THANKSGIVING TURKEY RELISH TRAY
Here is a fun idea for your Thanksgiving vegetable platter or relish tray,arrange the items in the shape of a turkey. This is the one my son made for our dinner last year. It is a great project for kids, tweens, and teens and let’s them contribute to the big dinner. We used pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and carrots. His head is actually a mini orange bell pepper. Be creative and use what you have hand.
We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.
Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip
1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)
2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces
1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths
1 tomato sliced into wedges
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t chopped garlic
2 t cumin
1 T lime juice
Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired
Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.
Hungarian Beef and Pepper Stew
2lbs Beef Stew Meat
1/2 onion cut into chunks
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
2 T Sweet Hungarian Paprika
2 T flour
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 T tomato paste
10-12 oz beef broth
3 bell peppers sliced
1/2 t caraway seeds
2 T balsamic vinegar
Add 1 T paprika, flour, salt and pepper to a large bowl or plastic bag. add meat and toss or shake to coat. Heat olive oil in a large pan add beef and onion and cook until browned. add garlic and caraway seeds and cook 1 minute more. add beef broth (enough to cover meat), remaining paprika, tomato paste and vinegar, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes-1 hr, sauce with thicken and meat will become tender. Add peppers and cook 20 minutes more over low heat or until peppers are soft. Serve over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes.
Everyone has had 7 layer dip and its delicious, here is a little twist, same idea but Mediterranean flavors. Make this as easy or as difficult as you want, use store bought ingredients or make your own Hummus and Tzatziki Sauce.
On a large plate or shallow bowl layer the following ingredients or be creative and add your favorites, anything goes.
Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt
Chopped Kalamata Olives
Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano
Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps
Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli
Southwestern London Broil
1 1/2 lb london broil
1 c diced tomatoes ( I used canned)
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t chopped garlic
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 lime juiced
Put london broil in a gallon sized ziplock bag, add remaining . Close bag and mix and massage marinade into meat with your hands. Place bag in refrigerator for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 450. Place meat and marinade on a baking sheet, add sliced peppers and onions if desired.
Cook for about 15 minutes, then turn on broiler and cook for 5 minutes more per side ( use a meat thermometer to check doneness, cooking time will depend on thickness and weight of meat)
Let rest 10 minutes and then slice thinly against the grain. Great by itself or served in tortillas.
This casserole is great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner or for a potluck, don’t like it spicy, then use green peppers instead of poblanos.
Cheesy Poblano, Sausage and Grits Casserole
4 c water
1 cup grits (not instant or quick)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c grated sharp cheddar
1/2 c butter
2 eggs beaten
4 poblano peppers roasted and skin and seeds removed, cut into 4ths
1 package of smoked sausage cut into 1 ” rounds
1/4 c sliced green onions
In a large pan boil water, add grits and salt and stir, cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, add 2 c grated cheese, 2 eggs (slowly so they do not scramble, and butter, stir. Add 1/3 grit mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 pan, Layer the poblanos on to of the grits
Cover with another 1/3 of the grits and then a layer of the smoked sausage.
Cover with the remaining grits and then top with 1/2 c cheese and the green onions.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, let cool to room temp before cutting if you want it to be cut into squares, if not the casserole will be runny (still delicious though, just serve with a spoon).
We recently took a little trip down to Boca Raton, Fl and happened upon a cute little Jamaican bistro called Rock Steady Jamaican Bistro. The food and service was excellent. I love a good jerk and the spicy, sweet, fresh flavors of Caribbean cuisine, luckily so do my kids. I realized I don’t make enough of this at home, time to change that. I have used the dry jerk seasoning from the spice aisle at the grocery store but it just doesn’t cut it. Time to try my hand a a real, wet, jerk, marinade. I think it was a hit, it had all the flavors I was looking for. Unfortunately neither my local grocery or produce stand had scotch bonnet peppers so I used fresh jalapenos from my garden. I think it still tasted fine but if you are going for authentic switch out the jalapenos for scotch bonnets, just remember they are much spicier so use half the amount.
Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:
1 T allspice powder
1/3 c brown sugar
2T minced garlic
2-4 jalapenos (depending on your spice preference)
1T fresh Thyme
1 bunch scallions
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 T soy sauce
Pour marinade over 1 1/2 pounds of pork, shrimp or chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
I used chicken cutlets and grilled them over high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
A traditional side in Jamaica is Rice and pigeon peas. Pigeon peas come in red and green and can be found in the ethnic food section of the grocery store. They are not sweet like english peas but more like a legume, or small red bean. This easy recipe is made in a rice cooker.
Rice and Pigeon Peas
2 1/2 c jasmine rice rinsed until water runs clear
2 1/2 c water
8 oz canned pigeon peas (red or green)
1 t fresh thyme
1 t minced jalapeno
1/4 c sliced scallions/green onions
1 t salt
Place all ingredients into a rice cooker, and cook until done.
Serve with a sweet fruit salad to balance out the heat of the Jerk and enjoy a little taste of the islands without leaving home.