Crock Pot Turkey and Gravy

Here we go again with the turkey breast in the wrong month. But this time I got it all backward! I went into Whole Foods and saw they had turkey breasts so I bought one, except I didn’t have a recipe this time! I came home, googled crock pot turkey breast and came up with this delightful recipe. And it’s a low fat recipe if you follow the recipe correctly and aren’t rushed for time like I was… again… ode to life with a toddler! I went ahead and just made a fatty gravy because I literally didn’t have 15 minutes to make the gravy sauce. I didn’t have fresh sage either, which is a darn shame because sage is one of my all time favorite fresh herbs. Have you tried anything with brown butter and sage? It makes the world go ’round! But that’s for another time.

www.skinnytaste.com

I’d most definitely try this with mashed “potatoes” made with cauliflower. We’ve had those and they really are quite delicious! But because of our time crunch and the fact that I didn’t think ahead about a side, I mean come on, this was an impromptu buy, we just had regular mashed potatoes. I suppose that’s better than instant mashed potatoes, right? Oh and as crazy as this is, my Trader Joes had left over cornbread stuffing out on the shelf so I had gone ahead and bought some a few weeks prior, so I made that too. My husband was in heaven! I’d make this again and give it 4 stars. It most definitely was not a Thanksgiving turkey roasted in the oven, but a tasty mid-year Thanksgiving treat!

Crock Pot Turkey and Gravy

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped medium
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 lb whole bone-in turkey breast, skin on, trimmed of fat
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of broth and scrape up any browned bits and smooth out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir in remaining broth, water, wine, sage, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Season turkey with salt and pepper, place skin side up in the slow cooker, cover and cook 5 to 7 hours on low, or until the turkey reaches 165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.

Transfer turkey to a cutting board tent loosely with with foil and let it rest 20 minutes. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove the fat from the surface using a large spoon or a gravy fat separator. Strain braising liquid into saucepan, discard celery, bay leaves and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Discard the skin and carve the turkey and serve with gravy. Makes 2 1/2 cups of gravy.

 

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Pasta with Kale, Kalamata Olives, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Garlic & Feta

Meatless Monday, cheers! My husband thinks he doesn’t like today, but he does. He just doesn’t want anyone to know. He’s from the mindset that you must eat meat at every meal. I’m not sure why this is. But a lot of people are like that! If vegetarianism were about eating a salad all the time, I’d think I’d have to eat meat too, but it’s not. There are so many fabulous dishes out there that are so crazy packed with flavor, you just don’t miss the meat. Really. I speak the truth. And my husband will tell you the same, via ESP, so that he wouldn’t have to say it out loud, I’m sure of it.

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

This recipe was fairly easy enough, not much to it prep wise, which is super nice! I had a meeting tonight so I wanted something easy to throw together before I ran out the door in an effort to beat the traffic… ahhhhhhh, the LA life. The only thing was that I hadn’t timed the cooking of the spaghetti in with the cooking of the sauce, so my husband had to finish that part up, which means I DIDN’T GET TO EAT ANY! At least not hot, the night of. I actually ate it cold the next day. I love me some cold spaghetti! It was good cold and I’m sure it would have been great hot. You’ll have to let me know!

As for the ingredients, I love garlic. My husband finally had the nerve after a few years to tell me he did not love it, so I cut up two garlic cloves instead of an entire head, and I used half the amount of onion because, again, I always seem to have extra large onions, so now I’m cautious. This recipe had so much flavor! How could it not with garlic, cranberries, kalamata olives & feta? I think I would make this again. I’d like to try it hot and fresh. I’d give it 4 stars, but I’m on the quest for a plethora of five star recipes!

 

Pasta with Kale, Kalamata Olives, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Garlic, & Feta

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta (we use whole wheat)
1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cook onion in the remaining oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add dried cranberries and cook until plumped, about 1 minute.
2. Add kale leaves into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta.
4. Toss pasta with kale, kalamata olives, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese and garlic chips over the pasta dish and serve warm.

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat” Ragu Over Tagliatelle

Seriously! I can’t believe it’s not meat! Ok, well, it’s been awhile since I had beef so maybe it’s not that tricky, but it sure has a great texture and it looks like ground beef! I thought I’d be able to trick my husband, but I got too excited about how it looked, I told him what it was called before he took a bite. He’s not a huge cooked tomato fan, but he’s a trooper. He said he liked it, and I believed him.

www.marthastewart.com/

Now, this is a Martha Stewart recipe so it’s complicated and involved. I don’t think she does anything simple, does she? I did start this earlier than normal so it could have the full two hours to simmer and acquire the full intensity of flavor. I admit, after I put this in my menu planner, I set the calendar on my phone to remind myself… and then, funny thing, the alarm went off, I read the message and thought “what the heck?”. Haha! My brain is full, packed to the brim I tell you. Shoot, if it weren’t for my menu planner and my Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Crock Pot Wednesday, I’d have no idea what day of the week it was! Know what I’m saying?

I halved this recipe because there’s 2 1/2 of us and we don’t often have time for leftovers. It made plenty for four people. I made garlic toast (literally buttered bread with garlic salt & oregano sprinkled and popped in the toaster oven) and a veggie, but a salad would be great with this too. And heck, don’t let that Grenache go to waste! I think I’d make this again, but I’m not quite sure. It was good, but 5 stars good? I don’t know. Will I toss this recipe? No. It’s good to have a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe on hand. Cheers!

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat” Ragu Over Tagliatelle

http://www.marthastewart.com/893506/i-cant-believe-its-not-meat-ragu-over-tagliatelle

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, very coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, very coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium ribs celery, very coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound cremini mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Grenache
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Hebron or herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds Tagliatelle pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Place onion in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Place carrots and celery in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Place mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil, cloves, cinnamon stick, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook until cinnamon stick begins to unfurl, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add onion and 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery; stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is browned, about 12 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is released, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup water and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours for a deeper flavor, adding an extra 1/2 cup water after one hour. Add Herbes de Hebron and butter; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add remaining tablespoon salt to boiling water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and add to pot with ragu; toss to combine. Serve topped with freshly grated cheese.