But here's some of what I did with my leftover Turkey...
I love bloggers! The dedication to lay it all out there on a daily/weekly/sometimes basis astounds me. And most importantly, I get access to talented folks who provide wonderful recipes with photos and instructions that can walk me through making something out of my comfort zone... Pasta is one of those "out of my comfort zone" items. Not that I am afraid of it, I simply do not make it much. And when I say much, I mean if it is not spaghetti with sauce in a jar, I mean never.
But, in mid-October, Karine at the FOOD GOURMAND (one of those lovable Canadians that celebrate Thanksgiving before the more bourgeois Americans) posted a left over turkey recipe for her TURKEY, ARTICHOKE, SPINACH, FEAT, STUFFED SHELLS. I put this in my file of things I wanted to try with my left over turkey... And I did...
Here's what she did (Click HERE to get to her post, with her more educated details)...
- ***For the Sauce**
- 1300 mL tomato sauce
- 200 mL fresh basil, chopped
***For the Filling***
- 250 mL provolone, shredded
- 250 mL feta, chopped
- 125 mL cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs
- 284g baby spinach, cooked your favorite way
- 300 mL marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
- 600 mL turkey, chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 250 g jumbo shells
1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees.
2. Cook shells in boiling salted water and then drain.
3. Mix the tomato sauce and the basil in a large saucepan.
4. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile,
5. Combine the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl.
6. Spoon about 250 mL of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch greased baking pan.
7. Spoon or pipe the stuffing into the shells.
8. Place the shells over the tomato sauce in the baking pan.
9. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the shells. 10. Bake for about 25 minutes.
And, HERE is what I did (just a few minor changes)...
First, as always, assemble your ingredients...
Get ready for this, I am going to show off... It's called Mise en place (pronounced meez-on-plahs in French, but you need to add a little air of superiority in your voice when you say it in French to get the pronunciation exactly right). It literally means, "Set in place". It gets everything you need for the recipe in one place, it guarantees prior to your starting that you have all the ingredients you need, and it is a safety net. When I cook, I use an ingredient, move the "used" item to a different counter. When I am ready to put in the oven, I can tell from the empty counter that I have used all the ingredients. It also helps to assemble all the pots, pans, stirring sticks, measuring cups needed so you do not have to hunt them done when your hands are goopy (say "goopy" with that same snooty French accent.. It's fun)
Finally, I started on the sauce...
I did add a little garlic to the sauce because... Well, because I like garlic. At some point, I need to learn to make pasta sauce (my buddy Mario Russomano (ya think he's Italian?) claims that in Italian-American households, they call tomato sauce, "gravy"... I always wondered if that was true)...
But I digress... Back to the sauce, I found the canned tomato sauce that I used was a little thin. So, I added a small can of tomato paste to thicken it up.
I am sorry I do not have more photos, but I did not take any of the stuffing. I also did not take a photo of the shells being cooked... But, just imagine a box of shells being cooked, and you know what they look like. The stuffing was very easy to assemble... just dump everything into the Kitchenaid mixer and mix. It was a mess to stuff though. I do not have "piping equipment". I tried to be neat and use a spoon, but I found the easiest way was to just dig in and use your hands.
In addition to the extra garlic I added in the sauce, I also added some more provolone cheese on the top. I did this because... well, you know why, I LIKE PROVOLONE CHEESE!
So, into the oven as directed, play a quick turbo round of sit and go poker on-line (I won), and fast as you can say, "Bob's your uncle", it was done! My first "real" pasta meal... and, thanks to Karine at the FOOD GOURMAND, it was a huge success!
Three shells were plenty for dinner, very filling. I also served this with a small spinach salad. I have lots of leftovers to eat during the week, and to send with my wife for her to eat during lunch at her inconvenient day job. But, retired old me, I have to think about, write about, proofread about and edit photos about these. I am doing this first thing in the morning. I am trying to drop a few pounds (or at least maintain my current too high weight) during the holiday season. One of the ways I do that is to have a fruit smoothie for breakfast... I have a dish full of this stuff in my fridge, I have a dish full of this stuff in my mind; but I am going to go puree a banana and some strawberries, add some yogurt and milk... Which would you rather have???
Oh woe is me.
And finally, A note to Kat has who left a comment on my post "GRILLED (finally) BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP and Great C..." yesterday...
Thank you so much, make all the suggestions you want, never offense taken... You said I could take it or leave it... I took it... any better today (baby steps)?