Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy World Running Day! aka early turkey day

So... did you run today? It is World Running Day after all! I'll be honest, I didn't run today, but that's because I had a race yesterday. I have a whole lot of complaints about the course and poor line up in corrals. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that even running 2/3 the course, I was still running into large groups of walkers. I got myself into the right pace marker and should have been running with with people of similar pace. Yet walkers started very far ahead of me. Ugh. Therefore, my hips hurt from having to run along the side of a hill to avoid all the walkers. I'm not used to running with one side my body at a higher elevation than the rest of my body.

Anywhoodles, the best part of running is the carb loading the night before. I usually stick to basic pasta with loads of tomatoes tossed in. I picked that up back when I was a swimmer in high school. It's not too heavy and easily digested. But today's blog isn't about my favourite carb recipe, because that could takes years to decide, it's about the fact that I accidently made Thanksgiving dinner on a small scale tonight.

Stores are starting to stock their shelves with holiday favourites and my favourite farm had an amazing turkey breast just sitting there waiting for me to buy it. So I made a few favourites and tried out some new recipes. My family is still deciding which side of the family we want to celebrate turkey day with or if we want to do it on our own. But it's never too early to enjoy some of these great foods. As I said, this is small scale and does not include most of my yuumy favs!

Mustard-Cider Turkey Breast

About 3 tbls Coleman's Mustard (the dry flour)
About 1 tbls Dijon Mustard
About 2 tbls poultry seasoning (whatever your fav blend is)
About 2 tbls Apple Cider Vinegar
About 1 tbls Apple Cider
Aoubt 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1) Mix all of the above together in a bag. But turkey breast in bag and massage marinade onto bird. Let sit for at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
2) Place turkey into large roasting dish with 1 cup chicken (or turkey) stock and 1 cup apple cider. Cover with foil.
3) Roast at 365 for about 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with juices from bottom of pan. Uncover for last 10 minutes.
4) Turkey will be done when thickest part of the bird reads 180 degrees.
5) Take out of the oven and recover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Leek and Bacon Cornbread Stuffing
I'm going to preface this recipe by saying, I have always loved cornbread stuffing, but can never seem to pull it off. After looking at hundreds of recipes, I decided to take a little help with this one. Thankfully the best place in the world, Trader Joe's, offered my some assistance with an awesome box mix that even came with seasonings. Now that I have made a great recipe, I'm going to start taking it apart and approaching it from a different angle. So this my dear readers, is my jazzed up version of Trader Joe's Cornbread Stuffing mix.

1 Box TJ's Cornbread Stuffing Mix
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
3 leeks, chopped and cleaned
4 strips bacon, chopped
1/4 cup beer (I used Leinikugel's Oktoberfest)
3-4 cups chicken stock

1) Saute leeks in olive oil over medium heat with salt and pepper. Once everything is well coated, cover with a lid and let leeks cook for 10-15 minutes until very soft.
2) Remove lid, turn up heat to high, and stir in bacon. Once bacon cooks down, stir in beer. Stir well loosening up bits off bottom.
3) Stir in chicken stock and seasoning packet from box mix. Once everything is combined toss with cornbread cubes.
4) Pour into a baking dish (or do like me and cook leeks in a large dutch oven to take it from stove to oven without dirtying more dishes) cover and bake at 350 for thirty minutes, stirring half way through. Take lid off and bake for ten more minutes or until top is lightly browned and crispy.

The New Green Beans Almondine

1 pound green beans
1 tbls butter
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot chopped finely
1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds

1) Steam green beans, stopping about one minute before done. I did this in the microwave, just because there was a lack of free burners.
2) Sautee shallot in butter and olive oil. When shallot is translucent, but not browned, toss in almonds.
3) Once almonds are barely toasted and shallots start to brown, take off the heat and toss in green beans. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

So with all of this I served mushroom turkey gravy (pretty mush sautee mushrooms before making gravy), smashed purple potatoes (bright colours make everything yummy) and roasted sweet potato cubes tossed with maple syrup and salt and pepper. Simple and yummy.

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