Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Comfort Food: Sweet Potato Turkey Pot Pie

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment

US Thanksgiving is only a week away. Do you know what you are doing with your leftover turkey? Fall is my favorite time of year and Thanksgiving Dinner is the ultimate comfort food, but it does get old after a few days.

My favorite way to use leftover turkey is in a pot pie. I’d made a couple of turkey breasts for bunco a few weeks ago and froze the leftovers for future pot pie yumminess. Today’s last minute discovery was that I’d used all of the potatoes on Roasted Veggie Night, so sweet potatoes saved the dish.

I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. While living in Israel last year we had sweet potatoes all the time in restaurants and at home. One of our favorite restaurants added them to Massaman Curry. It was wonderful.

So here is my recipe for Sweet Potato Turkey Pot Pie. If you aren’t crazy about sweet potatoes, just sub white ones. Disclaimer: I rarely measure things when I cook unless I’m baking. I’m guessing at amounts here, mostly, I just add until it looks right. I encourage you to do the same if it doesn’t look right.

Sweet Potato Turkey Pot Pie
(Feeds 3-4)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sliced baby carrots
1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 package Trader Joe’s Condensed Cream of Portabella soup (or sub any Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup)
1.5 cups cooked, cubed turkey
Garlic sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Cooking spray
1 tube crescent rolls

Heat oil to med high. Add sweet potatoes and carrots. Saute, stirring occasionally until tender. Add white wine, peas, corn, soup and turkey. Add garlic sea salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then lower to a simmer for five minutes.

Set oven to 350F (177C) and spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer yummy, bubbly mixture to the baking dish, arrange crescent roll dough flat over the surface. Bake for ~15-20 minutes, until crust is cooked through and golden brown on top. When I use my toaster oven I cover the dish with foil for about five minutes to prevent over-browning.


Comfort Food: Roasted Vegetables

November 11, 2012 1 comment

I love roasted vegetables any time of year. Somehow, colder temperatures really beg for roasting and I’ve answered the call. I made an entire meal of roasted veggies tonight. Years ago my husband and I giggled at the concept of “slow food” but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is prime season for Brussels sprouts. I’m seeing them everywhere on-the-stalk and have been toying with the idea of trying this Trader Joes recipe. The stalk continues to feed them and keeps them fresh. It looks a bit weird  but totally worth it. They break off easily then you can trim them. I always cut them in half before roasting. I use a bit of olive oil or canola spray, fresh ground garlic sea salt, and fresh ground pepper and roast at 350 for about 20 minutes.

I first tried Brussels sprouts about four years ago in a restaurant. The menu described them as “sauteed in butter with bacon”. I figured butter and bacon could make even cardboard taste great so I’d give it a try. I was in love. I tried to replicate the dish at home and nearly succeeded. I’ve found over time that roasting is just as good, and frankly, easier.

I usually give potatoes the same oil/garlic sea salt/pepper treatment at 350 for about an hour, depending on how small I cut them. I also like to add fresh rosemary to them.

Some other favorite roasting combos:

  • Brocolini, red peppers, and mushrooms
  • Asparagus in butter, sea salt, and pepper with mushrooms
  • Mixed red- and sweet potatoes
  • Green beans and mushrooms and/or sliced almonds
  • Sausage, onions, peppers, and potatoes

What are your favorites?

Israel Is Making Me a Better Cook

November 2, 2011 4 comments

For the most part, it hasn’t been challenging to make meals in Israel. I can find about 90% of what I’m used to in the grocery stores here. I was warned that I wouldn’t find things like peanut butter, chili powder, or canned pumpkin. I’ve found everything but the pumpkin so far, though there have been some reported sightings that I haven’t finished investigating.

Israel doesn’t have nearly the number of canned and processed foods that the US does. And when they do, the cool thing about not being able to read most of the boxes is that I’m not tempted to take the short cuts. I’ve been buying fresh meat and veggies to cook really healthy meals. I think it’s an excellent habit to get into.

Also, because my commute went from 10 min to 45 min I’ve also been using the crock pot much more than I ever did back in the States. Stace is loving the slow-cooked goodness. Liam just wants to eat pitas and raw veggies every night.

If I’m missing an ingredient, I can usually find a substitute or just search for a alternate recipe on the Web. However, a few ingredients continue to elude me:

  1. Chicken Broth–does not come in cans here. Most people use a powdered chicken soup mix. I think it’s a bit like bouillon cubes. I just couldn’t bring myself to use it though, so I used a recipe I found on the Web to make a whole Chicken and Stock in the crock pot. (Yes… the “boneless, skinless breast” girl made a *whole* chicken.) It made the house smell wonderful and probably completely grossed out the vegetarian nanny. I’m buying canning jars tonight to make and freeze broth in 1-cup batches.
  2. Sweetened Condensed Milk–OK, I don’t really *need* this, but it is part of this great Nutella Ice Cream recipe that doesn’t require an ice cream maker. I’ve tried to make gelato twice since I got here, but it just isn’t turning out right without the ice cream maker. The first batch developed ice crystals and the second batch separated. 😦 I’m dying to put together two of my favorite things in the world: Nutella and ice cream.
  3. French’s Fried Onions–I’ve seen Europen versions of this in American health food stores, but I’ve not seen anything I’ve identified as being the same here. I really only need it a couple of times a year at holidays to top the green been casserole. I wonder if potato chips would produce the same satisfying crunchiness… or just panko crumbs? I’ll be posting to the expat boards to see if anyone has figured this one out.