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What’s for Dinner – Smoked Turkey Breast

Smoked Turkey Breast
Smoked Turkey Breast

Here’s the scoop on how to make this Smoked Turkey Breast. It’s still in the oven roasting at 325 degrees but before that it was in the smoker at 225 for 1 hour.

We started with a 6 pound turkey breast and seasoned it inside and outside with celery salt, Greek spice, sea salt and then sprinkled with Italian dry seasoning for a rub. Mess up your hands and rub the seasoning into the outer skin and inside of the turkey.

It was smoked in my CookShack easy electric smoker for one hour at 225 degrees with a little applewood. I don’t smoke anything the entire cooking time in the smoker because it seems to be too heavy smoking for me. I like to start with the smoker every time and then finish in the oven or on the grill.  This is done for any type of meat I smoke.

Next, bake the turkey in a 325 degree preheated oven until the turkey breast registers at 170 degrees on a meat thermometer.  Once the turkey reaches the right temperature, let it rest for a 10 minutes or so after it finishes and then slice away.  Serve warm with dressing, gravy and a nice side dish.

While the turkey is cooking, I’ve got my Apple Pecan Rice and Bread Turkey Stuffing slow cooking in the oven too. You would think I’m making another Thanksgiving dinner but this is a “For Company” dinner and for the hubby who just loves smoked anything.  Along with a side salad and stuffing we had sautéed green beans with mushrooms and slivered almonds.

Update on this slow cooking turkey:  For the last 45 minutes we turned up the oven to 350 degrees.  Hungry.  Hungry.    Everyone was getting hungry and the stubborn turkey was still gobbling.  Dinner was finally done at 8:45 and was planned for 7:30.  The dinner salad was served to waste a few moments while waiting for the darn turkey popper to pop.  We finally took the turkey out of the oven and draped the turkey breast with two heavy towels to continue cooking while we had the salad.  This was a newly learned suggestion from my guest, Britt.  I will never forget it!  By the time we were done with salad the turkey was ready.

As a hint the turkey may not have been totally thawed which caused it too cook more slowly than I would have liked.  Plus, the package called for 325 degrees to cook the turkey but 350 might have been better.  Regardless, it was juicy and smoked to the right amount.

 

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Chicken Cordon Bleu

Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu… How I wish I could lay claim to this wonderful recipe and the picture but alas I can only share it here at KCinAZ.  I absolutely love baking this dish and it has the fame on BigOven as one of the “Top Ranked” recipes.

From the Author: I have been making this recipe for years now. It is such a wonderful and tasty dish…not to mention that you can prepare it in advance. I always fall back on this recipe when I have dinner guests. It is pretty nice to be able to enjoy their company without worrying too much about dinner. I usually prepare the chicken rolls in the morning, place them in the refrigerator and then bake them right before dinner. Alternately, you can freeze the rolls uncooked and defrost and bake at a later date.

Baked Cordon Bleu from Big Oven
Baked Cordon Bleu from Big Oven – Click Image to go to BigOven Recipe

Ingredients
5 chicken breasts; split in 2 (total yield 10 pieces)
4 tbsp butter; melted
4 tsps onion powder; divided
3 tbsp olive oil; or canola
3 cups fresh bread crumbs
10 slices deli ham; sliced thinly
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
10 slices Gruyère/Swiss cheese
salt/pepper; to taste
basil/parsley ; optional sprinkle

Preparation
Process a few slices of bread in food processor to make about 4-5 cups of fresh breadcrumbs. Add Parmesan and 2 tsp onion powder. Set aside. Melt butter in a bowl and mix with oil. Set aside. Wash and clean chicken breasts. Pat dry and cut each breast into two pieces. You will have two pretty thin slices.Place a chicken piece on a cutting board. Lay a plastic wrap over the chicken piece and pound with a mallet to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Take care not to pound too hard because the meat may tear or create holes. Do the same thing with all the chicken pieces. You should have 10 chicken pieces to the original 5.

