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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caity Sue's Turkey Enchiladas

By now people must be getting pretty sick of turkey, if you still have any left over...I know I am getting tired of that bird! I decided to use the last of Tom Turkey tonight by making a turkey enchilada dish. I decided to create my own recipe and I hope you like it. The measurements are approximate but I think they're pretty close.

Caity Sue's Turkey Enchiladas

1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, husks removed, quartered
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
1-3 jalapenos (depending on your taste), seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1-3 cloves garlic (depending on your taste)
2 - 3 TBSP cilantro
Chicken broth
4 cups turkey meat, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream, separated
1 can cream of chicken soup, separated
1/2 tsp cumin
12-15 corn tortillas
For garnish
Chopped cilantro
green onions, chopped
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Take the tomatillos, onions and jalapeno(s) and place in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Add salt and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain off broth and place vegetable mix into a blender; add chicken broth to cover by about 1" and blend well. Add about 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup cream of chicken soup to the blender with the cilantro and blend again. Reserve 1/2 cup.

In a large bowl add turkey, 3/4 cup sour cream mixed with 1/2 tsp cumin, rest of the can of cream of chicken soup and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup of the tomatillo sauce. Mix well. Cook tortillas until they are soft (today I wrapped them in foil and put them in a 350F degree oven for 15 minutes, but other times I will spray them with Pam cooking spray and bake them on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 3-4 minutes; also you can soft fry them in oil OR you can soften them in the sauce....just heat it back up to a low boil and dip the tortillas in the sauce until careful because it's easy to get it too soft and they will break apart). Put about 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce in bottom of 13"x9" baking pan. Dip each tortillas briefly in blender of sauce and fill with turkey filling. Roll up and place, seam side down, in baking dish.

When they are all filled and in the pan(s), pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and bake, until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking I place the cheese for garnishing all over and continue baking. When the enchiladas are cooked, removed from oven and garnish with green onions & cilantro. Bon Apetit! NOTE: Next time I won't put as much sauce over the enchiladas as it can make the tortillas too soft...but it was YUMMY!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How I made Thanksgiving cooking go so smoothly.

Ok...I started the day before (with the invaluable help of Beth, Kyle's girlfriend) and made the pies (peanut butter, chocolate and pumpkin). Then Beth and I chopped the vegetables and labeled them and put them in fridge. Then I assembled all the baking pans I would be using and put them on the breakfast table, along with all the dry (non-perishable) ingredients that particular recipe would need into that pan, along with the recipe and a note on each one with the cooking temp and times. I can't begin to tell you how much time and effort that saved for the next day, Thanksgiving. Here is a picture to show you what I'm talking about since I don't often explain things very well.
Since I didn't have anything to do cooking-wise for the first 3 hours or so, I used this time to set my table.

So when it came time to start cooking the side dish, I started to assemble the dish that would take the longest to cook and got that one in the oven. I then set the timer for 5 minutes and started to assemble the next dish. I put that one in the oven and then assembled the next dish and put that one in the oven, so they were all done about the same time. It was made easier by the fact that I have 2 ovens. The top oven I used for most side dishes, and I finished the sweet potato casserole (recipe below) in the lower oven after the turkey came out. Since it needed close to an hour, I started it in the top oven about 45 minutes before the turkey was done. After it had cooked for 30 minutes I took it out, lowered the heat and started on the other side dishes. When the turkey came out I popped the sweet potato casserole back in the lower oven since it was the same temp as the turkey finished cooking on, for the last 25-30 minutes. Beth cooked the sesame soy-glazed green beans last on the stovetop, and while they were cooking I put the rolls in the now-empty ovens. The timing on everything really worked out well!
The food table

The dinner table with everyone around it.

Daughters-in-law Elizabeth and Valerie

Doug and Valerie

Kyle and Beth

My mom and dad

Patrick with our granddaughter, Nevaeh.

