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The Sailaway Gourmet

It’s hard to believe that November is here. I am never ready for the holiday season and have to admit that I often wish it were January just to be done with all the hustle and bustle of the season.
Sad, I know.

However, I’ve probably mentioned before that Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year. With all the various healthy diets around these days, there are many menus to choose from depending on what you’re eating or not. But I prefer the old-fashioned turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes (though now I only candy half of them as I like then plain…), cranberry sauce, mashed turnips and that crazy old green bean casserole. A carb lover’s dream meal. And now that I’m older I understand why all the men usually were on the couch taking a nap afterwards – I’m ready to pass out myself with all that tryptophan in the turkey, not to mention the work involved to prepare the feast!
And then we have leftovers…most of us enjoy making sandwiches and simple soups, so following are a few different recipes that I have found to be very good.

Turkey Poblano Chili
2 Tbs. of olive oil
2 poblano chilies, seeded and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 lbs. of leftover turkey, chopped into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbs. of chili powder
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) of plum tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) kidney beans
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of sour cream

Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chilies and onion and sauté until softened. Add the turkey, garlic, chili powder and then season with salt and pepper to taste, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper again if needed and serve into bowls. Garnish with sour cream. Serves 4-6

Turkey Artichoke Pie (a little involved but worth the effort)
1 pkg. of frozen chopped spinach
2 cups of cooked rice (white or brown)
4 Tbs. of butter, softened
1 pkg. of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and cooked
1-1/2 cups of cooked turkey, chopped
1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 lbs. mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. each of curry powder and garlic powder
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the spinach, drain well and then combine it with the rice. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the butter and press the mixture into a well-greased 9-inch pie pan. Cover and chill up to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Pat dry the cooked artichokes and then cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Arrange over the rice crust. Top with the chopped turkey and cheese.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Stir in the flour, curry and garlic powders and cook until bubbly. Add the prepared mustard and milk and stir well until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mushroom sauce over the pie and bake 40 minutes until the pie is hot and cheese is bubbly. This dish serves 4-6 depending on how you slice it.
I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!