Monday, May 21, 2012

Turkey International: Hungarian Turkey and Cabbage Casserole, Dutch Turkey Waldorf Salad

It is a challenge to come up with new recipes for turkey, as we eat it often due to my dietary restrictions.  You can only eat so many plain turkey sandwiches before it becomes boring.  If it were colder out, I would get out a whole turkey from the freezer.  I stockpiled several last Thanksgiving time.  The thought of roasting a whole bird for most of a morning in my already hot kitchen is almost more than I can stand.  So, I rely on the roasted turkey breast that they sell in our local grocery store.  I carefully pull the whole breast off the bones, and put the bones and bits of meat still clinging on,  along with the skin, in a stockpot to boil away while I finish the rest of my turbo cooking for the week. 
I deli slice half of one whole breast for sandwiches, and put it in a tupperware in the meat drawer.  I will add a couple teaspoons of the broth made from the bones to the meat to make sure it makes a moist  and tender meat sandwich.  This is a good tip for any kind of roasted meat that you are going to use for sandwiches.  The other half gets diced for the Hungarian Turkey and Cabbage Casserole.  The other breast gets divided: 4 cups get diced for the Waldorf Salad, and the rest shredded to make homemade turkey and noodles on Thursday.
So, for my twelve dollars of already prepared meat, I have four meals plus leftovers.  Three dollars a meal!  Not a bad meat choice for our tight budget.
We love cabbage in any preparation in our house, either cooked or raw, or as sauerkraut.  This is a variation on a traditional Hungarian side dish.  It is simply shredded cabbage cooked in butter and added to cooked noodles.  I have adapted it to include mushrooms and onions and leftover meat.  It is good with turkey, but you could also use diced beef roast, or pork.

Hungarian Turkey and Cabbage Casserole
6 T butter divided
1 diced onion
2 C mushrooms sliced
1/2 head shredded cabbage
1 qt/box chicken or turkey stock
1 C diced turkey
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 C milk
2 T cornstarch
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 box cooked and drained short cut pasta like shells

In a large dutch oven or chicken cooker skillet, sweat the onion and mushrooms until onions are translucent in 3 T butter.  Add shredded cabbage, and stir until it starts to wilt.  Add caraway and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  In a measuring cup blend the milk with the cornstarch until it is dissolved.  Stir into boiling stock until it thickens.  Stir in the remaining 3 T butter to finish the sauce, and pour over cooked pasta.
At this point, you can cool and store it to heat in the oven later in the week at 350*F until bubbly. 

Turkey makes a wonderful Waldorf type salad.  I use apples and dried fruits and toasted nuts in it.  My daycare kids love it.

Turkey Waldorf Salad
4 C diced turkey
1/2 minced onion
1 C celery diced
1/2 C chopped dried cherries
2 apples cored and chopped (anything you like, I used a tart pink lady apple)
1/4 C chopped toasted nuts

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, and top with dressing:
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1/2 C Greek yogurt
1/4 C orange juice
1/2 T orange zest
1 tsp sugar or stevia, or to taste
1/2 tsp cardamom

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