Creamed Turkey and Sausage with Sweet Potato Biscuits

From the NY Times wonderful chef, David Tanis.I made this with leftover frozen turkey from Thanksgiving and I am not sure that I liked the turkey in there again unless it was fresh. Chicken would be delicious too. I think I would add an extra 1/4# of sausage too. The sweet potato biscuits were wonderful! I bake my sweet potatoes in a cold oven, turn up to 425 degrees (after pricking each with a fork a few times) right on the oven shelf for 45 minutes-1 hour, depending on size. Turn off the oven and leave for 30 minutes-perfect every time!

FOR THE CREAMED TURKEY:
4 ounces sausage meat, preferably breakfast sausage or sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk, more as needed
1 cup leftover gravy or 3/4 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne
2 cups diced cooked turkey meat
FOR THE SWEET POTATO BISCUITS:
2 cups/260 grams all-purpose flour, more as needed
2 teaspoons/6 grams baking powder
½ teaspoon /1 1/2 grams baking soda
1 teaspoon/3 grams kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup mashed sweet potato
½ cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, cook sausage meat, breaking it into small crumbly pieces as it browns. Pour off any rendered fat. Add butter and diced onion and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir to combine.
Add milk 1/2 cup at a time, stirring vigilantly as the sauce thickens. Reduce heat if sauce is bubbling too rapidly. Whisk in gravy or broth and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Fold in turkey meat and heat through. Keep warm.
Make the biscuit dough: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter and work it into the dry mixture with fingers until mixture resembles wet sand. Beat sweet potato and buttermilk together and stir into flour mixture. Mix briefly just enough to incorporate to make a soft dough.
Transfer dough to a work surface and dust lightly with flour. Knead for 1 minute, then pat or roll dough to a 1 1/2-inch thickness. Use a floured biscuit cutter or water glass to cut 10 to 12 rounds from the dough. (Or simply use a sharp knife to cut dough into 2-inch squares or diamonds.) Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.
To serve, split a warm biscuit and spoon saucy turkey over it.

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Al Forno’s Five Cheese Pasta

From Al Forno, the wonderful restaurant in Providence, RI. This is a delicious pasta that comes together very quickly. I usually make it in the morning of the day I am going to eat it and bake it for dinner. I use Parmesan cheese instead of the Pecorino but you can use whatever cheeses you like. I reduced a can of diced tomatoes with some tomato paste to get a thicker sauce to add to the cream, cheeses and pasta. **Note-I gave the leftovers of this to my neighbor, Hannah and she added the rest of the 16 oz. ricotta, chicken and peas and said it was delicious! I think it is a brilliant idea!

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely shredded (1 1/2 ounces) Fontina cheese
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, (1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 pound penne rigate or conchiglie rigate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, sliced thinly Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the pasta and butter. Stir well to combine. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine. Divide the pasta mixture among six to eight shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cups in capacity) or place in a shallow (1-inch) layer in larger baking dishes. Dot with the butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

My sister Meg alerted me to this recipe in the NY Times! So simple and delicious! You can use as much or as little of the nutella as you want. It leaves melting pockets of hazelnut chocolate!

½ cup/113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups/256 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups/310 grams mashed bananas, from about 3 medium bananas
⅔ cup/134 grams granulated sugar
¼ cup/57 grams plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup/99 grams chocolate-hazelnut spread, like Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
Stir the flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
Brown butter: Melt butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Cook butter, occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a rubber spatula until it turns a deep golden brown and smells nutty. Don’t walk away from the pan during this process. The butter will go from browned and nutty to acrid and burnt in moments. Transfer butter to a large heat-safe mixing bowl and let it cool slightly.
When the butter has cooled a bit, add the mashed bananas, sugar, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined, then add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
Pour half the batter into prepared pan and spread it evenly with a knife or offset spatula. Spoon half the chocolate-hazelnut spread in several dollops over the top and use a toothpick or skewer to swirl it into the batter. Spoon and spread the remaining batter over the top followed by dollops of the remaining spread. Swirl in the spread, then bake the bread for 55 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Perfect Sugar Cookie

From the Flour, a cookbook and bakery in Boston by Joanne Chang. This dough is perfection. Be sure to let it rest at least an hour before baking. I rolled a half of the dough out at a time and kept the other half chilled. Every single bit of the dough rolled out into about 80 cookies. I am going to freeze the cookies and frost them as needed. Note**I prefer the frosting from my blog, Binx’s Christmas Cookies. The butter adds a glisten and it is the perfect amount for this batch of cookies.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
3 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment ( or a hand held mixer) cream the butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes), scraping the sides and bottom often. Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix for at least 2-3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl often. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt until well mixed. On low speed slowly blend in flour mixture until evenly mixed. Let rest wrapped in plastic as an 8” disc at least one hour until dough is firm enough to roll out. Flour a work surface and the dought and roll out 1/4” thick. Cut out cookies and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool cookies at least 30 minutes.
Frosting-see Note** above about optional recipe
3 1/4 c. (1#) confectioners sugar
5-6 T. milk
food coloring as desired
Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and whisk in enough milk to make a stiff icing.

Coconut Bread

Originally from Bill Granger a chef in Austrailia. I found it on Smitten Kitchen and she updated The Wednesday Chef’s recipe! I do not care for sweetened coconut** so I used unsweetened coconut from my health food store. It is a dense delicious bread and I can’t wait to toast it!

