Category Archives: Chicken & Poultry

Stir a Pot, Feed a Soul: Real Comfort Food

Chicken & Dumplings -- click on photo for recipe

When we hear someone say, “comfort food” thoughts drift to dinners from childhood imagining something warm, full of carbs, or sweetly satisfying. We dream of flavors and textures to feed our emotional funk or exhaustive schedule to quench and satisfy.  The focus is inward, self-gratifying.

What if our focus shifted outward instead?

This is not intended to make you feel guilty about surrounding yourself with good food or savoring a favorite meal, simply to think about comfort food differently.  Food not only soothes our moods and maladies, it brings comfort to those hurting, recovering, or overwhelmed. Of course, it fills a practical need, but so do restaurants and pizza delivery. Taking a meal to someone invests in community with a personal touch that goes far beyond the food itself.

When someone notices our need and offers to lift our burden for a moment we feel valued, encouraged, and less alone.

Our family has been the beneficiary of meals arriving at our door after a major car accident, sudden illness, and crisis.  The concern and kindness of friends, as well as others we didn’t even know, created emotional margin and physical relief when doctor appointments, decision-making, and grief consumed daily routine.  They were life-givers, every one, with encouraging words and reassurance they were there to do whatever they could … taking care of one of the basic needs like dinner or groceries was a vital part of the help we needed.

According to 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  When we serve others, it is a blessing no matter how big or small the gesture.  It doesn’t have to be a whole meal, if you bake amazing bread, make an extra loaf to give away.  I believe good food is one of the various forms of God’s grace we can use to meet someone’s need—real comfort food.

So what does that really look like?

You can start by responding to needs in your own sphere of influence at church, school, work, club, or neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be someone in crisis, it can be a single mom with a maxed schedule, a college student missing home, or a co-worker trying to finish a big project who would be grateful to know you care. Yes, it might feel weird to be the first one to do something like this, but caring for others is worth feeling a little awkward.

10 Tips for Stirring a Pot and Feeding a Soul:

1. Simple food is best. Make what you know and do well; this is not the time to try new recipes.  Check for allergies and strong dislikes. For food sensitivities and allergies, think outside the casserole. Casseroles are great comfort food for many, but are more apt to contain common food allergens like corn, wheat, milk, or soy.  Braised meats, steamed vegetables, soups, and salads easily accommodate those with food restrictions or strong dislikes of certain foods.

2. Use disposable containers.  Unless it is a neighbor or someone you see regularly, deliver meals in containers that do not need to be returned.  Keep it as simple as possible for those you are trying to bless.

3. Deliver the meal at dinnertime, if possible. If not, make it as close to ready with clear instructions. If delivering food to a family with a new baby, don’t ring the door bell.  Arrange a specific time and arrive with a gentle knock at the door in case the baby is sleeping.

4. Consider everyone in a family. Crisis, surgery, new babies, grief, affects everyone within a family. Try to include at least one thing everyone will like with the meal. If the family has small children, make sure you show up with ice cream or something specifically for them if you can.

5. Customize the meal for the event/purpose. Bereavement, nursing mothers, recovering from surgery or illness can each pose a different need.
New moms
, especially nursing moms, eat often so snacks and easy breakfast foods are great too.  Avoiding spicy, acidic food is helpful to prevent adverse reactions from the baby.
Surgery
is hard on the body, when someone undergoes general anesthesia the entire digestive system shuts down. Provide a gentle and nourishing meal like chicken soup made from homemade bone broth. Consider foods that are soft, nourishing, and easy to digest. If you know they like smoothies, provide a few pre-packaged frozen smoothies easily assembled at home.

6. Offer to coordinate the meals.  Major crisis, trauma, accidents can be overwhelming and having an infant with the phone constantly ringing is no picnic either.  Having one person collect primary information and receive questions regarding meals is truly helpful.  Organizing a handful of suppers for a friend is pretty straight forward, but when a larger group or longer-term need is part of the equation, there are services to help.

Care Calendar
Meal Baby
Food Tidings
Lotsa Helping Hands
Take Them A Meal

7. Providing a meal is not the time to impose your nutritional agenda on someone else or “teach” them how to eat.  Try to understand what would bring comfort to them, even well-meaning advice can be overwhelming when someone is stressed.

