Turkey and Mushroom Stroganoff

You may have seen in my recent post that Jake and I had a belated mini Thanksgiving meal this year. So, that means I’m a little behind the eight ball on using leftovers for other dishes. Nevertheless, here it is. I found a turkey and mushroom stroganoff. It calls for ground turkey, but I figured it must still be delicious with the fresh citrus roasted turkey we made. (Spoiler alert – I was right!) I had also make some homemade turkey stock using the turkey bones; I used the stock in the recipe, too.

(Here’s the link to the recipe.) I made a couple of modifications based on what I had on hand and what I felt like (not) doing. Haha – I was feeling a bit lazy.

Here’s what I used:

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
    • Original recipe called for 2 cloves. I just happened to pull out 3 from the fridge and used them all.
  • Chopped up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving
    • I used approximately 3/4 cup
    • Original recipe called for 1 lb of ground turkey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups broth
    • I used 2.5 cups of homemade turkey stock (with leftover bones from Thanksgiving)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional spice)
  • dash of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 brick of cream cheese
    • The original recipe called for 1/2 cups sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 3/4 package of pasta shells
    • The original recipe called for 1 package egg noodles, which I would have used if I had it on hand.

I used a large sauce pot to first cook the onion, mushrooms, and already-cooked turkey pieces in a drizzle of olive oil. I cooked until the onions were translucent and mushrooms were soft.
I then added in the garlic, butter, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Note that the original  recipe calls for making a rue with the butter and flour separately, but I didn’t want to dirty another dish. So, I put the butter in early with the other ingredients just listed.

Once everything was incorporated and the butter was melted, I mixed in the flour and made sure it was incorporated/coating everything. This should make everything a bit pasty/sticky.
Then, I added in the broth and cream cheese. I broke up the cream cheese and stirred until most of it was melted down.
I let everything simmer and let the flavors incorporate for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, in a separate pot, I cooked the shells in some salted and oiled water until al dente.
Finally, it was time to serve! We ate this with a side of the leftover green bean casserole and stuffing from Thanksgiving. I had also left a couple of larger pieces of turkey to slice and lay on top. Lastly, I garnished with a sprig of parsley.

This was so good! I would definitely try this recipe again. Next time, I would still keep the cut up turkey breast instead of ground turkey, but perhaps I’d use more and shred it. Also, I would love to try this with sour cream or greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese.

Hope you enjoy!
Sincerely,
Fu’d
Advertisements

Guilt-Free Alfredo Sauce with a Cauliflower Base

I had somewhat recently joined a Facebook group that was created for people who live in the same town to share photos of their home cooked meals. First off, this group is absolutely amazing – the things that people cook and all the encouragement is a breath of fresh air. There’s been a recent onslaught of people making chicken broccoli alfredo. So, of course, I started to crave it like crazy!

20181111_181623.jpg

Here’s a version that I adapted for the pressure cooker from a Pinterest recipe. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) If you don’t want to use a pressure cooker, feel free to follow the original recipe as is, but be sure to read on for a few tips and suggestions! I also tried to make my own pasta shells…that was a disaster. Luckily I was smart enough to pick up some backup shells at the store.

Here’s what I used for the sauce:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your choice of cheese (optional) – I used shelf-stable parmesan and a shredded pizza blend

You can supposedly pair this sauce with a number of dishes, but I made stuffed shells with chicken and broccoli. So, here is the rest of what I used:

  • 1 box of shells, cooked and drained
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 large chicken breast (You may want a little more if you want to try something unique with the sauce. Read on to learn more!)
  • More cheese for topping
  • Breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top (optional)

Cut the cauliflower head into medium sized pieces (doesn’t need to be perfect) and put it in the pressure cooker. Mince or use a garlic press and put all the garlic in with the cauliflower. Add one cup of vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper.

I chose to cube the chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper, and put into a little tin foil boat. I put this on top of the cauliflower in the pressure cooker. If you chose to use some additional chicken for the unique twist on the sauce, add a handful of the chicken cubes in with the cauliflower, but outside of the foil. (You will end up incorporating that extra chicken right into the sauce.)

