Pancakes and Jambalaya

I’ve been so busy putting together Christmas card orders in the past few weeks that I haven’t had much time to write about what I have been cooking, aside from the big Thanksgiving recap, so I’m just going to lump all the leftovers into one post for conciseness.

First up—chestnut-apple pancakes with maple-cider syrup to use up some of the leftover local cider and sweetened ground chestnuts from Wednesday’s cider cream pie. Nolan’s version subbed chocolate chips for apple, and he ate over four of them before the morning was over! The rest of the apple cider, which started to smell a little boozy by the next day or two, ended up in my vinegar jar with a few tablespoons of the most recently finished (and still fizzy) batch of scrap cider.

Once we bored of reheated Thanksgiving leftovers, I started in with the turkey revamps, beginning with a big easy pot of turkey and sausage jambalaya. I used a half-package of Aidells andouille sausage in this dish, as well as all our remaining dark meat turkey. I’m glad I stuck with dark meat because I usually don’t care for its strong flavor, but considering all the other strong flavors in that pot, the turkey would have been completely lost otherwise! I used just a scant pinch of cayenne pepper and used an emergency substitution of tomato paste for diced tomatoes, as it turns out my dad threw out the last few garden tomatoes that were ripening from green in the garage. I didn’t have quite enough germinated brown rice for the recipe, so when it was almost done, I threw in a little extra jasmine rice for the last 20 minutes. This was also a great use for the turkey stock that was simmering in the slow cooker in batches from Tuesday night (yes, Tuesday—I got an extra frozen turkey back this year, to start stock in advance for gravy and soup!) until about Saturday.

My dad sucked down two bowls of this jambalaya before I had a chance to eat half of mine, commenting all along the way about how warming it was and how good for clearing out your sinuses. 🙂 It was very nearly too spicy for me, even with the decrease in cayenne, so I think next time I will go with the heat from the sausages alone and let everyone adjust to their own taste with hot sauce instead.

Turkey Jambalaya

1 T olive oil
6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
1 1/2 C chopped onion
1 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 C chopped green bell pepper
1 C chopped red bell pepper
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground red pepper, optional
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 C uncooked long-grain rice
2 C chicken broth (or homemade turkey stock!)
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (or 1-2 T tomato paste and 1/3 C extra stock)
2 C shredded cooked turkey, preferably dark meat
2 T sliced green onions, optional

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; dump in sausage and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Add onion and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in bell peppers and next 5 ingredients (bell peppers through black pepper); sauté 1 minute. Add rice; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes (or however long your variety of rice needs). Add turkey; cover and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions.

Source: Cooking Light.

My dad pretty much claimed all the extra jambalaya for his lunches, so I moved on to another turkey recipe I’ve never tried before: panes con pavo, a Salvadoran sandwich comprised of turkey braised in a mildly spiced sauce. Since I had previously cooked turkey to use, I made the recipe pretty much backwards, creating the sauce and tossing the turkey in it to warm through. I also made homemade crusty sandwich rolls and topped the turkey with a simple slaw of salt-massaged Brussels sprout leaves (part of a stalk purchased for the big day) and shredded carrot in a basic vinaigrette.

Crusty Sandwich Rolls

2 C water, lukewarm
4 1/2 tsp yeast
5 3/4 C bread flour (25.3 oz if you weigh your flour like I do)
1 T brown sugar
2 T olive oil
1 T kosher salt

Place the warm water and yeast in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer and allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes.  Using a dough hook, add the flour and sugar to the water and mix on low speed until the dough starts to form.  Drizzle the oil and the salt into the dough and beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes (or knead the dough by hand) until a smooth, firm, elastic dough is formed.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray.  Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Remove the plastic wrap, punch down and flatten the dough with the heel of your hand.  For rolls, divide the dough into eighths, fold each section like into thirds like a letter to fit in an envelope, then fold again in half and seal the seam to form a long thin roll.  Seal the ends of the dough, rolling further to form to even out the shape.  Place the rolls on a parchment paper on a baker’s peel or an upside down baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 425 F with a pizza stone or upside down baking sheet on the bottom shelf. Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a towel, for 30 minutes. If you want, brush the rolls with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds, or, using a razor blade or sharp knife, score slashes across the top of the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a hollow thud is heard when the roll is tapped with a knuckle.

Allow the bread to cool before serving. Store extra rolls in a paper bag to retain crispness or freeze them if you are not going to use them in a day or two.

Source: Living Simply by Going Backwards.

I also used up quite a few leftovers making this kitchen-sink recipe for turkey and dumplings: the meat of course, plus turkey stock, the remains of our green beans with chestnut, the last few drops of heavy cream, and interestingly enough, some pumpkin puree. I’m not sure how apparent it is from this photo, but the dumplings in this dish were enlivened with pumpkin and a little oatmeal, a holiday-appropriate twist on some otherwise pretty standard fare. I actually couldn’t taste the pumpkin all that clearly, but I did really like the addition of the chestnuts here.

Finally, here is a shot of the chestnut mini-cakes I made from my deflating meringue. The cakes were delicious and stayed super-moist for several days, giving us a chance to polish off the pumpkin chiffon pie before we got around to them. I didn’t do any sort of fancy presentation, just slathered them with some leftover eggnog frosting and sandwiched them up for a sweet bite at the end of dinner.

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