paprika. Cook until tender. Add 6 ounces of ground turkey. Put a sauce pan of water on to boil. When the meat is browned, add 1 TBSP of tamari sauce, 4 TBSPs of sour cream, 1 TBSP of dill weed and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles to the boiling water, they will cook quickly. Meanwhile, taste the sauce and add paprika to taste. Drain the pasta and toss the sauces with it.

Tomato-Zucchini Tortellini

Tomato-Zucchini Pasta

In a saute pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 diced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp chopped onion and 1 serrano pepper diced small. Saute until tender and add 3 chopped mushroom and 6 oz of ground turkey. Saute until brown.

Start water boiling for tortellini. Add and cook until they all float.

Add 1 diced tomato and 1 chopped zucchini and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon to the mix in the saute pan. Cook down to a sauce and stir in cooked tortellini.

Ground Turkey with Apples, Mushrooms & Pecans on Herb Fettucini

Turkey, Apples, Mushroom & Pecans with Herbed Noodles

I noticed an apple in the crisper that was no longer crisp. It was a bit old and wrinkly and sure to be not a crispy, juicy snack, so I decided I needed to cook it up with something. One apple wasn’t enough for a tart and I don’t care for applesauce or cooked apples on Swedish pancakes, so I decided to add it to a savory dish. Now this will make two servings, but I was not going to use only half an apple. It will make a nice lunch to reheat at work.

I put 1 TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan on medium. I added 1 crushed garlic clove and 1.4 cup of diced onions. I cooked until tender. I chopped up one small jalapeño and tossed that in with some salt and pepper and a bit of cardamom. I then chopped up two crimini mushrooms and added them. I let them get about half cooked and added 7 ounces of ground turkey and let it all cook together.

Meanwhile I started some water boiling with a bit of salt. When it hit a rolling boil I tossed in some fresh herb fettucini (it was on sale at New Seasons).

I chopped up the apple and tossed it in with the meat and mushrooms along with 1/4 cup of pecans. I added 1/4 or so of white wine and let simmer until the apples were tender, but not soft.

I strained the pasta and served the turkey and fixings on top. It has a great flavor mix. The heat from the jalapeño is very mild, but nicely balances the sweet tendency of the apple. The pecans and mushrooms provide a nice earthy flavor that is well-balanced by the wine and the cardamom lifts the ground turkey, giving it some zest. I will definitely be making this again.