I decided recently that I was going to share with you at the end of each month what I had learned in my “Test Kitchen” and I was going to be honest about all the flops, disasters, un-edible foods and the surprise discoveries that I made!
The theme for my article in WLS was what to do with leftovers so most of the month I played around with new recipes that I could make with left over turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc. Turkey is like chicken, you can make anything with it unless of course you over cook it! Which is exactly what I did. I always try to tell people “low and slow” that is my motto for cooking turkey. Well, one day I was trying to major multi-task and put a large turkey breast in the oven on a low temp. It was seasoned to perfection and I was trying a new glaze to share with you. I proceeded to do a bunch of other tasks that day including going into town to run some errands……yup you guessed it, I totally forgot about the bird. Low and slow was probably a great lifesaver for me because even though the bird breast was a charred mess – at least I didn’t burn my house down 🙂 I guess I really should have pics of my mess ups too!
I have to say the best results I had this month was the stuffing balls. They were delish! At first no one wanted to try them because of the whole concept but once they got over the fact I was rolling stuffing into balls, dipping it in egg beaters and then rolling it in Panko things went a bit smoother for my taste testers……ok, sort of. Some felt the balls were not done (they forget that stuffing is not suppose to be dry) so that weird-ed them out. But others who didn’t have to have their turkey stuffing slathered in gravy during dinner realized the balls were moist like stuffing should be. I always put wild rice in my stuffing so that too was a nice texture in the balls. The dip was very easy to come up with. I just took cranberry relish and added some red pepper flakes – Yummy! A bit of sweet and a nice hint of spice, perfect.
I tried a sweet potato casserole that was ok but didn’t exactly blow my bangs back. The topping which really made the dish was really good with roasted pecans in it but …well that totally defeated the purpose.
I made a pumpkin pie for our Faux Thanksgiving dinner (daughter married into divorced family so we have our dinner a couple of days later so we can still get together) and actually made two. One was for my daughter that was Gluten Free and the other a traditional pumpkin pie. I was so excited when I served it to everyone, I even sat the whole GF pie in front of my daughter who was thrilled. I should have captured the faces of the people at the table when then took their first bite…..resembled something like the first time I fed my babies Gerber spinach! Ok, I was totally confused. The pies looked beautiful – what could be wrong????? I learned that putting sugar in pumpkin pie is quite important! Oooops. Luckily I had some rice pudding and a cherry pie to give to everyone. After everyone had gone home and I was sulking in the kitchen, I came up with an idea to see if I could solve the bitter taste of the pies. I polked holes in the pumpkin with a tooth pick and then sprinkled a bit of white sugar on the top. I then covered the pie with foil and tried to wait to see if my creative idea might work. I took a bit from a sample piece about every half hour (didn’t swallow the first few bites). In the morning just before I dumped the pies out, I tried one last time and jump back Batman it worked! The sugar had dissolved and worked it’s way down into the pumpkin to sweeten it up. Hooray!!!!
Well, I already have some stories for next month and it’s only the end of November! Believe me there is never a dull time in my test kitchen! See you next month 🙂