Thursday, October 28, 2010

Smoked Turkey Pot Pie plus KitchenAid Give-away

The French know what to do with leftovers--add cream sauce and wrap in puff pastry.
Me, I've been known to leave side dishes in the fridge until they resemble Chia pets. It's the truth. I have the best of intentions but then I get busy writing and before I can say Jack Frost, my ice box has become a bio-hazard.
But this Thanksgiving, I plan to transform leftover turkey into a savory pie.

Smoked Turkey Pot Pie
chopped turkey
green peas
glazed carrots
sauteed mushrooms
finely chopped onions & celery
flour, butter, chicken stock
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package puff pastry, thawed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, gray French sea salt
Saute onions and celery; add mushrooms. Set aside. In a separate saute pan, melt butter (I used 1/2 stick) and a glob of all purpose flour.
[Bandwidth said, "Wait! No! Why don't you measure anything?"
If only I had. The flour looked brassy, so I immediately jerked the pan off the burner. It took a lot of whisking to undo the damage. Bandy informed me that flour has to cook a bit, rather like a roux, but you don't want it to darken. So I put the pan back on the burner. He was right.
Dude needs a food blog.]
Slowly add chicken stock and bouillon. Whisk. Get someone to relieve you for a minute or two.
Sprinkle flour over puff pastry sheets and roll. Place 1 sheet into a baking dish. Trim edges of puff pastry and set aside.
Add turkey/leftover mixture. Pour cream sauce over leftovers and stir. Add a bit more sauce (depending on the consistency you want). Stir.
Top with puff pastry sheet. Trim edges, crimp (or fold), and score with a knife.
Garnish with leftover pastry.
Preheat oven, 400 degrees.
Beat one egg and brush it over the crust.
Place pie in oven and bake 25 minutes or until puffy and brown.
Top with gray French sea salt (we found it at Publix in the spice aisle).
It sounds complicated (and it was for me), but the preparations are so soothing, you will find yourself in a relaxed, Zen-like state.
I thought the cream sauce was the most challenging part; Bandwidth said the pastry was by far the hardest.
The taste is down-home and heart warming; it's true comfort food, the perfect one-pot meal on a cold winter night--and, it's a form of house cleaning.
Don't forget to enter the KitchenAid give-away, which ends at midnight Nov 1st. The winner will be announced next Foodie Friday.

Add your recipe and blog link to this week's Foodie Friday:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When You Don't Have Time to Make Dessert

When time is short and carb cravings are high, the solution is a gilded store-bought cake.

Gilding a Store-Bought Cake
  • 1 sugar free angel food cake (Publix)
  • 1 carton sugar free Cool Whip

    Fruit (garnish)

    shredded coconut

"Ice" the cake with Cool Whip and garnish with kiwi and strawberries.

You could also cut the cake in half and spread sugar free strawberry jam over the bottom layer. Now add a layer of sugar free vanilla pudding. On top of the pudding, arrange thin strawberry slices. Add the top cake layer and ice/garnish. Add toothpicks to keep the layers from sliding, if necessary. Chill.

Don't forget to sign up for the KitchenAid mixer give-away. The deadline is midnight November 1st. The winner will be announced on the November 4th Foodie Friday.
If you are participating in this week's Foodie Friday, add your recipe, name, and blog link (permalink):

Friday, October 15, 2010

Foodie Friday

I'm the world's worst when it comes to diets. I love to eat but have very little willpower. However, the battle of the bulge can be fought valiantly, and deliciously, with spring rolls. They're baked rather than fried, which makes them heart-healthy as well as guilt free.
There are many recipes for spring rolls, but when I'm dieting, this is my tried-and-true favorite.
You can mix-and-match ingredients (and you won't go wrong). I like: bean sprouts, water chestnuts, carrots, peppers, cabbage or romaine, leftover rice, green onions, and ginger. I found broccoli in the fridge and broke it into tiny pieces (or tiny trees, as Bandwidth used to say).

Saute the vegetables in Pam and a little sesame oil. Add a pinch or two of Kosher salt.
Cook till the peppers, carrots, and onions are tender. Then fill the wraps. Spoon the veggie mixture into the center of the "diamond".

Fold edges of the diamond and seal the edges with water.
Starting at the lower, "open" end of the diamond, start rolling toward the other open edge. The first roll won't touch the filling--it'll be all wrap--but keep rolling and you'll get there. Seal the edges with a little water.
Set on a Pam-sprayed pan. Be sure to spray the rolls with Pam.
Twenty minutes later, supper is ready--or you can serve them as appetizers.

Each Nasoya wrap has approximately 56 calories. You're dividing the filling into 20 rolls, so it's very low cal(bean sprouts = 45 calories for the whole can and water chestnuts, 90 calories/can), even with 2 T sesame oil (45 calories/T). Romaine, carrots, broccoli, peppers, and onions --not even going to count them! I refuse. The soy sauce and chicken stock will add a few calories, too, but not many. Best I can figure (and I am horrid in math, so beware), each spring roll has 70 Gollum calories.

For a more substantial (but still reasonably low-cal) entree, add leftover rice (just use 1/2 cup if you are strictly watching calories), chicken, shrimp, pork, or ground beef.
Of course, the rolls can be fried, too, but I have to whisper that word around here or my fat cells will awaken and attack.

My mother used to save leftover rice and green peas, and the next day, she'd make these rolls for me, the Mistress of Pudge, and my skinny, salad-eating brother.

If you can find rice paper wraps, you'll save even more calories (3 rice paper wraps have 100 calories vs 3 for 170 calories in egg roll wraps).