8. Include the recipe. This can be especially helpful for those with food sensitivities or allergies too—they can have a little more confidence when they can review the recipe.

9. Include a note of encouragement, which mentions what you brought. This is helpful when a number of meals are provided. It can be difficult to remember and sort out who brought what when writing thank you cards. (Yes, I know, you didn’t do it to be thanked.)

10. Even if you don’t cook or have time to prepare a meal, you can help. Offer to run errands, clean, babysit, carpool kids, or provide a gift card for take-out.

What is comfort food to you? 

Have you comforted others with food or received this kind of comfort food from someone?  If so, what was your experience?

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Gallery of Favorites Holiday Edition

Turkey Pot Pie with Gluten Free Pie Crust

Over the past few months, I have experimented with a number of gluten-free recipes, especially on those nights our daughter will be home for dinner.  I have had some great hits and some real misses trying to find what works and still tastes good.  Cupcakes, stews and sauces, and pancakes all turned out, but pie crust was illusive, either crumbly or gritty.  There was advice about grinding the flour more fine or buying certain mixes, but I wanted a recipe that worked with the six flours I already had.

Yesterday, I hit a home run (in the spirit of the World Series).  This pastry crust was easy to handle, light and delicious, without the grit common in gluten-free pastry.  It got a thumbs-up from everyone, even our youngest who is not thrilled about anything GF, so she is my real tell.

Last year I posted a recipe for Inside Out Turkey Pot Pie with Whole Wheat Biscuits, this recipe shows how to make it gluten-free with a traditional pie crust. This one-pot meal is full of comfort for cold winter days.  Often we save leftovers from rotisserie or baked chicken for this recipe, but with the holidays coming, it is a great way to use up those turkeys.

Turkey Pot Pie [Gluten-Free]

Serves: 6
1/3      cup  butter
3/4     cup  onion — minced
1        cup  carrots — sliced thin
1/2      cup  celery — chopped
1/2      teaspoon  thyme
2        cloves  garlic — minced
3/4      teaspoon  salt
1/2      teaspoon  pepper
1/4      cup  sweet rice flour
1 3/4   cups  chicken or turkey stock
2/3      cup  milk
3        cups  turkey — cooked and cut into small pieces
3/4      cup  frozen peas — defrosted

Preheat oven to 425° and prepare pastry crust.  Roll out 2/3 of the crust for the bottom and press into 9x9x2 pan (minimum 2.2 quart).  Pierce with a fork to prevent bubbles and pre-bake the bottom crust at 425° for 5-8 minutes until set, but not brown. Roll out other part of crust enough to top the dish and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prep vegetables and rinse peas to separate.  Melt butter on medium heat, stir in onion, carrot, celery, and thyme and cook until vegetables are softened. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in salt, pepper, and flour.

Add salt, pepper, and flour, stir until mixture is bubbly, 2-3 minutes.

Add broth and milk, heat to boiling stirring constantly.  Stir in turkey and peas; simmer for 3-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste.  Pour mixture into prebaked crust. Cover with crust, pierce crust with a fork to allow steam to vent.  Bake at 425° for 30 minutes and bubbly.

Remove dish from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Pie Crust [Gluten Free]

Adapted from You, Me & Gluten Free
Yield: 2 crust pie
1       cup  sweet rice flour
2/3    cup  tapioca flour
1/2     cup  cornstarch
1        tablespoon  coconut palm sugar
3/4     teaspoon  sea salt
1        teaspoon  xanthan gum
1        teaspoon  baking powder
3/4     cup  butter — very cold or frozen, cut into small pieces
2        large  eggs — beaten
2        teaspoons  lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Combine the flours, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder in a bowl or food processor until well mixed.

Cut in butter with a pastry knife or in the processor until blended and butter pieces are very small (smaller than peas).

Mix in beaten eggs and lemon juice until a smooth ball forms.  If the room is warm or the dough is too soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until firm. Sprinkle a little rice flour on a sheet of parchment paper and on a rolling pin to roll out dough into desired shape. Fold in half and place in the pan.

Unfold and gently press the dough into the pan and bake according to recipe directions.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck

Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Fried Onion Topping [GF]: Remaking an Old Standby

I imagine most families in America have some version of this soup-mix classic in their recipe rotation, or at least in their distant memory.  Casseroles did not originate in the U.S., but the method of using canned cream soups to bind a hodgepodge of ingredients together in one vessel, is certainly on us.  In the 1930s, The Campbell Soup Company began producing Cream of Mushroom soup, leading to a host of new, quick-fix family meals for home cooks.

Campbell’s® Ready To Serve Cream Of Mushroom Soup: water, mushrooms, cream (milk), vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, canola and/or soybean), modified food starch, contains less than 2 % of: bleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), salt, monosodium glutamate, soy protein concentrate, yeast extract, spice extract, dehydrated garlic, oleoresin paprika.

Thanksgiving green beans, canned tuna, chicken, rice, tortillas, has all been subject to the cream sauce short cut of creamed soups. Throw French’s Fried Onions on top and dinner is served all across the country.  I remember my mom serving it over cooked rice as a side dish and trust me, she knew how to make good gravy, but it was quick and easy.  When schedules are maxed, we have all turned to convenience items like this to get something on the table.

The pity is, generations raised on convenience foods lose the knowledge, skill, and taste for preparing real, whole foods. Butter, cream, homemade stock is abandoned for processed alternatives with sugar, MSG, bad oils, and preservatives.  A couple of years ago, I discovered Emeril’s Green Bean Casserole with a homemade mushroom sauce and I was ruined, never to return to the recipe on the can of French’s onions again.

With resolve to eliminate processed foods from our diet and accommodate our daughter’s sensitivity to gluten, I was determined to make Chicken Broccoli Casserole from scratch.  That’s right, no canned soup or pre-made onions, just fresh ingredients creating a satisfying dinner from a single dish.  Our original recipe includes Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic to season the chicken, which is a great line of seasonings.  However, it is not available in all stores, so part of the remake includes a mix of spices common in most kitchens.

Oh, and the fried onions … be sure to make a few extra for snacking, and (confession) don’t start hungry or you’ll eat too many before you can get them on the casserole.  So here it is, Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Fried Onion Topping, also gluten-free—a warm, savory, crispy, creamy, and satisfying, one-dish meal; perfect for fall and winter evenings.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Fried Onion Topping

Serves: 6
For the Onion Topping:
peanut oil or coconut oil — for frying
1       large  sweet yellow onion — sliced into rings
1       tablespoon  Chipotle Tabasco
1       tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
1       tablespoon  Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)
1/2     cup  King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Mix or whole wheat flour
1/4     cup  cornstarch
1/2     teaspoon  baking powder, if using GF flour
salt

For the Mushroom Sauce:
4       tablespoons  butter
1/2     large  sweet yellow onion — chopped fine
1/2     cup  celery — chopped fine
6       large cloves  garlic — minced
8       ounces  mushrooms — wiped clean and ends trimmed, sliced
1/4     teaspoon  pepper
1/2     teaspoon  salt
2       tablespoons  sweet rice flour or 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2  cups  chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium
1/2     cup  heavy cream

For the rest of the filling:
1       cup  brown rice, uncooked
8      cups  broccoli (about 1 1/4 lbs) — cut into small florets, blanched
2      tablespoons  butter
3-4  large  boneless and skinless chicken breasts — cut into 1″ cubes
1      teaspoon  granulated garlic
1      teaspoon  onion powder
1      teaspoon  oregano
1      teaspoon  thyme
1      teaspoon  paprika
1/2    teaspoon  coriander
1/2    teaspoon  salt
1/2    teaspoon  pepper
1/4    teaspoon  cayenne
pinch  nutmeg
2      cups  extra sharp cheddar cheese — grated
Note: To save a step, the spice mix for the filling can be substituted with 2 tablespoons Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish with butter and set aside.

Cook the rice according to package directions. 1 cup of uncooked rice should yield 3 cups cooks rice. Once rice is done, fluff and set aside to cool.  Blanch prepared broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, and rinse with cold water-or-plunge in water bath and drain again; set aside to cool.

For the Onion Topping:
Separate the onion slices into individual rings. Mix Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce together. Using your hands, combine the onion rings with the sauce in a mixing bowl and toss thoroughly until the onions are coated with the sauce. Mix GF flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a shallow bowl until well blended.  Dredge the onion rings in the flour to coat (gently tap off any excess flour).

Heat 1/2 inch of peanut oil in a deep skillet until hot enough that onions sizzle, place onion rings one at a time in skillet, but not touching. Fry until onion rings are lightly golden on each side, about 30 seconds. (Since the onions will bake in the oven, you do not want them to brown too much, only set the coating). Transfer to a paper towel lined platter to drain and season onion rings with salt. Set aside. (The onions that are darker brown are great for snacking 🙂 )

For the Mushroom Sauce:
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over med heat and cook the chopped onions and celery until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are soft and golden brown and have released their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with the sweet rice flour, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and cream and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid.

For the rest of the filling:
Mix remaining seasonings together in a small bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, place cubed chicken in the skillet and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Cook over medium heat until chicken is just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix the rice, broccoli, chicken, and 1 1/2 cups of cheese together in a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed. Mix in cream sauce until incorporated. Pour into a prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with fried onion rings. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the onion rings are golden brown.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
SS&GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Stone Soup and The Well-Fed College Student

College is a season of life with precious little time or money for nutritious food. Most meals are heavy on carbs to fuel the schedule, yet light on the sustaining nutrition the brain requires. However, being a well-fed college student goes beyond checking the mail for the next care package or searching the grocery aisles for cheap convenience foods.

How do you avoid buying Ramen in bulk or the nutritional void of fast food?

Don’t try to do it alone, make Stone Soup.  I don’t know if this old folk story is read anymore, but the lesson is timeless—there is enough for everyone when we pool resources for a common goal. In this case, eating was the goal and the soup was far better than the bits of food they would have had independently.

So how do you make Stone Soup these days?

Share resources, both talent and financial. It does not take an entire village just a handful of people with the same goal of escaping the grab-n-go trap. Divide the responsibilities and a few dollars and you’re on your way. One student told me she cooked for a group of guys who agreed to buy the food if she would prepare it. Her labor and their funds meant they all ate well.

My friend and I cook together once a month to prepare meals in advance for our family. We both save money on bulk items and enjoy the ease of having a menu of items to choose from for dinner. She has the benefit of a freezer (not all students do), so she can pull something out for dinner when she is studying for a test.

Whether it is one cooking for others, a small group cooking together, or two families making multiple meals to last a month, the concept is the same—you are sharing resources (and great food) instead of trying to do it alone.

Practical items you will need:
♦  A stove or a good countertop burner
♦  1 large pot (8 qt or larger)
♦  Skillet (optional, but helpful)
♦  Large casserole dish 9″x13″ (optional, and requires an oven)
♦  Cutting board
♦  Sharp knife – even old knives get a second chance with AccuSharp
♦  Utensils – spatula, stirring spoons, tongs
♦  Mixing bowls
♦  Storage bowls with lids to divide the food amongst the group
♦  Recipes, and patience to work things out
*Many of these items can be found at thrift stores or garage sales for little cost.  Borrowing larger pots or mixing bowls can work too, my friends and I have shared a stock pot for years.

Divide the Responsibilities:
♦  Organizing, searching out the recipes, creating shopping lists
♦  Shopping
♦  Prepping/Cooking
♦  Clean-up
♦  Managing the money/contributions
Note: If you have food sensitivities or strong food preferences, it is ideal to cook with a like-minded group.

Agree on a time to put it all together, enjoy good food, and divide the leftovers.  Cooking together enables students to have nutritionally superior, great tasting food, while building community at the same time.  This is not limited to soups, that’s just an easy, inexpensive way to begin. Spaghetti or skillet suppers, salads, and casseroles work well for groups too.  Below is a recipe to get started.

White Chicken Green Chili

Source: Mary Schoenecker
Yields 7 servings
1       pound boneless chicken, cut into 1″ cubes
1       medium onion, chopped
1       ½ tsp. garlic powder
1       tablespoon oil
2 15  ½ oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1       can 14 ½ oz. chicken broth
2      cans (4 oz.) green chilies
1       tsp. salt
1       tsp. cumin
1       tsp. oregano
½    tsp. pepper
¼    tsp. cayenne pepper
1       cup sour cream
½    cup heavy whipping cream

In a large pot, sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream.

Other recipes to consider:
Chicken & Dumplings
Curry Chicken Salad
Red Beans & Rice
Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Skillet Beef Fajitas
Sausage & Vegetable Pasta Bake

Savoring Today was nominated for a Top Foodie Blog Award at eCollegeFinder and asked to write a student centered post, which is what you find here. Dedicating this to my friend, Pati, who went back to school much later in life. I admire her courage and determination.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Premeditated Leftovers Gallery of Favorites

Emeril’s Wok-Seared Duck Salad Recipe: Romantic Sizzling Skillets

When the email arrived from The Secret Ingredient with three recipes we could share from Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, I admit, there was a hint of skepticism when I saw this one.  Not really a big fan of duck, but I knew I could not recommend something I hadn’t tried.  Although there was no requirement to use these recipes (see Cajun Shrimp Stew here), it is the ideal “try before you buy” kind of experience. With this in mind, I decided to give duck another chance and Wok-Seared Duck Salad was on the menu.

Oh, man, I am so glad I did not pass this one up!  We loved it! Emeril’s inspiration for this salad marries citrus, ginger, fresh herbs and Thai chiles—and as you might have guessed the seared duck breast tops it off superbly. While it is lighter fare, it is a satisfying main-course salad.

Friday night was dine-in date night, so I served it on one large plate for us to share.  We could not stop talking about the deep heat of the red Thai bird chili, the luscious duck breast, or the playfulness of the fresh herbs with citrus-ginger sauce (okay, maybe that was the one-plate effect). Let the spice in this salad bring a little spice to life and plan a special evening with your sweetheart—yes, salad can be romantic. As it turns out, Wok-Seared Duck Salad is great date food … like me, you might even see duck in a whole new way. 😉

Wok-Seared Duck Salad

This recipe was inspired by a Thai dish called laap, which is made with minced or ground chicken, fish, pork, or duck and seasoned with the wonderful flavors of chiles, ginger, fish sauce, and citrus. I decided to use the same flavors with a seared duck breast and make it into more of a main-course salad. This is a refreshing take on northern Thai street food.
Serves 4

2      tablespoons uncooked jasmine rice
1      tablespoon minced fresh red Thai bird chile
2      magret duck breasts (about 12 ounces each) or 1 ½ pounds other domestic duck breasts
1/3   cup minced shallot
1 ½  tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼     cup fish sauce (see note below)
¼     cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼     cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½  teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
½     cup fresh cilantro leaves
½     cup fresh mint leaves
½     cup fresh basil leaves
1       medium head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2       cups bean sprouts
1       cup julienned red bell pepper

1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the rice. Toast the rice, shaking the wok constantly, until all the grains have turned golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the rice to a mortar and set aside to cool. Once the rice has cooled, grind it using a pestle until it reaches a sandy consistency. Alternatively, grind the toasted rice in a clean spice grinder. Place the rice in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Place the chile in the wok over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the wok, until lightly colored and fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the chile from the pan and add to the bowl with the rice.

3. Using a paring knife, score the fatty side of the duck breasts by making shallow cuts in a diamond pattern; this allows the fat to render more easily. Place the duck breasts in the wok, fatty side down, and cook over medium heat until the skin is golden brown and slightly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, slice them into thin strips, and return the strips to the wok. Add the shallot and ginger and stir-fry over medium-high heat until the duck is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the duck from the wok to the bowl with the rice and chile and set aside.

4. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, orange juice, and palm sugar and mix well. Pour the mixture over the duck and toss until well coated. Add the cilantro, mint, basil, lettuce, bean sprouts, and julienned red pepper and toss to combine.  Serve the salad immediately.

Notes: Fish sauce can be found in Asian markets and sometimes the international food aisle of the grocery store. There are many brands of fish sauce, but we (Emeril) prefer Three Crabs, Golden Boy, and Tiparos brands.

Additional Notes from Savoring Today:
I recommend Red Boat Fish Sauce based on my own taste test and because it has so few ingredients, just anchovies and sea salt.

If you cannot find fresh red Thai bird chile, dried will work, however be careful when heating the dried chiles in a wok or skillet so the area is well ventilated.  The dried chiles can cause lung irritation when heated in a dry skillet (learned from experience 😉 ).  Also, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of the dried chile will give a lot of spice, so use sparingly unless you are familiar with it (or have a fire hydrant nearby).

Pre-order a copy of Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders here.

Disclosure: For my participation in The Secret Ingredient’s One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a jar of Emeril’s Essence seasoning, and a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece. Once the party concludes, upon my successful completion, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Premeditated Leftovers Gallery of Favorites

Emeril’s Turkey Club Casserole: One-Dish of Delicious

Turkey Club Casserole

I read a plethora of magazines, cookbooks, newspaper articles, and blogs about food, so there has to be some way to keep tabs on what I hope to create in my next kitchen adventure.  For cookbooks or magazines, there is always a stack of post-it notes nearby to mark pages. Emeril’s new cookbook, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders is flagged all over; each pot has a fantastic recipe waiting to fill it. On this occasion, it was the casserole dish doing its rotation with Turkey Club Casserole.

When reviewing the recipe, I immediately thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner leftovers.  Many families prepare both turkey and ham during the holidays and this recipe incorporates both. Imagine the layers of a turkey club sandwich—bread, turkey, bacon, cheese, ham—layered in a deep dish, covered in an egg royale, and baked golden brown. The egg-soaked bread forms a crust over the oozing cheese and meats, reminiscent of the favorite lunchtime club sandwich, yet warm and satisfying.

We went one step further to make it gluten-free so our daughter could enjoy it too.  A good loaf of brown rice bread, sweet rice flour for the Béchamel sauce, gluten-free meats, and the recipe easily converted to a gluten-free meal.  One daughter who was absent from dinner, enjoyed the leftovers so much the next day, she came into the office to proclaim, “I don’t know what you made last night, but it was GOOD!”  I told her it was Emeril’s Turkey Club Casserole, which didn’t mean much to her, she just knew it was delicious.  Ah, music to our ears, the unsolicited delight of those we serve.

Turkey Club Casserole with Roasted Asparagus

Click on the Photo for Pre-order Info

Order a copy of Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets so you too can enjoy this and more than 130 other delectable recipes!

Disclosure: For my participation in The Secret Ingredient’s One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a jar of Emeril’s Essence seasoning, and a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece. Once the party concludes, upon my successful completion, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks. 

Emeril’s Spicy Vegetable Coconut Curry: Main or Side Dish

Spicy Vegetable Coconut Curry

I braved the pouring rain yesterday running errands, which included a stop at Whole Foods for Emeril’s Spicy Vegetable Coconut Curry recipe. Oh, the stories I could tell about what goes on behind these lovely photos (and the stories my family could tell too!).  Sloshing shoes and all, it was worth it!  I love to hear the mmm’s and ooh’s at the dinner table, serving my family satisfying meals is one of my greatest pleasures. Emeril’s recipes have always made that easy, as I’ve followed Emeril Live and gleaned from his website for years.  To say it is a privilege to preview Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders and be part of The Secret Ingredient One-Pot Blogging Party is an understatement—I am having a blast!

Spice preference in our house ranges from “kick-it-all-the-way-up” to “I’ll take milk with that.”  I try to land somewhere in between with a dish like this—keeping some Sriracha near by for some, while avoiding a fire drill for others. The recipe called for seeded fresh chili, but since I could not find fresh I used dried.  There was no way to separate the seeds in the dried chilies, so adjustments were made for that too.  My husband, who likes it kicked-up, mentioned the chilies were “a bit naughty” when tasting a larger piece.  Yes, they certainly get your attention.

Ready to Simmer

Spicy Vegetable Coconut Curry is a lively vegetarian dish with fried tofu incorporating the subtleties of lemongrass and fresh ginger, which complement the red curry.  Instead of using tofu and serving it as a main dish, I served this beautiful kaleidoscope of vegetables as a side dish with rotisserie chicken and cilantro quinoa.  The simmering time enabled me to debone the chicken and fluff the quinoa with the cilantro, so dinner was a snap.  As the recipe suggested, a garnish of peanuts would be fabulous, but I could not pass up the shelled, roasted pistachios at Whole Foods—these smoky, earthy morsels put it over the top.  Drizzle some of the coconut curry sauce over the chicken and BAM! it’s dinnertime!

Main Dish or Side Dish

Click on the Photo for Pre-order Info

The variety of delicious recipes in this one cookbook is so appealing; you’ll go back to it again and again. 

Have you entered to win your own copy? Just click on the link below and follow the instructions.

Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets Giveaway: Enter Here To Win a Free Copy!