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This picture is from when I made the dish a few years ago and posted the picture on BigOven

Season each chicken piece with a bit of salt/pepper and the remaining 2 tsp onion powder. Be careful not to over salt the chicken as it is quite thin and the cheese and ham are also salty. Bring all the other ingredients in close proximity. Take out the deli ham and place on a plate.Take cheese out…I usually like to cut the cheese slices in half in case I have to overlap them.Take a chicken piece and place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese(or 2 if you cut the original in half).Roll chicken …making sure you tuck the sides in as much as possible(this prevents the cheese from oozing out too much in the final baking time). You can secure it with a toothpick. I have, as of lately, started to omit this step. But if you are doing this for the first time, it might help to secure it with the toothpicks. Take the chicken roll and dip into the melted butter/oil…make sure all the sides are well coated.
Take the butter coated chicken roll and then roll it in the breadcrumbs/Parmesan mixture.Place in a casserole dish or plate. Finish with the rest. You can sprinkle some dried herbs of your choice if you like. I sprinkled some dried basil. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to ensure that the breadcrumbs stay put on the chicken:). When ready to bake, place each chicken roll on a parchment lined jelly roll pan(this will help with the cleaning later) making sure you don’t overcrowd them.Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 15-20 minutes. Place the pan on the top third rack. Don’t over cook the chicken. You can easily do this in a toaster oven as well.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu

I Love Chicken Cordon Bleu and this is one of the best from BigOven.com.  I’ve made it several times and it always is delicious.  Looks as great as it tastes.

I wish I could take credit for the recipe but not. I do love it!!  It was submitted by Ellie36.  Over 8,000 people have said they want to make it and over 11,000 have it in their BigOven favorites.

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I have made it several times and when I made it and took a photo, it looked like this:

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If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.
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New Years Eve Dinner – Smoked Beef Tenderloin

We had eight of our closest friends at our home to celebrate and ring in the New Year.  Cocktail and appetizer hour started at 7pm and dinner was ready to serve an hour and half later.  The twice baked potatoes were prepared the day prior and were ready to place in the oven for the final baking one hour before dinner.  The tenderloin smoked for 1 hour, grill seared for 15 minutes and then slow cooked in the oven (on and off) for the balance of the day before carving to serve at a delicious medium-rare.

Oh how I wish I were better at remembering to take pictures.  The appetizer table was adorned with so many good foods brought by our friends to share while we enjoyed each others company.  There was a splendid crudités platter.  I just learned this phrase when my friend who just returned home from living in Italy asked if she should bring crudités or humus and chips.  I had to asked what crudités was and learned that it’s vegetable tray.  Another friend brought smoked salmon served with several very tasty spreads and toasted French baguette.   We provided a cheese platter, beef and salami slices and an assortment of crackers for additional noshing.

The table was preset so that it was easier for serving buffet style and so that I was not so rushed at last-minute.  I’ve found that this makes life much easier, less stressful and then I’m able to enjoy the company of my friends without looking frazzled when they arrive.

Again, I forgot to take pictures of the food as it was set out  but did remember to snap on quick photo of my own dinner plate with the perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and twice baked potato served along with sautéed green beans seasoned with chipotle pepper and praline pecans.  The green bean dish was a quick change-up from my standard sautéed green beans with mushrooms and slivered almonds.  I’m still not sure which I prefer to serve.  The chipotle dish was a hot and sweet dish while the other is savory.

Beef Tenderloin:

Let the tenderloin set out on the counter until it comes to room temperature.  Remove all fat and sinew from the outside of the beef with a sharp knife.  Turn the small end of the tenderloin under and then tie the meat so that it cooks evenly.  Season the tenderloin liberally with a robust rub like the A1-Bold or Barbarian’s Steak Rub.  Liberally add ground salt and ground pepper.  Make sure to cover all the surface of the beef (top, bottom, side and ends).  Place in smoker uncovered at 225 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from smoker and place on hot BBQ grill at 500 degrees and sear top and bottom for around 7-8 minutes per side.

Next, remove from grill and place in a 175 degree pre-heated oven to slow cook for 3-4 hours uncovered.  This will ensure that the tenderloin cooks to a rare – medium rare inside temperature.  If you want the meat to be rare then remove from oven at 130 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before carving.  If you want it at medium rare then remove from oven at 140 degrees.  The tender loin will continue to cook while it rests and then be perfect when carving.

Cooking Tip:  I had to keep turning my oven on and off  to make sure it didn’t over cook.  This did lead to the crust of the beef becoming a little soft instead of the normal crusty.  If this occurs (check it before serving) then place your oven on high broil and crust up the outside again before removing from the oven.

Entertaining Tips: 

  1. Set the table the day before if you will be having a large number of people.  This can take more time than you think and will cut into your cooking time if saved to the day of the party.
  2. Set up your cocktail bar the day before.  Place a plastic table cloth under any fabric cloth to protect the furniture’s surface if it could be damaged by the drinks or ice.  Set out a few bottles of tonic water, tomato juice, fruit juice and club soda for mixers.
  3. Prepare a cooler filled with soda pop and plenty of water.  Add ice the day of the party around 3 hours before the begin time.
  4. If serving the food buffet style you can set up the buffet table and serving dishes.
  5. Do any decorating and set out centerpieces and/or candles.
  6. Prepare cheese platters, meat platters and condiments for the appetizer table in their serving dishes, cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Set up your appetizer table with any table clothes and decorations.  Prepare cracker platters, cover and set on appetizer table.
  8. Make sure your champagne is in the refrigerator the day before so that it is chilled to perfection.  One bottle of champagne pours 5-6 glasses.
  9. Figuring out how much meat to buy; 1/2 pound per person to ensure there is plenty.  Allows for second servings and ample leftovers.
  10. Figuring out how many pounds of fresh vegetables; 1/4 – 1/3  pound per person.
  11. Use 1 extra-large baking potato for every two people.  Add 2 extra for those that like more or especially when making twice baked.  Often, many of your guests will share a baked potato or a large twice baked.  Bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  If making twice baked allow to cool before handling.

 

If you like this recipe and entertaining ideas from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes for entertainment.

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A Cabin Called Iron Works – Turkey Day

At the last moment we decided to spend Thanksgiving at the Cabin and all the fixings for dinner were done in the Two Butt Kitchen.  It took a little more imagination and timing as I only had one oven instead of my three ovens at home.  I know… oh poor me only three ovens.  I do love my kitchen at home but the cabin was a real treat too.  

It did get a little crowded in my little two butt kitchen when we added the third while Gus was carving the turkey but all survived the last minute timing to get the Turkey and trimmings on the table.  Dinner was started at 10:00 am and was served 6 hours later.   My legs were getting tired but my tummy was ready for the feast.  I don’t know if it took longer to cook or to clean up but all was worth it. 

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Turkey and Sweet Potatoes Cooking in the Oven
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The Messy Kitchen

While dinner was cooking we stepped outside for a breather just in time to see three mule deer who had been sleeping in the lower brush wake up and head out for the day. Oh,.. I wish my camera had been in hand instead of the potato peeler.  Then, as the turkey roasted away in the oven we went for a walk with our small legged pets in 50 degree sunny weather.  It was the beginning of a wonderful day. 

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Apple Pecan Bread and Rice Stuffing

Tip for a moist turkey…. make sure to pick out a fresh young turkey. I’ve found that they cook up more moist than most. After stuffing the turkey with my favorite Apple Pecan Rice and Bread Stuffing, I spread a packet of Knorrs chicken Homestyle Stock over the outside of the turkey and then seasoned it with Greek spice, salt, celery salt and pepper. This was a new way of topping off the turkey for me. Another surprise since our cabin is a new experience is that I forgot to bring the turkey pan. So, instead we adapted a flat sheet cake pan and lined it heavily with heavy duty aluminum foil. It worked perfectly except that I’ve never stuffed a turkey into the pan so tight.  I hope you all had as great a Turkey day as us.  We’re off now to take a hand at learning a new card game with our good friends.

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Turkey Breast, Potatoes n Gravy, Apple Pecan Dressing and Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds
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Sweet Potatoes, Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

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Artichoke Dip Appetizer or Tapenade

This is a much enjoyed appetizer that can be made a variety of ways.  My friend, Mariette, uses a much sharper cheese and it’s just a delicious.  It just has a different twist.  Many recipes include spinach, but somehow, someway, I’ve not acquired a taste for spinach in large doses.  Another fun addition is sun dried tomatoes but if doing that do so in small doses too.  For a sharper more flavorful taste use Asiago Cheese, Gruyere Cheese or an Italian blend.

Artichoke dip is one of my regulars to take to take to a Pot Luck dinner. It’s a warm dish served with crackers, toasted baguette slices or tortilla chips. Or, if you have left overs or prefer a cold dish it makes a great tapenade for crackers, toasted bread, etc. I often used my left overs from a party for a Happy Hour cold dish appetizer the following day.

This recipe calls for only 1 1/2 cups of artichoke hearts but if you’re feeling a little frivolous you can always go with more.  Depending on the size of the group and how far I want it to go, I would opt for more chopped hearts.  If I were downsizing to a smaller group then there would still be as much artichoke and then less mayo and half-and-half to make it a thicker richer tapenade.  Feel free to experiment.  I always do.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Artichoke hearts; quartered and then chopped 1/4 cup Half-and-half cream
1 cup Mozzarella; shredded 1/2 teaspoon Salt; to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese; shredded 1/4 cup Baby spinach; shopped; optional; I never add
1 cup Mayonnaise

Artichoke Dip Appetizer or Tapenade Preparation

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Quarter and then chop into bits
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Mixed up creamy texture ready for the hot oven

Take 32 ounce jar of whole artichoke; Dry weight is 19.5 ounces. Drain of all liquid. If the artichoke has been marinated in olive oil then rinse under running water until all or most of the oil has been removed. Chop the artichoke until diced or slightly larger size. I find it easier to quarter the artichoke heart and then cut those pieces into thirds with the cut side facing up.

Place in 2 quart baking dish. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Continue to add cream or mayonnaise until easily mixed but with not too much liquid.  If you want it more firm add less mayo.

Bake in 350 degree oven for around 20-30 minutes, remixing occasionally so that it heats evenly throughout. Remove when cheese begins to toast slightly on the top layer.

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Ready and hot from the oven

Serve with crackers, French baguette (sliced and toasted) or corn tortilla chips.

French Baguette:

Slice French Baguette. Place on baking sheet. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with slight layer of garlic salt. Sprinkle with slight layer of Italian spice. Place under hot broiler until lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately with spread.

If taking to a party to serve later then remove from baking sheet and let cool on cookie rack. Place warm artichoke dip in crockpot and reheat on low to serve after you arrive at the party.

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

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Lidia’s Italy – Sole Meunier

My good friend who lives in Toronto, sent me this recipe to share on KCinAZ Cooks. She’s vegetarian and does find some great ideas.  It looks absolutely delicious and I couldn’t resist posting it up.  OMG, it’s got wine in it.  If it were my recipe I would have to call it Drunkin’ Sole Meunier.

From Lidia’s Website – the recipe:

serves: 4

 

This light fish in a lemony sauce, which always appears on Italian and French menus, has remained a favorite for decades. I served it in my first restaurant, and continue to serve it today. I recommend using fillet of sole in this recipe, but the fillet of any fish prepared this way is delicious. It is easy to prepare, and even kids love it. The result is a pucker lemon finish, with briny capers. You know how much I love olive oil, but there is a time and a place for everything. When sautéing foods that cook quickly, like these sole fillets, using some butter along with the oil  help the sole brown before they overcook. Thicker sole or flounder fillets are ideal for this dish, but if yours are thinner, you may find it easier to handle them if you cut them in half first. Traditionally the fillets are simmered in the sauce, but I like to cook the sauce separately and spoon it around the sole fillets—they stay crispier that way.

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing the sauce if you like
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 fillets gray of lemon sole, approximately
2 1/2 pounds  all-purpose flour for dredging  5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
12 thin lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
3 tablespoons drained tiny capers
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley  salt and freshly ground black pepper –

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Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the butter is foaming. Dredge the fillets in the flour to coat both sides lightly, gently lay as many of the fillets into the pan as fit without touching. Cook just until the underside is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip them gently with a wide metal spatula, and cook until the second side is browned and the fish is opaque in the center, about 2 minutes. Transfer them with the spatula to a baking sheet, and keep them warm in the oven. Repeat it necessary with the remaining fillets, adjusting the heat under the skillet to prevent the bits of flour in the pan from burning. When all the sole fillets have been browned, carefully wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels. Add the remaining olive oil and the remaining butter and crushed garlic, and return to medium heat. When the butter is foaming, slide in the lemon slices, and cook, stirring gently, until they are sizzling and lightly browned. Stir in the capers, and heat until they are sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour in the lemon juice and wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by about half. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and boil until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. If you like, drizzle in a tablespoon or two of the olive oil to enrich the sauce. Sprinkle in the parsley, and taste, seasoning with salt and pepper if you like.  Remove the sole from the oven, and set one fillet in the center of each plate. Fish the lemon slices out of the sauce, and top each fillet with two of them. Spoon the sauce around the fillets, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately.

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http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/1161

See more at: http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/1161#sthash.uQyIuSgx.dpuf

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Rosemary & Parsley Roasted Red Potatoes

Mr. C is 100% Greek and is always wanting something a little on the Greek side, but not overly Greek’ish. I would never be able to get him to eat something like Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) or Moussaka (similar to a lasagna). He’s talked about sitting around the table at his aunt’s house…. and she would dish his plate up heaping full of his least favorite Greek food and say; “Eat!!..eat!!, you’re too skinny!!” Yet, when it comes to a dish like these Greek style roast potato he’s dishing them up himself plenty.

This is a potato side that is easy to make and flavorful. Use as much or as little seasoning as you desire. Spice and seasoning measures are approximate as most come from sprinkle containers.

Ingredients

5 pounds Red potatoes; quartered
1/2 teaspoon Cavendar’s Greek Spice
1/8 cup Canola Oil; Use Spray Can
4 sprigs Fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt; sprinkled to taste
1 tablespoon Parsley
1/4 teaspoon Pepper; sprinkled to taste
3/4 cup butter melted

Preparation

Add water to 5-quart pan about 1/2 full.  Add salt to water and set on stove at high to begin warming water. This will shorten your cook time.

Rinse potatoes under running water then quarter. Add potatoes to water on stove as you gather a few potatoes on the cutting board. Make sure water covers potatoes when they have all been added to the water. Bring to boil and then turn down to medium heat and simmer/slow boil around 10-15 minutes depending on your elevation. Some areas take longer to cook potatoes than others. Par-boil until just slightly tender. Remove from stove and drain.

Layer skin side down on large low sided roasting pan or heavy cookie sheet (see picture for example). Spray potato tops evenly with canola oil or olive oil. Sprinkle generously with Cavendar’s Greek spice, salt and pepper. Remove fresh rosemary from stem and then chop into smaller bits. Sprinkle over potatoes. Sprinkle dried parsley over potatoes for light covering. Seasoning measures are approximate and all are sprinkled on from the containers.

Cook in 425 degree oven for around 10 – 15 minutes or until potatoes begin to brown slightly and are fork tender. Remove from oven and place in serving dish. Drizzle with melted butter and serve immediately.

Cooking at our house is often food of a Greek nature but closer to the typical foods at the everyday American table but from a Greek influence.