Low Calorie Spring RollsNasoya Egg Roll Wraps (1 lb or approx 20 sheets)
La Choy bean sprouts 1 14 oz can, drained
Reese sliced water chestnuts, 1 can drained and chopped
1 head romaine, chopped -- or cabbage
1 c grated carrots
1 chopped red bell pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1 c white rice, cooked
Spray Pam in the bottom of a non-stick pan. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Heat on medium high and add vegetables. Add fresh grated ginger, if you've got it. 2 T soy sauce. 2 T chicken stock. Saute. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Add Tabasco or hot red pepper flakes, if desired. Optional: onion salt, garlic powder--just eyeball it, just a pinch of each). Add 2 packets Splenda (I tried to get by with one. No luck).
At this point, you'll want to taste the filling (as you would cornbread dressing) to see if needs more soy sauce, salt, pepper, or chicken stock. Mine was very bland until I added Splenda and chicken stock.
Preheat oven: 400 degrees.
After your filling passes the taste test, you can make the rolls. Pour an inch of water into a small bowl. You'll need this to seal the edges of the rolls.
Find a large cutting board or spread waxed paper onto your counter. One at a time, peel back an egg roll wrap and set on the board. The wrap will resemble a diamond. (Note: the wraps are very thin and fragile and will tear.) Spoon in a tablespoon or two of filling in the center of the wrap. Roll once, maybe twice (depending on the filling's girth), then fold the sides, dabbing water on the edges so they'll seal--and all you need is a dab.
Continue rolling. Add water on the final edge and seal. Set roll in pan. Continue filling, folding, sealing, and rolling. The package will make 20 spring rolls.

Spray rolls on all sides with Pam. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. You can turn them over (I didn't), and the wrap will have a crunchier (harder) texture.

You can eat four wraps with low cal dip, salad (use the 1 calorie per spritz dressing), 1 cup (halved) strawberries (45 calories), 2 T. sugar free Cool Whip (20 cal), and you've got a meal for 300 Gollum calories.
Dips are delicious with wraps but they're filled with empty calories. Make your own sauce with reduced sugar jam (apricot or peach). Add dashes of soy sauce, hot pepper flakes (if you like your dip hot), rice vinegar, and salt. I love Captain Rodney's Hot Caribbean salsa (10 calories per 2 T)because it's fruity-hot like a traditional spring roll dip, but those tablespoons add up, so you might want an alternative.

Thanks to everyone who sent get well wishes to my husband. He had minor surgery today and is feeling much better this evening (though he's not quite ready to eat a spring roll!).

I had tremendous fun reading the answers to the "strawberry quiz." Mister picked the winner, who will receive a $25 Bed, Bath, & Beyond gift card.
And the winner is....

Carol in Indian Springs Village, for her answer to the quiz "the last time I bought strawberries":
"The last time I bought strawberries, I had a red ring around my mouth from sneaking them out of the package. And I thought of my late grandmother who, even when she broke out in a rash, would eat strawberries every day she could get her hands on them!"
More fun awaits as soon as I get my sweet husband back on his feet. Until then, the winners of the 2nd photo contest will be announced Sunday. Thanks to everyone who participated. The photos are awesome!

The 3rd contest starts at midnight tonight. This time we'll be doing mosaics. You can submit as many photo mosaics (any theme) as you like to the Foodie Friday Gallery and the Decorating Gallery.
The deadline is April 30th.

Mr. Linky awaits your Foodie Friday recipe. If this is your first time to participate and you aren't sure how to link, the Foodie Friday Info Page will explain. If you need more help, send me an email and put "URGENT--Foodie FRIDAY" in the header.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pancetta Carbonara, Tablescapes, and a Kitchenaid Giveaway

Today's Foodie Friday double feature begins with Pancetta Carbonara, adapted from one of Giada De Laurentiis' recipes, and it ends with my hair on fire.
Pancetta Carbonara
8 oz pancetta, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 strips bacon, cut up
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 package fresh linguine
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives, chopped
1/2 package sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Boil the linguine according to directions. Drain. Pan-fry pancetta and bacon, about 6 minutes on medium flame. Add sun-dried tomatoes and chives. Lower heat and add cream. Add pasta and stir. Simmer.

I used a red toile duvet for a tablecloth.

Then I tried an old tapestry--with pewter accessories.

Next up, an Italian plaid blanket.

The pewter is Wilton--from the 70s.
Candlelight brings out the highlights in the metal, doesn't it?

My mother called while I was lighting the votives. With the phone propped under my chin, I began tablescaping. A scorched smell rushed up my nose. I'd set a tiny strand of my hair on fire. I told Mom I'd have to call back. Luckily I was wearing flannel and smothered the flames. No harm done, my hair's curly anyway, and I don't really mind Eau du Charcoal. The moral of this story: Don't talk on the phone if you have long hair, have a chatty mom, and if you are playing near an open flame.

A icy-soothing dessert was served and a good time was had by all.

Don't forget to enter the KitchenAid mixer contest. It ends November 1st (just in time for Thanksgiving). Just leave a note.

If you're participating in this week's Foodie Friday, Mr. L awaits your recipe:

Recipe adapted from Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis, "Cinnamon Pancetta Carbonara," p. 172.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Cookies

Bandwith and I made cookies this morning.
I couldn't find my bat cookie cutter, but the ghost was awfully cute.

You are prolly thinking, Gollum has conquered the cookie/icing problem, right? Tra la la.
Not a chance. Our cookies developed major hip-spread. For those who like to slow down and look at trainwrecks, here's a doozy.
The icing wouldn't thicken. Before I realized what was going on, the icing had spilled off the pan, onto my gas cooktop, then streaked across the floor.
The second batch was better.

All were edible, I'm happy to report.

Our Internet connection has been spotty, so I'm posting while I have a chance. If you are participating in the week's Foodie Friday, please add your recipe below: