Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rustic Winter Vegetable Tarts

This recipe comes from this months Better Homes and Gardens. It has some bacon in it, but that could easily be removed if you wanted a completely vegetarian version. I decided to use honey smoked ham slices instead of bacon, as I find the bacon in the States too fatty, but feel free to use whatever you like. You could even do prosciutto.

Rustic Winter Vegetable tarts
(Serves 8)

71/2 cups winter vegetables (such as winter squash, sweet potatoes, red onions, parsnips, carrots, turnips and rutabagas), peeled and seeded as necessary and cut into bite size chunks.
4 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into pieces
3 tbs olive or canola oil
2 tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pkg rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crusts (2 crusts)
1 cup crumbled goat's cheese
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
fresh rosemary sprigs

1. In a large bowl, toss prepared vegetables with bacon, tbs of the oil, thyme and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking tray and place in cold oven. Turn on oven to 425F and roast vegetables for 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden and tender.

2. Meanwhile, roll each pie crust to about 12 inches square. Cut each piecrust square into four free form shapes. Divide between two parchment lined baking sheets.

3.Remove vegetables from oven and stir in 3/4 cup of cheese, vinegar and garlic. set aside. Leave oven on. Divide vegetable mixture among dough shapes, leaving a generous 1 inch border. Fold dough borders around vegetables, pleating as necessary to for tart edges. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup goats cheese.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, then drizzle with remaining olive oil and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spicy Turkey and Sweet Potato Gumbo

I'm sorry for leaving my blog unattended for so long, but life and work have been crazy lately and I needed a bit of a break. I hope to be a little better leading up to Christmas.

So to get back into the swing of things, I am putting up a recipe I found on the cooking light website, from December 2001. I had some leftover turkey to get rid of and I found this whilst doing a search for turkey soup. I thought it would be much more interesting and I was right! This was delicious, we both really liked it.

The only change I made to the recipe was that it said to serve it over rice. I wanted to freeze the gumbo, so I just mixed all the rice in at the end. It all ends up in the same place anyway, so no big deal and it still tasted fantastic. It was also really quick and comes in at only 379 calories a serving.

Spicy Turkey and Sweet Potato Gumbo
(Serves 6)

1 (6 oz) box of long grain/wild rice mix (such as uncle ben's)
2 (4 oz) links hot turkey sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups cubed, peeled sweet potato
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 (14 oz) cans fat free and reduced salt chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, undrained
1 bay leaf
2 cups cooked turkey (dark, or white, or both)
1/2 tsp hot sauce

1. Cook the rice according to package directions, omitting seasoning packet.

2. remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a dutch oven over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, celery and green pepper. Cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Stir in flour, cook for 6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add sweet potato and next five ingredients (through bay leaf). Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add turkey and hot sauce, cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf and serve over rice.