Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thank you, Inland Empire magazine!

A special "Thanks" to Penny Schwartz, writer for Inland Empire magazine for the wonderful interview in the December issue. If you haven't seen it yet, pick up the latest copy. Actress Emily Blunt is on the cover. Sorry, only available in hard-copy and not viewable on-line.

New Podcast Interview on-line: What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

I was recently interviewed for about “What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers…” To hear the podcast, go to kcaaRadio.com, go to Sunday programs, look for real food empire podcast for November 28th. The interview is about an hour long, most of my interview is during the second half. If you have problems locating it, e-mail me for assistance: LFBurton@gmail.com

Food Storage Tips for your Thanksgiving Leftovers!

Food Storage Tips for Thanksgiving Leftovers and Some Thoughts About Stocks and Soups

Storing Foods
• Proper storage at an even temperature or below 40F is important
• Food danger zone: 41F to 135F (never serve foods at these temperatures)
• Don’t overcrowd foods in your refrigerator or freezer. Air should circulate freely to keep foods evenly cooked
• To prevent freezer burn, use only moisture-proof wrappings such as resealable plastic bags or airtight plastic containers. Remove as much air as possible from bags or containers.
• Some foods, such as seafood (crabcakes) or biscuits should be stored individually and then stored. Freeze them on baking sheets, uncovered until firm, then wrap each item in plastic wrap and pack them in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.

Reheating Meals
• When reheating refrigerated or frozen foods, reheat at lower temperature than original cooking temperature. Never use a higher temperature or the food may be overcooked.
• If using a microwave to reheat, use low or medium power. If reheated at high power, the food may be overcook on the edges before center is heated through.

Thawing Frozen Foods
• In the refrigerator, place the food in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. This method will preserve the taste, color and texture of food.
• In the microwave, place the food in the microwave and heat on low heat or defrost setting. Reheat or cook the food immediately after thawing.

Stocks and Sauces
• A stock is a flavored liquid, usually the base for a soup, sauce or braised dish. The French appropriately call a stock a ‘fond’ (or a ‘base’) as stocks are a basis for many classic and modern dishes.
• A sauce is a thickened liquid to flavor and enhance foods. A good sauce adds flavor, moisture, richness and visual appeal. A sauce should compliment food, it should never disguise it.
• The thought of preparing stocks and sauces can be intimidating but following these steps can make it quite simple.
• Bones are the most important ingredient to making a good stock or sauce. They add flavor, richness and color to the stock.
• The best bones for poultry stock (turkey or chicken) are from the neck and back. If an entire carcass is used, it can be cut up for easier handling. Always cut at the joints and never in the middle of a bone.
• If making vegetable stock, use only 2-3 different types of vegetables for the right flavor mix.

Another Recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers . . .

Turkey Sweet Potato Empanadas With Gravy

Leftover ingredients: Turkey, Sweet Potatoes and/or mashed potatoes, Green Beans, Gravy

1 ½ cups roasted turkey, fine chop
½ cup sweet potatoes (or sub with mashed potatoes)
8 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
½ cup cut cooked green beans
1 raw carrot, grated
1 ½ packages refrigerated pie crust
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Poppy seeds
Turkey gravy, warmed
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Stir together: turkey, mashed potatoes, cream cheese, green beans, grated carrot and fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Unroll each pie crust. Lightly roll each into a 12 inch circle. Cut each empanada crust into 6 inch circles using a round cutter. Place about 3 tbsp turkey mixture just below center of each dough circle. Fold dough over filling, pressing and folding edges to seal.

Arrange empanadas on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush exterior of each empanada with egg. If desired, sprinkle exterior with poppy seeds.

Bake at 400F for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm gravy. Alternatively, serve empanadas with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce.

Make ahead tip: Unbaked empanadas can be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen empanadas 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Another Recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers . . .

Mashed Potato Soup with Ham and Biscuits

Leftover ingredients: Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Peas, Biscuits or Dinner Rolls

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1 ½ cup diced smoked ham
4 green onions, fine slice
1 garlic clove, fine mince
2-3 cups mashed potatoes
14oz low sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk
¾ cup sweet green peas
2 tsp fresh thyme, fine chop
2 cups biscuits or rolls, torn into cubes
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat Broiler. Preheat 2 tbsp butter in large saucepan. Add diced yellow onion, green onion and ham. Sautee on low-medium heat until golden brown but not burned. Add mashed potatoes, broth, milk, peas and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer ten minutes or longer, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon soup into oven safe individual bowls. Top each bowl with biscuits/rolls and grated cheese. Place bowls on baking sheet. Broil for 3-4 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning. If no broil setting, cook in oven for 4-5 minutes at highest temperature setting. After cheese is melted, serve bowls on lined plate with toasted crustinnis or any good crusty bread.

Turkey Black Bean Tostadas with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

Turkey Black Bean Tostadas with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

Leftover ingredients: Turkey, cranberry sauce

For tostadas:
1 large onion, sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups shredded roasted turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 tostada shells
1 cup refried black beans
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
8-10 lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400F. Sautee onion, poblano pepper and red pepper in hot skillet over medium-high heat for approximately 6-8 minutes- or until onion is lightly golden. Stir in turkey and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake tostada shells on a baking sheet at 400F for 3 minutes. Spread shells with refried beans, top with turkey mixture. Drizzle with small amount of cranberry sauce and queso fresco.

Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and lime wedges and remaining sauce.

For Chipotle Cranberry Sauce:
1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
½ cup taco sauce or hot sauce (use your favorite, as hot as you like- I prefer Chahoulla sauce)
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle pepper
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients. Cook in sauce pan on on low temperature until heated through and thickened,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wine Poached Pears in Spiced Red Wine

Wine Poached Pears in Spiced Red Wine

6 firm yet ripe pears, about 2 lbs total weight
1 bottle dry, fruity red wine.
1/2 to 3/4 cup (4-6 oz/125-185g) sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbsp brandy or Cognac
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp Port or crème de cassis
Fresh lemon juice, as needed

Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear, then carefully core it from bottom. Leave the stem intact. Peel the pears and place them on their sides in a heavy saucepan.

Add the wine, ½ cup (4 oz/125g) of the sugar, cinnamon stick and brandy. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently, about 10 minutes. Turn the pears and simmer, covered, just until tender when pierced with a skewer, approximately 20-25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl.

Return the poaching liquid to a boil and cook until reduced to a syrup, approximately 15-20 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid scorching. Taste and add the remaining sugar if needed. Heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, then add the vanilla, Port and lemon juice. To serve, stand the pears upright and drizzle with the hot syrup. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate pears and syrup, then serve chilled.

Friday, November 12, 2010