I set the pressure cooker to the poultry setting for only 5 minutes and then used the quick release when done. This was enough time to cook the chicken and soften the cauliflower.

Add the 1/2 cup of milk.

Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender or food processor), blend everything together. If you added the extra chicken into the sauce, this means you are blending chicken right into it. This may seem odd, but I accidentally did this the first time and I loved it. It gave the sauce flavor some depth and it also help give the sauce a little thicker in consistency!

I decided to put in some cheese and about 1 cup of small cut broccoli so they would fit in the shells for baking. (I left larger chunks of broccoli for addition to the baking dish after the shells were stuffed.) Go ahead and dump the cooked chicken cubes in there, too.

Mix together well.

I chose to microwave the remainder of the broccoli with a little water but feel free to pre-cook it any way you like.

Spread a thing layer of sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.

Stuff the shells with the sauce, chicken, broccoli mixture and place shells in the dish. I placed the microwaved broccoli around the shells.

I topped the dish with the rest of the sauce some more cheese, and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.

I baked at 375 degrees Farenheit, covered with tin foil for about 15 minutes.

I then baked for another 15 minutes uncovered. I broiled at the end for a few minutes to get the golden brown color on top.

Lastly, serve and enjoy! Leftovers are delicious, too. I had this for lunch two days this week AND I was able to freeze some for when I get the craving later on 😉.

Again, I chose shells, but feel free to eat this with any type of pasta or give it a try over some vegetables, on a white pizza, with rice, etc.

Sincerely,
Fu’d

Leftover Pasta with Quick Bolognese Sauce and Herb Garlic Bread

I know I’ve written about pasta and garlic bread in the past, but I really wanted to share this because of two things: the quick bolognese sauce using leftover meatballs and herb garlic bread.

First, Jake’s mom had given us four large meatballs that we kept in our freezer for a few weeks. So, instead of needing to buy and cook ground meat, I crumbled two of the meatballs and cooked as part of the sauce. I left two meatballs so Jake and I could each have one with our dish. I didn’t follow a bolognese recipe exactly this time, but I did remember most of the steps involved with the one I used last time and used that as my basis. (Here’s the link to the recipe I used previously.)

The garlic bread I made was based on an herb garlic bread recipe that I absolutely LOVE. I made a modified version of it because I didn’t have all the ingredients. This time, it was only OK, but I highly recommend that you try the actual recipe. (Here’s a link to the original recipe.)

And, of course, to start off, we had smoked gouda cheese, pecorino  romano cheese, prosciutto, and crackers. Yum!

For the sauce, I sauteed chopped onion, celery, and carrot.

20181025_183407.jpg

After that, I crushed the meatballs in before adding the various liquids. I then added in about 1 cup of whole milk and let that cook down. Then, I added in about 1 cup of cooking wine and let that cook down.

Finally, I added 28 oz chopped Italian tomatoes, some basil, rosemary, oregano, and a bay leaf. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes. This is the quick version because the original asks you to cook each of those elements down at barely a simmer, which took forever and then the final simmer with everything was supposed to be 3 hours. I found that increasing the heat a bit to speed up the reduction processes and shortening the final simmer didn’t make a huge difference.

Toward the end, I added the last two meatballs into the sauce to simmer together. I grated a little pecorino romano on top.

I forgot that we also bought shrimp to add, so I ended up stirring everything and the shrimp together. The shrimp were already cooked, so they just needed to warm through.

The herb garlic bread is much better made in the blender, but I didn’t feel like taking out and cleaning another appliance. So, I fine chopped the basil and green onion together. My basil was on its last legs, so I think perhaps wasn’t as potent as fresh basil would be. I sliced up some garlic, and grated a little more pecorino romano. Together with about 1 Tbsp of butter, I used my fingers to mix everything together to make a spread.

I then spread each half of fresh french bread. To cook, I put the two halves back together and wrapped in tin foil. I baked for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit. Then, I took the tin foil off and split the halves apart again and sprinkled more grated cheese on top.  I broiled to get some brown color. This didn’t work as well this time because the edges of the bread browned faster than the cheese. Next time, I’ll try a low broil.

I sliced into wedges before serving.

20181025_195057.jpg

The last step was to cook the pasta. I took out three 3-oz nests from the freezer and boiled then in salty water. Then, it was time to plate each dish and ENJOY!

20181025_201312.jpg

I hope you enjoy, too 🙂

Sincerely,
Fu’d

 

 

 

 

Homemade Italian – Pasta & Garlic Bread

I’ve already written other blog posts on a homemade pasta with infused tomato puree and one about my first experience making (french) bread. This time, I experimented with a couple of new recipes I found on Pinterest. Since I’m new to the pasta and bread making game, I think I’ll have to keep trying and tweaking recipes before I get those “signature” dishes!

The French Bread

I tried a french bread recipe that only requires one rise instead of two. Since I had decided to make it last minute and I happened to have rapid rising yeast on hand, I thought it was worth a try. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

20180929_195346.jpg

The recipe was for two loaves, but I only wanted one, so I cut all the ingredient amounts in half. This was easy to do because a lot of the amounts look like they had probably originally been doubled. For example, it calls for two packages of fast rising yeast, so instead, I simply used one.

This was way better than the last french bread I made. The outside got crustier and the inside was fluffier and less dense. Plus, it took a fraction of the time to prepare. I actually used bread flour instead of regular all purpose flour and let the mixer knead the dough a little longer than the last time. These things may have contributed to the better bread. However, although the inside of the bread was fluffier, I felt it still had a tiny bit of toughness to it when pulling it apart. I don’t think this has anything to do with the recipe. Just some alterations I need to make to what I’m doing.

So, I prepared the dough, let is rest covered for 10 minutes. I then made it into a loaf shape, only sort of using the jelly roll method. I did it roughly because I didn’t want that spirally inside that I got last time. I let the loaf sit covered on a oiled baking sheet for about 35 minutes. I took this opportunity to prep a couple other things and take a shower! I also timed it so that the pasta noodles were drying at this time.

Also, I decided to bake it half way without a wash or butter brushed over it. Then once it was a little bit browned, I took it out, brushed some butter over the top and let it cook the rest of the way. This helped give it that nice golden brown. Similar to last time, I also only cooked the loaf part-way through before I took it directly off the baking sheet and put it on a baking rack because the bottom browned before the rest of the loaf.

I let the bread cool a little. I used half of it to make garlic bread. The garlic bread was just melted butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, dried basil, freeze-dried chives, and parmesan sprinkled on top. I let those pieces broil in the oven just so they got brown on top and little toasty. This was just a quick solution for making garlic bread. If I hadn’t already been making a bunch of other stuff and had fresh herbs, I’d make this delicious herb garlic bread recipe I found years ago. (I’ll save that for another time :))

20180929_204535.jpg

Bonus, I sliced up a couple of pieces of leftover bread this morning to make toast. I topped them with some smashed avocado, tomato, and sprinkled with pink Hawaiian salt. YUM!

20180930_082023.jpg

The Pasta

The pasta recipe was a very basic one and had 5 stars with 46 reviews at the time. I spiced it up a little but sprinkling in a little dried parsley and dried basil. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

The verdict: The pasta was fine and is probably a good traditional recipe if that’s what you want. My noodles ended up being too thick, so they were a bit dense and chewy. I think it’s because I didn’t spend enough time rolling the pasta out before using the fettucine cutter. I’d like to give this recipe another try because I really think this was my own fault and I’d like an easy go-to pasta recipe.

The Sauce

I had a can of san marzano tomatoes in the pantry, so I dumped the contents into a large pot and used my mashed potato smasher to break up the tomatoes. I added quite a few seasonings, but I was just experimenting with the flavor. If you’re looking for a simple sauce, you don’t even need to add anything. Here’s what I used to add some depth to the sauce flavor:

  • sliced garlic
  • dashes of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper
  • one bay leaf
  • a little bit of chopped onion
  • a little water and chicken bouillon powder
  • a dash of balsamic vinegar
  • dash of parmesan
  • tomato cooking wine
    • We had just gone on a winery tour last week and purchased this tomato cooking wine. It has a subtle flavor and perhaps it drowned in the sauce. I think this would be really nice to use in other dishes, perhaps to deglaze a pan of mushrooms or something!

20180929_192839.jpg

I also wanted to add some protein to the dish, so I pressure cooked some chicken we had in the freezer and shredded it. (Since I didn’t season it, the other chicken breast was cut up and saved for the pups!) I put the shredded chicken directly into the sauce. I also air fried some frozen shrimp and peas and put those into the sauce last minute, just before serving.


I won’t lie; this was overall a lot of work. But since I like cooking and it was a leisurely Saturday night, I enjoyed it. This would also be great for a date night if you and your significant other ever like to cook together.

20180929_214445

I hope you give some of those recipes a try and share some of your lessons learned, as well!

Sincerely,
Fu’d

Pasta Infused With Tomato Puree and Basil

After debating for a year about purchasing a stand mixer, I recently went ahead and did it. The first attachments I really wanted were the pasta attachments, which Jake got me for my birthday last week! The set comes with a roller and a cutter for fettuccine and another for spaghetti.

I decided to put it to use last night. I knew I wanted to do an infused pasta, but I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand and I was feeling too lazy to head to the store. I promptly searched Pinterest to see if there was anything I could do with the ingredients in my fridge. We still had four fresh tomatoes that Jake’s parents had given to us and I was delighted to find a pasta dough recipe that called for tomato sauce and dried basil. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

20180914_163948.jpg

Instead of using tomato sauce, I made a tomato puree from three of the tomatoes we had on hand. I cut the tomatoes into large pieces (I got four slices out of each tomato) and scooped out all the guts. I didn’t de-skin the tomatoes, just tore off pieces of skin where it was a little rougher. I then boiled the tomatoes in water until they were soft, drained them, and tossed the tomatoes into the food processor until pureed.

20180914_171644.jpg

I followed the pasta recipe, although I ended up tripling it because the serving size in the recipe seemed small. I think I could’ve gotten away with doubling it because I ended up with some leftovers. Jake and I eat generously, so that may give you an idea of how much you need.  The recipe called for optional vegetable oil and an optional egg. For the tripled recipe, I ended up using about 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 eggs. I would suggest that you fully mix or let the stand mixer fully mix the dough before deciding if you need to add in more tomato puree. At first, it would seem dry, so I would put in a tiny amount more of the tomato puree. Then, it seemed too wet, so I added a little flour to balance it out. In the end, I think I could’ve just stuck with the original proportions.

20180914_172428.jpg

I used the fettuccine cutter because I like the slightly thicker noodles. I also went with the 7 setting on the cutter for thickness. Next time, I think I’ll try going down to a 6. Because I made extra dough, I ended up with 6 batches. (I followed the guidance of using approximately 4 ounces of dough for each batch. Picture below of what ~4 oz looks like. I have petite hands.)

I was stumped as to what kind of sauce I should use with the pasta. I thought about tossing a can of San Marzano tomatoes into the food processer, but I didn’t feel like doing that and thought it might take away from the pasta flavor. I ended up making a lemon and white wine garlic sauce. I didn’t follow a recipe for that – I melted some butter with olive oil, put in 2 cloves of minced garlic, a little bit of parmesan, and added a splash of white wine and  lemon juice. Then, seasoned with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (which were homemade and given to us by Jake’s coworker). I only made a small amount because I didn’t want to overpower the pasta.

20180914_185820.jpg

I happened to have a chicken breast in the freezer, which I thawed out earlier that day. I cut it into chunks and air fried them to toss with the pasta. I also cut up the last tomato for some freshness in the pasta, as well.

As a side note, we had ears of corn that we bought last weekend and wanted to use those up, so I made a semi-Mexican street corn. I say “semi” because I didn’t have all of the right ingredients, but used what we did have. If you’re interested, here’s a recipe that I’ve used in the past that came out well.

20180914_194753.jpg

The end result was a really good pasta dish. I have to say, though, that the pasta didn’t carry much of the flavors. I think if I had used a different type of tomato that packed more flavor, like Roma tomatoes, and fresh basil, I might have had a different result. Either way, pasta is pasta and we enjoyed it!

20180914_201053.jpg

Good luck!

Sincerely,
Fu’d