This week is Thanksgiving and I have been thinking for some time about how to use the leftovers. One of my favorite savory breakfasts is chicken and waffles, so I thought why not turkey and waffles? I had previously used turkey stuffing as a base for my Thanksgiving Benedict so why not use it to make the waffle. I have seen it done before, but I wanted to do it with a breaded fried turkey thigh. First I would brine and debone the thigh then bread it and fry it just like fried chicken. All that remains it to decide whether I want to use maple syrup or turkey gravy.
turkey thighs or breast
2 cups flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
oil for deep frying
leftover stuffing (2 cups per person)
1 tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. sugar dissolved in 1 quart water
1. Brine the turkey in the salt, sugar mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight
2. Dry the turkey and dust in the flour. Dip in beaten eggs then roll in the panko bread crumbs. Fry in 325 degree oil until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a 300 degree oven and finish cooking until the turkey reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.
3. While the turkey cooks spoon the leftover stuffing into a hot waffle iron and cook until nicely browned. Serve the turkey on top of the waffle and serve with gravy or if you wish syrup. The waffles can be done before and heated up in the toaster before serving.
My first experience of Machaca con Huevos was less than satisfying, a small amount of tasteless dry grey steak encased with dull rubbery overcooked eggs; the product of a good dish in the hands of a poor cook. When I experience just such a fiasco, I start diagnosing what when wrong and how I could improve it. Starting with the beef, I wanted to concentrate on texture and flavor. Traditionally machaca is made from reconstituted dried beef, and I am not excited with dried meat products. Although drying can concentrate and intensify flavor, I hate to lose the braised texture of the meat. What really sparked my interest is the shredded form of the meat, which led me to think about pulled pork and braised beef short ribs: both which could be infused with Mexican flavors. Then as chance would have it, I pulled out a corned beef brisket that I was going to slow cook. I gently cooked and shredded the corned beef; then crisped it in the oven before adding onions and peppers then served over crispy shredded hash browns with . Topped with your favorite eggs and topped with a little pepper hot sauce resulted in salty, savoury beef; crispy potatoes with spicy eggs with a noticable Irish twist just in time for Saint Patrick's day. This dish shows we can use multiple translation techniques; substitution using corned beef (plus I used some pickled red peppers instead of roasted), using Saint Patrick's day as an inspiration, and slow cooking the brisket and shredding it changing methods. The pulled pork and braised beef versions are waiting for another day when I have suitable leftovers.
1 pound corned beef
1 poblano pepper
1 large russet potato shredded
1 red bell pepper (optional)
2 Roma tomatoes
1 small sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
½ cup beef stock
6 Large Eggs
½ cup shredded cheese (optional)
dash favorite hot sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Garnish with cilantro, lime, tomato and some tortillas.
Shred the corned beef with fork or hands and reserve. Roast at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes or broil until browned and crispy).
Shred the potatoes and fry in oil until brown and crispy. Keep warm.
Skin, seed and dice the tomato. Roast, skin and dice the peppers. Dice the onion and finely chop garlic. Heat a skillet on medium heat; add butter and a little oil and sauté garlic and the onion for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, add peppers and continue to sauté until soft (about 5 min). Add the tomato, most of the corned beef, beef stock and reduce until most of the liquid is gone. Reserve and keep warm.
Cook your eggs and plate some potatoes first then some beef mixture then a little of the reserved potato and corned beef. Garnish with cilantro, avocado slices, a small wedge of lime and grilled tortillas.
One of the things I looked forward to each year when I was living in Canada was Christmas Eve. Before heading to church for Christmas eve service we sometimes had the fortunate pleasure of eating tourtiere, a French Canadian meat pie. My sister married into a French Canadian family and her mother in law always had tourtiere for the season. Made with a mixture of pork and beef, potatoes and spices the aroma always reminds me of family and friends during the Christmas season right till New Years. There are as many recipes as there are families, lovingly passed down to each new generation and I have my own recipe that I will share with all of you. But I also want to introduce something new and different, a breakfast layered meat pie and quiche. I developed this as a way to combine two great dishes into one unforgettable hybrid. When I first attempted this dish the quiche flowed into the meat creating just a meat quiche. Time for a solution and not backing down I melted a thin layer of cheese on top of the meat to create a barrier. I now could add a quiche Lorraine layer that remained separate making something truely unique and saving calories as a unexpected bonus. Of course you can just make the meat pie without the quiche half; just cover it with a pastry lid. Serve with poutine homefries (Coming soon).
1 pound pork freshly ground
1 pound beef freshly ground
2 russet potatoes cooked and riced
2 stalks finely diced celery
1 medium onion finely diced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
large pinch ground cloves
1 tsp. savory
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup water
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
12 slices bacon cooked and chopped
1/2 cup milk or cream
1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper
2 deep dish pie crust home made or store bought
Prepare the pie crusts (See below)
To get the best results I recommend grinding your own meat if you are able. Cut into 1 inch cubes and mix the pork and beef together when grinding. It will help if you partially freeze the meat first before grinding.
Boil or steam 2 medium russet potatoes in their skin until a knife easily pierces to the center of the potato. Peal and mash or if you have a ricer; cut in half and put into the ricer cut side down and rice. The skin will be left behind and can be easily discarded. Reserve until needed.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet on medium heat melt the butter and add the garlic, celery and onion. Cook 3 to 5 minutes to soften then add the ground pork and beef and continue to cook until all pink is gone. Add the spices and water and mix to combine. Fold in the potatoes and cool until needed.
Blind bake the pie crusts until just starting to brown. If you have not done this before, don't worry; we just prick the bottom of the crust with a fork about 12 times, cover with some parchment paper, add dry beans to let the crust keep it's shape and put into the oven.
Brush the pie crust with a little beaten egg to help keep it from getting soggy. Split half the meat potato mixture to each pie crust and smooth down. It should come about half way up. Sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese to cover the meat mixture and melt in the oven for 5 minutes. Beat the eggs in a bowl with the milk or cream and the Herbes de Provence, season with salt and pepper. Add to the pie crusts then add the bacon and cheese. Cook until the egg is fully set covering the exposed crust with foil to protect it from browning too much. Let cool for thirty minutes before serving. Makes two quiches. I sometimes make extra meat and potato mixture and make true Tourtières covering the meat pie with a pastry crust brushed with egg wash. Remember there is twelve days of Christmas and I always try to make some extra. They freeze well, for a great future meal!
There is a great recipe for pie crusts at the Smitten Kitchen. Follow this Link.
I have had a few people ask me for recipes that are both simple and easy so I decided to post this; a recipe I have been making for over 20 years. It is so simple that almost anyone can make it with leftover turkey and gravy, a onion and your favorite curry spice. All you need is some rice, noodles, a slice of toast or if you want some leftover stuffing to pour the curry over. Serve this over toast with a fried egg on top to make a great brunch dish. This is a great recipe to get the kids to help with.
1 large onion
1 ½ - 2 cups cooked turkey
2 cups turkey gravy
2 - 4 Tbsp. curry powder (to your taste)
1 Tbsp. butter
4 pieces toast
4 fried eggs
Extras: chopped toasted almonds and craisins
Optional: rice, noodles or stuffing for serving instead of toast
1. Dice the turkey and the onion. Heat the gravy and reserve.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium add the butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Sauté the onion until translucent.
3. Add the turkey, stir and let warm through.
4. Add the gravy and stir to combine. Mix in the curry powder and taste. Add more if you like it stronger. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Optionally you can stir in some chopped toasted almonds (I prefer Marcona style almonds) and some craisins for sweetness. Fry the eggs to your preferred doneness.
5. Serve over toast, rice, noodles or stuffing. Top with fried egg. Serves 4.
Daylight is getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler and football rules the airwaves so it must closer to Thanksgiving day. One great thing about being a Canadian in the United States is that I get to celebrate two separate Thanksgivings, November 28, 2013 in the US and October 14, 2013 in Canada. Talk about leftover turkey! All kidding aside, how do you take inspiration and make a special breakfast that does Thanksgiving proud. Each year I look forward to my favorite dish; stuffing made with celery and onions, bread and spices plus something extra like sausage or diced turkey. My inspiration is to recreate that same great taste in a savory muffin, my "Stuffin' Muffin." I wanted the muffin to be moist and savory with a hint of sweetness. I encourage you to use this as a starting point and make it your own and then envision your own savory muffins.
Note: I searched for the name "stuffin' muffins" and found others had made something similar (even Rachael Ray has one!) usually using bread crumbs or pre-packaged stuffing mixes. I think that using seasoned bread crumbs would be a great idea if used as a crisp topping. I believe my version is unique, adding turkey gravy to add additional moisture (and for taste); creating an unique dish. I believe you could substitute chicken or turkey broth to save some calories.
3 tbsp. butter
1 medium to large onion
2 or 3 stalks celery
Optional: 1 or 2 large precooked turkey or pork sausage patty
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 cup turkey gravy plus extra for serving
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. ground sage
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3-5 tbsp. sugar
1 Large Egg
½ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Finely dice the onion, celery and if you choose to use, the sausage. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add butter. Sauté the onion, celery and sausage seasoned with salt and pepper until the onion and celery are soft. Add the poultry seasoning, thyme and sage and sauté for two minutes more, then add the gravy and stir to combine. Taste and correct the seasoning, take off the heat and allow to cool until warm.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in to a large bowl. Beat the egg, sugar and the milk in another bowl and gently mix into the dry ingredients. As making any other muffin I want not to over work the mixture. Mix in the onion and celery mixture.
Grease some muffin tins and spoon the mixture into the muffin tins ¾ full. Bake in a 400° F oven until done (about 20 minutes) or until the tops are brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve hot with extra gravy. Makes 6 large or 12 small muffins.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.