Quick Turkey Scallopini

November 28, 2011 Entrees, Menu No Comments

“The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE! “

Unlike the Old Man from A Christmas Story, I’m sure that most of you did not have to deal with the unexpected loss of the holiday turkey to a bunch of wild bloodhounds. In fact, you probably had more leftover Thanksgiving turkey than you knew what to do with. This recipe will help put a decent amount of the leftover bird to deliciously good use in less than 20 minutes! It’s particularly good for the leftover legs and wings…the parts that make for perfect presentation but rarely get eaten (at least at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner).

And yes, this recipe would also work well with leftover chicken.

QUICK TURKEY SCALLOPINI

1 tbspn olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups shredded turkey (if you have a food processor, 3-4 quick pulses will do the job quickly)
1 cup spaghetti sauce*
salt and pepper to taste
1 tspn Italian seasoning
splash of red wine

*Disclaimer – I would have normally said red gravy, but I didn’t want to confuse anyone thinking that I meant turkey gravy (the OTHER gravy).

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions, let cook for 30 seconds, add garlic; stir. Add chopped peppers, stir. Let cook until peppers are crisp-tender. Add the shredded turkey and the sauce, stir. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, stir. Add splash of red wine, stir. Lower heat, simmer until warmed throughout.

Serve over rice, in a crispy roll, along side of polenta or in fajita shell topped with shredded cheese!

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Giving Thanks with Pumpkin Crisp and Preston & Steve

November 20, 2011 Dessert, Menu 2 Comments

Thanksgiving dinner. The granddaddy of all traditional holiday meals! Whether it’s the escarole soup, the homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, one of the dozens of side dishes, or the turkey itself, there is some part of this meal that holds a special spot in everyone’s heart. Of course, the Thanksgiving meal would not be complete without the final act – the dessert. And in my mind there is no better Thanksgiving dessert than the traditional and classic pumpkin pie. I’ve tried many different pumpkin desserts, from pumpkin cheesecakes and pumpkin cream rolls to pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin trifle. But it’s the good, old fashion pumpkin pie that I prefer on T-day with a nice hot cup of coffee for dessert.

This year however, my wife (who again, is the baker of the household), found an interesting alternative to traditional pumpkin pie at myrecipes.com. It’s a pumpkin crisp, and I can not wait to dig into it after the big meal! What’s nice about this dessert is that it doesn’t stray far from traditional pumpkin pie, both in taste and texture. Actually, the filling itself is almost identical to pumpkin pie. What makes this dessert different and special is the  crispy and buttery topping. Think upside down pumpkin pie! It’s a subtle change from the norm, but the taste is outta this world. ‘Melts in your mouth’ is an understatement You’ll want to serve this warm or at room temperature. Goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Happy Thanksgiving!

PUMPKIN CRISP
(Originally posted at myrecipes.com)

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 c. of evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (18.5 oz) pkg butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 c. melted butter

Optional:
1 c. chopped pecans
Ground nutmeg
Whipped cream
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350F.  Stir together the first five ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture (if you wish to add pecans, sprinkle them evenly over cake mix).  Drizzle melted butter over cake mix. Bake at 350F for 60 – 65 minutes or until golden brown**.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  IF desired, serve with whipped cream, sprinkle of nutmeg or vanilla ice cream.

** If baking ahead of time, I baked for about 55 min then re-heat again for another 10 min before serving.

THE PRESTON AND STEVE CAMP OUT FOR HUNGER

Many of us are blessed to have a beautiful meal to share with family and friends on Thanksgiving day. Yet there are still so many who are in need of food and support, not only on Thanksgiving but all year round. Thanks to the Preston and Steve Show (Philadelphia’s top rated morning radio show), we all have an opportunity to help give to those less fortunate. Every year just after Thanksgiving, the P&S show launch their Camp Out for Hunger Campaign. By teaming with Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief foundation, the P&S show set up camp for an entire week at the Metroplex Shopping Center in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. This camp out (which is turning into more of a huge, celebrated event each year), is the perfect opportunity to not only meet some of your favorite local radio, television and sports celebrities, but to also donate in any way that you can to help those less fortunate. The P&S show will be collecting food and monetary donations throughout the entire week of November 28-December 2. You can also donate various ways through Acme Markets, either by making an online purchase or  placing items in the P&S drop-boxes located in various Acme supermarkets.

For more information on how to help with this very special and important cause, please visit this link.

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Amatriciana Sauce

This week I’m highlighting a fantastic post from my favorite fellow food blogger, Una Mamma Italiana. It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure to share one of Una Mamma’s recipes with you. What better way to welcome her back to my blog that with a delicious rustic sauce that incorporates pancetta! Check it out and enjoy! And be sure to visit the Una Mamma Italiana for many more amazing recipes!
– Dom

Since I started blogging at Una Mamma Italiana over 3 years ago, I’ve noticed that readers really love the sauce recipes. Whether its my family recipe for Sunday Gravy, Vodka Sauce or Arrabiatta Sauce – these sauces are classics that can usually be made with minimal effort and a big wow factor.

Here is another classic Italian sauce recipe that boasts the amazing flavor of Pancetta! It gets its name from the town of its origin, Amatrice (a super small town in Northern Lazio. We’re talking central Italy, here – the countryside that literally divides the North from the South.) It is a very rustic style sauce.

Pancetta is Italian bacon that is cured with all kinds of salt and yummy spices. It is most often used in recipes for the flavor you get from the fat (who doesn’t love cooking in a good fat!?) on the meat. Some “Med-E-Gones substitute regular bacon in recipes such as these. I guess you could do the same, but then you run the risk of breaking my heart (and the hearts of Italians everywhere).

AMATRICIANA SAUCE
3 TB e.v.o.o.
2 oz. pancetta, finely cubed
1 med onion, minced
1 TB minced garlic
pinch of dried oregano
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped or hand crushed
1/2 tsp (to start) curshed red pepper flakes (adjust to your liking)
1 TB julienned fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Start with only 2 TB of the olive oil. Use it to brown the pancetta. Once browned, add the onions and garlic, saute over medium heat until soft. Stir in the oregano, hot pepper flakes, and the tomatoes. Bring it to a boil. Simmer until sauce has thickened a bit (around 30 minutes)

At the end, stir in the basil leaves and add more hot pepper/salt/pepper as needed. Stir in the remaining TB of olive oil until emulsified.

Toss with your favorite pasta and top with lots of yummy grated pecorino romano cheese! (my fav) And MANGIA!!

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Baked Sausage and Peppers

November 5, 2011 Entrees, Menu No Comments

Of all the different dishes that I’ve made over the years, it’s the the traditional, simple comfort foods that I still enjoy making the most. Italian soul food – as my good friend Lorraine Ranalli fondly calls it – has been the staple to many Italian-American households for generations. Hearty dishes like pasta and peas, potato and eggs, peppers and eggs, [fill in the blank] and eggs, giambotta…they all bring a smile to my face and a craving to my belly.

This week, I’m sharing a recipe for one of the most famous and versatile Italian comfort foods, Sausage and Peppers. Traditionally, this is a dish that is cooked on the stove top in a frying pan. Although Italian sweet or hot sausage are the most common sausage used, any kind of sausage that you prefer will work well. One of my favorites to use is a chicken sausage  from Tori’s butcher shop. The BEST! Just fry up the sausage links (whole or sliced), add some chopped onions and peppers to the mix halfway through cooking, and voila, peppers and sausage.

I’m gonna put a slightly different spin on this classic dish by baking it in the oven. I prefer the baking method because it’s less oil (pork sausage will create some very tasty juices in the oven), and it frees up some time for you. Because you want the sausage cooked throughout (no pink inside), you’re looking at a good hour of baking in the oven, especially if you’re using a pork sausage. You’re also combining all ingredients at once, so all of the flavors marry together and there is no stirring or mixing needed.

You’re going to have a decent amount of juice in the baking dish once it’s done, and you have a few options on what to do with the juices:
• you can serve the sausage and peppers it in its juices;
• you can drain or extract the juice with a baster;
• you can let the dish bake uncovered for a few extra minutes to allow it to dry out a bit;
• or as I like to do, you can add some Italian seasoning and a few tablespoons of sauce/gravy, mix it in and let it heat for a few minutes.

Once done, you can serve it as a side dish, as a topping on pasta, or my personal favorite…..on a crispy Italian roll with provolone cheese and greens.

Whichever method you prefer, it’ll be a guaranteed delicious and enjoyable meal.

BAKED SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS

1lb sausage, cut into pieces
4 bell peppers (red and green work best, you can mix them up)
1 large white onion, chopped

(optional ingredients)
1 tbspn Italian seasoning
2-3 tbspn red sauce/gravy

Preheat oven to 400˚. Place sausage, peppers and onions in a baking dish, mix, cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 60-65 minutes, until sausage is completely cooked. You can serve in its juices, drain the juices, or add the optional ingredients and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve as a side dish, on top of pasta or in a crispy Italian roll topped with provolone cheese and greens.

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