Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leftover Re-Purpose and Cookie Palooza!!

I am really looking forward to what we've got planned for the next 2 weeks. Finishing up this week with recipes from Thanksgiving. And next week is Leftover Re-purpose week, to be followed by Cookie Palooza week! I hope you'll tune in the next couple of weeks and enjoy some delicious new goodies! Here's a sneak of what you've got to look forward to:

Leftover Re-Purpose:
Turkey Tetrizinni
Orange Chicken with Fried Rice
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Chicken Terriyaki Stir Fry

Cookie Palooza:
Sugar Cookies with Homemade Frosting
Spice Cookies
And a couple TBD.
Go to my Poll on Facebook to vote for my newest recipe idea to be featured during Cookie Palooza Week!
The options are:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip cookies with a Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Cookies with Cranberries
Pumpkin Cookies with Cranberries and a Powdered Sugar Glaze

Happy voting, and be sure and tune in the next couple of weeks!

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Turkey Gravy

 This is a Farmers Wife original.

You can't have Thanksgiving (or Christmas for that matter) without turkey gravy for your Mashed Potatoes, Turkey and Stuffing! That would make for a very sad holiday if you want my opinion. I've made gravy in the past for special dinners, but it has been a couple of years. Then this year since I made the Mashed Potatoes (I did not make the Turkey, so I can't take credit for the delicious turkey fat and juice used to make this gravy), and since The Farming Hubby's Aunt who did make the turkey didn't know how to make the gravy I did a quick tutorial at our dinner. Not only was the gravy a huge hit, but it was absolutely delicious. Reminded me so much of the gravy I had growing up at my Grandma's house, and let's face it, that's the way we all want our holidays to taste. Just the way Grandma made it! Normally I would add some Turkey or Chicken stock to this to make more gravy, but we didn't have any on hand and we were short on time. If you do this then you will likely need to adjust the fat-flour ratio listed in the ingredients here.

Ingredients: makes about 3-4 cups of gravy
4 Tablespoons of Turkey Fat (skim the fat off the top of the drippings and use that)
5-6 Tablespoons of Flour (more if it's not as thick as you'd like it)
4 Cups Turkey Juice (this is the dark broth that cooks off the turkey), or Turkey or Chicken stock
Pepper to taste

In a large pot (or use your roasting pan on the stove and you can leave all the yummy little bits in the pan for more flavor. I however didn't have the roasting pan to use), heat the fat until it's hot. Add in the flour, start with about 5 Tablespoons and whisk til it forms a roux. A roux is when the fat and flour makes a smooth paste like substance. If it's too thin add more flour. Let that brown on medium heat for a few minutes. Once browned slightly add in your stock, or turkey juice (be sure to skim the rest of the fat off, so you're only adding the dark brown juice) or both. Whisk continuously until it's all smooth and incorporated. At this point it will still be thin, you will need to let it simmer stirring occasionally for it to thicken up. After about 10-15 minutes, if it still seems thin combine equal parts water and flour in a small container til it's a smooth paste (1 Tablespoon of each). Add that into the pot with the gravy and whisk it in. This will help thicken up your gravy, without forming lumps. *Never just plop flour or cornstarch into a sauce or gravy without doing this trick.* Continue cooking until thick and brown, adding in your desired amount of pepper or other seasonings you like in your gravy. *Do not add salt to your gravy without tasting it first, turkey stock tends to be salty all on it's own and adding salt can make it too salty*. Once thick and brown pour into your gravy boat (or a carafe to keep it warm), and serve.

For a family that doesn't generally devour gravy, this was gone before the end of the line! Next time I will definitely be adding more stock to this to make a larger batch of gravy, but this should feed about 15-20 people pretty well. For me I think it was the highlight of my meal. I've so missed my Grandma's holiday cooking since moving to Arizona, and this is the closest I've gotten in several years! It tasted wonderfully, and everyone seemed to really like it. I know Gravy is intimidating to a lot of people, which surprised me when I was making it, but it's really not that difficult, just takes a little time and patience. 5 stars.

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