Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

20 11 2008

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As much as I hate to admit it, I have a special place in my cooking heart (is that my stomach?) for all things Rachel Ray.  Like I’ve said before, her recipes make me feel like a crazy person rushing around the kitchen yelling “EVOO” and “YUM-O” while attempting to do something that might look like cooking, if you squint real hard.  Ah, Rachel Ray, why must you challenge me so?  Why can’t you try writing some recipes that can be prepared slowly and calmly, so that cooking can be a soothing and relaxing experience?  Perhaps I need to try following her recipes after drinking a few energy drinks?  No,  I won’t be trying that strategy so it seems I’ll just continue to torture myself with her 30-minute meal recipes that usually taste fabulous (when I can keep from ruining them).

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I own 2 Rachel Ray cookbooks and they used to be the only place that I really looked for her recipes (you know, when I was feeling cocky and obviously needed a recipe to knock me down a couple [hundred] pegs in the kitchen).  But then there’s her magazine.  A magazine that calls to me from the grocery store check out line: “Amy, look through my glossy pages filled with delicious looking food that will taste YUM-O.  Skim the recipes that could be just as easy as they claim.  Put me on the belt with your assorted pastas and EVOO.  Take me home with you so you can read my articles and be tempted by my recipes…”  I just can’t resist the calling of that magazine.  As much as I try to ignore it, I have to have it.  It’s just pretty and there is that section about food bloopers where regular people mess up recipes and stuff and it’s funny…  Oh, Rachel Ray, you will be the end of me in the kitchen!

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In fact, I almost swore off all Rachel Ray recipes for good, somewhere around the 30 minute mark when I realized I was no where near the table.  I was still working on the turkey and gravy part of the recipe and hadn’t even started the salad part.  On the table in 30 minutes,  my foot.

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There are two things that saved Rachel Ray from being banned from my kitchen:

1-The dinner ended up being absolutely, freaking delicious.

2-WH, my cooking salvation.

When I realized I was not going to finish the dinner before the year ended, I sweetly* asked WH if he wouldn’t mind lending me a hand by chopping and prepping and basically making the entire salad.  He obliged and dinner was saved.

*in this instance, “sweetly” means I was whining

imgp2281As the title says, this was definitely a pre-Thanksgiving feast.  It had turkey and gravy (plus I made some roasted potatoes which you can read about in a later post.  Yes, I added another component to Rachel Ray’s already ridiculously complicated recipe.  I just realized I might be a self-saboteur.   Hmmm…

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Moral of the story: Rachel Ray is worth it if you can keep yourself from losing your mind and you can ignore the onslaught of “EVOO” references.  I promise.

imgp2288Turkey Cutlets with Herb Gravy

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • 2 turkey breast cutlets
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. half-and-half
  • 1/4 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. fresh, loosely packed herb leaves (such as tarragon, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary) – we used tarragon, thyme and rosemary

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Season turkey cutlets with salt and pepper.
  2. Place some flour on a plate.  In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with the half-and-half.
  3. On a sheet of wax paper combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and poultry seasoning.
  4. Coat each cutlet with flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 1/8 c. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the turkey, turning once, until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter.
  7. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  8. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. flour on top and cook for 1 minute.
  10. Whisk in the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 30 seconds.
  11. Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. Stir in the herbs and lower the heat to keep warm.
  14. To serve, ladle the gravy onto 2 dinner plates; top each with a turkey cutlet.

Celery-Apple Salad

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon + 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. golden delicious or gala apple, cored & sliced – we used a gala
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 c. baby spinach (or arugula)

What to do with that stuff:

  1. In a salad bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, mustard.
  2. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the apple, celery and baby spinach. Toss to coat.

Source [11] November 2008

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One response

24 11 2008
Christa

I usually hate rachael ray stuff (could just be my lack of skills) but that turkey does look awesome.
GO BEAR TONGS!

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