Tag Archives: one pot dinners

Bring Me My Turkey Pot Pie!

I woke up to snow falling this morning.  Well, sort of snow.  More like slush.  But it’s Portland, Oregon, and I’ll take whatever snow I can get.  I caught a flake on my tongue and it didn’t taste like rain.

What to do on a snowy/rainy evening?  Whip up a little comfort food of course.

I grew up eating frozen chicken or turkey pot pies.  You know the little individual ones I mean.  I always liked them, even though I burned the roof of my mouth every dang time.  For some reason, I don’t ever buy them.  Probably haven’t eaten one in 20 years.  But in this case, no frozen pie was needed.  I made my own and it was even better than I remember.  I still burned the roof of my mouth.  Sometimes you just can’t wait.

One of the things I don’t like about most turkey pot pies is the mushy crust on the bottom.  Problem solved by not using one.  I used a top crust only and it was every bit as delicious.  Not to mention a little more healthy since the crust is the most fattening part of the whole thing.  I am not a pie crust expert, so I used a refrigerated roll up crust by Pillsbury.  One of the best convenience products ever invented in my opinion.  This was a huge hit in my house.  Hope it is in yours as well.

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Turkey Pot Pie

2 cups cooked turkey or chicken
3 medium potatoes
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup frozen peas
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
2 tbsp. chives
1/2 tsp. creole seasoning
1 refrigerated pie crust

Stab the potatoes and microwave for 5 minutes or so, until fork tender.  Remove, let cool a bit and dice.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to a skillet and add carrots, onion and mushrooms, along with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Saute until veggies are tender.  Add frozen peas and toss with the other vegetables.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk flour into the butter until it’s all absorbed and mixture is smooth.  Whisk in milk gradually, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.  Continue to whisk until mixture is bubbly and thickened.  Remove from heat.  Stir in a big pinch of salt & pepper, chives, and creole seasoning.  Combine sauce in a large bowl with vegetables, potatoes, and turkey.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Prep a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Add your turkey and vegetable mixture.  Cover with a pie crust and tuck around the edges.  Make a few slices in the top for steam to escape.

That is a beautiful pie crust that I didn't make.

That is a beautiful pie crust that I didn’t make.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top.

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Perfect Turkey Pot Pie

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And the cutaway shot, showing all the yummy goodness lurking underneath that crust. Note the absence of gooey gross bottom crust.

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Jambalaya Night

A friend asked me recently if I knew how to make jambalaya and I honestly couldn’t even remember.  I’ve EATEN jambalaya.  Does that count?  I seem to recall making it many years ago, but if it’s been that long, obviously it was high time to make it again.

Searching for recipes for this little project, I realized something:  there are about a million variations of jambalaya.  I chose one that was fairly basic for the test drive.  This particular variation has a lot of tomato, which I personally liked.  The Creole spices (which appear to be a mixture mostly of pepper and garlic) give the dish a real kick and the combination of ingredients lead to a wonderful smelling house!

Luckily this recipe also serves 6-8 people, so invite a few friends and have a jambalaya night!

Jambalaya with a side of fresh green beans.

Jambalaya

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 green onions, chopped

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add sausage and cook, stirring, 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove sausage with a slotted spoon; set aside.  Add onion, pepper, celery, garlic and seasonings.  Saute 5 minutes or so until veggies are tender.

Veggies and seasonings. Smells so good, but don’t breathe too deep right over the pan, those peppers will get you!

Stir in reserved sausage, tomatoes, broth and rice.

This is what it looks like before the rice sucks up all the liquid. Looks pretty good to me! Is there a jambalaya soup experiment in my future? I think so!

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Stir in shrimp, cover and cook 5 minutes or until done.  Sprinkle each serving with green onions.

**If you are making this for a group that includes vegetarians (which I was), you can saute the meat first and set it aside to serve on top of the rice dish, rather than cooking it with it.  I sauteed the sausage and then added the shrimp for a few minutes at the end and sprinkled it all with a bit of Creole seasoning for some extra flavor.  Vegetable broth can also be substituted for the chicken broth.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Dinner in a Skillet

My grandma used to fry potatoes and onions in a cast iron skillet, and I thought it was just about the best thing in the world to eat.  I still do, and every time I make it – or eat my Aunt Flori’s version – I think of her.

This takes the potatoes and onions a step further.  Add sausage and peppers and you have a whole meal in a skillet.  It’s one of my favorite lazy day comfort foods.  It’s also what I cook on the rare occasions I go camping.  I chop everything up ahead of time, throw it into a skillet over the campfire, and give it a stir once in a while until it’s all done.  Heaven on a plate.

This is a recipe definitely open for variation.  You can use whatever kind of potatoes, peppers or onions you like best.  If you want a vegetarian version, leave out the sausage, vary the herbs for different flavors, etc.  This is the version I made this time.

Potato & Sausage Skillet Dinner

Potato & Sausage Skillet Dinner

1-2 tbsp. olive oil
4-5 russet potatoes, peeled, halved and sliced
2-3 links of lean sausage or kielbasa, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped chives

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil and heat for a minute.  Add potatoes and sausage. (Note:  if you are using a higher fat sausage, I would recommend boiling or microwaving first to render some of the fat so the dish isn’t greasy.  I usually choose a leaner sausage so that’s not necessary).  Cover and cook potatoes and sausage, stirring once or twice with a spatula, for about 5 minutes.  Uncover.  Add onions and peppers.  Add salt & pepper and Italian seasoning.  Continue to cook, stirring once in a while until potatoes are tender.  Don’t stir too often, it’s nice to let it sit from time to time so you get some crunchy bits here and there.  Toss in the fresh herbs and cook a few more minutes.  Serve hot.  If you’re feeling healthy, eat it with a big salad, or just dig in to a big bowl of this.  If you have leftovers, it’s wonderful with scrambled eggs the next morning.

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