Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Citrus Herb Turkey Breast


Instead of a whole turkey, this year I cooked two turkey breasts. This is a wonderful alternative to a whole bird and was the most flavorful, moist turkey I've ever cooked.

Let's begin with a compound butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 T. salt
2 T. chopped fresh thyme
2 T. chopped fresh sage
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. tangerine zest
1 t. lime zest
1 t. lemon zest
3 garlic cloves, minced

Process all of the above listed ingredients in a small food processor until blended and smooth.

I used a 7 1/2 pound turkey breast. Rinse and pat dry. Loosen and lift skin from turkey very gently with your fingers. Spread the compound butter underneath the skin and also on the outside of the turkey breast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey breast into roasting pan and add 1 cup chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and cook for 1 1/2 hours. 

While turkey breast is cooking, make the glaze:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 T. honey
1/2 T. salt
2 t. lemon zest
1 t. lime zest
1 t. chopped fresh thyme
1 t. chopped fresh sage

In a small saucepan over low heat, mix first three ingredients until all are melted together. Stir in remaining ingredients. Remove from heat.

Remove turkey from oven and brush with glaze. Recover with foil and cook for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, remove foil and brush with glaze.

Return to oven without foil for another 15 - 20 minutes until turkey is golden brown.

Internal temperature for turkey should be 180 degrees.

Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest 20 - 30 minutes before slicing.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Pecan Topping


This recipe was originally for two deep dish pies.  But through the years, my children began leaving the crust and just ate the filling.  After a few years of this (DUH) I decided why waste pie crust?  Make the filling a casserole and let them enjoy!

Feel free to use a large casserole dish or two DEEP DISH pie crusts.  This makes a lot, but don't worry, it won't last long.

2 cups of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 stick butter, cubed
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Mix ingredients together and pour into two deep dish pie crusts or a deep casserole dish.  Cook at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes.

While baking, mix together the following:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Sprinkle over top of casserole and return to oven for 10 - 12 minutes.

Four Cheese Ravioli with Pumpkin Sage Sauce


Another great vegetarian recipe which is perfect for Fall.

2 T. finely chopped onion
1/2 t. curry powder
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. salt
1 T. butter
15 ounce cans pumpkin
14 ounce cans chicken broth
1 T. packed brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)
cup half and half, light cream or milk
1/4 t. granulated garlic

In a large saucepan, cook onion, curry powder, cumin, coriander, and salt in hot butter until onion is tender. Whisk in pumpkin, chicken broth, and brown sugar or maple syrup, if desired, until well combined. Bring mixture just to boiling; reduce heat. Stir in half and half and heat through. You may need to add a little more milk to thin out the sauce to your preference.

Cook raviolis according to package directions and drain well. Plate the sauce, add a layer of ravioli and top with shredded Parmesan. Serve with buttery garlic bread.

Holiday Pumpkin Soup


If you love pumpkin, this is the perfect soup for a cool Fall evening.  I plan on using the leftovers as a pasta sauce over cheese raviolis.
2 T. finely chopped onion
1/2 t. curry powder
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. salt
1 T. butter
2 15 ounce cans pumpkin
2 14 ounce cans chicken broth
1 T. packed brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)
1 cup half and half, light cream or milk

Dairy sour cream (optional)

Fresh sage leaves (optional)
In a large saucepan, cook onion, curry powder, cumin, coriander, and salt in hot butter until onion is tender.  Whisk in pumpkin, chicken broth, and brown sugar or maple syrup, if desired, until well combined.  Bring mixture just to boiling; reduce heat.  Stir in half and half and heat through.  If desired, garnish with sour cream and sage leaves.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bloody Marias


What better way to start Iron Bowl Saturday in Alabama than with a big pitcher of Bloody Marias!  No vodka in the house so I used tequila to change the Mary to Maria. 
 
In a large pitcher mix together the following:
 
64 oz. tomato juice
1 can beef consomme'
3 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 t. celery salt
a few grinds of black pepper
juice of one lime
juice of one lemon
Few shakes of hot pepper sauce
1 t. ground horseradish
 
Pour into tall glasses and add 1 1/2 oz. of tequila.  Garnish with lemon wedges, hot peppers, pickled veggies.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese


There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different macaroni and cheese recipes.  This is a creamy, non-baked, no egg version.

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained well
24 oz. evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 T. butter
1/2 cup flour
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat milk and chicken broth until steaming, not boiling.  Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot used to cook the pasta.  Whisk in the flour then the hot milk mixture.  Continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and bubbly, 3 - 4 minutes.  Whisk in the mustard, Parmesan and pepper.  Turn off heat, stir in cheddar until melted.

