Turkey Curry Recipe Revisited…..

I am not sure about you, but I am still digging myself out from the mountain of Thanksgiving leftovers.  I thought it would be nice to revisit one of my favorite curry recipes.  It is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey and cling to the last vestiges of Fall thanks to the recipes inclusion of applies….

Enjoy!

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This recipe for Turkey Curry is a riff on Indian chicken curry, one of my favorite dishes.  I found the recipe from a Cooking Light magazine that with some substitutions and additions produced a pretty authentic tasting final dish.  I was quite surprised how good this recipe tasted compared to the curries I had gotten my from little hole in the wall in Berkeley.  While the recipe does lack the cream that makes curries so delicious, the addition of the apple and use of real butter adds a rich flavor at very little cost (for your wallet and your waist line).

Turkey Curry

Yield: 4-6 servings


Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups small-diced apple (peeled and core – about 2 large apples)
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons  cornstarch
1 tablespoon  curry powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
6 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon of red/cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
2  tablespoons  chopped green onions (optional)

Preparation
1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and apples to pan; sauté for 12 minutes with lid on until onions are soft.

2. Add curry powder, salt, and pepper to pan and stir until onion mixture is coated.

3.  Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add to pan and stir to mix.

4.  Add chicken broth, reduce heat and cook for 4 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thick.  Be sure to stir constantly to avoid scorching.

5.  Add turkey and lemon juice to pan & cook for 5 minutes.

6.  Ladle mixture on top of basmatic rice andsprinkle with green onion garnish.

Notes:

– Turkey: If you do not have any leftover turkey, buy turkey breast, dice into small cubes and saute in 1 tablespoon of canola oil.  Pre-cooked chicken also works well in this recipe.  However, you may want to increase the amount of curry powder to 2 tablespoons as I found the chicken has a much stronger flavor.

– Apples: I used Macoun apples in one version and Golden Delicious in another, however, any variety of apple should be fine to use with the exclusion of tart apples like a Granny Smith.  I found them WAY too tart in flavor and texture wise, they did not break down during the cooking process.  The final dish ended up crunchy more than melt in your mouth good.

– Butter vs. Canola Oil:  Feel free to use canola oil in lieu of the butter but honestly, the butter adds so much to the dish that it’s crazy.  Do yourself a favor and walk a few extra blocks so you can have the butter…..

How are you using up the remainder of your Thanksgiving leftovers?  Share your tips & tricks!

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Recipe: Turkey Curry

Hi – my name is Courtney and I adore junk food.

I have never met a french fry I did not love.  There is no food truck, drive-thru or roadside stand that I have not frequented in a 10 mile radius of my house.  I love the salty, greasy and bad for you.  My love of all things bad for you, was one of the reasons I went to culinary school – to find a way to bridge haute cuisine with my heart-attack inducing food loves.  While I never quite found the secret during my time at the CIA, I did find it’s inverse —  how to make formerly “bad for you” recipes not only healthy but tasty.

This recipe for Turkey Curry is a riff on Indian chicken curry, one of my favorite dishes.  A plate of curry, basmati rice and hot naan is my idea of heaven.  However, it is also the US government’s idea of over half of my daily caloric intake in a one plate serving.  YIKES!  After doing some research, I found a recipe from Cooking Light magazine that with some substitutions and additions produces a pretty authentic tasting final dish.  I was quite surprised how good this recipe tasted compared to the curries I get my from little hole in the wall in Berkeley.  While the recipe does lack the cream that makes curries so delicious, the addition of the apple and use of real butter adds a rich flavor at very little cost (for your wallet and your waist line).

Turkey Curry

Yield: 4-6 servings


Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups small-diced apple (peeled and core – about 2 large apples)
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons  cornstarch
1 tablespoon  curry powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
6 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon of red/cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
2  tablespoons  chopped green onions (optional)

Preparation
1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and apples to pan; sauté for 12 minutes with lid on until onions are soft. 

2. Add curry powder, salt, and pepper to pan and stir until onion mixture is coated.

3.  Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add to pan and stir to mix.

4.  Add chicken broth, reduce heat and cook for 4 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thick.  Be sure to stir constantly to avoid scorching.

5.  Add turkey and lemon juice to pan & cook for 5 minutes.

6.  Ladle mixture on top of basmatic rice andsprinkle with green onion garnish.

Notes:

– Turkey: If you do not have any leftover turkey, buy turkey breast, dice into small cubes and saute in 1 tablespoon of canola oil.  Pre-cooked chicken also works well in this recipe.  However, you may want to increase the amount of curry powder to 2 tablespoons as I found the chicken has a much stronger flavor.

