Friday, January 18, 2013

Aunt Marilyn's Leftover Turkey Curry - Take 2

When my husband and I got married, my sister-in-law put together a cook book with a bunch of our family recipes.  She's pretty awesome like that.  It was wonderful to have some of my favorite childhood memories put together and preserved so I can pass these down to my kids.  One of those recipes came from one of my aunts, who said she learned to make this early on in her marriage and made subsequent annual appearances thereafter.  She generally used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, but if you make a turkey for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner (our more "formal" meal was on Christmas Eve) and have leftovers, then you're covered.  I think it would be just as good using leftover chicken, too. Frankly, if I'm making chicken, I would just make extra to use later in the week for this recipe.

It's really good, but I did tweak it a little to suit my personal preferences (decreased the butter and substituted coconut milk for evaporated milk from the original).  Another great thing about this recipe is that it is really easy and quick to put together.  If you serve it over rice, get the rice working first, because the curry will be done in the same amount of time as the rice needs to cook.  Seriously, you will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes, once you've got all the chopping done. If you want to save even more time, buy the onions and green beans already prepped (you could even use frozen green beans, if that's what you have).

If you'd like tweak to your personal taste and dietary needs, it is really easy.  If you want the consistency to be less thick, you can leave the flour out all together, or, if you are avoiding gluten/processed flour, you can substitute the thickening agent of your choice.  I find it sweet enough without adding sugar, but my kids eat it better with it in, so I keep it, but you could totally leave it out or substitute honey or other sweetener of choice.  Avoiding dairy?  Substitute vegetable or olive oil for the butter.  Vegetarian? Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and substitute portabello mushrooms for the meat.  :-)

Leftover Turkey Curry


1 large onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
4 ribs celery, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2 Tbsp. curry powder (I like Penzey's sweet curry blend)
1 large sour apple (Although I've used different kinds, I found that Granny Smith tastes best), peeled, sliced lenghtwise into 1/8ths, then cut across into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp)
2 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk, shaken well
1/8 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar (optional)
2+ cups chopped, cooked turkey or chicken
1/2 lb (8 oz) green beans, cut into approximately 1-inch lengths

Heat a large saute or frying pan over medium heat, add butter to pan and let melt. Add onion, celery and apple to butter and saute until soft.  Add curry powder, salt, sugar and flour to the pan. Stir and cook veggies with the spices for another minute or two, then add stock and coconut milk.  Heat  to simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened (about 5 minutes), then add turkey and green beans. Bring back to a gentle simmer (sauce should just be rippling, not bubbling, over its surface) and cook for 3 more minutes, until the turkey is heated through.

Serve over rice, if you wish, and garnish with any of the following: peanuts, coconut, chopped green onions, chutney, golden raisins, or chopped, hard boiled eggs.

Serves 4, generously

Friday, January 11, 2013


I love eggs!  They're so versatile, and an inexpensive source of protein, that I usually make some sort of egg-centered dish for dinner at least one night each week.  Below are a few of the recipes I've made recently, plus an original concoction I came up with for lunch this week. 

This first recipe came from Williams-Sonoma's blog.  They called it a Breakfast Tart, but I've never been one to box food into specific times of day. It's a puff pastry crust with eggs and bacon baked on top of it.  How can you go wrong?  :-)

This dish is Baked Eggs with Spinach, Tomatoes and Garlic from the $5 Dinners website.  It was easy to prepare and really tasty!  I substituted kale for the spinach called for in the original recipe, because that's what I had.  :-)

This was breakfast one morning: Pumpernickel bread (a German brand that uses whole grain, no wheat gluten. It's really dense and chewy and I really like it), toasted and topped with avocado and tomato slices and scrambled eggs.  With a dash of sriracha sauce, of course, because eggs and hot sauce just go together!  Also, I have been told that I make the best scrambled eggs ever, so I'm going to give you my secret (and maybe if I get my act together to do a video, I will show you, too): low heat.  It takes a little longer to cook the eggs, but cooking them over low heat, and whisking often, will produce creamy eggs.  Of course, if you prefer a drier scrambled egg, then you may not like the way I make them, anyway.  It's all a matter of taste, really.

The final egg dish is something I came up with for lunch, which seems to be the bane of my existence.  I'm always at a loss for what to make for lunches on the weekends.  On weekdays, the kids eat lunch at school, and my husband and I usually just eat leftovers from last night's dinner.  So, on weekends, I just don't know what to do for lunch beyond sandwiches and/or soup.  Sandwiches are pretty versatile, but I'm trying to limit my refined carb intake, so salads and soups start to get a little boring.  What to do?

You may have already seen, especially if you're on Pinterest, a recipe for making a fried egg inside a pepper slice.   I was intrigued, so thought I'd give it a try.  I didn't have a recipe, though, just kind of made it from memory.  So here's what I did:

I sliced a red bell pepper in rings about 1/2 inch thick, cleaned off the portobello mushrooms and fired up my griddle.

Once the griddle was warmed up, I put a little olive oil on the griddle, then slapped the mushroom tops and the bell pepper rings on it.  Once the bell peppers cooked for a minute, I flipped the ring over, then cracked an egg into the middle. I ended up flipping the egg over again (for an over-easy type egg), because the whites weren't cooking on the top. I also flipped over the mushroom tops after about 3 minutes.

Egg, Pepper and Portobello Sandwich

Ingredients (makes 2 open-faced sandwiches)

1 red bell pepper
2 portobello mushroom caps
2 eggs
olive oil
salt and pepper
mayo or honey mustard sauce
bacon, cooked

Heat up a griddle or large frying pan.  Slice the bell pepper into 1/2 inch slices (use the two slices that make the biggest middle space -- the egg will spread when you crack it in the middle) and clean out any of the white rib flesh.  Wipe off the portobello caps. Brush griddle with olive oil (extra virgin or the sluttier kind), place portobello caps and red pepper rings onto griddle.  Grill for about 2 minutes, then flip.  Carefully break one egg into the middle of each red pepper ring, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  When the egg white has set, carefully flip the egg/pepper ring and cook for another minute.

Put the mushroom cap on a plate, rib side facing up (smooth part touching the plate), then spread with a bit of mayonnaise (or mustard, or whatever condiment you think might be tasty - I happened to have an extra pack of Chik-fil-A sauce, so I used that -- it makes anything taste better!). Top the mushroom with the egg and bell pepper.  Serve with bacon on the side (or on top, whatever floats your boat).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Delicious, Healthy Start to the New Year

Hi Everyone!  Happy New Year!  I've kind of been slacking on my blog the past couple of weeks, but we traveled to Minnesota, and I took a little break to enjoy quality time with family and friends back in my hometown.

For whatever reason, I was constantly eating while I was home (I'll blame my mother).  So many yummy treats (fudge, cookies, cake...) and my self control was completely AWOL.  But now that I'm back on my home turf, I'm ready to get back to healthier eating.

The first post of the New Year, I have to admit, isn't even a personal recipe, but one I got from Martha Stewart.  It's a chicken salad with apple, beets and pomegranate.  Look at that picture!  It was gorgeous, and I just had to make it.

It did not disappoint.  Even my youngest, pickiest son ate it (well, the chicken and the greens and the apples -- I separated them out for him), but he did like the dressing.  I love this because it's bright (from the orange vinaigrette), crunchy (from the pomegranate seeds and apples), and satisfying (from the roasted beets and chicken).  I also felt pretty healthy eating it, so even bigger bonus!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did.  I promise I'll be back soon with something a little more original (or at least the entry I intended to post while I was in Minnesota -- dated but still tasty).  :-)