Add drained pasta to sauce and stir until everything is well combined over low heat.  If the sauce becomes too thick, thin will a little additional milk.  Serve hot.

"No Line From a Can" Cranberry Sauce


I've made cranberry sauce with nuts, with other fruits, with zest of orange and lemon. This year I went easy smeasy simple. And it was simply Perfection. 

1 bag of fresh cranberries, washed and sorted to remove any bruised fruit
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan and add cranberries. 

Reduce heat to simmer and let cranberries burst and cook down for about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Either chill or serve at room temperature.

Green Bean Bacon Bundles




Bacon and green beans go together like peas and carrots. Only better because there's BACON involved. 

1 pound fresh green beans
10-12 slices of bacon
4 T. butter
2 T. light  brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. onion powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Wash and thoroughly dry green beans. Bundle together 6 - 8 green beans. You can put as many or as few as you like. If you bundle more together you may need to blanch them briefly in boiling water.

Wrap a slice of bacon around the center of the bundle to hold it together. Lay the bundle bacon seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining beans.

Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Add butter, brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder  and whisk until melted and combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture over top of each green bean bundle. Cover the bundles with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, just until bacon gets crispy.

Oyster Dressing


In addition to our traditional chicken and dressing, I baked a skillet of oyster dressing, too!  I was fortunate enough to find some Bon Secour oysters.  There were several at our table who had never tried this before and they all enjoyed the new item on the menu!

1 loaf French bread, tear it into bite sized pieces and let air dry over night
16 oz. container of fresh oysters, drained and chopped (save the oyster liquor!)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced (green and white parts)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. Tony's Creole Seasoning
1/4 t. cayenne
1 T. dried thyme
1/2 T. rubbed sage
1/4 cup chopped parsley
reserved oyster liquor
16 oz. chicken stock (hot)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  Add the onions, bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.  Add green onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add seasonings and cook for another minute. 

In a large bowl, mix together the French bread and the contents of the skillet.  Stir to coat the bread.  Add the oyster liquor and 8 oz of the stock.  Add remaining stock very slowly until you have a very moist dressing. 

Over low heat, add the chopped oysters to the skillet and cook for a minute or so until the oysters are just cooked through.  Add them to the dressing mixture and carefully mix. 

Bake at 375 degrees in a greased cast iron skillet for about 40 - 45 minutes.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake


Pound cakes are my most favorite cakes to bake.  What better choice for Thanksgiving than a Sweet Potato flavored pound cake?

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º.  Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.  Add sweet potatoes, and beat well.

Stir together flour, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan.

Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
From Southern Living November 2011

Apple Cranberry Punch


This was a light alternative for the Official Beverage of the Thanksgiving Meal.  Float apple slices in the punch and freeze a little of the cranberry or apple juice in ice cube trays to keep the punch cold.

64 oz. apple juice
24 oz. cranberry juice
16 oz. orange juice
2 liters ginger ale (use cranberry flavor if available)
1 apple, thinly sliced

Chill the juice and ginger ale beforehand.  In a large punch bowl combine the juices and gently stir until well mixed.  Slowly pour in ginger ale.

Float apple slices in punch.

Broccoli Gratin


I was tired of the same old mushroom soup/sour cream broccoli casseroles.  This was a much better substitute in my opinion.  A light touch of sage and Parmesan under the crunchy bread crumb topping make this a winner.

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 T. olive oil
2 T. all purpose flour
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. rubbed sage
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 pounds broccoli, florets separated and thick stalks removed
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
3 T. butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a large gratin dish.

Saute the onion in the olive oil for five minutes in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions and continue sauteing the mixture for 30 seconds.  Add the salt, pepper, rubbed sage and milk to the pan and stir constantly for 3 - 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Stir the broccoli and cheese into the sauce, bring the mixture just to a simmer then spoon it into the buttered gratin dish.  Stir together the melted butter, bread crumbs, and Parmesan.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the gratin.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until it is hot and bubbly and the bread crumbs have turned golden brown.

2012 Thanksgiving Tables


Tablecloth and napkins = Kohl's.  Chargers and turkey salad/dessert plates = Wal-Mart.  Plates, bowls, glasses = Fiestaware.





Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spicy Chicken Casserole with Kale


Remember that great Southwestern Kale Dip I posted a few days ago? Well, I added lots of new ingredients and pushed it over into the casserole category. Perfect for these cool Fall nights.

Let's start with cooking the kale down first.

Saute 1 large or 2 medium chopped yellow onions over medium heat in 1 T. butter and 1 T olive oil. Stirring occasionally, let them cook until softened and translucent about 5 minutes. Add in 4 cloves of garlic (minced). Cook for an additional minute or two. Don't let the garlic burn!

