Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Turkey, Turkey, and More Turkey

If you watch Robin Miller, she tries to take one meat and make it into more than one meal. I was able to do that this past week with turkey breast tenderloins. I had seen them at the grocery store and got a great idea for pasta. I thought that turkey bacon club pasta sounded good, so I bought some tenderloins. If you have never bought turkey breast tenderloins, I am here to tell you that they are very large.

I came home, marinated them in a rosemary lemon Dijon marinade, and roasted them in the oven. After making my pasta I had a lot left over, so I put it away and thought about what to make with the rest of the turkey.

In addition to the turkey I had left over, I had also been mulling over trying very hard to be much better about using everything in my fridge. I had tried this one time before, but I got sick, so I am trying again to just use what I have one hand for a while.

Back to the turkey. I made my Turkey Bacon Club Pasta, had a bunch left over, made a salad with the turkey and bacon that I cooked, and then made a different version of turkey and noodles. All in all, I think the food turned out really well, and I was impressed with myself that I didn’t go buy a bunch of new ingredients to make the other two dishes.

The Turkey Bacon Club Pasta is my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta, and event created by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast. This week Amy from Very Culinary is hosting.

Turkey Bacon Club Pasta

Marinade

1½ tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large sprigs rosemary
¼ cup or less red wine vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
Sugar – to taste if bitter

Mix all ingredients together and drizzle olive oil in to create an emulsion.

Marinate turkey tenderloins in marinade for 2-3 hours. I cut my turkey into long strips to make it cook more quickly.

Cook turkey in a 425 degree oven until just underdone, or grill over medium high heat until just underdone.

Pasta

One lb. pasta your choice – just undercooked
Olive oil – 3 turns around a large skillet
4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ - 1 lb cooked turkey breast tenderloin – diced or shredded
½ ¾ cup white wine
1 ½ cup chicken stock
2 tsp poultry seasoning
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 slices cooked bacon, diced
2 ½ oz baby arugula
6-8 sundried tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mizithra cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions, but leave undercooked to finish in sauce. while pasta is cooking, sauté garlic in olive oil until softened. Add poultry seasoning, wine, and stock, bring to a boil and reduce by about a quarter. While at a simmer, add sour cream and mustard, stir to combine. Add turkey and pasta stir. Keep heat on low and allow mixture to thicken. As pasta dish thickens, add bacon, tomatoes, and arugula. Sauce will thicken upon standing. Sprinkle with grated mizithra cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Tukey Noodle Casserole

1 lb cooked turkey breast tenderloin – cooked and drained
8-9 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked
1 quart chicken or turkey stock
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter, melted
Grated mizithra cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring stock to a boil, add noodles and cook. After noodles are cooked, slowly add roux mixture and thicken to desired consistency. Add turkey and mix. Pour into pan – grease if necessary. Sprinkle cheese on top and heat in oven until cheese melts and mixture boils at edges and is heated through, about 20 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes and serve.

All dishes were yummy!!!! Back with more soon! Have a great day!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Taste and Create - Super Easy Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

For this month’s Taste and Create, an event created by Nicole over at For the Love of Food, I was paired with One Hot Stove, a blogger from my back yard: St. Louis. She decided to make my chimichurri sauce. One Hot Stove doesn’t use meat in her blog, so I knew I was in for a new combination of foods.

I chose to make Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta. The only problem is that I had no basil. I chose to use Arugula in place of the basil. The new combination for me was the raw cashews with tomatoes. I have in the past used pine nuts and walnuts in sauces, but never raw cashews. I loved the combination. It was fragrant and nutty and just plain delicious. I also added some mizithra cheese at the end, substituted regular pasta for the whole wheat, and added some pasta water to thin out the sauce a bit along with white wine. I really liked the easy factor this dish has. For us it is a great side dish, or a base for an accompanying dish. Dinner can be made in a jiffy! This pasta would be great with a salad or a grilled vegetable.

I love Taste and Create as it allows me to try new dishes and combinations I wouldn’t think of using. I learned something new today and will be cooking with raw cashews in the future – good thing I like them, I have quite a few left over! What follows is the original recipe with my changes in parenthesis. Have a great day!
Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

1 Large, ripe tomato (2 cups roughly chopped, 1 1/2 cups blended)
1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced, optional (I used 4)
6 Ounces (ish) Whole Wheat Spaghetti (I used regular spaghetti)
1 tsp Salt (edit: upped from 3/4!)
2-3 Tbs Wine or Water, optional (I also added some pasta water)
1-2 tsp Freshly Cracked, Coarse Black Pepper
1 Large Handful Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped (I used arugula)
¾ cup shredded mizithra cheese shredded

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Core the tomato, and roughly chop it. Add it to your blender, seeds, skin and all. Add cashews, tomato paste, and water. Blend until very smooth.
Add olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden, being careful not to burn. Once water is boiling, add pasta. Pour sauce from the blender into the sauté pan and bring to a simmer. Add salt and let cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If desired add wine/water to thin out the sauce. Taste and season more if necessary. Let simmer until pasta is finished cooking. Once pasta is cooked, drain. Add pasta to the sauté pan with black pepper and freshly chopped basil leaves. Toss to coat. Serve immediately, garnishing with more pepper and basil.

Have a great day – Presto Pasta entry is really coming; I promise!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Memphis Last Day and Grilled Clams

Ok, so it has been over a week since I posted the rest of my Memphis post. The reason for that is…….we got sick! Hubby got some sort of virus our last day in Memphis, and I got the lovely virus a couple of days later. We ended up not going on the next part of our vacation, but we both feel better now.

Anyway we did go out to lunch on our last day – I thought Hubby had a hangover from the night before. He did drink some beer. He told me later as he was lying in bed with the covers up to his nose and a fever of like 102 or something, that he did not have a hangover, that he did not drink too much beer, and that he did not ruin the day – the virus did. I have heard about the non hangover for over a week now. I will probably never hear the end of it.

For lunch we went back to A and R BBQ. We really liked it. I had wanted to try the bbq spaghetti the last time, but they were out. It wasn’t like any bbq spaghetti that I had ever had before. There was a seasoning in there that I couldn’t pinpoint, and today I still can’t pinpoint. After lunch we walked to the Madison Hotel and took the elevator to the rooftop deck to get some great views of the city. The view was spectacular. We looked for our hotel – found it, and looked for other Memphis landmarks. I love city views.

While I love living where I do, I truly miss the city. I loved walking around downtown, seeing the history in the old buildings, and watching the other city dwellers. To me there is a magic about a bustling city, that just makes me happy to be a part of it. On the other hand, there is something very comforting about the smaller community. First off, my neighbors aren’t in my window, you run into people you know wherever you go, and I really like the openness and the freedom to breathe. It’s a little contradictory, but oh well.

I didn’t do much cooking until last night when I grilled some clams. While in Memphis, we ate grilled oysters, and have been looking for a grilled oyster recipe to try ourselves. While I haven’t found that, I did happen to find a grilled clam recipe from Barefoot Contessa – Grilled Clams with Basil Breadcrumbs. Very tasty, but I will be honest with you – I don’t think that grilling the clams added that much. in my personal, non professional opinion, steaming the clams in stock or a light white wine would make the dish so much better. Ina said to not lose any juice when taking the clams off the grill. I wasn’t very successful at that. The breadcrumb mixture had a great fresh summer taste – the lemon, basil, sundried tomatoes, yummy. I will make this again, but I will steam, not grill the clams.

Have a great day – next time, a pasta entry for Presto Pasta Night!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Memphis Day Three

Yesterday wasn’t as crazy as our first full day. We went to the museum in the morning – I must say there was a ton of reading. The videos were very interesting and the exhibits were great. Afterwards, we went to Pearl’s Oyster House for lunch. It is a place we found as we were walking in the Main Street district of Memphis.

What a cool place. There were so many interesting menu items; I didn’t know what to try. We started with Char-Grilled Oysters – sooo good. They were topped with parmesan cheese and chipotle butter. We ordered a dozen, but could have ordered more easily. Hubby had the catfish special, which he thought was very good. It had a light coating – you could still see the lines of the fish. His lunch came with hushpuppies and French fries. I ordered Shrimp Scampi and Pasta. It had a light sauce – garlic, butter, and wine – similar to what I would make at home. It was a nice light pasta – flavorful – and I really liked the presentation. On the rim of the bowl, parmesan cheese and parsley were sprinkled to add some oomph to the dish.

We were very pleased with our lunch choice. We had an exceptionally nice waiter, who was very helpful with respect to our lunch choices. He also gave some suggestions for our last day in Memphis. Pearl’s is definitely a place we will visit again.

Hubby’s parents area always suggesting that we go to Tunica and check it out. Being only 30 minutes from Memphis, we decided to try it out. Wow, what a strange place. There is an outlet mall and tons of casinos. We went to three casinos, lost our shirt, and came back to Memphis. I am amazed by the place. There really isn’t anything to do but gamble. I must say, seeing as how I lost my gambling allowance, quickly I might add, that I don’t see myself going back soon, but I am glad I went – it is a must see if you are in the area. However, if you like to gamble, and have the resources, it is very nice and clean. We were surprised though, that one could smoke in the casinos. Being from Illinois, there is no smoking in any public place, and we have noticed a lack of smoke in Memphis. The casinos had smoke in them, and both of us commented on that. I really dislike smelling smoke and being next to a smoker.

For dinner we decided to try a restaurant that we went to last year. The King’s Palace was great last year, so we decided to try it again this year. We weren’t disappointed. Hubby ate VooDoo chicken, and I had gumbo – yay!!!!!! and an appetizer which included gator chips, chicken wings, and fried crawfish tails. What a great dinner. We finished the evening at Silky O’Sullivan’s where our favorite piano player, Craig Schuster. He is so very, very talented. He can play just about anything you throw at him. I know I wrote somewhat poorly about the food, but I must say the entertainment is some of the best on Beale Street. All of the piano players are funny and very good; we just happen to like Craig the best, and were very glad to be able to listen to him again.

Before we went to Silky’s, we hung out on Beale Street for a while. It is an interesting place on Wednesday nights. On this particular night, Beale Street hosts any motorcyclist who wants to come down. We were trying to decide how many bikes were on the street last night, and we came up with over 500 – very scientific method we used, just look up and down the street and estimate. It is amazing to look at all those bikes. There were so many different types – I totally lost count.

I have no clue what we are doing on our last day in Memphis; I will blog and let you know later! Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Memphis Day Two

Today was a busy day. First we tried to go to a museum, but it is closed on Tuesdays. We were a little bummed; we had it all planned, go to the museum, and eat at Gus’s, which is pretty close. We now have a new plan. Tomorrow we are going to try again to go to the museum, and now we are going to Pearl’s Oyster House – a restaurant we found on our walk today.

Instead of the museum, we decided to ride the trolley down to the riverfront. The trolley is an interesting piece of history. It rattles and creaks, and seems to have much of the original woodwork. Our ride took about 30 minutes. During that time, we saw the pyramid sports center, that isn’t being used anymore. We also saw beautiful riverfront homes – there were 3-4 on the market. The driver of the streetcar told us that a small house on the river goes for about 1.2 million – just a little out of our price range – lol.

After the trolley, we walked to Gus’s Fried Chicken for some world famous chicken. Recommended to us by friends and employees of our hotel, we were quite ready for the best chicken. While fried chicken isn’t my favorite food, Hubby has been known to eat 18 pieces of fried chicken in one sitting. He only did that one time to try to beat one of his brothers – his brother came back and ate 19 pieces to beat his best.

Hubby has never tried to beat the new record. Anyway, Hubby said that this fried chicken is as good as he as ever had. Having noticed the punch of spice, I asked the waitress what type of heat they added to the mix for the chicken. She told me that as employees, they are required to sign affidavits that they won’t give any secrets away about the food. She also went on to say that Gus’s brother comes in with a five gallon bucket, goes to the back of the store behind locked doors and prepares the chicken. I guess they really want to keep the recipe secret.

The restaurant is in a very old building, with tin ceilings and checkered tablecloths. Looking at the menu made me laugh. Where most menus have appetizers and entrees, Gus’s menu categories include starters and snacks, with the snacks being the chicken choices. I had to laugh – a piece of fried chicken considered a snack; not in my house, although Hubby would love that.

I had to order fried pickles – it is my mission while here, to try and find the best fried pickles. They were soo good. I think they were coated in cornmeal and dill weed, although I have heard that crushed saltines make a good crust for pickles as well. I am trying pickles at an oyster joint today – can’t wait.

After our “snack” we walked to the courthouse, the fountain, Main Street and all over downtown Memphis just exploring and looking around. Memphis has tons of condos available for downtown living. We also stopped by the Fire Museum – I am always interested in all things fire since by brother in law is the fire chief in our community.

