thesoupfairy: (turkey wrap sandwich)
I failed to get to the grocery store yesterday (or today) so I couldn't make the scheduled slow-cooker meal for dinner. I made this casserole from ingredients I had sitting around the house. My husband and our friend who happened to be over at dinnertime were very unhelpful with naming it: they came up with "Delicious Casserole" and "Nom Nom Nom." <shakes head & grins> So anyway, even though it doesn't have a name, I am sharing it with you. This recipe is all about "whatever you've got on hand."

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes (+ 30 minutes bake time)

  • 1 pound package pasta of your choice (I used wide egg noodles)

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), divided

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or other oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or diced (your preference) - it won't be a tragedy if you use canned mushrooms ;^)

  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 3 cups chicken broth (canned, made from bouillon cubes, or homemade, whatever you've got!)

  • 2 cups milk (if you want to be decadent, use half-and-half or even heavy cream for some or all of this)

  • seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, thyme, and "perfect seasoning")

  • 5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

  • 1/2 cup Panko or other breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 2 tablespoons of butter (and salt as directed on package). Decrease cooking time a bit - you want them just slightly firmer than al dente. Drain and toss with another 2 tablespoons of butter while still hot. Set aside.

  3. Heat bacon grease in skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and stir to break up and prevent sticking.

  4. When turkey begins to brown, add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers to the skillet. Continue to stir occasionally and cook until turkey is done and vegetables are tender-crisp.

  5. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour over the top of the turkey mixture in the skillet and stir in. Repeat with remaining two-thirds. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring after each addition until smooth.

  7. Cook over medium heat, stirring often (and being sure to scrape the bottom to prevent any spots sticking), until thickened. During this cooking time, season the sauce. I like to season a bit, simmer, taste, and then season again.

  8. Lower heat and stir half of the Parmesan into sauce until melted. Stir cooked noodles into sauce (or vice versa) and spread the mixture into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish.

  9. Top the casserole with the Panko and the remaining Parmesan. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, with golden brown cheese on top. (A few minutes under the broiler will help to brown the cheese and will also brown the breadcrumbs.)

  10. Serve and listen to the muffled noises of happiness from your family/friends.
thesoupfairy: (turkey wrap sandwich)
Turkey-Avocado-Cream Cheese Wraps

I was supposed to make Mongolian Beef tonight, but it's hot (still 95° at 7pm, with a heat index of 104.1°!) and I do not feel like being anywhere near the stove, especially not as hot as it gets cooking in a cast iron wok!!

So I ran to the store for the few ingredients I needed to make up the difference for these easy-peasy wraps. I like to serve them with tortilla chips and salsa on the side.

Please note that technically this should make four servings - 2 ounces of meat is a serving, after all. However, if you let your family build their own, they'll probably put in way more meat than that! ;)

Prep: 10 minutes (but plan ahead to soften your cream cheese on the countertop)
Cook: ZERO!!
Servings: 4

  1. 2 medium ripe avocados, seeds removed, flesh scraped out of the skins and mashed in a small bowl

  2. 1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion, chopped (make these pretty small pieces)

  3. 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced

  5. 2 tablespoons (or more, to taste) chopped cilantro

  6. 1 tablespoon lime juice

  7. dash of black pepper

  8. salt to taste

  9. 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

  10. 1 ripe Roma tomato, chopped (small pieces again!)

  11. 4 large ("burrito size") tortillas

  12. 4 leaves from a head of green leaf lettuce

  13. 1/2 pound sandwich-sliced smoked turkey


Combine ingredients 1-7. (This is my basic guacamole recipe, with the tomatoes added in. You can use more jalapeño or a serrano if you like it hotter. Red bell peppers are also a nice addition.)

Add softened cream cheese and mix/mash together well. Stir in tomato.

Note: You could also just toss all of these ingredients together in a food processor.

Spread guacamole mixture on one side of each tortilla. Cover with a lettuce leaf and add turkey slices. Roll up tightly, slice in half, and serve immediately.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tuscan Baked Rigatoni

Creamy and delicious!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 16-ounce package rigatoni

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound bulk turkey sausage (or use any bulk sausage you like)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 cups torn fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 cups shredded Gouda

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease large casserole dish and set aside.

Put water on to boil for pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

While water is boiling, heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. (If using pork sausage you may not need any oil for this step.) Brown sausage in oil, stirring to break up. When sausage is about half-way cooked, add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook until all meat is browned and onions are tender. Add tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach, beans, and pine nuts. Cook until heated through. Stir in Gouda and pasta, toss to coat.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Turkey Normandy

This got great reviews from my son and his girlfriend! I served it with chocolate mousse.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 pound package egg noodles

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 3 cups peeled Fuji apples, thinly sliced (about 3 apples) - if you have a mandolin slicer or a food processor with a slicing blade, this will be quick and they'll be nice and uniform.

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1/4 cup apple juice

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, but please use fresh if at all possible!)

  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Cook noodles according to package directions. When noodles are done and drained, melt 1 tablespoon butter and toss with noodles. Set aside.

While noodles are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet. Add apples; cook and stir over medium heat 7-10 minutes or until tender. Remove apples from skillet.

Melt remaining tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium heat. Brown turkey in butter, stirring to break up meat. Stir in apple juice; cook 2 minutes. Stir in soup, green onions, sage, pepper and apple slices. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Spoon noodles into prepared casserole dish. Top with turkey mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until hot.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
I recommend preparing the burgers first, then returning them to the oven shortly before the fries are done if they need reheating.

Buffalo Slaw Burgers

Tangy, spicy, delicious!

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced cabbage or pre-cut coleslaw mix

  • 1/4 cup shredded apple

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery

  • 2-3 tablespoons bleu cheese dressing

  • 3 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank's, etc.)

  • 2 teaspoons ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 4 lettuce leaves

  • 4 hamburger buns


In a small bowl, combine slaw ingredients. In another small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the burger ingredients. Shape into four burgers.

Preheat broiler. Broil burgers 6 inches from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F and juices run clear, basting occasionally with reserved sauce. Serve on lettuce-lined buns; top each with 2-3 tablespoons slaw and sprinkle with remaining green onions.

Sweet Potato Fries

It's hard to get sweet potato fries crisp, even if you deep-fry them. These are made in the oven but they are pretty crisp outside, steamy sweet inside. A nice combination.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1-1/3 cups finely grated Parmesan

  • 4 smallish sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour and seasonings. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of water. Place the Parmesan on a sheet of waxed paper or in another shallow bowl.

Dip the sweet potato wedges first in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Then dip each wedge into the egg white mixture until coated. Finally, dip the sweet potato in the Parmesan, pressing the exposed flesh of the potato into the cheese. (Don't worry if some gets on the potato skin.) Arrange potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet as you go.

Bake potatoes until tender and crisp, about 25 minutes. Serve sprinkled with more salt if desired.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Country-Style Turkey (or Pork) Tenderloin

Fall-apart tender meat with a rich gravy, and my house has smelled amazing all day while it cooked in the Crockpot. Serve it with mashed potatoes and your favorite simply steamed vegetable.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 8

  • 1 package (1-1/2 to 2 lbs) turkey breast tenderloins or pork tenderloin

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water


If your tenderloin is not already in two pieces, cut it in half. In a large zipper bag combine flour, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Add meat, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker and pour broth over. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. Remove meat and keep warm.

Strain cooking juices. If you don't have 2-1/2 cups, add more chicken broth to make that amount. Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and cold water, stirring until smooth. Whisk into boiling broth and continue whisking at a high simmer until thickened.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
This is my "I don't want to cook"/"Oops! I didn't get to the store yet" dinner. I almost always have the ingredients on hand.

I browned a pound of ground turkey with a diced onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. Added two cans of spaghetti sauce - Hunt's brand, any flavor or combination of flavors you like - and a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes. Then 1/4 cup or so of cooking wine and some seasonings to taste - salt, pepper, basil, oregano, cayenne.

While the sauce is simmering to reduce the liquid, I cook up a pound of whatever pasta I have on hand.

That's dinner, folks.

If you want to get a bit more fancy with it, adding a couple of diced carrots and a couple of stalks of diced celery with the onion and garlic will veg it up a bit. Bell peppers are also a nice addition. But really, just the fact that you didn't just open the can and pour it over the pasta will make it a hit.
thesoupfairy: (chopping)
Well, I took a few days off from cooking dinner. Sometimes I am just too overwhelmed to manage anything at all - those are pizza call-in nights or nights I send my husband to the store for "junk food night". And sometimes we end up going to someone's house or going out to dinner or something like that.

Tonight's dinner is one of the very easiest things I make. It's been a while, and my son has been driving me crazy asking for it. Really, truly, I promise to take more pictures soon!

Shepherd's Pie

Make this when you don't have a lot of time or energy for standing in the kitchen.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • homemade mashed potatoes or 3 pouches of instant roasted garlic mashed potatoes, prepared according to package directions

  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or lamb

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen "seasoning blend" vegetables or equivalent amount of diced onion, celery, and bell pepper

  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 beef bouillon cube

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • salt, pepper, other seasonings to taste

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


Start potatoes and garlic cooking if you're making homemade mashed potatoes for the top.

Brown meat (in a little oil if it needs it - depends on how lean it is) in large heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and seasoning blend and continue cooking a few minutes. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes, bouillon cube, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F and finish making your mashed potatoes. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and vegetable mixture to casserole dish. Heat the remaining liquid to a high simmer again. Stir cornstarch into a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth. Whisk into simmering liquid and continue cooking, whisking, until thickened. Add a small amount of this sauce to the casserole dish - too much liquid will run over the sides while it's baking. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the beef mixture, smoothing top. Sprinkle with cheese. I recommend putting your casserole dish on a baking sheet to catch any runover. Bake 30 minutes.

Let stand 10-15 minutes after removing from oven before serving.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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