Jake with Nevaeh.
Late entry:
Oh, the best part of the evening???? Nevaeh started REALLY walking that night! Instead of taking a couple of steps and falling down...she started taking 10-12 steps at a time...and she was off and running! I am SO glad she waited until she was at our house so I could see that.

Turkey Cooking Instructions

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family. I know we did. My mom and dad come over, and Jake and Elizabeth came over with our precious granddaughter, Nevaeh, who decided to START WALKING! What a treasure that was to witness! Doug and his new bride, Valerie, also came to dinner. Kyle and Beth are living with us now (since August) and so our table was full. I really wish the oldest, Dustin, could have been there with his family, but they had their own wonderful Thanksgiving dinner in Texas, where they live.

I cooked an 18 lb turkey this year and it came out perfect, as always. I have never understood why people get up before the crack of dawn and cook their turkey to death for hours and hours! I will provide you with simple cooking instructions that will turn out a beautiful, moist turkey every time. I also made mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, regular stuffing,
green bean casserole
(I make this under protest every year but my husband LOVES the stuff and insists on it - thankfully, Beth made it for me this year and spared me!lol), sesame soy-glazed green beans (I FORGOT to take a picture but the recipe is below), roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon pecan crunch (recipe below),
corn pudding (recipe below),
and wheat and white rolls. My mother had brought a roast and her wonderful roast gravy as well, so we had a table full of food! No one left hungry. Now onto the cooking instructions for your turkey:


18 - 20 lb (8.165 - 9.072 kg) Turkey (UNSTUFFED!!)
2 yellow onions, chopped coarsely
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery, chopped
2 cups (480 ml) water OR chicken stock (I prefer chicken stock)
2 TBSP (30 ml) melted butter

Preheat oven to 250F (121.1C). Place vegetables and broth or water in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place rack over the vegetables and put turkey BREAST SIDE DOWN on the rack. Roast turkey (BREAST SIDE DOWN) at 250F (121.1C) for 3 hours. Turn turkey breast side UP and brush with 2 TBSP (30 ml) melted butter; roast for another hour. (It can be tricky flipping the turkey over - I use 2 wads of wet paper can also slide a long wooden spoon inside and lift and spin the turkey - this really is a 2 person job) Turn the heat up to 400F (204.4C) and roast for another hour. Make sure the meat in the thigh is at 175F (79.4C). Remove turkey from the oven and cover with foil. DO NOT carve the turkey for at least 20 minutes after removing from oven, to let the juices redistribute!!!!
My honey carving the turkey!

The Gravy!

This gravy is just fantastic! It goes very fast as everyone loves it!


Roasting pan juices from your turkey (I make me turkey over a mirepoux of carrots, celery and onions and 2 cups chicken stock and I baste my turkey with butter - See my turkey cooking recipe above)
1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine (I prefer a Chardonnay, but she prefers a Riesling)
4 1/2 cups (1.08 l) Giblet Stock (I simmer my giblets and the neck bone in about 6 cups (1.44 l) of chicken stock and water (about 1/2 water and 1/2 stock) for about 2 hours)
6 TBSP (90 ml) all-purpose flour
2 TBSP (30 ml) unsalted butter

Remove vegetables from roasting pan and discard. Pour pan juices into a glass measuring cup or gravy separator, and let stand until separated, about 10 minutes. Pour off fat. Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Add wine, and simmer, stirring and scraping pan constantly for 2 minutes. Add the reserved juices and 4 cups (960 ml) of the stock (reserve 1/2 cup (120 ml)of the stock), and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) of stock and the flour in a bowl until smooth. Whisking constantly, slowly add flour mixture to the pahn. Simmer until gravy is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter, and swirl pan until it has melted. Pour through a fine sieve, discarding solids. Serve immediately or keep warm over low heat. Now I will add the meat from the neck bone at this point as I love it in gravy.. Enjoy!!

