Monthly Archives: November 2011

Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Gorgonzola

This recipe for Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Gorgonzola stopped me in my tracks when I first saw it. The original recipe uses blue cheese but as you may know, I’m not a blue cheese fan so I took a leap of faith and used gorgonzola (which I’d never had before) instead. This appetizer did not disappoint. It’s sweet yet savory, tart yet fresh. Slices of french baguette are toasted and topped with pears (cooked with shallots and dried apricots), toasted pecans, gorgonzola crumbles, and fresh thyme. I really loved the contrast between the sweet Bartlett pears and the tangy cheese. The addition of apple cider vinegar in the pear topping provides the slightest hint of bitterness which cuts through the sweetness of the pears and adds to the layers of flavors in this dish. The toasted pecans bring a delicious nuttiness and the thyme provides and herby freshness. I left out the chives from this recipe only because I didn’t have any but it doesn’t matter. I can’t rave about this bruschetta enough just the way it is!

Thanksgiving leftovers used: pear nectar, pears, thyme, shallots

The ingredients (I forgot the gorgonzola here):

Cook chopped shallots in olive oil until soft.

Add in chopped pears, dried apricots, sugar, cider vinegar, salt, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, broil baguette slices in the oven until toasted. In a small pan or skillet, add pecans and toast on a low heat until fragrant.

Top toasted baguette slices with pear topping, gorgonzola crumbles, chopped toasted pecans, and fresh thyme.

Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Chives

Substitutions:

  • Gorgonzola cheese for blue cheese

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Turkey, Cranberry, and Pepper Jack Quesadillas

I made my own cranberry sauce this year for Thanksgiving and I will never buy canned or premade cranberry sauce again because mine turned out perfect (see note below for the link to the recipe I made). Unfortunately, of the six people who came to my house for dinner, only my aunt and I ate any of it which meant that I basically had an entire bowl leftover in my fridge. I figured, what a better way to take care of some leftovers than to throw them in a quesadilla? As a result, I came up with these Turkey, Cranberry, and Pepper Jack Quesadillas. Cranberry sauce, turkey, sliced apples, scallions, parsley, and pepper jack cheese are sandwiched between whole wheat tortillas and grilled until toasty brown. One thing I love about quesadillas is that they can be an appetizer, snack, or a light meal in a pinch. These quesadillas are sweet, tangy, and spicy and you’d never know they are from leftovers.

Turkey, Cranberry, and Pepper Jack Quesadillas (makes 2 quesadillas or 4 servings; 2 wedges per serving):

  • 4 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 McIntosh apple, sliced (or any apple of your preference)
  • 1/2 cup prepared cranberry sauce ( I made Basic Cranberry Sauce from Cooking Light)
  • 1 cup turkey breast, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese

Place two tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread 1/4 cup of the cranberry sauce on each tortilla; top with apple slices. Layer chopped turkey and 1 tablespoon each parsley and scallions on each tortilla. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese. Top cheese with remaining tortillas. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat (or heat panini maker to 350°). Place one quesadilla in the pan and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side until lightly browned (top with another pan to flatten quesadillas as they cook, if necessary). Remove quesadilla from pan and repeat procedure with the remaining quesadilla. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with sour cream if you like.

Thanksgiving leftovers used: turkey, cranberry sauce, apple, parsley

The ingredients:

Place two tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread 1/4 cup of the cranberry sauce on each tortilla; top with apple slices.

Layer chopped turkey and 1 tablespoon each parsley and scallions on each tortilla.

Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese. Top cheese with remaining tortillas.

I used my beloved Cuisinart Griddler® to make my quesadillas (heated to 350°).

Remove quesadilla from pan and repeat procedure with the remaining quesadilla. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Me 🙂

Turkey and Potato Soup with Canadian Bacon

I hosted my first Thanksgiving ever last week and as a result ended up with plenty of leftovers in my fridge. My plan for this week is to take advantage of those leftovers and make some new meals with them. This first leftover recipe I made is Turkey and Potato Soup with Canadian Bacon. I just happened to have turkey Canadian bacon in my fridge after finding it in my local Whole Foods last week and it worked perfectly in this dish. The recipe calls for baking potatoes but I threw in the leftover prepared mashed potatoes I had which melted into this soup deliciously. This is a warm, creamy, hearty soup that somehow sucks me right back to my childhood. And that is a compliment.

Thanksgiving leftovers used: turkey, mashed potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, broth, sage

The ingredients:

In a saucepan, sauté onion, celery, carrot, and Canadian bacon in canola oil until soft.

Add in broth, mashed potatoes, turkey, and sage. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Prepared mashed potatoes for baking potatoes

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

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