Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lemon and herb Roasted Turkey with Cheddar and Citrus Cranberry Sauce Grilled Cheese

Our next grilled cheese of glory for grown-up people who don't just want cheese and bread is this freakishly delicious concoction. It is basically a Thanksgiving feast between two slices of sweet potato bread from the Fall Sweet Potato Bread Tutorial. It really is a bread to keep on hand for the next several months.

Let's start with the relish. I think it is probably one of my all-time favorite recipes for Thanksgiving and we love it!
Teapot Cranberry Relish Photo from Taste of Home

The citrus cranberry relish is one that I adapted from a Taste of Home recipe found Here. I use orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar glaze and zest from orange and lemon to give it added flavor contrasts. I also love the addition of a hint of fennel seed. It gives the sauce a remarkable depth. If you make it for Thanksgiving, it is good in the fridge up to a month! Use it on Turkey sammiches yes, but it is also amazing in oatmeal (really?!), as an addition to muffins and cookies or as a relish for pot roasts and chicken.

Tess' Citrus Balsamic Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 package (16 oz) fresh or  frozen cranberries
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar glaze  here
  • 2 cups dried cherries or apricots
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fennel seed, optional
Directions:   In a large saucepan, cook the cranberries, sugar, juice and balsamic glaze over medium heat until the berries pop, about 15-20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Cool slightly and transfer to quart jar and cover with a lid.  Good in the fridge up to 1 month.  

Let's talk Turkey. Seriously. This has to be right.
Ina Gartner's Herb Roasted Turkey photo from Food
I don't mess with perfection on the turkey and my go-to the last few years has been the tutorial posted by Ina Gartner in 2008. Always perfect. Always flavorful. Would we expect anything less from Ina? She's one of my all-time favorite chefs.  Get her Printable Recipe  and you can also watch the full tutorial here
For the Grown-up grilled cheese...
Place 1-2 slices of warm turkey breast (above) on a slice of sweet potato bread. Top with 2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of the citrus cranberry sauce.  Grill in a skillet  with a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter over medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.  Server warm.
There you go darlings! A wicked delicious sandwich for fall! Use both the recipes for the components for your Thanksgiving dinner too! 
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Prosciutto-wrapped Cantaloupe in a Firecracker Lime Sauce

It's getting into the season where people have parties! I'm so excited! I love getting together with my favorite people and laughing and talking and cheering each other onward to remarkable and amazing things! In a life where working like crazy is just "part of the deal", the time we get to spend with our "peeeeeps" is what makes it all worthwhile. So here's one of my favorite appetizer recipes from catering and gatherings.

Prosciutto wrapped melon is a classic appetizer. It has been for years in culinary circles. The salty sweet contrast is delightful with a hint of smokiness from the meat.  It is a great make-ahead magic appetizer.  What isn't classic in my version is the addition of a really rockin' sauce. It's not the mint stuff.  Don't ask me why. I just don't like mint with prosciutto.  There. I said it.

On the other hand...This sauce adds a chile and lime firecracker pop that will absolutely take it over the top. It doesn't overpower the flavors of the melon and prosciutto.  Most firecracker sauce recipes are more oriental in flavor and include soy sauce and ginger. This one is completely different from those varieties and highly addictive. The sauce takes just a few ingredients, you probably already have most of them on hand.  The thing I like best about them is that you can make the melon balls wrapped in the prosciutto up to a day ahead of time and wrap the tray in plastic. Then, just before serving them add a drizzle of the sauce. I like appetizers like that, since I want to be in the middle of the festivities with my friends.   So here's the magic... I think you'll love it.

My Favorite Firecracker Lime Sauce

1 cup honey
2 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup Rice vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
zest of 2 limes
1 Tablespoon Chile flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions: Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Yields 2 cups

To Serve you will need:

1 cantaloupe
24 slices  high quality prosciutto, cut in half
48 frilled or twisted toothpicks

  1. Cut the cantaloupe in half. Remove the seeds. With a melon-baller, scoop out rounds of melon, as you would if you scooped ice cream. 
  2. Wrap each melon ball in 1/2 a slice of prosciutto and secure with a toothpick where the slice meets.
  3. Place on a platter.
  4. At service drizzle the  a few tablespoons of sauce over the melon balls and garnish.

There you go darlings! Have fun at your parties.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess