Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Turkey Croquettes

Aren’t we all looking for a way to repurpose left overs?  I start searching for weeks before Thanksgiving to ensure that we can use every bit of the food I make for Thanksgiving.  My husband is from the south, so we always have a few “classics”, and well as some twists on traditional fare.  


I started this year, by making my own Cranberry Orange Sauce, which I split between our house and my sisters, unknowing that at her house there was a contest!  I tied for 1st place!!!  At our house, I heard, “that’s nice, where’s the canned.  Win some lose some!  I also handmade rolls!   

We always have turkey, there’s no redirecting that ship!  We did buy a Farmer’s market turkey (Small fortune, but VERY good!!! We’ll stick with our .47 from our local grocer!) 

Gotta have mashed potatoes, and gravy, this isn’t a time of year to play around with a new mashed recipe, go with the standard, don’t mess it up! (Although, I did use my Instant Pot, and added garlic….don’t tell!)  


As for other sides, the green ones, I have free range on.  Typically I go with Brussels Sprouts, but I wasn’t feeling it this year, so I went with Fresh, “Frenched” Green Beans.  It’s truly the ONLY way to eat them!  

Now on to the Starches!!!  We always have a Turkey CornbreadDressing and Sweet Potato Casserole.  For the TurkeyCornbread Dressing, I’m told there is a recipe, but have yet to see it.  I know most of what goes into it, but mine is never the same.  Years ago, Craig’s mom came for a visit, and cooked us Thanksgiving dinner while we were working, and placed all of the “nasty’s” (Giblets and such) in the corner of the dish, stating “didn’t know if ya’ll liked those”  We promptly cut out that corner and tossed it.  One day I’ll be trusted with the recipe….it’s only been 17 years….got a few more to go!  

My favorite is the Sweet Potato Casserole.  Some may like the marshmallow topping of the “traditional”, but ours is much smoother, and tastier.  I’ve mashed, riced and this year, pureed the sweet potatoes.  They came out more like a soufflĂ©.  Then we add toasted pecans, coconut and a few other delights.  Top it with a brown sugar crust….YUMMMEEEE!! 

So that brings me to my post. For leftovers, over the years I’ve tried Turkey Soup, Turkey Salad, Turkey Egg Rolls, and a slew of other items, but nothing compares to my Thanksgiving Croquettes.  While there’s really no recipe, it’s more of a technique.  I will include what I did, but please take advantage of what you have leftover to make these delicious treats!  We also tried to air-frying them. Craig said that style was his favorite.

Let’s not forget dessert!  Pecan Pie Cheesecake  

Turkey Croquettes


1 Cup cooked  Turkey, diced

1 Cup cold mashed potatoes

1 Cup cold dressing (Stuffing, or whatever you call it!)

2 stalks celery, diced

2 stalks green onion

2 Eggs, beaten

Bread Crumbs, as needed


For Coating:

1-2 Eggs, beaten


Oil, Canola, or Peanut (high heat)



Mix together the Turkey, potatoes, dressing and vegetables.  Add in the beaten eggs.  If the mixture is too loose, add small amounts (1/4 cup) of bread crumbs until “tightened up”.  Roll mixtures into equal sized balls.  I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the same sizes.  While I’m rolling the balls, I make sure that my oil in heating up.  If your using a fryer, heat to 350F.  If you’re using the store top, make sure you have a high heat thermometer, and set the to 350F.  Once the balls are rolled, you will dip them one at a time into the beaten eggs, to coat, then into the Panko.  Coat 5-6 at a time.  Carefully drop 4-5 balls into the oil, one at a time.  Wait until they are golden brown, and remove.  All items are fully cooked, so you’re just warming them up.  If you would like to temp them, aim to get them to 140-150F.


We eat them plain, but you could totally dip them in a cranberry sauce, warm or cold, Gravy, warm or cold, or ranch…..for that matter whatever strikes your fancy!


If you’re feeling guilty for the heavy food, lighten them up with a green salad!



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Beef Roll ‘em Ups

When I was growing up, my grandma used to make Beef Roll ‘em Ups. I always loved unrolling these little “gifts”. She always made them in a pressure cooker.  When she passed, my dad took over making these, but mom was always scared of pressure cookers, so dad made them in a crock pot.  Still good, but we all missed Grandma’s version.  

A few years back I saw an automatic pressure cooker, and told Craig, “this is what I want for Christmas”!  He did a ton of research and decided that Instant Pot was the only brand to buy. That Christmas Day, I made my first dinner, and fell in love with that pressure cooker.  The real reason I wanted a pressure cooker, was to recreate my Grandma’s recipe.

Because Craig doesn’t eat beef, I had to make them when he was out of town.  

Here is my version of my Grandma’s recipe for Beef Roll ‘em Ups, for the Instant Pot:

Beef Roll ‘em Ups

2lbs Flank Steak

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 t pepper

4-6 bacon strips

4-6 pearl onions

1/2 c flour

8 oz tomato sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp marjoram leaves 

1 tsp snipped parsley

1/2 c onion, minced

Rub steak with garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cut steak crosswise into 4-6 strips. In a large skillet, partially cook bacon (do not cook to crispy), remove bacon, pouring grease into Instant Pot. 

Place a strip of beef on your work area, place a strip of bacon on the beef, and a pearl onion on the bacon.  Roll steak and bacon around the onion, securing with a toothpick. Coat the rolls with flour.  Set the Instant Pot to sautĂ©, and add a little more oil, working in small batches, place Roll ‘em Ups in the Pot, and sear until brown.

Once browned, remove from the pot, and let rest.  Add tomato sauce, herbs and onions to the pot and stir. Allow to lightly boil.  Return the beef rolls to the pot, and cover with sauce.  Push the Cancel button on the Instant Pot, Put the lid in place, making sure the vent is turned to “Pressure.” Push the manual button. Make sure the cooker is on the “High” setting and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Walk away, make a cocktail, pour a beer, walk the whatever it is you do to kill time, before you eat something delicious. 

When the timer goes off.  Allow the steam to release, naturally. (I have a hard time waiting, but you need to!)

Serve and enjoy!

*note, I added potatoes and carrots and fresh rosemary in while I was pressuring.