Category Archives: Poultry, Eggs

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

Every year during the winter holidays we always seem to have leftover turkey.  The reason is because we always have at least a 20 pound bird for Thanksgiving and sometimes we may even cook another turkey for Christmas dinner.  So, in the grand scheme of things, that’s a lot of turkey!  That’s when I have to get creative with the leftovers.  I make soups, stews, enchiladas, and even turkey lasagna.

One of my favorite ways of preparing leftover turkey is a turkey sandwich.  I got my idea from a local deli in town that offers Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches on their menu.  Whenever I stop there for lunch, that’s the sandwich that I generally like to order.  The turkey cranberry sandwich is piled high with fresh sliced turkey, tangy cranberry relish, and melt in your mouth cream cheese.  My version of the Turkey Cranberry Sandwich is a bit different for I like to use blueberry bread instead of white bread.  If you can’t find blueberry bread just keep in mind that it also tastes great on raisin bread.  So, the next time you happen to have leftover turkey, make this sandwich.  You’ll be glad that you did!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients ***

  • 1/4 pound sliced turkey (no bones)
  • 2 Tbs cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs cranberry relish
  • 2 slices of bread (I used blueberry bread)

On one slice of bread, pile on your turkey. Add the cream cheese and then the cranberry relish.  Top with remaining bread, slice in half and serve.  Makes one delicious sandwich!

*** Note:  ingredient amounts are an approximation.

Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken Liver Pate

When it comes to food preferences and tastes, I believe that people fall into two distinct groups.  People either like to eat liver or they don’t.  I consider myself one of the fortunate people who fall in the first category.  And as for my husband Bruce, well, take a wild guess…  I learned early on in our marriage that if I wanted to elicit a strong response out of Bruce, I would simply tell him that we are having liver and onions for dinner.

It all started with a harmless trip to the butcher…  Earlier that day I purchased a pound of calf’s liver and right before I was going to prepare the meal, Bruce noticed the package of liver in the refrigerator.  I kid you not, for within minutes, I received a stern lecture on why he will not eat liver.  Meanwhile, while trying to understand his food issue, I could not help but notice the look on his face.  The look on his face was priceless.  I knew I had just pressed a button :).

The other day while shopping for our groceries for the week, I saw a half a pound of chicken livers on sale and I promptly put them in my basket.  I knew exactly what I was going to make with them.  Chicken Liver Pate!  Not only just Chicken Liver Pate, but Chicken Liver Pate all for me.  My Chicken Liver Pate is easy to make and tastes delicious.  Serve Chicken Liver Pate on toasted crostini or on your favorite crackers.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound chicken livers cleaned and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • pinch of white pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine

Heat a saute pan to medium high heat (Not too hot).  Add olive oil and chopped onion.  Cook until onion is opaque.  Add chicken livers, garlic, thyme, salt and white pepper.  Cook until livers are cooked completely through and no pink color is left.  Remove thyme sprig and deglaze pan with Marsala wine.  Cook until wine has nearly disappeared.  Add entire contents of pan to a food processor and process until smooth.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Remove from processor and place in a bowl.  Cover surface of pate with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until completely cool.  Serve pate chilled with your favorite crackers or toasts.  Makes about 3/4 cup.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay.  Now close your eyes and repeat after me.  Saa-taay…  While you are saying it, just imagine hot, juicy, succulent, flavorful barbecued chicken on bamboo skewers drizzled with peanut sauce.  Close your eyes and say it again.  Saa-taay…

Did I just catch you drooling?

If you have never had satay before, satay is an amazingly flavorful barbecued dish that is generally of Southeast Asian origin.  It is prepared with many different ingredients such as chicken, beef, shrimp, lamb, fish, pork, goat and even tofu.  One of my favorite ways to prepare satay is with chicken.  I like to use bits of boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated for several hours in coconut milk, Indonesian soy sauce and a variety of spices.  I then thread the chicken on to the skewers and cook them on the barbecue.

I like to serve my Chicken Satay with my homemade peanut sauce or drizzled with sweet chili sauce or sriracha.  I also serve it with a scoops of fluffy jasmine rice and fresh sliced cool cucumbers for garnish.  I also make sure that there’s plenty of sambal oelek on the side for those who love fiery hot food.  Makes 10 -12 skewers.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1″ cubes or strips
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 – 2 tsp minced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or sambal oelek (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

In a medium sized bowl whisk together all the ingredients except for the chicken.  Once the marinade has been blended, add the chicken and toss well to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Take 10 -12 bamboo skewers and soak completely in water while the chicken is marinating.  Soaking the skewers in water prevents the skewers from burning off while the satay cooks on the barbecue.