– Apples: I used Macoun apples in one version and Golden Delicious in another, however, any variety of apple should be fine to use with the exclusion of tart apples like a Granny Smith.  I found them WAY too tart in flavor and texture wise, they did not break down during the cooking process.  The final dish ended up crunchy more than melt in your mouth good.

– Butter vs. Canola Oil:  Feel free to use canola oil in lieu of the butter but honestly, the butter adds so much to the dish that it’s crazy.  Do yourself a favor and walk a few extra blocks so you can have the butter…..

Recipe: Portuguese Fish Stew

Yesterday was a rough day.  No to go into specifics but a project I was really excited about did a 180 and left me a bit stunned.  I spent a better portion of the evening feeling out of sorts as I tried to process the situation and my feelings.  Fortunately, The Partner had made some delicious Portuguese Fish Stew the other night and it was the perfect comfort food.  Rich and filling, this stew is the perfect thing on a cold night or when you need a little pick me up.  

The original recipe is from the Food Network that we have since modified by adding in mussels and chorizo.  We removed the kale and the potatoes from the recipe as we found they masked the briny flavor of the seafood and the potatoes had a tendency to overcook making the dish slightly gritty.

Portuguese Fish Stew

 

Makes 4-6 servings

 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound chorizo sausage
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless striped bass, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 4 slices crusty bread, toasted

Directions

Fill a large bowl with two tablespoons of all-purpose flour and cool water.  Place the mussels into the flour and water solution for about 20 minutes.  This will help them disgorge any sand that they may have in their system.  This step should not be skipped unless you want a sandy fish stew (bleh).

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves and paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, debeard and clean your mussels.  The” beard” is the little tuft of hair like threads to anchor the mussel to rocks.  To remove the beard, using a dry towel, grasp the beard and give a sharp yank out and toward the hinge end of the mussel. This method will not kill the mussel. If you were to pull the beard out towards the opening end of the mussel you can tear the mussel on the inside of the shell, killing it.

Add 1 cup water and reduce the heat to medium low. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then nestle the pieces among the vegetables in the pan.  Add the mussels to the top of the dish.  Cover and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Divide the stew among bowls. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. Serve with the bread.

 

Notes:

1) Shellfish are highly perishable and should be bought the same day they are to be consumed.  When purchasing, look for shellfish that are tightly closed and smell briny, not fishy.  Avoid any that are chipped or leaky as that may be a sign that they are dead.

2) If a shellfish does not open up during cooking, discard it.  It is not something you want to eat unless you enjoy frequent trips the bathroom.

3) Feel free to add the kale and potatoes back to this recipe if you like.  The 1 cup of chopped kale is added to the sautéed vegetables while 2 boiled Yukon gold potatoes (large dice) are added when you include the tomatoes.

Loving Out Loud: Krups High Performance Deep Fryer

For a brief period of my early childhood, I lived with my maternal grandmother. Every Sunday she rose early to help the family get ready for Sunday school. We would all pile into a car and attend services, while my Grandmother stayed home. I never quite got why my Grandmother did not join us at church until years later when my Mom pointed out that Sunday mornings were the only time that the house was empty. We lived in a four bedroom house with 7 people, so there was always someone at home….well except on Sundays. It was her time, yet when we arrived back home in the afternoon there would be the distinct sound of chicken frying…..that almost “white noise” of the grease hissing and our old exhaust fan wheezing to suck up the heat. That sound meant dinner was being cooked. Even during her “me time”, Grandma was thinking about the family and we were normally greeted with fried chicken, corn bread, sweet potatoes and collard greens. That sound of chicken being fried is embedded in my memory as something I find soothing …….

So I was pleasantly surprised that I had such a strong wave of nostalgia when I fired up my Krups High Performance Deep Fryer last week. This fantastic piece of metal wonder and delight was purchased as a birthday gift by my dear friend Larry. Through a bit of trickery on his part, he found out my secret wish of owning my own deep fryer and surprised me this beauty:

Isn’t it beautiful? As soon as we got it I instantly knew we would be making Black Truffle Fries in our near future. Well this weekend, The Partner and I tried it out since we both wanted burgers for dinner. Out came a pack of Uruguay ground beef, three potatoes and our infamous black truffle sea salt and transpired was magic.

The above fries were fantastic. Crispy, yummy, salty and truffled to the max — they were heaven with the burger:

In culinary school, we deep-fried plenty of stuff and let me tell you, cleaning the deep fryer at the end of the night sucks! Thankfully the Krups deep fryer dissembles and all the pieces (minus the control panel) can be placed in the dishwasher making for super easy clean-up.

However, aside from fancy fries and the occasional fried Mars Bar, owning the deep fryer means I can now make fried chicken without fear. While my fried chicken won’t be as good as my Grandma’s, I do hope I do her proud in another way. I am hoping that I can start a tradition of my own that centers around a weekly meal with my circle of friends and family in California.

If I am lucky, someone in the distant future, will hearing the sound of grease hissing and think of the times they spent over my dinners. hopefully, they will be warm memories that will inspire them and their loved ones…….

Disclaimer: I have not compensated by Krups or anyone affiliated with the company in any manner. My the statements in this posting are of my own unsolicted opinion. They reflect my views and use of the product showcased.

Happy Presidents Day

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind.  Friday, I visited my client who I am assisting with redecorating her master bedroom.  The meeting went very well and we made good headway on making fabric, paint and furniture selections.  Saturday, I spent racing to purchase fabric, cooking dinner for a friend who recently had a baby and event coordinating a 50th birthday celebration in San Francisco.  Oh yeah – on the side, I do small catering and event planning gigs to keep my feet wet with catering.  Plus it’s an excellent way to introduce my design work to new prospective clients.  Unfortunately the house where the party was held is flawless – perfectly modern and sexy with a killer view of San Francisco. It is a dream house and the catering client was a dream too! 

Sunday was a bit of a bust since I had to clean, prepare for the week and do all the errands I should have done last week but was too busy planning stuff for other people.  Fortunately, The Partner was fantastic and cooked dinner last night, which I am going to profile tomorrow because he used a new kitchen toy that my dear friend Larry bought me for my birthday.  So excited that we got to use it last night!!!

Okay, I seriously need to get my rear moving….I have furniture to look at, swatches to return, DIY projects just piling up and some homework for school this week that I am positive will be a bit of a bear. And oh yeah, I almost forgot……..

Photo credit

Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu Suggestions

It’s no secret that I like to cook.  Being the kitchen and preparing a good meal is a way of me to show love.  Cooking is an extension of the love I have for my friends and family and is (for me) an easy way to show how much they mean to me.  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be nice to pull together a menu from the recipes I have highlighted on the blog.  Hopefully these recipes will give you a head start on  creating a fabulous meal,  not spend your entire Valentine’s Day chained to a stove or blow your gift budget ….

First Course Options:


Sweet Potato, Onion & Fontina Tart

 

 
Cream of Broccoli Soup 

Main Course Options:

 [Photo: foodmakesmehappy.blogspot.com]

Skate Wing in Orange Hazelnut Brown Butter Sauce

[Photo: JapaneseFoodReport.com] 

Grilled Bluefish

 

Dessert Options:


Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

[Photo: Boston.com]

Chocolate Vanilla Pound Cake

 

To complement your meal, I would recommend reviewing the list of delicious budget-friendly wines & spirits that my friend and wine expert Martin Silva reviewed for  the holidays that were all under $30.

So you got the menu, table setting and wine recommendations…..what are you waiting for?  I’ve done the leg work for you, but  you gotta put some effort in!  Get crackin’….shake a leg…..get a movin’!  You got stuff to do my friend so quit reading and start planning!

Recipe: Sarah’s Umami Roast

This weekend is a blur of activities.  Baby showers, birthday parties, house projects and design clients filled up my day.  Collectively, everything I have consumed from Friday night through Sunday night came from (A) Starbucks, (B) Trader Joe’s and (C) Walgreens.  Fortunately, I received an email from my friend and fellow blogger Sarah S. about the fantastic dinner she made on Saturday night for her family.  I was simply impressed that Sarah cooks on a Saturday and two that she cooked a roast…neither of which I have done in a long time.  Combine it with the fact that the recipe Sarah created is super easy and according to her family, super delicious to boot.  I can say this with 100% conviction that if Sarah’s family consisting of several finicky toddlers and adolescent eaters declared this recipe a winner, then I am positive you will too!  In any case, I will let Sarah tell you about this winner of a recipe……

How delightful the smell of sautéing onions and garlic is on a cold Saturday afternoon.  This beef roast is something you can start right after lunch time and have ready for a 7:00 dinner with family and friends. Set the table with something rustic and fun, wear lounge clothes whose best quality is their comfort (okay, and there is some seriously cute loungewear), put on some classic R&B (really, think 1960’s and 70’s) and open a nice red wine that is full-bodied and still sweet.

Add to that environment this umami roast, and you have a wonderful combination.  Umami refers to the flavor.  It is one of the basic tastes and refers to the meaty savoriness in a dish.  This combination of the creamy potatoes, slightly rich gravy, and tender meaty beef roast touches directly on the umami taste that brings to mind midwest comfort food at its best.

This is not a refined roast that is sliced to serve.  It falls apart at the touch of a fork.  The vegetables should retain their form and presence but are soft enough to slice through with just the tines.

 

Saturday Afternoon Umami Beef Roast with Mashed Potatoes

 
 

Finished Umami Roast....

 

3-3.5 lb organic beef chuck roast (1/2 lb per person should leave a bit of leftovers)

1 Vidalia onion, rough sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Approximately 18-24 baby carrots, whole

3 stalks of celery, 2 inch pieces.  Finely chop the rinsed leaves and use.

1 Quart  mixed vegetable and beef base/ broth/ or any variation thereof

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper

1 Bay Leaf

dash nutmeg

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Gravy (recipe follows)

Served with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes (recipe follows)

 

To Cook the Roast

 
 

Roast Ingredients

 

Remove roast from refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.  Bringing it to room temperature will help create a tender roast.  Rinse, pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and set to the side.

Saute onion and garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil (dutch oven works great) on medium until slightly translucent.  Season with sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper.  (I season each layer of ingredients for the best flavor.)  Turn heat to Medium/ Medium High.  Move onions to the side of the pot and add roast.  Brown on each side approximately 4-5 minutes.

Add herbs to stock, and add stock to pot, just barely covering the roast.  Check for necessary salt.  Turn heat to Low, cover and cook for 4-5 hours. This recipe can also go in the oven on 275 degrees.

After cooking roast for 4-5 hours, add chopped vegetables, season, check fluid levels to barely cover all vegetables, cover, and cook for 1 hour.  Vegetables should be cooked through without being mushy.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Gravy

Juice from Roast (visible fat skimmed off)

1/3 C flour

1 Tbsp half n half

Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove vegetables and meat, cover with foil and set to the side or in warm oven.  Turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Remove 1/2 Cup of liquid and put in mixing bowl.  Add flour and whisk.  Add more liquid to thin it out.  (You are making a slurry).  Feel free to substitute cornstarch if that is your preference.

Whisk slurry to juices on medium heat. Add another sprinkling of rosemary if you want to strengthen the flavor.   Cook flour through, whisking every minute or so, approximately 15 minutes, and you will see it thicken slightly.  This is not a thick cream-style gravy.  It is a drizzling gravy to add moisture and flavor, and is intended to complement the meat and potatoes without drowning.  The more you cook it, the richer the gravy.  If you want to extend this out to 20 or 30 minutes, be my guest.  Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk in half n half and reduce heat to low.  Cook for just a few minutes.  Check seasoning.

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes

5 lb bag of potatoes

1 C half n half (1 and 1/2 if you like them looser)

3/4 Stick of Butter (6 Tbsp)

Salt

Remove peel and chop potatoes.  Boil for approximately 20 minutes.  Strain.

Heat half n half and butter on low, just until heated through.

Add potatoes to a ricer if you have it, or whip them with a mixer if you don’t.  If you use a ricer, the potatoes will release less starch and you will get a pure potato flavor without starchiness. That combination of butter, half n half and the non-starchy potatoes is blissful.

Add half n half, butter, salt.  Mix together with a wooden spoon until just blended.

To Serve

Roast will pull apart with a fork.  A long fish plate works great for serving.  Add beef to center 2/3 of the plate, add vegetables to the ends.  Serve with a gravy boat of gravy and a bowl of potatoes.  This is the perfect meal to place on a buffet next to the table and allow the guests to serve themselves.  I would serve it with fresh-from-the-oven bread (maybe a rosemary garlic) with some softened butter.

A glass of red wine evens this out completely, and the only thing that would make it better is a rustic vanilla ice cream with a fresh caramel sauce or blueberry compote.  Mmmmm.  Delightful.

And don’t forget to use the leftover gravy and meat as a stew base.  Truly great.

Based on a 5 spoon scoring system:

Complexity: 3.5 spoons

Difficulty: 2 spoons

Flavor: 5 spoons

A big thanks to Sarah for sharing this recipe and on a side note, I adore her spoon rating system!