Turkey Provençal ‘Slow Cooker Friday’

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Isn’t it time for another lazy day recipe? Well, maybe not lazy, but for when you’re tired (or you know you’re going to be tired) and just want something simple, that waits for you when you come how after a long day at work. Lately it’s already dark by the time you get out of work and I am feeling tired. I still think we were supposed to hibernate, just like bears and those other smart creatures (I tell you , they got it right), but asides from daylight saving time, there isn’t a whole lot of support of this idea 😉 (Just imagine though, wouldn’t it be great? fireplace, bowl of soup and long naps all winter… 🙂

Well since that is not happening anytime soon, I will keep making tasty slow cooker recipes for my Fridays. This one has a bit of international flair, olives, tomatoes and rosemary, evoking summer sun and abundance while the white wine rounds out the flavors.

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Ingredients

  • 1 turkey leg, boneless
  • 4 plum tomatoes chopped (or one 14oz can)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (including leaves)
  • 1 cup diced winter squash (such as butternut, kabocha, buttercup)
  • 1/4 cup black or green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp basting oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 bay leaf
Note: If you got enough turkey in your near future, you could also make this with pork, like a piece of pork shoulder

Directions

  1. Dice tomatoes (or open can, if using canned) place in the bottom of the slow cooker insert, add diced celery and bay leaf.
  2. Place turkey atop the vegetables, adding the olives, mustard, rosemary and basting oil over top
  3. In a zip top bag, toss the diced onions with the flour until coated, then cook in a skillet over medium heat until softened and lightly browned. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits, stirring to dissolve the flour. Pour over turkey in slow cooker insert.
  4. Add the pieces of winter squash (if you are going to be home, you can also add these half way through cooking, if you prefer to have the squash hold it’s shape)
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (after 6 the meat will still hold its form, after 8 it will fall apart)
  6. Serve by itself or with polenta or rice as a side

If the tomatoes are very juicy and the dish seems to watery, mix 1 tbsp flour with about 3 tablespoons cold water and slowly stir into the slow cooker dish, cooking until the sauce thickens.

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Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Savory Sweet Potato Cheddar Pie

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Make something different this Thanksgiving!

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Ingredients

  • 2 Pie crusts  (either home made or store bought)
  • 6 oz cheddar cheese, grated (using the coarse side of a grater)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (from 2 med cooking onions or 1 lg sweet onion)
  • 3/4 lb (about 1 md) sweet potato, grated using the coarse side of your grater
  • 1/4 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten, plus 1 egg for glaze (total 4)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 table spoons oil over medium, add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the grated sweet potato, cook stirring to mix contents for an additional 5 minutes, to soften the sweet potatoes slightly. Remove from heat, let cool slightly
  4. In a bowl, combine the grated cheese, 3 eggs, milk and spices, stirring with a fork to combine.
  5. Combine the cooled sweet potato mixture with the cheese, eggs and milk mix, using a fork to stir until mixed evenly.
  6. Place crust in a deep 9″ pie pan, fill with sweet potato cheddar mix. Beat remaining egg, brush edges with egg wash, then place second pie crust on top, crimp edges to seal, cut 6-8 steam vents into the top crust and brush with remaining egg wash.
  7. Bake at 425 for 40 min or until the top is golden brown and filling is set.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature with a large green salad or as part of your Thanksgiving dinner.

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Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Poor Man’s Bouillabaisse

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Bouillabaisse… Flavor of the sun and the ocean

Scent of thyme and wild fennel on the dry summer breeze, arid, sun drenched slopes, rugged coastline and a wild blue sea…

Marseille, Roucas Blanc District

File:Calanques2.jpg Calanque (Inlet) near Marseille

Anytime I think of Bouillabaisse, Marseille the birth place of this oh so quintessential Mediterranean soup comes to mind. Port city with its mix of cultures, where some streets have more of a Middle Eastern than French feel, fresh seafood abounds and where people’s lives are outside as much as in during the summer months. But I am getting lost in reveries here…

Marseille

Unless you live close to the sea, and have ready access to reasonably priced fresh seafood of all sorts, Bouillabaisse is not usually going to be an everyday meal. At least for me, the variety of seafood generally used in a soup like that, definitely moves it into the ‘special occasion’ category. However, a couple of quick changes and substitutions, et voilĂ , now I can get my flavor fix even on days when my budget is slim!

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups c finely diced onions (from about 2 medium)
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed greens reserved, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, in juice*
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water, 1 tsp salt and Rapunzel bouillon cube)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 can water packed sardines
  • 1 can solid tuna,
  • (**optional: leftover cooked fish filets such as tilapia and salmon,  mussels, can of clams, calamari, scallops)

* or equivalent in frozen tomatoes, plus 2 tbsp tomato paste

** Note that you can make this soup at any level of ‘poor’ or ‘not so poor’ by either adding or substituting various fish and seafood items. Starting with a can of Tuna, and a can of Sardines, or adding crab meat, clams, mussels, whole shrimp and/or cooked fish filet such as salmon, trout or tilapia.

Directions

  1. In a stock pot, heat oil on medium, then add the onions, cook about 5 minutes until beginning to soften
  2. Add fennel and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting heat if ingredients start to brown to quickly. Cook about 15 minutes until tender, stirring often.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add a can of water packed sardines, chopped and/or solid tuna broken into bits, (or crabmeat and clams, or leftover cooked fish filers such as salmon or any other seafood that strikes your fancy and is in your budget)

Seriously, if the sea and the sun had a love child, it would be this  🙂

Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved