Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

One of the best parts about Thanksgiving for me is the leftovers. There’s nothing quite like it. Perhaps it’s the taste of love from the various hands that prepared such an extravagant and abundant meal. Or maybe I just really like microwaved turkey and stuffing.

As tasty as the real deal is, I’m always looking forward to the next day’s lunch of leftovers: a heaping plate of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce…And you can’t forget that slice o’ pie for dessert! Yes, I am blessed with a cooperative digestive tract and can endure eating just as much food as I did the previous night. So, I understand if you’re a bit grossed out by the sight/smell/taste of more turkey.

But, instead of just microwaving your leftovers, which I fully support, I wanted to share with you another way to enjoy the last of your leftovers. A croque monsieur! Originating in France, it’s a grilled ham and cheese sandwich that is served as a fast food snack in cafes and bars. For our purposes, we’re using turkey, of course, and adding some cranberry sauce to it.

You spread the sauce, sprinkle cheese, pile on the turkey, (and whatever else you might want to add), and press. Pop it in the oven. Wait for the cheese to melt, the bread to get that golden crisp. And voila! You’ll have yourself a non-leftover lookin’ kind of meal.

Note: If you don’t have any cranberry sauce, I’ve shared the recipe I used below. You could make the sandwich without it, but I strongly suggest that you don’t. It’s a one-pot recipe and well worth it!

Festive Turkey Croque Monsiuer

Adapted slightly from Jamie Oliver Magazine

Ingredients

• 8 slices of white bread

• Cranberry sauce

• 100g gruy√®re, grated

• Leftover turkey

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Line the bread on baking sheet pan. Spread slices with cranberry sauce and sprinkle half the gruyere. Top with turkey and sandwich with the remaining bread. Press lightly and top with the remaining gruyere.

3. Bake until the cheese melts and the sandwiches turn golden brown.

Cranberry Sauce

Recipe from Saveur.com

Ingredients

1 lb. whole cranberries, fresh or frozen


3⁄4 cup sugar


1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice


1⁄2 cup fresh grapefruit juice


1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


1⁄2 tsp. salt


Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg


Zest of 1 orange 


Zest of half a grapefruit


Zest of 1 lemon

1. Put cranberries, sugar, orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, and zests into a medium pot and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir well. Cook, covered, without stirring, until liquid has thickened and about half of the berries have collapsed, about 15 minutes.

2. Transfer cranberry sauce to a wide, shallow bowl and let cool. Remove zest. Serve at room temperature or chilled, if you like.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Bread


Autumn makes us yearn for something to warm our souls, to ease us into the cool and crisp air. And I’m not just talking about pulling out our boots and fall sweaters, ladies! Although, I know that is something we all look forward to =)

What I am talking about is spices! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger! You’ll find these ingredients in many fall recipes, including this pumpkin bread. It’s moist, not too sweet, and easy to make!

Also, if you want to change things up for Thanksgiving, this is a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie or whatever pie you’re planning to have. If you have sweet tooths to satisfy, try spicin’ it up with some cream cheese frosting. If your oven is going to be occupied all day, you can easily make this a day ahead, but you might have to hide them or there won’t be any left!

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

1-15oz. can of pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 ½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp ginger

¾ chopped walnuts (optional)

½ raisins (optional)

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Grease and flour two 9x5x3 loaf pans or two muffin pans.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the puree, eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar until well blended.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

5. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

6. Bake for about 60 minutes for loaf pans and 20 minutes for muffins or when toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean.