Posts Tagged ‘celery’

Barley is a superb grain that health experts have been touting among the healthiest foods you’re probably not eating.  (Coincidentally, I found this reference that popped up yesterday.)  I like barley’s nutty flavor and have since I first tasted it, but I don’t always remember to include it in my meal planning.  Tonight, though, we’re having a risotto-style barley with carrots and celery.  My husband says you could easily pass this dish off to non-barley eaters as “rice on steroids.”

2 good-sized servings

  • 1/3 cup pearled barley
  • 1 to 2 cups water, mushroom broth, or chicken broth (I’m using mushroom and chicken broth)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • optional:  shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • pat of butter
  • a little olive oil

Begin by sauteing the carrots and celery (and optional mushrooms) in the butter and oil for a couple of minutes.  Now add the barley and let it cook a couple of minutes, stirring regularly.  Now add 1/3 cup liquid.  Stir, cover, and reduce heat.  In a few minutes, add another 1/3 cup liquid and repeat the process.  Continue adding liquid until you’ve got the creamy consistency that you want.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Eat.  Enjoy.

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Okay, so I had two servings of turkey breast left, some Southern cornbread dressing, and some other odds and ends I didn’t mind parting with for this meal.  After thinking about eating plain turkey again, I decided that turkey croquettes were the best solution.  Croquettes combine cooked flesh (turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna) with bread of some kind plus vegetables plus seasoning.  My challenge was to integrate two major leftovers–turkey and dressing–without my picky (leftover hostile) husband’s sensing that he was getting leftovers.  Here’s the recipe for 4 good-sized croquettes (patties):

  • 1/3-1/2 pound roasted turkey, off the bone and diced
  • 1/2-1 cup cornbread dressing (stuffing for you yankees!)
  • 1 stalk fresh celery, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup homemade ranch dressing (or store bought if you don’t have homemade on hand)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • fine bread crumbs (about 1/3 cup)

Combine together everything except the bread crumbs, starting with less ranch and adding it as you need for binder.  You want a texture that will easily hold together but that also is not too dense.  Form patties using a 1/3 cup measure.  Turn each patty into your hand and press it together into a slightly thinner patty.  Roll each patty in the bread crumbs.

You now have two choices on how to continue.  The healthier option is to put the croquettes on a well-greased pan (I used cast iron), spray the tops with oil, and then bake at 375 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, rotating and flipping to make sure that they cook evenly until they are nicely browned top and bottom.  You can also pan fry the croquettes, flipping half way through frying.  Frankly, baking works just fine for this recipe, so I took the healthier option of baking.

I served the turkey croquettes with a fresh salad of mesclun (baby greens) and a slightly sweet vinaigrette.  You may want it with buttered noodles, on a bun, or any number of other ways.  Enjoy!

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Tonight I’m just not sure what to make for dinner.  We have few things that “have to” be eaten except for leftovers.  I thought of making turkey pot pie, but that would leave the potatoes.  I thought of making shepherd’s pie, but I’d prefer to make it with ground meat.  So I’ve decided to make Shepherd’s Pot Pie.  I can use everything that I’ve got left over, plus I can add carrots, celery, and some chopped onions.  You could substitute other leftovers for these.  How about butternut squash cubes?  How about mashed sweet potato as the topping?  It’ll all work–unless those sweet potatoes were loaded with sugar or marshmallows!

  • turkey, cubed
  • leftover green beans (cut small) with turkey bacon
  • leftover mashed potatoes, loosened with a bit of milk to make the mashed potatoes more easily spreadable
  • leftover gravy
  • leftover dressing (known as stuffing to some of you!)
  • onions, chopped and sauteed and then cooked in leftover bean liquid
  • carrots, chopped and sauteed and then cooked in leftover bean liquid
  • celery, chopped and sauteed and then cooked in leftover bean liquid

Prep the onions, carrots, and celery, beginning with the onion and adding the carrots and celery after the onions have sauteed a little while.

Then add the leftover bean liquid to help everything soften.

Cut the beans into small pieces.  Dice the turkey. Stir together everything except the gravy, dressing and mashed potatoes.  Add a little dressing to flavor the mix.  Add sufficient gravy to moisten everything. Put the mix in well-greased individual pie pans or ramekins (or in one big casserole).  Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake at 350-375 degrees F until the mix is warm and bubbly and the mashed potatoes are nicely browned.  Depending on how much milk you added to the mashed potatoes, you may need to broil the pies briefly to get the tops to brown.

You may also be interested in a more traditional shepherd’s pie: https://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/greek-inspired-lamb-shepherds-pie-with-ozark-grown-ingredients/

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We had a turkey this year that was almost eighteen pounds.  It was absolutely beautiful. We ate quite a bit of it the week of Thanksgiving–as unmolested leftovers, turkey tetrazzini, turkey enchiladas, turkey sandwiches–, but I froze the rest in packages weighed for individual meals.  Tonight I used one of the freezer packs for my personal favorite of turkey leftovers, turkey hash.

It was really cold here today (for the Ozarks), and I wanted something warm and filling.  Turkey hash fits the bill.  It’s turkey, onions, celery, potatoes, and turkey stock cooked together with herbs and served over buttered toast.  Mmmmmm.  It’s not pretty, but it’s a wonderful blend of holiday flavors, pure comfort food.

For two+ servings, you’ll need:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • several stalks of celery, diced small
  • three to four red potatoes (three large, 4 medium), diced large
  • fresh or dried poultry-friendly herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • one to two cups of turkey stock (chicken broth okay if you did not make stock)
  • 1/3 pound turkey (about the equivalent of two decks of playing cards), diced large
  • good buttered toast (I used some good oat bread I bought through Conway Locally Grown)

Begin by putting the chopped onions in a heated heavy sauce pan with oil and/or butter sufficient to coat the bottom of the pan.  I used a 2-quart cast iron Lodge Dutch oven because it’s ideal for long simmering without sticking.

Sautee the onions until they just start to color.

Now add the diced celery.  Stir to combine and cook some more over low heat while you dice the potatoes.

Add them too. Now dice the chicken.  Add it.

Stir some more. Get a little “brown” flavor on everything.  Now add the stock, about one cup to start.   Stir well.  Add either dried or fresh herbs.  I added a fresh sprig each of rosemary and sage.  I removed both after I finished cooking everything.

Cover and simmer for at least half an hour, preferably a bit longer, like an hour.  

If you want it a little thicker, sprinkle on potato flour.

Mmmmmmmmm.  It smells like Thanksgiving all over again, only it didn’t take hours to make!

Add salt, pepper, and other herbs to taste.  Serve by heaping ladles over buttered toast.  No, it’s not pretty, but it’s oh so yummy and comforting.

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