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Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Hearty Winter Meal

Here's a good meal for a snowy winter evening, a contrast to the many rich foods so common during this season. If you have leftover turkey from a Christmas dinner or turkey in the freezer from Thanksgiving, use that instead of the turkey thighs.

Southwestern Style Turkey Stew


Canola oil
2 turkey thighs, about 2 pounds
1 large onion, diced
1 c chopped celery
Garlic powder, salt, and seasoning salt to taste
1 c chopped bell pepper (optional)
Cumin and oregano to taste—a lot!!
15 oz can “chili-ready” diced tomatoes
1 c turkey or chicken broth
1 T sugar
1 T cider vinegar
2 c black beans (or 15 oz can), including liquid
12 to 16 oz frozen corn

1. Saute the onion and celery slowly in the oil. When very tender and golden, remove from the oil and put into the slow cooker.
2. Remove the skin and any excess fat from the thighs and brown them in the oil from the onion and celery. Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and seasoning salt on both sides. Cover and simmer until the meat is very tender. Allow to cool enough to handle. Cut the meat off the bones and dice. Add to the slow cooker, along with the beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and other seasonings. Cover and cook on low for two to three hours.
3. Taste for seasoning after a few hours of simmering. I added about a teaspoon or two of mixed dried herbs (I used basil, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme), about a teaspoon or so, more garlic powder, more cumin, and seasoning salt.

The rest of the meal

A tossed salad or cole slaw makes a good side dish, and corn bread or rolls are good additions as well.

Dessert? I am blessed with a root-cellar-like garage, so have apples from the local orchards well into the winter. With plenty of garden raspberries in the freezer, I often turn to a mixture of these fruits for my dessert choices.

Apple Raspberry Upside Down Cake
Fruit layer:
2 c diced apples
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
10 to 12 oz frozen raspberries

Cake
1 white or yellow cake mix, two layer size
1 1/4 c water
2 eggs
2 T lemon juice
1 t cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread the apples in the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan and cover with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Place in the preheated oven and bake about 10 to 15 minutes until the sugar has melted and caramelized over the apples. Remove from the oven and add raspberries. Stir to spread the fruit evenly across the bottom of the pan.
3. Meanwhile, combine the cake ingredients and beat as directed on the cake mix package--usually 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. Spread the cake batter over the fruit and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn onto a platter. May be served hot or cold.

Though I have not tried it, my guess is that strawberries could be substituted for the raspberries.


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