Home Cooking Recipes
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Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


There is life beyond the turkey sandwich

Does old Tom Turkey still live on in your freezer? Before he gets lost in a far corner there are a lot of interesting ways to disguise his presence and bring him to the table once again.

Mexican cooks know what they're doing with seasoning dishes so that you can't be quite certain what you're getting in the surprise packages they make. All you know is that it tastes really, really good. And, then there is the English favorite, Shepherds Pie, and Moroccan Turkey Stew. Tom is a guest at the table in a lot of countries, always wearing new clothes to make his second appearance a treat equal to his first.


20 MINUTE TURKEY TACOS

If tomatillos, the little green fruit that looks like a small green tomato, isn't available, use a tart apple. And, if cilantro is hard to come by, substitute the flat-leafed Italian parsley.

8 small white-corn tortillas, or any other
1 pound fresh tomatillos
1 medium onion, quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed
1/4 bunch cilantro, stemmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
2 cups chopped boneless, skinless roast turkey
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
Finely chopped onion, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. Wrap tortillas tightly in foil and place in oven to heat through for about 10 minutes. Wrap to keep warm. Make a salsa by removing papery husk, from tomatillos, rinse and cut in half. Combine tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, pepper and sugar in food processor. Process until combined but still slightly chunky. Chop turkey into pieces. Heat in saucepan with your salsa. Heat through, stirring once or twice. Each diner builds his own tacos with turkey-tomatillo salsa, sour cream, cilantro and onions. Makes 4 servings.


ENGLISH PUB'S SHEPHERD'S PIE

A good dish made with any kind of meat or poultry. It's even worth whipping up some potatoes or sweet potatoes for, but you can use leftover potatoes and leftover gravy. Peas and carrots are the British vegetables of choice, but anything residing in your refrigerator will be right at home under the spuds.

1 1/2 to 2 cups mashed potatoes, or unsweetened sweet potatoes
2 1/2 cups leftover turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup peas
1 cup carrots, cooked
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 1 2/3 cups gravy, see Note at end of this recipe
3 to 4 cups mashed potatoes
Butter, optional

Preheat oven to 375 F. If using sweet potatoes, place a thin layer on bottom of deep soufflé dish. Mix together the turkey, peas and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Add to soufflé dish, and then pour gravy over the top. Cover with large spoonfuls of mashed potatoes. Spread out evenly and dot with butter. Bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: You can make gravy by melting 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 cups chicken or turkey broth (you can make from bouillon cubes or purchase canned). Return to heat and bring to steady simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of sage or poultry seasoning (optional). Makes 4 to 6 servings.


TURKEY HASH TO DIE FOR

Hash is like a fingerprint, everybody has one and each one is different. If you like yours flat and crisp, put something heavy on it, maybe a plate or a flat pan lid or a brick wrapped in foil. Many people like poached eggs on top of their hash; this is a tasty addition but not a necessary one.

1 pound (about 2) cooked white boiling potatoes, cut into l/4-inch dice
2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice, optional
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 pound (about 3 cups) turkey, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

If you're cooking the potatoes, cube them first and cook for about 10 minutes. Melt butter with oil in skillet. Add onion and pepper, cook until wilted; add to combined potatoes, turkey, half of the parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Divide into 2 batches, to fit into a frying pan, and cook in oil. This will not form a solid pancake so stir it up occasionally to brown the potatoes and turkey. Makes 6 servings.


MOROCCAN TURKEY STEW

A true Moroccan would serve this with a bulgar wheat pilaf. You could substitute rice or wild rice cooked with a golden raisins or dried cranberries. Or, you can serve it with potatoes or pasta.

Stew: 2 tablespoons flour
1 1-2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 cayenne
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 yam, peeled and cut in large dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut in large dice
2 turnips peeled and cut in large dice
3 cups turkey stock or canned chicken broth
3 cups chopped, cooked turkey meat (preferably dark)
1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Combine flour and spices. Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven or medium heat. Add spice mixture and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add onions and celery and sauté until soft. Add remaining vegetables and broth; cover and bring to a boil. (Vegetables should be mostly covered with water but not all the way.) Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps and scorching. Add turkey and salt and simmer uncovered until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over pilaf. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

TOM IS AN INTERNATIONAL GOURMAND

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