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Thomas The Accidental Gourmet

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Chilli Rellenos with Tomatillo Salsa

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm glad this year is about over. As Roseanne Roseannadanna would say, "if it's not one thing, it's another."

To help make it through the season, Jenn and I took off most of Thanksgiving week. Not only did it ease up on the stress of the season, but it gave us a lot more time to play in the kitchen, which has been nice.

Quite frankly, there are few things quite as therapeutic and relaxing has having a bottle of wine and chopping the ever loving %#@! out of some onion.

Couple all that with the fact that, yet again, we have waaaay too much turkey in the refrigerator, and it's time to get those creative juices flowing at maximum (at least for me: Jenn would be content to eat turkey sammiches for the rest of her days).

This little dish, however, may have cured her of that.

Turkey Chilli Rellenos with Tomatillo Salsa

What You Need:

(Chili Relleno)
3 poblano chilis
1/4 lb. chopped turkey (smoked, preferably)
1/8 cup cilantro
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 ounces of panella fresca, crumbled (or you can use queso fresco, or maybe even goat cheese)
1 cup cornbread dressing
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp salt

(Tomatillo Salsa)
5 roasted tomatillos (destemmed)
1 minced serrano (not seeded)
1/2 avocado
1 large clove garlic, crushed and minced
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 medium white onion
1/8 cup cilantro
1/4 tsp salt

What To Do with It:

Make the salsa. Just throw the ingredients in a blender and puree for a couple of minutes.

Cut out the tops of the poblanos, and cut out the seeds and membrane. Roast the poblanos in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until skin blisters, then peel off skin. (You can blanch them in boiling water, then rinse in cold water, to help the process along).

Mix your other ingredients and stuff into the poblanos. Stick a couple of toothpicks in the top (or along the sides to seal any holes).

Place the chilis in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Place 1 tablespoon crema mexicana along the length of the poblano, then add a couple tablespoons of salsa.

Serve with mexican rice (start it at the same time you put in your poblanos) and merlot.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What To Do with a Six-Legged Turkey: Smoked Turkey Legs

I'm not a huge football fan, at least not since Jerry Jones became the owner of the Cowboys. Perhaps it's better to say that I'm not a big Cowboys fan, but let's face it, if you're not a Cowboys fan, you can't really enjoy football. Even so, at least once a year I'm able to put aside my disdain for Mr. Jones and enjoy a good football game. That day is Thanksgiving.

Anyone who has watched a T-Day football game knows about the John Madden six (or even sometimes eight) legged turkey. This is all fine and dandy if you do an oven bird (and have a professional cook staff). For the rest of us, the additional-legged variety of turkey poses a problem.

The solution is quite simple, actually: cook the legs separately. With a dry rub. On a grill.

Smoked Turkey Legs

What You Need:

Turkey Legs (skin on). If you live in Dallas, you can get them at Central Market for about $1.50/pound.
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Cracked Black Pepper
Cracked Green Pepper
Crushed Dried Rosemary
Dried rubbed Sage
What To Do With It:
Make your rub. 4:2:2:1:1:1:1 and then salt to taste. You may also want to adjust the herbs. For six legs, you're going to want about 1/2 cup of rub, so use 1/4 cup cayenne, 1/8 cup garlic & onion powder & so on...
Dry the legs, apply the rub, and let sit for a couple of hours, until they're room temperature.
If you're smoking:
You should be going low & slow. Wrap the legs in foil, and place in smoker for two hours, then unwrap, and smoke for an hour on each side.
If you're grilling:
Place the legs on foil, but don't wrap. Cook about an hour per side, then finish for a few minutes without the foil.
Serve with beer. Make lots of cave-man noises while you eat.