Add 1 cup chicken broth/stock and then 8-10 cups of kale (packed into the measuring cup).  Reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Let cook for 30 - 40 minutes until the kale is wilted. 

Now on to the other ingredients:

3 cups (cooked) yellow rice
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
Rotisserie chicken (I used the shredded breast meat only, feel free to use dark meat only or mix)
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
2 T. Tome's Southwest Chipotle Seasoning  (if you can't find this, just add additional chili powder)
2 cups Mexican Cheese blend (divided)

In a large bowl, combine the cooked kale, rice, beans, cream cheese, chicken, seasoning and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. 

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray. Spoon in the casserole mixture and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 35- 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or so until the cheese on top is browned.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lemon Zest Madeleines


Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions.  The pans used for baking these great little treats can be found in specialty stores. These were baked in mini-madeleine pans.

Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. For this recipe lemon zest is used for a pronounced lemony taste.

3/4 cup unsalted butter plus 2 T for greasing the pans
3/4 cup all purpose flour plus more for dusting the pans
4 eggs at room temperature
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
1 t. vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting

In a small heavy pan, melt the 3/4 cup butter over medium heat and continue heating until it turns brown and releases a delicious nutty aroma, about 20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel, strain the solids from the butter into a small bowl. Discard the solids. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Position one rack in the upper quarter of the oven and another in the center and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously grease two madeleine pans with the remaining 2 T. butter and dust them with flour, tapping out any excess.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and salt on medium high speed until thick, or until the eggs have doubled or even tripled in volume, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still on medium high speed, add the granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes more.

Using a spatula, fold in the lemon zest and vanilla just until mixed.

Sprinkle the 3/4 cup flour over the egg mixture and gently fold it in. Add the melted butter and fold it in until just combined. Do not overmix.

Gently spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling each mold 3/4 full. 

Bake staggering the pans so that the top pan is not directly over the lower one and rotating the pans from front to back and upper to lower halfway through baking, until the edges start to turn golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

When the madeleines come out of the oven, turn them out onto wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

From We Love Madeleines

Southwestern Kale Dip


Another lovely recipe with kale. If you're going to eat lots of cheese, at least throw a "mess" of kale in there to make this a healthy appetizer.

This was great with tortilla chips. I saw several guests actually scraping their plates. 

2 T. Olive Oil
1 T. butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups kale, packed
1 cup chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can Rotel tomatoes (any flavor you like)
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
2 cups Mexican blend cheese, divided

Heat olive oil and butter in a medium sized Dutch oven over medium heat until butter is melted and bubbling. Add onions and saute until they are softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned.

Add the kale and chicken broth and let the kale wilt down. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer gently until kale is cooked, about an hour, stirring occasionally. If there is any liquid remaining, increase heat and cook until liquid is evaporated. Keep a close watch, you don't want it to burn.

Add the cream cheese, Rotels and seasonings and blend well. Add 1 1/2 cups of the Mexican blend cheese and stir to combine. 

Lightly grease a 7 x 9 casserole dish and spoon in the dip mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees until dip is hot through and bubbling. Remove foil and put until the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top. Serve immediately.




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pizza with Prosciutto on Rosemary Focaccia Bread


Remember that great rosemary focaccia bread we made the other day?  Well let's use it to make a great homemade pizza!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the bread on a pizza stone or baking sheet.  Lightly coat the bread with olive oil. 
Add your favorite pizza sauce, a layer of prosciutto and top with mozzarella and parmesan/romano cheese. 
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until heated through and cheese is brown and bubbly.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Egg


I've posted many variations of the pimento cheese recipe on the blog.  I was making stuffed or "deviled" eggs and decided I'd make a few stuffed with pimento cheese.  These were a HUGE hit with the dinner guests!


Turkey Roulade (turkey tenderloin stuffed with onions/mushrooms/kale) served over angel hair pasta with creamy tomato sauce


Yes it's fun to play with your food.  Even when you're cooking it! A yummy filling rolled up in a turkey tenderloin and served over a wonderful sauced pasta. Perfect comfort food.

Let's begin with the filling for the turkey:
1 T. olive oil
1T. butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
2 cups kale (packed)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
15 oz. container ricotta cheese
3 T. chopped basil
1 lb. turkey tenderloin

Over medium heat, in a medium skillet melt butter with olive oil. Saute onions, mushrooms and kale until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Mix together ricotta cheese and basil.

Make a lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin to within 1/2 in. of bottom. Open tenderloin so it lies flat; cover with plastic wrap. Flatten to 1/4 inch thickness. Remove plastic; sprinkle turkey with pepper and salt.

Carefully spread ricotta/basil mixture over tenderloin. Spread the onion/mushroom/kale mixture in a 1/2 inch thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides.

Don't mound the filling or the turkey will be difficult to roll. Tie every 2 inches with kitchen twine.

Place turkey roulade in a shallow baking dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour or so until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. 

When roulade is done, let rest for 10 minutes and then cut twine and remove. Carefully slice into 1 1/2 inch slices. While the roulade is baking make the sauce for the pasta.

1 large can tomato sauce
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
3/4 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients except for cream. When sauce is heated through, add cream and reduce heat to low. Let gently simmer while pasta cooks.

Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Plate pasta and ladle on sauce. Place turkey roulade on top of pasta and serve.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rustic Rosemary Focaccia Bread


Chewy, dense, rosemary filled bread. How great does THAT sound? If you have a Kitchenaid or comparable mixer with a dough hook this is a breeze to mix up....if you don't you'll give your upper arm muscles a great work out!

1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water, about 100 degrees
2 1/4 cups tepid water
2 Tbsp good quality olive oil, plus more for the pan and to paint on top of the bread
3 cups bread flour
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt, plus coarse salt (fleur de sel if you have it, otherwise Kosher salt) for sprinkling over the top
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (can use sage or other herbs such as thyme or oregano, but whatever herb you use, do use fresh herbs, do not use dried)

Stir the yeast into the 1/3 cup of slightly warm-to-the-touch water and let it rest for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, pour in 2 1/4 cups of tepid water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. After the yeast has rested for 10 minutes and has begun to froth, pour it into the water-oil mixture.

Whisk in 2 cups of flour (either the bread flour or the all purpose, at this stage it doesn't matter which) and the tablespoon of salt. Add the rosemary. Then, cup by cup, whisk in the rest of the flour (both the bread flour and all purpose). As the mixture goes from a batter to a thick dough, you'll want to switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon. By the time you get to the last cup of flour, you will be able to work the dough with your hands. Begin to knead it in the bowl – try to incorporate all the flour stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl as you begin kneading.

Once the bowl is pretty clean, turn the dough out onto a board and knead it well for 8 minutes. You might need some extra flour if the dough is sticky.

Note that a KitchenAid mixer (or some other brand of upright electric mixer) works well for the mixing and kneading of the bread dough. About the time you add the last cup of flour you'll want to switch from the standard mixer attachment to the dough hook attachment. Just knead the dough using the dough hook on low speed for 8 minutes. If after a few minutes the dough is still a little sticky, add a little sprinkling of flour to it.

In a large clean bowl, pour in about a tablespoon of oil and put the dough on top of it.  Spread the oil all over the dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise (in a relatively warm spot or at room temp) for an hour and a half. It should just about double in size.

Spread a little olive oil in your baking pan or baking sheet (will make it easier to remove the bread).  Place the dough in your baking pans or form it into free-form rounds on a baking sheet.  This recipe will do two nice-sized loaves or one big one and a little one.  Cover the breads and set aside for another 30 minutes.
Dimple the breads with the end of a wooden spoon.  Push in to about 1/2-inch.  Cover again and leave it to rise for its final rise, about 2 hours.

With 30 minutes to go before the rise finishes, preheat your oven to 400°F.  If you have a pizza stone put it in.

Once the dough has done its final rise, gently paint the top with olive oil – as much as you want.  Then sprinkle the coarse salt on top from about a foot over the bread; this lets the salt spread out better on its way down and helps reduce clumps of salt.  I had some rosemary salt that I used.  It was an added touch of rosemary.

Put the bread in the oven.  If you are doing free-form breads, put it right on the pizza stone.  Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes.  If you have a water spritzer bottle, spritz a little water in the oven right before you put the bread in to create steam, and then a couple of times while the bread is baking.

When the bread comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a rack within 3-5 minutes; this way you'll keep the bottom of the bread crispy.  Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before eating.

Thank you Simply Recipes for a great one!  Loved this bread.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Char Grilled Oysters



This is one of my family's favorites. Oysters chargilled over a charcoal fire with lots of garlic, butter and cheese. Make sure you have lots of good bread to eat with them soak up the buttery goodness in the shells.

1 pint freshly shucked oysters
1 1/2 sticks butter softened
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
3 or 4 T. freshly chopped parsley

Wash and clean oyster shells. Prepare your charcoal fire in the grill and wait (impatiently) for the fire to be ready!

Depending on the size of the oysters, place either one or two in each shell. 

Mix garlic into the softened butter and place a teaspoon or so on each oyster. Carefully place oysters shells onto the grill and cook for a few minutes until the butter is melted and the edges of the oysters begin to curl. 

Top with grated cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.