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Friday, August 1, 2014

Turkey Shepherds Pie with Fresh Herbs


Night before last I used all the potatoes in our bag of spuds to make mashed potatoes. I did that for two reasons: one was they were starting to grow eyes and the second was I have been in the mood for a shepherds pie. Now I have already made and blogged about Traditional Beef Shepherds Pie and Chicken Shepherds Pie so I thought why not try turkey? To add to this we had cooked up a number of ears of corn for dinner and had 3 ears left which we cut the corn off the cob. Two ingredients down. All I needed was some ground turkey and gravy. There was no turkey broth to be had at the store so I opted for some Campbell's® canned gravy which you can find with the bottled and canned gravies and not in the soup aisle in your grocery store.
Also I need to use my fresh herbs from the garden and felt that the combination of sage, rosemary and parsley would lend fabulous flavor to the turkey. If you don't have access to fresh herbs from your own garden then use dried sage and parsley, but I do recommend spending a little over a dollar for fresh rosemary. Plan your next dinner or side dish so you have further use for the fresh rosemary. The dried is too woody and stiff and I think it lacks flavor.

With a mound of mashed potatoes on top that crisp up and a good layer of corn over the savory ground turkey and gravy on the bottom makes this a scrumptious dinner. You can make this a day in advance and bake it when you are ready. I used my 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch oven proof casserole. It makes enough for 6 portions. My total cost was $11.62, feeding 6 for $1.93 per portion.
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 - 10 1/2 oz. can turkey gravy
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes (left over mashed is fine)
  • 1 bag frozen corn or 3 fresh ears of corn with kernels sliced off.
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped sage or 1/4 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped flat leaf parsley or 1/4 tsp. dried
  • 3 tbsp. extra butter - melted for spreading over the mashed potatoes
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  1. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt the one tablespoon of butter with the olive oil. Add in the ground turkey, breaking it down and turning over as it cooks. Cook it about 2/3 of the way and add in salt and ground black pepper to taste along with the fresh herbs. Mix well and take off the heat.
  2. In your casserole dish empty the content of the gravy to the bottom of the dish.
  3. Then add in the ground turkey and spread out in the dish. Next, you'll add in the layer of corn.
  4. Finally add the mashed potatoes to the top. If you are using left-over mashed, set your microwave to reheat and reheat for about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes for the potatoes to soften up a bit.
  5. Spread the potatoes over the top completely covering and using a fork make some swirls in the potato. Pour the melted butter over the top of the potatoes. This adds extra flavor as well as aids in the browning process.
  6. Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes. I used my convection on my oven to help in the browning process and did that for about 8 more minutes. You can use your broiler but keep an eye on it.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have made this a day in advance and refrigerated, you will have to bring the casserole out at least 1/2 hour prior to baking or extend the baking time by 15 minutes or so.

When you take the casserole out of the oven let it rest for at least five minutes. Dive in and serve this up to your family. This is a complete meal for not a lot of money.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fried Dough Dessert Pizza


I am thrilled to have this recipe as a guest blogger on Kecia's Flavor Breakthrough. When she asked if I would do a guest post for her I was elated. This is only the partial post. The link to the full recipe is below. Hope you all enjoy this different type of dessert.

This past weekend we made some fried dough pizzas at home. I actually wrote up a guest blog post to be shared on another bloggers page. I called them Carnival Pizzas. We still had store bought pizza dough left so I decided to make some Fried Dough Dessert Pizza using up what I had available.
A combination of fudge sauce topped with caramelized pineapple and topped off with some Cool Whip turned out to be absolutely delicious. I wasn't sure how all the ingredients would work together and was amazed at how good it tasted.
The recipe is simple - but you may want to let the pizza cool down before adding the whipped topping. As you can see it started to melt quickly. I used fresh pineapple, but canned is acceptable. The recipe is for four dessert pizzas.
  • 1 inch oil (vegetable) in a deep skillet
  • 1 package store bought pizza dough cut into four sections
  • flour

TO THE FULL RECIPE: Blog: http://keciasflavorbreakthrough.com/?p=2000

Lobster Risotto


Having a lobster man as your husbands best friend for life has it's advantages. In exchange for small services rendered (carpentry talents), my husband is sometimes the recipient of freshly caught lobsters. When a lobster man catches lobsters and a lobster is missing one claw or has a severely under developed second claw it is called a cull lobster and the value of the lobster goes down. Lucky for us there were two cull lobsters in his last catch and we were the lucky ones to receive them.

Before we get into the recipe I have to say that whenever we do have lobsters I save the water they are cooked in or I save the shells in a bag in the freezer. Just like shrimp shells you can use these as the base for your seafood, or in this case lobster stock. I like to add black whole peppercorns and some bay leaf to my shells when cooking up the stock. For me I already had containers of lobster stock in the freezer from previous lobsters. If you have lobsters for dinner, save the shells and make the stock and then when and if you have left over lobster meat make this beautiful risotto for dinner.

If you are unsure of how to cook lobsters I found this at Gilmore Lobster.com so you will know how to properly cook lobsters. You may want to keep this.
"Live lobsters should be kept cold until you’re ready to cook them; although they can survive several days in open air as long as they are kept cool and their gills remain moist, we recommend that you cook them as soon as possible. Do not place them in fresh water (as in the bath tub), because fresh water kills them. 
To Boil: Fill a large kettle 1/4 full of water, allowing about 2 1/2 quarts of water for each lobster. If sea water is not available, add two tablespoons of salt for each quart of water. Bring the water to a boil. Put in the live lobsters one at a time and return to boil. Cover kettle and simmer about 10 minutes for 1 pound hard-shell lobsters. Add 3 minutes per pound for each additional pound.When the antennae pull out easily, the lobsters are done. 
To Steam: Put about 2 inches of salted water in the bottom of a large kettle. Bring to a rolling boil and put in the live lobsters, one at a time. Cover kettle,return water to boil and begin timing. Allow 13 minutes for 1 pound hard-shell lobsters. Add 3 minutes per pound for each additional pound. When the antennae pull out easily,the lobsters are done."

  • 8 cups seafood stock (lobster or shrimp)
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • lobster meal - tail and claws - cut up
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (small)
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Begin by preparing your lobster stock or shrimp stock. You'll need just about 8 cups total and the stock must be kept warm while making the risotto.
  2. Prep your onion and the garlic cloves and chop up the picked out lobster meat - you can make the pieces any size you like.
  3. In a large skillet - 12 inches diameter and over medium heat melt the butter and the olive oil. Add in the onion and garlic. Keep stirring until you smell the aroma of the garlic.
  4. Then add in the wine and stir and reduce over medium high heat until about half has evaporated.
  5. Add in the rice and stir well. Add some salt and ground black pepper to taste. Keep your heat at medium to medium high during the whole process.
  6. Next, add in a ladle full of hot stock to the pan and keep stirring until the liquid is 3/4 absorbed then add another ladle full. Keep doing this until the risotto is just about done. You will use most all of the stock. And this process takes a while.
  7. Just before the risotto is done (about two minutes shy), add in the cooked lobster meat and keep stirring until it's blended in and let cook until the lobster is warmed through. (In our case I was starting with cold lobster.)


We served our risotto with a saute of summer squash, onions and peppers. Recipe in another post.