Later we went to the Redbirds game – Hubby really enjoys baseball. We got to see Lohse pitch. He is from the Cardinals and trying to get healthy from an injury. The Redbirds won by 2 runs. I just love that stadium. It is the second time we have been there and I still enjoy it. First we don’t have to drive, as it is located within walking distance from our hotel. It isn’t large, so there really isn’t a bad seat. Third, I love, love Rocky! He is so personable and nice. I like him so much more than Fred – sorry Fred. Again, I would love to take the boys; they would totally enjoy it.

To cap off the day, we decided to go to Silky O’Sullivan’s, a bar we spent a lot of time at last year. Last year, we really enjoyed hanging out there. They have dueling pianos, with players that seem to have a lot of fun trying to entertain the crowd. In fact last year, we spent three evenings there listening to the music and the banter between the guys. We also saw, last year, them serving food and thought that it looked good and that we had to try it if we came back.

I think the food looked good because the bar is dark. It didn’t taste all that good. It wasn’t terrible; it is just that we have had better; except for the gumbo. There are a few things I was really looking forward to on this trip – fried pickles, gumbo, and bbq spaghetti. I haven’t had bbq spaghetti yet, but I will. Anyway, I was excited that gumbo was on the menu, but…..I didn’t like it at all!!! I was so disappointed. I can’t really describe the texture that gumbo should have, but this didn’t taste anything like gumbo to me. it had the consistency of a really thick chili, and I felt the rice was an afterthought to the dish. So, gumbo goes back on the list, because I feel I haven’t had any yet.

Today we are going to gamble, go to a museum, and eat. Be back later with a recap. Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day One Memphis

Tonight was our first night in Memphis. It is good to come back to a place you have been before. Trying to decide which restaurant to go to was easily decided by our bellman. When he brought our bags to us, we asked him about where to eat. He suggested A and R Barbecue, a local place close to the hotel. Making sure they had BBQ spaghetti and fried pickles, off we went.

The restaurant is very casual. They have take out and a dining room. Hubby had the rack of ribs, and I had the brisket. I also had…….fried pickles!!!! I just love them – don’t know why, but they are so good. Hubby really liked the ribs – he got sauce on his face. I asked him to describe the ribs…..[bleep] awesome dude! They were juicy and tender. My brisket was good – not dry, very nice flavor. Hubby said he liked the ribs better. I was devastated though; no spaghetti. It was terrible, I was totally speechless….ok, maybe not that bad. We might go back though. The fried pies are supposed to be to die for.

We bought tickets for the baseball game tomorrow. I think the boys would have a great time at a Redbirds game. Watching a game in the Autozone Park is a great experience. It is one of the nicest minor league parks in the country. More about that tomorrow.

After dinner we walked around downtown Memphis, mainly staying around Beale Street. Hubby got a few beers and we just sat outside and watched he people walk around. It was a quiet evening, not too many tourists walking around town. I always get a kick out of the signs.....Big Ass Beer and Next chance, 25 feet.

As I was sitting on the street, I noticed these bugs that were scurrying around so fast, it seemed like they were running from a fire. I was totally fascinated and had to know more. They were long skinny bugs that reminded me of roaches, but since they had wings, we thought they couldn't be. We asked a bouncer that was standing outside - I can't remember the name, but he said they were from the roach family - score one for me - and that they are considered outside roaches. They migrate near water and can't survive inside; they will die in 24 hours if they are inside. I did note that I was not the only one who noticed the little guys running all over Beale Street. Lots of people were stopping to watch the shiny little rodents.

More tomorrow as we explore the city! Have a great day!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

First Peaches of the Season

The other day I had to drive to Carlyle to Lakeside Orchard to take a picture of the owner for the local paper I write for. I had previously interviewed the orchard owner, who by the way, is a very nice person.

We walked to a lovely spot in the orchard where there were some beautiful peaches ready to pick. A large box was packed for us, and the boys got to help pick some of the peaches. We took the box of peaches to the baseball game, where the players and their parents. Everyone seemed to like them, and my oldest ate quite a few.

The orchard sits on 11 acres by Carlyle Lake right off the highway. It is soooo pretty. I wish I could walk off my deck and into an orchard. The rows in between the trees are wide enough to drive a vehicle through, and at night the lights from a vehicle make the peaches shimmer.

Have a happy holiday!!! Be back soon with more posts!!!