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt (see Note)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Bill calls for 2 but I preferred 1, so that it didn’t dominate)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 ounces (140 grams) sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups) **see note above
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted or melted and browned, if desired

Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.
Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Pork Vindaloo

From my favorite Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking book, this is a hot and sour curry from Goa on the west coast of India. The sauce is made with lots of wonderful spices and an onion broth that has a little vinegar in it. Some of the spices are a little rare but I have found a line in small green boxes called Spicely and they have every spice in small amounts! You could substitute beef or lamb instead of the pork if you wish. I serve it with basmati rice and a vegetable side dish, like the cabbage and carrots from my Indian feast post.

2 t. whole cumin seeds
2-3 hot dried red chilies
1 t. black peppercorns
1 t. cardamom seeds
3″ stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 t. whole black (or brown) mustard seed
1 t. fenugreek seeds
5 T. white wine vinegar
1 t. light brown sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
5 T. oil or ghee (I used grape seed oil)
1 1/3 c. water
2# boneless pork shoulder meat, cut into 1″ cubes
1″ cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
a small whole head of garlic, with cloves separated and peeled
1 T. ground coriander seeds
1/2 t. turmeric
Grind the top seven spices together in a spice or coffee grinder and put in a bowl. Add vinegar, salt and sugar-mix well and set aside.
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium and fry onions, stirring frequently until bring and crisp. This takes some time but is essential to the dish! It took me almost one hour to brown the onions. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and put into a blender or food processor. Add 2-3 T of the water to blend and puree the onions. Add this puree to the spice mixture in the bowl. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze.
While the onions are cooking, dry off the meat cubes and cut off any fat.
Put ginger and garlic in the blender and puree into a paste with 2-3 T. of the water, or more as needed.
Heat 5 T. oil in the pot again over medium high flame. Add the pork cubes, a few at a time and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. After the pork is browned, add the garlic ginger paste, turn down heat to medium. Stir for a few seconds. Add coriander and turmeric, stirring well for a few minutes. Add the meat and vindaloo paste and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for on hour or until pork is tender. Stir a few times during cooking period.

Turkey Pho

From the NY Times, a wonderful soup with your leftover turkey and stock from Thanksgiving. Charring the onion halves and ginger add a lot of flavor to the broth. I love all of the fresh tastes from the garnishes.

2 medium yellow onions, halved and peeled
1 (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger (do not peel)
12 cups turkey or chicken stock, preferably homemade
¼ cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 star anise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (1-pound) package dried rice vermicelli
12 ounces mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
1 small bunch Thai basil sprigs
3 jalapeños, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 to 3 limes, quartered, to taste
4 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1 large bunch)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 1 bunch)

Cook onions and ginger directly over open flame of a gas burner for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are charred on all sides. (If you don’t have a gas stove, heat broiler and set onions and ginger on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes until charred on all sides.) Allow charred ginger to cool, then slice it into 1/2-inch coins.
In a large Dutch oven or similar pot, combine onions, sliced ginger, stock, fish sauce, star anise and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, cook rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Arrange mung bean sprouts, sprigs of Thai basil, jalapeños and limes on a platter and set on the table.
Remove onions, ginger and star anise from the pot. Add shredded turkey to the pot, and return it to a simmer. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning with additional fish sauce and/or salt, if needed.
Divide rice noodles, cilantro and scallions evenly among large soup bowls, then ladle hot stock over the top, making sure each bowl gets a healthy serving of turkey. Serve immediately, accompanied by platter of garnishes.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers, keeping noodles separate, for up to 3 days.

Buttermilk Biscuits

From a Martha Stewart recipe circa 2001. Tried and true recipe and very simple.

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Put 2 1/2 cups of the flour mixture into a food processor. Pulse in the butter all at once until they are pea sized pieces. Pour back mixture into large bowl, stir in buttermilk. It may be easier toward the end to flour your hands and mix it. Knead dough until it comes together and roll out into 1″ thickness. Cut into size desired. (Optional-prick tops of biscuits with the tines of a fork and brush with melted butter or milk or cream. Bake 18-20 minutes.

Fresh Fig Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

From the wonderful Melissa Clark of the NY Times. I used a fig butter from Trader’s Joes and it was delicious. I made this in a 10″ springform pan but you could also bake it in two 9″ cake pans. I only made a half recipe of the frosting as I did not split the cake horizontally and just frosted the top.

FOR THE CAKE:
Butter, for greasing the pan
3 cups/384 grams all-purpose flour, more for flouring the pan
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cups/300 grams granulated sugar
4 large eggs
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
¾ cup/116 grams chopped fresh figs (3 to 4 figs)
¾ cup/225 grams fig jam
¾ cup/85 grams chopped pecans or walnuts
FOR THE FROSTING AND TOPPING:
12 tablespoons/180 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2 cups/16 ounces/454 grams cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons/60 grams honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ⅔ cups/450 grams confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sliced fresh figs (about 5 figs)

Make the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan (or two 9-inch pans), and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, baking soda and salt.
Using an electric mixer, whisk to combine sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Whisk in oil and buttermilk or yogurt to combine.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold dry ingredients into egg mixture just until combined. Fold in figs, jam and pecans.
Scrape into prepared cake pan and bake until browned and springy to the touch, about 65 to 75 minutes (or 35 to 45 minutes for the 9-inch pans). If the top gets too dark before the cake is finished baking, cover it with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
While cake is cooling, make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and salt on low speed until smooth. Beat in honey and vanilla, then beat in confectioners’ sugar.
To assemble the cake, remove cooled cake from pan and peel off parchment paper. Slice cake in half horizontally, so you end up with 2 layers. (You don’t need to do this for the 9-inch cakes.) Spread half the frosting between the layers, sandwiching it. Dollop remaining frosting in a thick layer on top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch border on the top of the cake, the sides, bare. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with sliced figs.