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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Recipes: January 28

King Ranch Turkey

I use turkey for the most part, since we have lots of turkey and roast turkeys for our family dinners. Any recipe that uses turkey can use chicken and vice versa. Use what you have.

6 tablespoons butter (or turkey fat)
1/3 cup flour
1 small onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cups turkey stock
2 cups cream (or milk)
2 cups sour cream
salt (to taste)
24 corn tortillas
3 cups chopped, cooked turkey meat
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 cups diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
1/2 cup diced roasted, peeled green chile (jalapeno, ancho, anaheim - whatever suits your fancy - even canned)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium low heat until onions are translucent. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add oregano and ancho chile powder and whisk in to mix. Slowly add stock, whisking to distribute the roux, then slowly add cream and cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. Whisk in sour cream. Season with salt, to taste.

Ladle one or two scoops of the sauce in the bottom of a 16 by 11 inch baking pan. Layer eight of the tortillas in the bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly. Cover with half the turkey, tomatoes and chiles. Sprinkle with one third of the cheese. Ladle enough of the remaining sauce to cover the layer evenly, but not thickly. Repeat with another layer of the tortillas, turkey, tomatoes, chiles, cheese and sauce. Top with the last eight tortillas, the remaining sauce and cover with cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly.


Pastitsio

This is a layered pasta and meat dish from Greece. We in the Middle East have our own version of this dish as well, Macarona bi Bechamel.

For the pasta:
2 pounds penne pasta (or other tubular pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup rich milk
4 eggs, beaten

Meat sauce:
2 pounds ground beef or lamb
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
1 cup tomato paste

Bechamel:
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until tender but not soft.
Drain and put back in the pot. Add butter and cheese, then toss. Mix the milk and beaten eggs, add to pasta and toss well.

Cook the meat in a skillet with onion, garlic and spices until browned. Add
tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well. Season with salt.

Layer 2/3 of pasta in a 16 by 11 inch baking dish (or two smaller dishes), spread the meat sauce over the top and cover with remaining pasta.

Melt butter, add flour and cook for a minute. Add the milk slowly,
whisking to prevent lumps. Remove from heat, let cool slightly.
Add eggs one at a time, whisking rapidly so you don't get scrambled
eggs. Stir in the cheese and salt.

Pour the bechamel over the pasta. Bake about 35 minutes.
Let stand 15-20 minutes, cut into squares to serve.

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