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Entries in turkey (7)


Spanish Paprika Turkey Meatloaf Isn't Your Grandma's Meatloaf

I'm going nuts with the changes over here at Hungry Sam. Today after work, I bought lamps. LAMPS. And full-spectrum bulbs. It was time, folks. I live in an "English Basement."

What does this mean for you? It means that when I whip up a batch of tasty, well-spiced, smoky turkey meatloaf, I can take better pictures than ever before:

Ohhhh yeah. The dish is a great balance of sweet peppers, smoky Spanish paprika, rich meat and potatoes, and sharp, biting scallions. Here's another glimpse of the tastiness before we dig into the recipe:

More (well-lit) photos and the recipe after the jump!

Click to read more ...


How to Herb-Roast Turkey Breasts and Conquer Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for chefs. On one hand, it's a moment in which skills can shine and new and creative versions of traditional dishes can be crafted. On the other, the person(s) in charge of planning and executing the menu fight two uphill battles only tangential to ability in the kitchen:

  1. Thanksgiving inspires in many Americans a series of clearly-defined expectations (e.g. "THAT's NOT THE WAY MY MOM MADE YAMS!!!"), and
  2. Thanksgiving is an organizational nightmare.

To the first issue: there's almost no overcoming the "expectations" challenge, unless everyone around the table has had similar lifelong Thanksgiving experiences. So, instead of leaping over the hurdle, I say bust right through like the Kool-Aid guy crashing through a wall. Instead of being subtle and mixing recipes up just a little, do something different enough to circumvent expectations. No, I'm not going to provide you alternatives for every dish, but how about we start with one strategy you can employ with the Turkey?


 NOTE: I say "Turkey" with a capital "T" (which rhymes with P which stands for pool) because Turkey is the centerpiece of any (non-vegetarian/alternative) Thanksgiving. Have you ever seen a Thanksgiving spread without a shining, golden, monumental KING Turkey perfectly centered among the sides?

Anyway, one still-impressive but rather easy way to jazz up the Turkey is by herb-roasting a few breasts. I suppose this only works if you're feeding people who tend to prefer white meat; however, the method I'm about to elaborate includes a little dark as well.

Click to read more ...


'Tis the Season for Pumpkin Chili! (And Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread)

The official food of the month of November -- as prescribed by immutable, universal laws set down before time began -- is pumpkin chili. Incontestably so. 

"Your authority to make such a claim?" you may ask.
And I won't respond. 
Besides, it's obvious. Chili -- warm, thick, hearty; pumpkin -- spicy, earthy, colorful. It's a potent combination. 

Click to read more ...


Legit Paella, with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage

In between law school applications, the Jewish High Holy Days, preparations for my travels to the Yucatan, and the regular ebb and flow of work -- I've still been finding a little time here and there to engage in kitchen adventures.

Among the recent dishes I've whipped up is a recurring favorite of mine: My chicken, shrimp, and turkey sausage paella (recipe below)! And I'm excited to show you the awesome pictures I took, like this one:



See how nice I made it look? Just so you know, it was really hard to make the shrimp stand up. But I did it for you, my loyal readers. I even artistically splashed some chipotle hot sauce on the plate!
Though I live by the maxim that anyone can cook any dish with the right preparation, ingredients, and patience, I'll readily admit that paella is a challenge. It's time and recipe intensive, entails juggling multiple prep stations and multiple burners-worth of ingredients, and makes for a LOT of dirty dishes.

Click to read more ...


Presidential Thanksgiving; the Onion

My post about Thanksgiving is forthcoming (anyone know how to do a photo montage? Or something?) but I'm just pretty pleased that the New York Times (all the news that's fit to print/post on the interwebs) lists the First Family's Thanksgiving menu.

My take: That's a lot of pie, Mr. President.

I prefer the Onion News Network video, in which Obama outlines the moral and philosophical justifications for the annual Turkey Pardon. Enjoy:

Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon

And who says legitimate journalism is dead?


Turkey Chili: Habanero Burns Ensue

If this blog makes you in any way I am some sort of cooking "expert," allow me to state unequivocally that I AM NOT. I am the slightly more sophisticated version of a 5 year-old who makes "soup" by stirring at ice cream or lemonade by combining lemons with...nothing.

What I am is enthusiastic. If what I make sounds delicious, that's because a) it is, but more importantly b) because I throw myself into every recipe or opportunity for experimentation with youthful and at times idiotic zest and vigor. I will soon have an EPIC FAIL and will blog about that too, I promise. Like the time I once made chicken biryani and simultaneously invented a new alloy of steel/chicken biryani.

ANYWAYS: My amateur enthusiasm comes out when I least expect it. The other day, while locked in fierce combat with the weather, I made about 2 gallons of Turkey Chili. As per several requests I have had, I will attempt to recreate the recipe (see bottom of the post). The point is, although I had experienced chili burns before, and although I KNEW habaneros (frequently spelled with a tilda over the 'n') are the spiciest chili pepper available in most grocery stores, I did not take proper precautions.

