Sunday, December 21, 2008

Using up potatoes and turkey...

Jen and Steve (my sister and brother-in-law) came up to visit us this weekend. We had a nice time, made a few new recipes (more on those later) and just kind of bummed around the house since we had a nasty snow storm. For a surprise sweet treat this morning, I threw together a batch of those Sour Cream Buns that we've made a few times now in the past - a bit different from your ordinary roll, thanks to the tang from the sour cream, but so tender and fluffy! I made sure to get the batch in the oven just before they got up... this way, we let the glorious scent of cinnamon dance its way up the stairs, wiggle under their door and slide right into their nose - what a way to wake up!

We had about a half bag of red potatoes that had been in the pantry for awhile and I finally picked what I was going to do with them. While plain 'ol roasted potatoes are always enjoyable, this dish of New Potatoes with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette sounded too good to pass up.

To the quartered red potatoes we had, we added a mess of whole (unpeeled as well) cloves of garlic and tossed them with olive oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Be sure to leave those peels on the cloves - they will help keep the cloves moist and prevent them from drying out while they roast. While the recipe has you leave those cloves in the entire hour and ten minutes it took for the potatoes to cook, when I tossed the potatoes at the halfway point, the garlic was almost done. 10 minutes later and I took them out as they were plenty soft - if they stayed in much longer, I have a feeling they would have burned!

When the potatoes were done, we smashed the garlic pulp and prepared the coating for this dish by whisking that mellow paste with olive oil, fresh parsley, white wine vinegar and a dollop of Dijon mustard for tang and to emulsify the creamy dressing. The wedges of potatoes were tender and moist with a delicious caramelized finish from the heat of the oven... and tossed with the sweet garlic dressing? This is what we call a winner! It was "supposed" to serve 8, but as much as we love potatoes, we were lucky to stretch this out to 6. In fact, we both found ourselves going back for just "one more piece"!

To go along with those potatoes, I also prepared this Crustless Turkey and Spinach Quiche. While this dish originally called for smoked turkey ham, I figured this would be a good chance to finish up the last of our leftover turkey from Thanksgiving I had stashed in the freezer. The base of this quiche is softened onions that we added shredded turkey meat (I used a half cup of both dark and light meat) to and let get a little color in the skillet.

Before we started piling the onion and turkey mixture into our pie plate, we first scattered shredded Swiss cheese over the bottom for a cheesy layer underneath. To create the filling we poured on top, a combination of evaporated milk, eggs and egg whites, cottage cheese (! more on this in a bit), additional swiss cheese and sharp white cheddar were whisked together. To give this a bit of strength to hold together and a little extra help to keep it light in texture, a little flour and a small spoonful of baking powder is whisked into the egg mixture before being poured over the turkey.

To check for doneness, you can slide a thin knife into the center of the quiche and it should come out pretty clean - you do want the center to still be a little soft and moist as it will continue to cook a bit while it is resting. If it looks like there is still a fair amount of wet egg there when you pull the knife out, let it continue to cook for a few minutes. While it is fairly light since there isn't a crust, that doesn't mean it lacked flavor! The combo of dark and light turkey added a nice punch, while the mix of cheeses brought a welcomed dimension to the not too-eggy filling.

I did have to wait until Jeff was almost done eating to let him know there was cottage cheese in it... hee hee! I slyly sneaked some into the cart when we went to the market and thankfully he didn't see it - otherwise, I would have had to deal with him watching me with an eagle eye every time I was in the kitchen to see what I was going to put it into. He always "says" he doesn't like it, but its another ingredient he gobbles up and doesn't even know it! Oh well, you do what you got to do sometimes, even if it is a little evil!


  1. Those potatoes! And the crustless quiche! I make most quiches without crust - eliminates a lot of calories....


  2. We had a joint effort on the dinner this weekend, seven of us all making a contribution! Ages from 22-82!
    Great fun though ;0)

  3. Wow, those potatoes look delicious!

    I bet they were great. Can't beat that combination, potatoes and garlic.

  4. Quinn - I know what you mean... but sometimes a crust matches well!

    Lesley - It may be a little hectic with lots of helpers, but it always fun!

    Jennifer - Thank you!