Honey Turkey With Honey Mirepoix Gravy

This year’s turkey turned out especially well, here’s what I did:

Ingredients:
-Turkey
-Corn starch
-Honey 1/4 to 1/2 cup
-1 lb coarse chopped carrots
-1 lb coarse chopped celery
-1/2 lb coarse chopped onion
-Table salt
-Turkey oven bag

Directions:
If frozen, thaw your turkey for a week or so in the fridge.

The night before you bake the turkey, remove the liver, heart, neck, and gizzards. Fry up the heart and then the liver (don’t fry the liver before or while frying the heart) and eat them like they were the reward after a long day’s hunt. The neck and gizzards can be placed back within the turkey’s cavity.

Open the turkey sized oven bag and place it on your baking pan. Add all of the mirepoix vegetables to the bottom of the bag, then put the turkey in, breast side up. Dust the top of the turkey with salt (no more than you would put on french fries), then drizzle honey over that, covering as much of the top of the turkey as possible. Seal the oven bag and store the turkey in the fridge overnight and until ready to start baking (remember to poke holes in the bag just before sticking it in the oven).

Bake until the correct internal temperatures are reached. For baking times and temperatures refer to the weight specific directions on your oven bag packaging, but remember to add the weight of the vegetables to the turkey’s weight and do not exceed the bag’s maximum cooking temperature.

As the turkey bakes, honey salted turkey drippings will marinate the roasting mirepoix. When the baking is completed, remove the turkey from the bag, and keep the drippings and the roasted mirepoix. If desired, place the turkey back in the pan (without any of the oven bag) and return it to the oven at a higher temperature to brown the skin, usually about a half hour at 450 degs. If desired as a side dish, separate some of the roasted mirepoix. It will have picked up salt, turkey fat flavoring, and honey flavors, making the roasted mirepoix good on its own. Take the rest of the mirepoix and turkey drippings and combine them in a blender. Blend until the mirepoix is pureed in the drippings. Place the blended mixture in a sauce pan and bring it to a light boil. Add corn starch until the desired gravy consistency is reached.

To serve:
The wings, legs, and thighs will be good on their own, as always.

Carve the turkey breast meat into thin slices perpendicular to the grain, and serve with the blended mirepoix gravy on the side or drizzled across the pieces. The breast meat will have absorbed some of the honey sweetness, and you should be able to taste that on the undressed meat. The gravy will have the sweet and savory flavors of the turkey drippings plus the flavors of the roasted vegetables. It’s excellent, like a french version of barbeque sauce (with mirepoix instead of chiles and tomatoes).

Stretching that turkey out a bit more:
Return any unused bits and bones to a pot or pressure cooker, add water to cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer for a few hours. Then strain the unwanted bits out of the stock and freeze for future use in soups or as a water replacement when cooking rice or noodles.

Mirepoix Pizza

While planning to make a closer to traditional jambalaya, I realized I might have left over mirepoix (carrots, onion, and celery) and thought that a white sauce pizza might be a good use for it. The pizza as a whole was good. The Mirepoix puree sauce ended up being exceptionally good, reminiscent of chicken soup. A future variant to consider would be to add some parsley, garlic, and turmeric to the sauce, and then replace some of the vegetable toppings with chunk chicken meat for a real chicken soup pizza.

Ingredients:
– 1 lb Carrots
– 3/4lb White Onion
– 1 lb Celery heart
– 4 tblsp butter
– 1/2c flour
– 1c chicken stock
– 1/2 lb mozzarella
– pizza dough

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.

Slice carrots, onion, and celery thin to make rapid cooking pizza toppings. Separate half of the sliced carrots, onion, and celery and combine with the chicken stock in a blender. Blend to make a smooth mirepoix puree. In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Mix in the flour and fry until lightly browned. Mix the mirepoux puree into the roux and cook down to thicken.

Spread the sauce on the pizza crust, top with the remaining sliced carrots, onion, and celery. Cover the pizza with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 18 minutes at 425 degrees.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Fortified Bread and Protein Shakes

Mashed sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene (a vitamin A precursor) and have a delicious sweet taste.  They make a great side dish as a replacement for regular mashed potatoes, and they’re a great baby food.

In the past I made liberal use of canned pumpkin puree for many recipes, but I’ve recently switched to home canned mashed sweet potatoes.  As a replacement for pumpkin puree, mashed sweet potatoes have slightly less beta-carotene but a lot more sweetness.  To prepare the potatoes, I simply buy ten to fifteen pounds of sweet potatoes, peel them and cook in a pressure cooker.  Then I mash them, put them and mason jars and can them for long term storage.  I then use the canned mash in several recipes including the following:

 

Sweet Potato Berry Blend

Ingredients:
-1/2c frozen strawberries
-1/2c frozen blueberries
-1/2c frozen cherries
-1/2c sweet potato mash
-1c Total Cereal
-1-1/2c whole milk
-50ml of 100% Whey Protein Powder
-1/2 tblsp cocoa powder

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend. Makes about 1 liter. Excellent nutrition.

 

Sweet Potato Bread/Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
-2 eggs
-1/2c sweet potato mash
-1/4c peanut butter
-1/2 tsp salt
-1c whole wheat flour
-1c bleached white flour
-1 tsp bread machine yeast

Directions:
Combine wet ingredients and mix into the flour to form dough either by hand or with a bread machine on the dough cycle.  Good nutrition, but this is intended to be more of an energy food.  Allow the dough to proof rise for an hour, punch it down and then shape and bake as desired. This bread has a slight peanut flavoring, but is good for most anything one would use bread for.

 

Mini Pumpkin Quiches

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Nutrient rich snacks, taste great on their own, but are even better with a squirt of Sriracha.

Cookware:
-rolling pin
-texas muffin pan x 2
-mixing bowl

Ingredients (makes one dozen):
-2-1/2c unbleached white wheat flour
-1/2c Vegetable Oil
-1-1/2 tsp salt
-4 large eggs
-15 oz can of pumpkin puree
-2c shredded cheddar cheese
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1/2c minced red bell pepper
-1/2c minced serrano peppers
-1/2c minced carrot

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a mixing bowl with the flour and create a well in the center, add 1tsp of the salt, vegetable oil, and 1/2c warm water. Mix until doughy. Place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out thin. Cut the dough into twelve roughly 2 inch diameter discs. Press these into the bottom of the texas muffin pan cups.

In a mixing bowl combine eggs, remaining salt, black pepper, carrots, serranos, bell peppers, pumpkin puree, and 1c of the shredded cheddar. Mix well until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the crusts, being sure to divide it evenly amidst the cups. Top with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.

Deep Dish Pizza

This is really just a reconstruction of an older pizza recipe of mine that was posted elsewhere, but it is notable that I’ve substituted a home made sauce.  That is one of the best parts about pizza recipes, that they can be so easily forked (“forked” as it pertains to modifying open source software, as well as the more familiar eating term).  This pizza packs a lot of umami and spicy hotness.  As usual, I’ve added ground turmeric to the dough, giving it a bright yellow appearance.  Its a thing I do to pretty much all of my home made savory yeast breads. It doesn’t have a big effect on the test, but they say the curcumin in turmeric is supposed to be good for you, and I like the striking appearance. This particular recipe doesn’t include any meat, but only because I didn’t need the extra calories this time. The recipe requires a seasoned cast iron skillet, 10 inch diameter, and 2 inches deep.

Dough Ingredients:
-3-1/2 c unbleached white flour
-1 tblsp ground turmeric
-1 tblsp garlic powder
-1 tsp salt
-1 c warm water
-1 packet of quick rising yeast
-4 tblsp olive oil

Dough Directions:
Plan ahead to make the dough. Combine the water, oil, flour, yeast, and spices in a bread machine in that order. Run it through the dough cycle, and let it proof rise for an hour (usually proof rise time is included in the dough cycle). Punch the dough down.

Expert mode: The night before making the pizza, combine the water, one and a half cups of flour, salt, turmeric, garlic powder, and sourdough starter in the bread machine. Mix well, and let it sit until you are ready to make the pizza. You should notice bubbles forming, indicating microbial activity that will produce lactic acid to help flavor the dough.

Sauce Ingredients:
-15 oz can of tomato sauce
-6 oz can of tomato paste
-1 red bell pepper (about 100 grams)
-2 carrots (about 100 grams)
-1 c heavy cream
-8 leaves basil
-8 sprigs thyme
-2 sprigs rosemary

Sauce Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Expert Mode: In the spring before making your pizza, buy or plant your own basil, thyme, and rosemary herbs. Grow and tend them until they are large enough for you to harvest from them without destroying them. Cut from them to obtain the herbs for your pizza.

Pizza Ingredients:
-Dough made as described above.
-Half of the sauce made as described above.
-1 lb whole milk mozzarella, grated
-1/2 c diced red bell pepper
-1/2 c shredded carrot
-1/2 c diced jalapeño
-salt, pepper, and Frank’s hot sauce to taste

Pizza Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out one piece into a flat 13-14 inch circle (larger than the bottom of the cast iron pan). Place this on the bottom of the pan. Leaving two inches of clear dough all around the sides, spread half of the sauce to be used for this pizza (which is 1/4 of the sauce that was made per the recipe above) on top of that dough. Cover this sauce with a thin layer of shredded mozzarella. Then roll the second portion of the dough out to the same sized circle as the first. Lay this on top of the first piece with toppings. Roll the edges of the bottom portion and top portion up all around the pizza, and press down to seal them together. This deep dish pizza is sort of a calzone, except it has full pizza toppings on top of that. Spread the remaining sauce on top of the top layer of dough, then cover with the carrots, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Cover the toppings with all of the remaining cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Bake the cast iron skillet with pizza for 35 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven, and let it sit for 15 minutes, then slice and serve.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

More pumpkin based muffins.