Proper precautions would have included:

  1. Using gloves of some sort;
  2. Using a wet towel to grip and handle the peppers;
Long story short, about ten minutes after using the peppers, I developed angry red burns on my fingers. This is because the oils in hot chilis include a compound called capsaicin, which is also in tarantula venom and used in the popular muscle pain ameliorate IcyHot.

The oil also got under my finger nails, which I discovered 3 hours (and several handwashes and aloe applications) later when I scratched my neck...and left angry red burns. Wowza.

Anyways, the chili was GREAT. I love to stuff chili with tons of beans, as many varieties as I can find, both for color and flavor. I used about 2.5 lbs. of ground turkey, 93% lean, and simmered it down longer than I needed to achieve a more intense, thicker chili. It's pretty healthy too; I go light on the oil and the turkey is lean. Other than that it's just veggies. Here's the recipe:

Pain-is-weakness Chili (okay, it's not THAT spicy.)

NOTE: ALL amounts are estimations, particularly for spices; I spice to taste and throughout the process.

2.5 lbs. ground turkey, 93% lean
olive oil
2 jalapenos, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bell pepper (I like yellow for the color), chopped
1 habanero...or not. Minced.
2 T. tomato paste
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, peeled.
Small handful FRESH cilantro, stems separated from fronds
3 c. low-sodium chicken stock
3 T. minced garlic
T. cumin
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. chipotle pepper, ground
1 t. oregano
2 bay leaves
Pretty much as many beans of any variety you choose. I used 5 cans -- butter, black, black-eyed, kidney, and garbanzo. Drain and rinse.
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven or other large, thick-bottomed pot (make the cookin' world go round?). Sautee garlic, then peppers, cilantro stems, and onions, seasoning with salt and pepper and some of the spices, until onions are translucent and sweating.
  2. Throw in the turkey, breaking up big chunks, until cooked through. Spice.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and paste, then chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cook about 45 minutes. Season and spice at several points -- it's important to remember the character of spices is different depending on the points at which they are added.
  4. Toss in the beans, cook an additional however long you feel like it (I did 30 minutes more). Add cilantro (fronds?) just before serving.


Lawson's: A Simple Idea Done Well

Yesterday, a couple of friends and I visited Lawson's, a soup, salad, sandwich, and sushi joint in Dupont Circle. (If the latter offering seems somewhat out of place, that's because it kind of is.)

RLK, LPG and I were in the mood for something new. Having all worked in the Dupont Circle neighborhood for about five months, we'd found a few consistent and excellent options in that neck of the woods and had been lazily enjoying these standbys without much thought to branching out. With a great effort, we overcame our sloth and ventured a few blocks further than our regular restaurant radius, to some success.

Though pretty crowded at noon, Lawson's has three or four distinct ordering counters and two registers spaced out down the axis of the interior, the effect of which is efficient crowd management. Drinks and pre-made stuff in a cooler along the back wall, ordering and assembly stations along the front, place your order, get a number, etc etc. Not really breaking new ground, but you've got to appreciate it when a basic model is just executed well.

Actually, that's pretty much the theme of the place. The menu is generous without venturing too far into wild creativity and includes the basic deli meats, clubs, and BLTs; the salad ingredients were again the basics but everything looked fresh and appetizing. A pair of soups (MD crab and a split pea) graced the menu and appeared to rotate daily. I didn't get a good look at the sushi, but all seemed well in the land of Americanized Japanese food. The prices were all about $5-7, perhaps some of the cheapest eats in the area.

I ordered Lawson's version of the best sandwich I've ever had -- a California Turkey Club. In my hometown there's a ridiculous little deli which is pretty much never open for business, but if you're lucky enough to catch them and smart enough to order a California Turkey Club, you'll find the toasted rye stacked high with a basic turkey club PLUS avocado and brie. Damn. Well, Lawson's used the more mundane swiss rather
than brie but the club was tasty, the bacon offered a good crunch and flavor, the sprouts and avocado were fresh and the turkey thick-sliced from a roasted breast resting on a cutting board. Add in the price (about $7) and I declared sandwich victory.

RLK seemed to enjoy her jerk chicken salad, noting that they grilled up the chicken then and there (in contrast to several other Dupont salad joints which just toss in pre-cooked cold meat). LPG, however, is unlikely to return; her tuna melt had bacon and she doesn't do non-swiming animals. I ate it, it was tasty. I declared sandwich victory x2.

Service - 4/5 (great)
Price - 4/5 (great)
Options - 3/5 (fine/average)
Tastiness - 3/5 (fine/average)
How likely I am to return - 5/5 (XTREME!!1!11)