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Monday, July 21, 2014

Recipe Reveiw from 7/14/14

A rather quiet week overall - didn't go anywhere notable or do anything worth blogging about.  Garden is plugging along; I'm trying to replace the woodchip paths and weed and making steady progress.  We harvested our first batch of Swiss Chard, kale and sugar peas.  Yum!

Of interest, is the Husband is thinking of taking on chickens next year.  We are in the process of researching, well, everything - what kinds of chickens would be good for our area (remember, we spent 140 days below zero last winter), coops, feed, runs, etc.   Love the internet for research!  I think he's leaning toward a coop like this:  Coop by SilkieChicken.  Now the logistics of building said coop to work for our needs.  Stay tuned...   

The Meal Plan
Sun - (L) leftover chicken and rice dish; (S) chef salads
Mon (yoga) venison chops wrapped in bacon and grilled
Tues - leftovers
Wed - Slow Cooked Cajun Turkey  BLT Pasta
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri - Slow Cooked Turkey
Sat - (L) chef salads (S) leftover turkey

BLT Pasta  (Ckng Lght Aug 2014)
The Husband loves bacon.  I love BLT's.  This seemed like a win-win recipe and it was.  The Husband did the assembly on this one and I didn't hear any comments so I'm assuming all went according to recipe.  He/we did drain off several tablespoons of bacon grease - probably had maybe 1-2 tbsp remaining in pan?  This does come together in about 30 minutes so perfect for a weeknight dish.  Enough for supper for two, and leftover lunch for one.  
  • 8 ounces uncooked mezze penne pasta
  • 6 center-cut bacon slices
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce fresh Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup) (we used Asiago)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add tomatoes and salt to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and pasta to pan; cook 1 minute or just until spinach begins to wilt, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle pasta with bacon, pepper, and cheese.

Slow Cooked Turkey Breast and Gravy (modified  Slow Cooker Revolution, ATK)  gluten free option**
So I bought a turkey breast with the intent of using it for a slow cooked bean/wild rice/turkey/sausage dish, but I didn't get the rice or beans precooked and the meat was thawed.  Change of plans...gave the Husband the option of slow cooking the breast or grilling.  He chose slow cooked, but it wasn't cooking like it should by the time I got home, so we ended up finishing it on the grill for about an hour.  The problem?  A 6-7 lb turkey breast was too big for my slow cooker.  BUT!  Slow cooking the bird for 6 hours or so then finishing it on the grill?  Fantastic.  Moist, flavorful, nicely crisped skin...I could see us utilizing this method again.

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped medium
1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium
1 celery rib, chopped medium   (skipped, didn't have celery in house)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour**
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 (6-7 lb) whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, seasoned with salt and pepper

8-10 qt slow cooker!!

1) Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in flour (or equivalent substitute ) and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup broth, scraping up any brown bits and smoothing out any lumps, transfer to slow cooker.

2) Stir remaining cup broth, water, wine, thyme, and bay leaves into slow cooker.  Place turkey skin side up into slow cooker.  Cover and cook until turkey reaches 165* on instant read thermometer, 5-7 hours on low.

2a)  This is where we deviated - after 6 hours we pulled the turkey out of the slow cooker and placed on a cooking rack in an aluminum grill pan.  Place in a preheated grill (350*), and grill for one hour or until bird registers 165-175*.   Remove and let rest 10-20 minutes under a tented piece of foil.  

3) As bird rests (either method), let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then strain off fat from surface.  Strain braising liquid into a saucepan, discarding solids, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Carve bird and serve with gravy.  

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