Thanksgiving Side Dish #1


3/4 cup (180 ml or 0.18 kg) firmly packed brown sugar, divided
2 TBSP (30 ml) orange juice
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 1/2 (7.5 ml) tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 (7.5 ml) tsp ground ginger, divided
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
3 lbs (1.4 kg) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 cup (240 ml) dried cranberries
6 TBSP (90 ml) butter, cut up, divided
1/2 cup (120 ml or 0.12 kg) flour
1 cup (240 ml) chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400F (204.4 C). Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) EACH of the cinnamon and ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat well. Spooon into a 13" x 9" (33 x 23 x 5 cm or 3.3 liters) baking dish.

Sprinkle evenly with cranberries. Dot with 2 TBSP (30 ml) of the butter.
Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour, the remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) brown sugar and remaining 1 tsp (5 ml) EACH cinnamon AND ginger in medium bowl. Cut in remaining 4 TBSP (60 ml) butter with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in pecans. Remove sweet potatoes fromoven and stir gently. Sprinkle evenly with pecan topping. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes longer or until sweet potatoes are tender and topping is lightly browned. (I found this to be closer to 25 minutes than 30 minutes for my oven). Makes 8 servings. We so loved this - it was more like a dessert! lol. As you can see it got pretty dark on the top, so I wouldn't cook it for more than 20-25 minutes for the last half of the cooking.

Thanksgiving Side Dish #2


1 stick butter (120 ml)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (16 oz or roughly .47 liters) cream style corn
1 can (16 oz or roughly .47 liters) whole kernel sweet corn
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup (240 ml) sugar

Preheat oven to 350F (or 176.7C). Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat (or 1 minute in a small bowl in the microwave - I almost never have a use for a microwave, but this is one of the few lol). Set aside. Grease a 1 1/2 quart (maybe 20 x 20 x 4 cm or 1.4 liters?) casserole dish and have it ready. In a medium bowl add the eggs, both cans of corn, sugar, Jiffy corn muffin mix and the melted butter. Blend with a fork until well mixed and pour it into your greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I have made this for the last several Thanksgiving dinners and it's always a big hit! If you want to make a more savory corn pudding, you can omit the sugar and add 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese, some chilies, etc. Mix it up and have fun with it!

Thanksgiving Side dish #3

1 lb (.45 kg) green beans, picked, blanched & shocked
1 TBSP (15 ml) vegetable oil
1 TBSP (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) fresh ginger, minced
3 TBSP (45 ml) tamari soy sauce
1 TBSP (15 ml) brown sugar

Blanch the beans in heavily salted boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes or until they just yield to pressure. Shock them in an ice bath and then dry thoroughly. Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and place the dry green beans in the pan, stirring frequently. When you see the skin on the outside just start to blister, add the garlic and ginger and stir until just fragrant. Add the tamari soy sauce and suage and stir to coat the beans. When the mixture is syrupy, it is done!! This takes about 3-5 minutes. This was the first year I made these and they are fantastic and so easy!! I am so disappointed that I forgot to take a picture of this wonderful dish!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chicken Kiev

Good evening!!! Tonight I am making something I haven't made in quite a while...Chicken Kiev! It is so yummy! You cut into it and the cheesy butter filling oozes out....wonderful, yummy goodness! Without any more ado, here is my recipe:

Chicken Kiev
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-
¾ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp oregano, separated
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 TBSP chopped parsley
8 oz Monterey jack cheese, cut into 8 strips
½ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place one piece at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a flat surface mallet until each breast is about 1/8” thick. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt and 1 tsp of the oregano and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the ¼ cup butter, remaining oregano and parsley. Spread about ½ TBSP of the butter mixture across each piece about an inch from one of the long sides and place a strip of the Jack cheese over the butter. Fold the short ends over the filling and then fold in the long sides and roll to enclose the filling. Dip each bundle into the melted butter and roll in the bread crumb mixture until coated evenly. Place bundles, seam side down and slightly separated into a 10x15” rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with the remaining butter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or over overnight. Bake, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink when slightly slashed, but be careful not to cut into the filling, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately. Bon Appetit!
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