Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to wish you all a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday, and to let you know we’ll be taking a few days off to eat, drink, and rest; but mostly eat and drink.

And when I say “days off,” I really mean days off. As much as I’d love to spend the holiday on my laptop, giving you all last-second cooking tips, I’m contractually obligated to take some time off, and who am I to question HR? Have a great Thanksgiving, and we’ll be back with brand new videos next week. And no, they will not feature turkey or pumpkin. So, stay tuned, and as always, enjoy!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crispy Turkey Flautas – A Great Reason for Buying a Too Big Bird

Most normal people cook a bigger turkey than they need, so they can enjoy some leftovers. There’s nothing better than a fresh turkey sandwich, or three, but after a couple days, that bony carcass is that last thing you want to look at; and that’s where these crispy flautas come in.

As I joked about in the video, when it comes to leftovers, the “add cheese and fry” system is a proven crowd pleaser, but to hedge our bets, we’re also topping with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. This creates something so different from the holiday meal that you might forget where the turkey actually came from. Depends on how much you’ve been drinking.

Regarding my comment about pre-grated cheese being coated with saw dust – many people on YouTube thought I was joking, but this really is true. That shredded stuff in the bag is coated in a fine cellulose dust, which prevents the pieces of cheese from clumping together. The good news is, grating cheese only takes a minute, and almost anyone can do it.

And if you don’t have old turkey to make these flautas with, eventually you will have some leftover chicken, which would obviously also work. Either way, I hope you give these delicious, crispy flautas a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 large turkey flautas:
24 small, white corn tortillas
1 egg white to seal flautas, optional
*1 pound cooked, shredded turkey
6 ounces shredded pepper Jack cheese, sharp cheddar, or a combo of the two (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*I’ll assume you’re going to use one of our turkey recipes, so your bird will be super moist, but if it isn’t, you can always add a 1/4 cup of chicken broth to the mixture to compensate.
- Garnish with shaved cabbage, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and freshly chopped cilantro

Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkey & Rice Meatballs (Albondigas) – Perfect for Spanish Thanksgiving

Making delicious meatballs with fatty, flavorful beef is no great feat, but creating something as delectable using ground turkey is another story. As the old joke goes, it may be bland, but at least it’s dry. So, you’re going to need a very specialized strategy, and by “specialized strategy,” I mean some cold, leftover rice.

As these simmer in your sauce or soup, the grains of rice absorb moisture, swell up, and create a relatively tender, moist meatball. Above and beyond that, you’ll also want to look for ground turkey thigh meat (available at most of your higher-priced grocery chains).

By the way, like all meatball/meatloaf recipes, you can test your seasoning by cooking a small piece of the mixture before rolling your ball. Even though the meat hasn’t simmered in the sauce yet, at least you can see if it needs more salt. I’ll just fry up a little patty, and adjust if need be, and suggest you do the same.

I didn’t intend this recipe to be a Thanksgiving dinner alternative, but now that I think about it, these could actually work. Maybe you have a small group, or don’t like looking at a giant carcass on the table (hey, some people are weird like that), or your in-laws are Spanish, and you want to show them you can pronounce “albondigas.”  Whatever the occasion, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 20-24 small meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
1 packed cup cooked white long grain rice
3 cloves crushed garlic 
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce (I didn’t measure these ingredients, so these are just guesses)
2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste