Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Turkey London Broil With Cran-blueberry Sauce

    Memorial Day weekend in the grand U.S.A. The unofficial start of summer, glorious summer. The weather in the suburbs of NY City is just as glorious. It was a long winter and an even longer spring. Warm weather as well as a clear, blue sky was slow in arriving. But like most unpleasant memories it is merely that, when it's left behind. Grills are primed and BBQ season begins. Every cooking show, magazine and News short has a "new" recipe for the grilled hamburger, how to put a unique twist on potato salad and ways to add fresh berries to a dessert. Young, sweet vegetables and fruits grace the picnic table and fill festive bowls. A love affair with the great outdoors has begun.

But what about the reason for this celebration? It is a somber one. Memorial Day honors those who have given their lives to protect America's freedoms. It was originally called, Decoration Day, when the graves of those who died in our Civil War were decorated with flowers, flags and wreaths. It became a National Holiday in 1971. Our fallen military are honored with religious and civil services, parades and fireworks. Every American should spend time in prayer and remembrance of our brave service men & women who have fought and died valiantly. Yes, Memorial weekend is a time to relax & gather with friends and family. It's a time to grill up burgers, chicken and ribs. To splash in a lake or the ocean and get our first tan of the season, but to forget the real reason for this holiday is a great disservice to our American heroes.

Red....White....& Blue were the colors, I wanted to use when planning my Memorial Day menu. I came up with desserts galore in this color scheme, but the main course....hmmmm. Poultry was white, but did I simply want to prepare chicken? No. So I set out to buy turkey tenderloin and came across a turkey London broil. Having never heard of it, naturally, I had to purchase it.  The other white meat, pork, would be put in my crock pot and transformed into wonderful sweet and tangy Pulled Pork on Sunday. Of course, it wouldn't be a BBQ without burgers, hot dogs, baked beans and the works...that was for day three.

Turkey London broil...I scoured recipes. There weren't many for this cut of meat. Technically, turkey London broil is one, thick, meaty breast...boneless and skinless. It is sliced at an angle just like a beef London broil. It can be roasted or grilled. Grilled was my first choice given it's the holiday of the American BBQ. I discarded the recipes that roasted the turkey in the oven with butter and seasonings, too much like Thanksgiving. Should I go with sweet with orange marmalade? Tangy with a zesty Italian dressing marinade? Or Teriyaki? They all sounded great, but what about the beautiful colors of Old Glory?

It all came together with the flag idea. Cranberry with cranberry/raspberry juice would be the red. This is a standard Thanksgiving side dish, so why not with Turkey London Broil? Sweet would be the honey and brown sugar. The blue...blueberries of course. White....well the white meat turkey. Oh, the tangy I left for the final sauce, a splash of balsamic vinegar.  A soy sauce marinade was the liquid to make the star of the recipe somewhat teriyaki.
The amount of time needed to grill the turkey was my main concern. The closest I found was a recipe for a 2 1/2 lb turkey London broil...mine was 2 lbs. I marinated my turkey for 3 hours, flipping it over at the half way mark and grilled it on medium heat for 10 minutes on each side. Using a meat thermometer the internal temperature should be 170 degrees. If you decide to roast this in the oven, the suggested time is 1 hour at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on it, though, being sure not to over-cook it. After all, it's a boneless, turkey breast. 

This was a great alternative to beef..and a healthy one at that. Memorial weekend consists of three days, and most celebrators will have meat on the menu. There's nothing wrong with hot dogs, hamburgers, or steak, but poultry is a nice change for the palate. So at your next BBQ...try this recipe for Turkey London Broil. Add corn-on-the-cob, potato salad or Cole slaw and your All-American Memorial Day feast will be complete and would make any soldier proud.

Turkey London Broil
With Cran-Blueberry Sauce

2 lb. Turkey London Broil

1/2 can jellied Cranberry sauce
1 cup Cranberry/Raspberry juice
10 oz. bottle soy sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 fresh parsley leaves, cut  up
2 stalks fresh chives, cut up

Mash  jellied cranberry sauce into cranberry/raspberry juice. Blend well. Mix this with all the remaining marinade ingredients. Pour into a plastic sealable bag or long container with a lid. Add turkey London broil and coat well with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Flip over half way through marinating cycle.

1/4 cup blueberries, washed and stems removed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup of cranberry/raspberry juice
1 Tablespoon honey
a splash of balsamic vinegar
Mash berries together with juice and remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Remove turkey from marinade. Discard marinade. Grill on medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side. Watch that you don't burn it or over-grill. Internal temperature should be 170 degrees. Slice Turkey London Broil on a diagonal angle and pour sauce over the top.  Serves 4
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Pork Tenderloin With Mustard Maple Sauce

Buy the store brand pork sauce or seasonings. It isn't expensive and it cooks within 30-40 minutes. What I love about it is that you season the pork, put it in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and get on with the rest of the meal. Pork tenderloin is lean and healthy and no leftovers.
I sang the praises of my favorite type of meat in a post, Pork Tenderloin With Maple BBQ Sauce. I must really enjoy maple flavor with pork tenderloin as this is my second maple sauce for a tenderloin. What makes this one different is the mustard. It gives the sauce a tangy zip different than the smoky BBQ flavor of my previous pork post. A hint of cinnamon added to the well-balanced flavors in this recipe. All in all, this is a simple dish created with ingredients that most of us have on hand. It cooks quickly but with enough time to rustle up great sides. I choose pierogi. 3 minutes in salted boiling water, drain, put back in the same pot with butter. Once they are golden crisp on one side, add a few slices of onion and finish until golden brown. Simple green beans tossed in salt and olive oil, a side salad, and a dollop of apple butter completes the meal.
As an aside: I was going to wrap the tenderloin in bacon...maple syrup and bacon, ta-die-for. But, I've had a lot of ham lately and kielbasa yesterday...gotta behave myself! So, if bacon will send you over the moon, go for it!

Pork Tenderloin With Mustard Maple Sauce

1.25 lbs. pork tenderloin (2-3 pieces)
3/4 to 1 cup of pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon deli mustard
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
onion powder
garlic powder
parsley flakes
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle oil in a baking dish. Season tenderloin with onion & garlic powders, salt, parsley flakes on both sides. Place in a baking dish and drizzle pork with olive oil. In a bowl, mix maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon & onion powder. Stir well. Place baking dish with pork in oven and bake for 15 minutes then baste with syrup. Turn meat over. Let cook another 10 minutes and baste again. Cook another 5 minutes until juices run clear. Pork can be just a bit pink inside. Let meat rest for the juiciest meat possible.
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken & Kielbasa Chili

Right from the first sentence, I must thank fellow food blogger, Drick Perry. He is a true Southern gentleman whose food "makes yo' tongue fly outta yo' mouth and smack yo' brains out." Drick hails from Mobile, Alabama and his specialty is Southern Hertiage Recipes, Gulf Coast Seafood, Creole, Cajun & Mexican meals. I thoroughly enjoy everything he posts and hopes he continues to bless us with many more recipes.
This winter in NY was a particularly severe one, and I searched for stick-to-your-ribs, comfort food to cook. I came across Drick's recipe for White Bean & Roasted Chicken Chili on his blog, Drick's Rambling Cafe and knew I had to try it. It was beyond good and a keeper that now has a special place in my "favorites file". The first time I made this chili, I stuck closer to the original...with just a little less spices for my DH. It was memorable.
On Sundays, I usually serve homemade tomato sauce with meatballs, sausage, or braciole over pasta, but decided that Drick's chili would be perfect on this rainy, cool spring day. Since it's my second go at this recipe, I added my own tweaks. I hope Drick will appreciate the changes as this NY gal makes this recipe her "own" and tailors it to the tastes of her family. Thanks, Drick, for the great recipe and feeding my passion for good food through your blog.

There's nothing like Rotisserie chicken. I was able to skip the Roasted Chicken for Stews part of the recipe and save time (which Drick suggests). This isn't the only reason I love Rotisserie chicken.....the meat is always flavorful, moist, and tender. There's something about the taste that can't be described or duplicated in an ordinary oven. I love the taste so much that I treated myself to The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook by Michelle A. Anderson.

Diced tomatoes
& Beans
"My" chicken chili isn't white chili but the more traditional red, nor is it spicy. I'd rather my guests..ahem, husband...add some cayenne pepper or more chili powder to their dish than not be able to enjoy it because it's too spicy for their liking. I added tomato paste so it would thicken to the consistency I'm most familiar with and enjoy. I originally thought that 4 cups of chicken broth was too much and would make it soupy, but as the chili set, it thickened beautifully.  Don't gasp, but I'm not a big fan of bell peppers or should I say, bell peppers aren't a big fan of me, so I used a small can of diced green chile by mild or with heat..can you guess which one I used? The kielbasa adds that smoky, down-south flavor to the dish. I used Polska Kielbasa Lite made with turkey, pork & beef by Hillshire Farm. I didn't use oregano, coriander or jalapeno pepper as Drick suggested. Please feel free to add or omit any ingredient that doesn't suit your taste or don't have on hand.

Be sure to remove the skin of the chicken and discard any fat. I pulled the skin off in large pieces and added it to the chili- no fat or small pieces-while I took the chicken off the bones. I removed the skin from the pot just before I added the chicken. The skin has great flavor....all those spices making the chicken so darn good.  The juices that dripped off the chicken forms a dark, rich gel. Don't forget to add this to the pot, too. The extra flavor is ta-die-for.

No one knows when the first Chili was cooked...perhaps well before Columbus came to America. It was traditionally made with pork shoulder and beef. Some say, horse meat, but I rather not think that. It didn't contain beans. Now it has it's own "Society".  ICS-International Chili Society with World Championship Chili Cookoffs began in 1967. You can learn about  ICS at his link. Chili Con Carne & Verde are the best known. But there's vegetarian chili, seafood chili, hot dog chili, jambalaya chili and more. It can be throat-closing, lips numbing 5 alarm hot or mild (like mine) chili. Did you know, October is National Chili month? If you're interested in any of the chili I mentioned click on So, soak those beans, brown that meat, chop the onions and peppers and make a pot of chili today.

Chicken Chili With Kielbasa

1 (48 oz) or 3 lb Rotisserie Chicken
14 oz ring of Kielbasa sausage, cut in circles then in half
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1- 4 oz can diced green chile ( Ortega hot or mild)
1- 32oz box of chicken broth (4 cups) 
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2- 15 oz cans of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1- 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
3 oz tomato paste (1/2 of can)
Cheddar or Longhorn cheese or your favorite mix of cheeses
NO salt needed

In a large stockpot, brown kielbasa. Add onions and saute until almost clear then add garlic and saute until golden. Add diced green chile. Stir and cook 3 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder. Stir. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pull rotisserie chicken from bones and cut into chunks. Add beans to broth. Mix. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir. If you want to add large pieces of skin to pot do so now. Bring back to a simmer for 30 minutes.  If added, remove skin from pot and discard.  Add chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

**Serve over rice or corn bread with tortilla chips on the side.
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Grouper With Grand Marnier & Maple Sauce

Grouper in Grand Marnier Sauce
 Just because Lent is over doesn't mean Meatless Friday comes to an end. I think it's a great idea to set aside at least one day a week that's meat-free. Now, let's not get crazy...I don't mean vegetables only :) On occasion this might happen, but fish or eggs are more what I'm talking about.  I have a boat-load of fish recipes, but I'm forever looking for more. I happened upon a great seafood site based out of Florida. is the website for fishing enthusiasts. It began in 2001 when a small group of sportsmen got together after meeting in cyberspace. If you are a fisherman and live in Florida check out all of their great events. The site is a goldmine of information..both serious and fun. You can find tactics for different species, fishing stories (you know the one that got away) and videos, fishing tips & medicine (brief but interesting), and best of
I made a visit to my favorite fish store, Anchor Seafood, in Montvale, New Jersey. It sells just-caught fish, hand-picked from NY's famous Fulton Fish Market, as well as prepared foods like seafood salads, breaded fish fillets and shrimp...great for lunch. They have a glass case full of homemade chowders, bisque and soups as well as foil trays of clam casino, paella, shrimp parmigiana,  mussels in marinara sauce, a tank of live lobsters, and baskets of clams. When in season, I can find both soft shell and blue claw crabs... double yum. It is spotless and smells sweet and clean...a sign of good fish. The old adage is: If it smells like fish, leave empty-handed! I rarely leave this store without spending 50 bucks..but it's so worth it.
So my last visit yield...jumbo shrimp, grouper, tilapia, hake and scallops. Did you know grouper and the entire grouper family have become one of the most popular saltwater food fish in the United States? Grouper is a bottom fish and inhabit all of the tropical coral reefs. It can be found in and around bottom ledges, live bottom, and artificial reefs and wrecks. It has a face only a mother could love, but not many fish are as good to eat!
After viewing the grouper recipes at the Big Bend Sportsman website, I decided to try one called, Tato's Grouper. What caught my attention was the finishing sauce made with Grand Marnier & Maple Syrup. What a luscious combination. It also called for pepper jelly which I just happen to have. I treated myself to a small jar at a country store I had visited. I bet if you don't have it on hand you can....mix together a favorite jam/jelly like marmalade and add red pepper flakes to it. So every "specialty" item was either in my fridge or cabinets..cream cheese (I almost went with mascarpone), pepper jelly, Grand Marnier and maple syrup.
All the Ingredients
The recipe began with "marinate fish as per your normal routine." I don't usually marinate my fish. I also didn't think that any marinade would compliment the sweet ingredients called for in this recipe. I left out the marinate part and was happy with the result. If you can think of a marinade that would go well  with the ingredients, by all means go ahead and use it. I served the grouper with brown rice, peas & mushrooms and a salad. This is a keeper and one I'm glad I didn't let get away! Enjoy.

*There were no measurements in this recipe. My kind of recipe!

Grouper With A Grand Marnier & Maple Sauce

1 Grouper fillet (choose a fillet on the thick side)
Grand Marnier liqueur
maple syrup
red pepper jelly
cream cheese
olive oil

Season grouper with salt. Cut a couple of slits in the grouper. Insert pieces of cream cheese and some red pepper jelly. Seal with toothpick, if needed. Place in a skillet with olive oil and lots of garlic. Brown on each side 4-5 minutes. While cooking, mix maple syrup and Grand Marnier. Stir. Just at the end of the cooking time, pour the Grand Marnier sauce over grouper and finish cooking until fish is white and flaky.
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