Thread chicken onto the skewers and cook on medium hot barbecue or grill pan until the juices run clear or the chicken reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss any remaining marinade.  Do not brush it on the chicken while cooking and do not even think about reusing it.  Pay attention and turn your skewers occasionally for even cooking.  Be sure not to over cook or under cook the satay.  Makes 10 -12 skewers.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Bruce and I lead very busy lives so cooking dinner on weekday evenings can be a crazy mad scramble. I’ve learned over the years to prep what I can in the morning before work and by the time I get home in the evening all I have to do is toss together a salad, make a quick side dish and grill up dinner.  Done.  If there is any one dish that tastes great and easy to make, my Lemon Rosemary Chicken is one that fits the bill.

Fresh picked Rosemary from my garden.

To make the Lemon Rosemary Chicken, all you need is boneless skinless chicken thighs, fresh rosemary, fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and some spices.  Toss all the ingredients in a covered container in the morning before work, cover and refrigerate.  Come home, pull the chicken out of the fridge, toss on a grill or grill pan, and cook until the juices run clear.  See?  I told you that it was easy…  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbs rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Toss all ingredients in a covered container and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Toss any remaining marinade.  Place on medium hot barbecue grill or grill pan.  Turn chicken when halfway cooked.  Cook until juices run clear or the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pull from grill, let chicken rest for about 5 minutes covered, garnish with sprigs of rosemary and plate up.  Serves 4 – 6 people.

 

Morel Havarti Omelet

Morel Havarti Omelet

One of the things that I love about Oregon is our morel mushrooms.  I never tasted a morel mushroom before until I moved here well over 25 years ago.  Nearly every year I hunt for them on the forest floor of the Cascade Mountains in the spring and early summer.  Some years I am able to find buckets full of mushrooms, sadly, this year, I was so busy with other things, I did not get a chance to go…  From what I heard from people who live in the mountains above the Rogue Valley is that the weather conditions were less than ideal this year and the picking season was terribly short.  So, when I saw these tasty little morels at my favorite food coop, I snagged a brown paper bag full.

Morels are easily identifiable by their shape and their honeycomb texture.  Before going out and picking morels be sure to do your homework and learn how to identify them properly.  There are other mushrooms out in the forest that are similar in shape and size to a morel. Those mushrooms are called false morels and what’s bad about them is that they are not edible and in fact, they may be poisonous.  False morels look similar to a morel so, just be careful…

A half pound of morels.  I always rinse mine before I use them.  The little ridges and pits in the mushrooms can contain dirt and other forest debris.  If you ever get a chance to purchase morels or go hunting for them, by all means, do it.  Morels taste amazing and are super simple to prepare.  You can saute them, fry them, put them in soups, sauces, or use them in ways you would white or crimini mushrooms.  I decided to take some of these mushrooms and put them in an omelet.  I prepared a basic 3 egg omelet and sauteed morels, shallots, thyme, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper in a bit of melted butter.  Filled the omelet with the morel mixture added some Havarti cheese and melted additional Havarti on top.  It was absolutely delightful! Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  •  sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup morel mushrooms (cleaned and halved)
  • 1 Tbs shallots (minced)
  • 1/2  tsp fresh thyme (minced)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces havarti cheese
  • sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish

In a small bowl whisk vigorously together the eggs, water, salt and pepper.  In a nonstick pan on medium high heat add canola oil.  Add the egg mixture covering the entire pan.  Lift parts of the egg mixture with a spatula to allow egg mixture to go under the omelet and cook.  Cook until set.  Meanwhile in another pan, saute the morel mushrooms, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper in butter.  Add mushroom mixture to omelet.  Add 1 ounce Havarti cheese and fold.  Add remaining havarti to the top of the omelet, add a tsp of water, cover and melt.  Remove from pan and slide onto a plate.  Serve immediately.  Garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme.  Makes 1 omelet.

Guamanian Chicken

Guamanian Chicken

My friend Janie first introduced me to Guamanian Chicken several years ago. She was taught how to make it from her sister in law who is from Guam.  Guam is an island territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean.  When Janie first told me what the ingredients were in the chicken, I thought to myself no way, it won’t work, its missing sugar or something sweet in the recipe.  I was seriously wrong…

Guamanian Chicken is probably one of the most flavorful grilled chicken that I have ever tasted.  It’s made with a sauce or a marinade called finadene.  Finadene is pronounced fin-ah-den-ee and not “vinny dinny”  like I originally thought.  Finadene is a simple sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, fresh lemon juice, sliced green onions and hot sauce.  You can adjust the heat by adding red peppers or omitting the hot sauce altogether.

After grilling a big platter of Guamanian Chicken, I like to serve it with fluffy white jasmine rice, and a bowl of finadene on the side for drizzling.  It’s easy to make and so delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Guamanian Chicken Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds chicken hindquarters (cut up)
  • 1 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbs hot sauce

Grab a large bowl and add chicken.  Whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, chopped green onions and hot sauce.  Add to chicken, toss well to coat, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight.  Turn chicken occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the sauce below by whisking all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Finadene Sauce: (It’s the same as the marinade above, just half the volume)

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp hot sauce

Now that the chicken has marinated.  Fire up your barbecue or indoor grill.  Cook chicken on medium to medium high heat until the juices run clear or the chicken has an internal temperature of 180 degrees.  Throw away the marinade…  Don’t even think about reusing it or drizzling it on the rice.  Remove chicken from grill, let rest 5 minutes and serve with rice and finadene sauce.  Makes about 6 servings.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich

Years ago when I was a cook while working my way through college, one of the things that I had to make on the menu was an egg salad sandwich.  I was taught to make them with hard boiled eggs, miracle whip, yellow mustard and sweet relish on white bread.  It was served with a handful of plain potato chips and a dill pickle.  Some people just loved it.  Me, on the other hand, I thought that it was simply anemic looking and disgusting…

Heirloom Tomatoes

I love preparing eggs so I thought I would try to improve upon the egg salad sandwich recipe that was taught to me years ago.  First of all, I ditched the miracle whip and used a good quality mayonnaise instead.  I swapped the plain yellow mustard for Dijon mustard and omitted the sweet relish.  I added capers, fresh chopped celery and fresh snipped chives.  I also added chopped roasted red bell pepper, a pinch of curry powder and fresh cracked pepper.  I serve my egg salad sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh picked lettuce.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 Tbs light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs chopped celery
  • 1 Tbs chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • big pinch of hot madras curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • garnish with fresh picked lettuce and sliced heirloom tomatoes

Begin by grabbing a small bowl.  Using a fork mash the eggs in the bowl.  Add all ingredients except bread and garnishes.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Divide egg mixture and place on two bread slices.  Add tomatoes, lettuce and top each sandwich with a bread slice. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.  Makes two sandwiches.

Bok Choy Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Bok Choy Shiitake Mushroom Soup

With all the warm weather we have been having here in Southern Oregon, my little garden is going nuts…  Just a few weeks ago, I planted some bok choy starts and in no time I am completely inundated with bok choy.  As I would say, I have “enough to choke a goat”.  The problem is that there are just the two of us in the home and what do we do when all the heads of bok choy need to be harvested at the same time?  Well, first of all, share with friends, family and neighbors.  Second, share with coworkers.  Third, I start cooking everything I possibly can with bok choy!

For those who do not know what bok choy is, this is what it looks like.  Bok choy is also known as Chinese cabbage. It has a wonderful delicate flavor and goes great in stir-fries, soups and main dishes.  I love it because it is easy to grow and it’s super low in calories.  It has crunchy white stalks and beautifully flavored green leaves.

While picking bok choy in my garden this afternoon, I took my camera with me to photograph some of the beautiful plants in my yard.  This is a photo of a red Japanese maple tree.  We have a several Japanese maples planted around our koi pond.  They are without a doubt, my favorite specie of deciduous tree.

Next to my kitchen window I have an arbor covered in tiny pink roses.  I believe they are called “Cecile Brunner”.  You would not know it from the photo but the plant is twenty feet tall and covered with hundreds of blooms!  It’s just gorgeous!

On the back patio I have a big pot of Sweet William flowers.  Sweet William are adorable little biennials that are fragrant and look wonderful cut and placed in vases.  I like the bright pink color and the jagged edges on the petals.

After photographing plants in my yard, I harvested a few heads of bok choy.  One of the heads of bok choy was going straight into a light and tasty Bok Choy Shiitake Mushroom Soup for my lunch.  The other head of bok choy that I picked will be used in a dish for tomorrow’s dinner.

Next time you have an abundance of bok choy, be sure to try my Bok Choy Shiitake Mushroom Soup.  It’s light, flavorful and really easy to make.  Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups bok choy (chopped)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. Szechuan pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 6-8 drops sesame oil (use sparingly)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped chives for garnish

In a large pan cook onion and canola oil on medium low.  Stir constantly until onion is opaque.  Add remaining ingredients except sesame oil, salt and pepper.  Cook until shiitakes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with fresh chopped chives.

 

Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

During the work week I always try to make dinners that are fast and easy.  I like to make extra servings of a meal on the weekend and re-purpose the leftovers later on in the week.  Late Sunday afternoon I barbecued a big batch of my Tequila Lime Chicken for an early dinner.  Knowing in advance that my work week was going to be ridiculously busy, I made sure that I grilled up some extra chicken for Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos.

Whenever I am out on the back patio next to my kitchen, I always make sure that my camera is close at hand.  Last year I planted some giant allium in large containers and their gorgeous purple flowers were attracting dozens of honey bees.  So, I put my camera to good use while I was waiting for my Tequila Lime Chicken to finish cooking on the grill.  I have to admit, when I took this shot, I was just a tad worried about getting too close to my subject.  Lucky for me, he did not care that I was taking his picture :).

Earlier this spring, I planted a bunch of chives in a pot and they are blooming too.  The chive blossoms are much smaller and not as brightly colored as the giant allium.  However, whenever I need fresh chives I simply walk out onto the back porch, scissors in hand and I snip whatever I want.   Planting fresh herbs in pots saves a bunch of money at the grocery store.  Plus, they always seem to taste better and fresher.

My recipe for Tequila Lime Chicken is here.  For the Tequila Lime Chicken, I marinate boneless, skinless chicken thighs in lime juice, tequila, cilantro, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, garlic and smoked paprika.  I marinate the chicken for several hours and then cook the chicken on my barbecue or indoor grill.  I like to use any leftover Tequila Lime Chicken warmed up in soft tacos with shredded carrot, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, lime and drizzled with a tangy cilantro sour cream.  Sometimes, I chop it up the grilled Tequila Lime Chicken and place it on a heap of fresh picked lettuce leaves for a healthy salad.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped Tequila Lime Chicken (warm)
  • 6 corn tortillas (warm)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp cilantro chopped
  • big pinch of cumin
  • drizzle with hot sauce or salsa (optional)

In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and cumin.  Set aside. Heat up the tequila lime chicken (I used a microwave).  Fill warm tortillas with chicken, lettuce, tomato, shredded carrots and drizzle with cilantro sour cream.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges.  Makes 6 tacos.

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken

I have a bad habit…  Whenever Bruce and I have guests at our home, I tend to put out too much food.  Our guests always go home happy and with their bellies full but, dealing with party leftovers can be a pain.  Just like what happened over the past weekend.  We had a pound of leftover strawberries sitting in a bowl on the counter after our brunch and there’s only two of us living in the home.  Ugh!  I can’t believe I thought it and even worse, I can’t even believe that I said it out loud.  I bought way too many strawberries…

Strawberry Barbecue Sauce

I have learned over the years that sometimes you just need to get creative to use up the ingredients you have on hand.  I personally like to use ingredients and flavor combinations in ways that most people would never think or even dream of.  A great example is my sweet and tangy homemade Strawberry Barbecue Sauce with spicy ancho chili, sweet and sticky Indonesian soy sauce and my favorite soda, Dr Pepper.  The flavor of my Strawberry Barbecue sauce is smoky, sweet and complex but on the other hand, it’s really easy to make.

Strawberry Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 pound of strawberries (cleaned, hulled and quartered)
  • 1 can Dr Pepper
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder (use more for a spicy kick)
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste

Add all ingredients to saucepan. Cook on medium low, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes.  Blend with hand blender to make the barbecue sauce smooth.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Makes about 3 cups.  Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  Brush it on barbecue beef, chicken, or pork..

Now that the sauce is done… Let’s fire up the Q!

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken

  • 6 pounds chicken (I like to use legs or thighs)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 cups Strawberry Barbecue Sauce (or to taste)

Fire up your barbecue or grill pan.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill on medium high heat until juices run clear or about 15 minutes.  Brush with sauce and cook a few minutes more…  Serve chicken with sauce on the side.   Makes about 12 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Looks delish!