Ingredients:
-3 eggs
-15 oz can of pumpkin puree
-1/2c vegetable oil
-2 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground cloves
-1/2 tsp ground allspice
-1/2 tsp salt
-2c granulated white sugar
-1 tsp baking soda
-3c white flour
-20 oz bag of dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheast oven to 350 degrees.

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl except for the chocolate chips and blend together until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into paper lined or silicone muffin pans.

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Delicious muffins I came up with to try out my new silicone muffin molds. Its an intriguing baking material due to its flexibility. The predominant taste of these muffins are the sweet spices.

Ingredients:
-3 large eggs
-2c granulated sugar
-3c white flour
-15oz can of pumpkin puree
-2c chopped pecans
-1/2c vegetable oil
-2 tsp ground ginger
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground allspice
-1/2 tsp ground cloves
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

Blend all ingredients together.

Spoon the batter into 10 texas sized muffin cups, and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Tomato Meat Soup

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Rich tomato taste from this soup I made to test my new electric pressure cooker. Goes great with fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary if you grow your own herbs.

Ingredients:
– 12 large tomatos
– 2 red bell peppers
– 1 lb carrots
– 1 lb ground beef
– 1 lb ground lamb
– 12 oz can of tomato paste
– 2c Heavy Whipping Cream
– 1 tsp table salt
– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
– 1 tsp parsley
– 1 tblsp italian seasoning
– 1c fresh basil
– 10qt pot or pressure cooker

Directions:
Peel tomatos:
Set a pot of water boiling, drop a tomato in for thirty seconds. Then scoop it out and immerse in cold water. After the tomato has cooled, take a knife and run it around the middle of the tomato, the skin should cut easily. Then just slide the bottom half off and peel the top away from the stem. Set the skin aside for later use, rough cut the tomato and place it in the pot.

Brown the ground beef and lamb together in a sauce pan, then add it to the pot with the canned tomato paste.

Rough dice the red bell peppers and carrots and place them in a blender with the tomato skins. Add 1 cup of water, then blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pot.

Add the heavy cream and spices except for the basil to the pot and mix well.

If using a pressure cooker, set to soup and cook for 30 minutes. For stove top cooking bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for one hour.

Just before serving, stir in the fresh basil leaves. I harvest nearly a whole plant for the soup.

Makes about 6-7 quarts.

Immortality Breakfast Blend

I’ve posted this recipe previously on other sites, but I’d like my blog here to be my main storage area for recipes.  I make this nearly every morning and have been doing so for the better part of a year now. Despite the name, the mixture will not impart immortality.

Ingredients:
-100% whey protein, usually chocolate flavored one or two scoops
-1/2c frozen pitted cherries
-1/2c frozen blueberries
-1/2c frozen strawberries
-1/2c canned pumpkin puree
-1c total brand cereal
-1-1/2c whole milk

Directions:
Combine ingredients in the blender in the order shown and blend until smooth. Makes about one liter of delicious, dense, calorie, and nutrient rich purple ooze. It’s not recommended to substitute fresh fruits for frozen as the frozen fruits add texture and a cooling feel.

Why each ingredient?
– protein powder – adds protein
– fruits – add vitamin C and other plant stuff
– pumpkin – adds vitamin A precursors alpha and beta carotene
– total cereal – has lots of nutrients, but I added it for the Iron
– whole milk – fat is needed to aid absorption of carotenes

Ham, Cheese, Jalapeno, Sweet Potato Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

I donated blood yesterday and knew I’d be hungry afterwards, so I came up with a plan for these spicy, cheesy, salty sweet peppers (and got a butternut squash to roast as the side). It lived up to my expectations, but the stuffing was meltier than I expected so next time I make them, I’ll cut the peppers to make them more bowl-like.

Ingredients:
– 8oz Cream Cheese
– 16oz shredded cheddar cheese
– 1 lb ham, cut into about 1/2″ cubes
– 1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb
– 4 large red bell peppers, choose ones that can stand up on their own
– 4 Jalapenos

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Dice the jalapenos and add to a large mixing bowl with the cream cheese and cheddar. Cut the ham into cubes and add to the bowl.

Peel the sweet potato, then grate it with a cheese grater or food processor. Add to the mixing bowl and hand mix everything together.

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and clean out the seeds. The stuffing gets melty, so make sure to cut them into a firm bowl shape.  Avoid cutting them as I did in the pics, or the stuffing will slump out during cooking.  Press the stuffing into each pepper and place the peppers on a baking sheet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes.

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