Tag Archives: turkey

Cast Iron Turkey & Dumplings

30 Nov

If you still have turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, you MUST try this recipe.  If you don’t, go bake another turnkey because you MUST try this recipe.

I will admit, it is not particularly sophisticated, but it is perhaps the most comforting comfort food on the planet.  It’s from Mary Janes Farm magazine, but I couln’t find it anywhere online, so I took a picture of the little well-worn recipe card that I pulled out of the magazine over a year ago.

I use a cast iron dutch oven that I found at a little hole-in-the-wall antique store that was going out of business a few years ago.  It has a lid and everything and was perfectly seasoned already.   If you don’t have a cast-iron pot, a stainless steel pot with a lid will work just fine.

First, you need to make the spice mix.  In a small bowl, mix together 1 t sea salt, 1 t Italian seasoning, 1 t pepper, and 1/2 t paprika.

Then, in your pot, heat 1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil or grapeseed oil) over medium-high heat.  Add 5 small new potatoes, diced, 3 diced carrots, and 1/4 of the spice mix.  Cook for 12-14 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pan every 3 minutes.

Add 2 stalks of finely diced celery, 1 finely diced onion, 1 T minced garlic , 1 cup corn, 1/4 of the spice mix, and 2 T oil.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and spread vegetables out on a cookie sheet to cool.

*If you forget to cook the carrots and potatoes together first (like I did), don’t fret, just put them in the oven at 400 degrees and roast, watching carefully for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. This picture was taken before I put them in the oven.

Cooking is really all about improvisation, right?

Let your pot cool down a bit, then add 1/2 cup butter and melt over low heat.  Whisk together remaining spice mix with 1/2 cup flour; add to butter, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Add small amounts of broth at a time to the roux while constantly whisking.  By the time you have added 4 cups of broth, you will be left with what looks like a thin gravy with a layer of better on top.  Turn-up the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup hot water, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add cooked vegetables and turkey into the pot, leaving space around the rim to add the dumplings.  Reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture just simmers but does not boil.  See how soft the potatoes look know?

Now to make the dumplings:  In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t pepper and 2 T chopped parsley.  With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup milk until just combined.

Drop dumpling batter into simmering liquid in 12 heaping spoonfuls, evenly spaced around the outer rim.

Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes more.  You may need to increase the heat a bit to fully cook the dumplings.

Serve immediately…as if you could wait.





Thanksgiving Wrap-up

29 Nov

Wow, what a week!  It feels like I haven’t posted in forever!  I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend with much love and family and/or friends.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful…mostly, but I’ll get to that.

I tried to spend all day Wednesday in the kitchen in the attempt to get everything pre-made as much as possible so all I would have to do Thursday is the turkey and gravy.  Nice thought, but real life happened and I only got a few things done in advance.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law, Kelly, and her family stayed with us and she was a HUGE help all day Thursday.  We would have eaten on Friday if it wasn’t for Kelly.  Thanks, Kelly!

We chopped, we assembled, we baked, we washed dishes, repeat.

We made delicious food, I must say.  My little stove got some major action.

I was in charge of the stuffing, of which I made WAY too much!  But, it was delish and I am still eating the leftovers.  I made it with cornbread,  sausage, roasted chestnuts (yes, I roasted chestnuts), mushrooms, and granny smith apples sautéed in white wine. Yum! I love digging through and finding all kinds of treasures.  I’m weird like that.

Then, much to my husband’s chagrin, I made brussels sprouts.  I think I converted a few brussels sprouts haters over to the dark side.  All I can say is everything is better with bacon!  Even my husband loved them.

I wish I had a picture of our turkey!  We got a 27 pound fresh, organic turkey from our store, of course, and it was the best turkey ever.  We brined it in the morning and cooked it without stuffing for about 6 hours.  It was a beaut!

I also made a pumpkin goat cheese cheesecake that was absolutely sinful.  I made it for my mother-in-law, Patti, who was turning 70 on Saturday.  All of her sons were there to sing Happy Birthday to her. Happy Birthday, Patti!

I really wish I had a better camera so I could capture how pretty the table looked, but you’ll have to just use your imagination.  I think it turned-out quite lovely.

We gave each couple a small jar of local raw honey to take home with them since most everyone was visiting from out-of-town.  My new antique dishes mixed beautifully with my china, thanks to my lovely daughter.  Thanks lovely daughter!

I think the coolest part of the table was the thankful tree.  We placed bowls with little paper leaves in them on each table and asked people to write what they are thankful for and hang it on the tree.  That was our centerpiece.  Here is the undecorated tree.

Did I mention I love sparkles?

Here’s a view of part of the table from upstairs.  Don’t look at it too long or you’ll get dizzy, or maybe it’s just me.

Here’s a peak at the kid’s table.

And the “teen table”…

I think everyone had a nice time.  I know I did…until…

I ate something funky that didn’t agree with me.  I know what it is, but I’m not going to say.  I will say that it had oysters in it and cayenne pepper; not a good combo for my tummy, apparently.  One minute I was washing dishes and the next minute I was lying on my bed unable to get up.  Such a bummer!

Not only did I miss the big family picture, but I missed dessert!

Thankfully, the ladies all pitched-in and finished the dishes (all 3000 of them) before they left.  What a blessing!

And I was fine the next day:)

Happy Thanksgiving from the Bradley Bunch!

Dressing or Stuffing?

22 Nov

There’s no difference between stuffing and dressing, according the The Food Lover’s Companion.  Both are mixtures “used to stuff poultry, fish, meat and some vegetables.”

The Joy of Cooking differentiates between the two by saying it’s stuffing if you put it in the bird, and dressing if you serve it on the side, but the National Turkey Federation says that “both terms are used interchangeably.”

I read somewhere that the term dressing became popular because the term stuffing didn’t sound mannerly.

Who cares?

I LOVE it!  I love it so much that I have been dieting all week so I can eat as much as I want.

I love it so much that I am serving three different dressings/stuffings on Thanksgiving.

I will stuff my bird, but the majority of our dressing will be made the day before and cooked in a separate dish.

Since we are hosting 300 people…I mean 25 people, my mother-in-law is making several things and bringing them to help out.  I am so grateful!

One of the things she is bringing is Oyster stuffing.  Hmmm.  I have had this once at my sister-in-laws house and just don’t get it.

I think it’s the fishy thing with the turkey thing that just doesn’t jive with me.

That was a few years ago, so I am going to give it another college try this Thanksgiving and see if my taste buds have matured.

In light of the oyster stuffing selection, I will be making a cornbread stuffing with sausage, apples, and (Lord willing) roasted chestnuts.

I am getting hungry just thinking about it.  I will be altering several recipes to create my own pan of deliciousness!

Here are the recipes I am pulling from:

Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples by Pioneer Woman

Buttermilk Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage by Country Living

I am also going to try a southern-style dressing that I think my kids will enjoy.  Really, I’m just trying to keep them out of my stuffing.  I found a good one by Paula Dean, but I’m going to try one from Shoshanna at the Bulk Herb Store.  I love her.  If you watch her video, spend some time checking-out some of her other videos.  She is awesome.

The southern dressings are more like a pudding with a bunch of eggs.  I love my dressing all chunky with lots of bits of yummy things.  So I thought the contrast would be good.

No matter what you call it, enjoy it.