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Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

A South of the Border Christmas Meal

Delight your guests by serving the turkey on a lovely platter, consider surrounding with seasonal fruits and nuts. Fresh rosemary sprigs or parsley brighten the presentation as well.


Bon Appetit ~!


Recipes for our South of the Border Christmas meal:


M's Queso and Sausage Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds pork sausage, crumbled while browning
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 5 medium celery stalks, strings stripped and sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 packages (16 ounces) seasoned cornbread stuffing crumbs (12 cups)
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 2 cups chicken broth (from 32-ounce carton)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup Queso Rodrigo, (recipe included below)
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted if preferred

Instructions:

    1. Cook sausage, onion and celery in skillet over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain fat well
    2. Place sausage mixture, stuffing crumbs, butter, sage, pepper, parsley and cilantro in large oven proof roasting pan. Pour broth over mixture; toss to combine. Gently stir in cheese and pecans. Add queso and stir well to combine. Cover and cook in oven at 325 on Low heat setting about 1.5 to 2 hours, checking to make sure dressing is not getting too brown. If still needing to cook, cover tightly with aluminum foil and check in about 10-15 minutes. Garnish with sprigs of fresh Cilantro and celery leaves.
    3. Serve dressing warm. This will keep well in refrigerator and is delicious served after reheating or cold (makes a great sandwich, especially if slices of turkey are included, and maybe some cranberry sauce. Add crisp iceberg lettuce and sweet onion slices if you wish.)


M's Queso and Sausage Dressing

~~~~~~~~~~~

M's South of the Border Turkey

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16-24 lb turkey, fully thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temp

Aromatics:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
  • 1 medium orange, quartered

Instructions:

    1. Prepare your spice blend. In small bowl, mix all ingredients except turkey and butter. (Make a double batch of this spice mix and store what you do not use in a tightly sealed container. It can be used on chicken, pork, or beef.) Lower rack in oven to lowest position. Preheat oven to 325.
    2. Make sure your bird is fully thawed; a partially frozen one will cook unevenly. Better to plan to roast a fully frozen turkey, longer cooking times. Prepare your roasting pan. Either use a rack or prepare a bed of wadded up aluminum foil to keep the turkey from contacting the bare pan. Add about a cup of water to the pan to keep everything moist.
    3. Add aromatics in cavity: 1 onion, quartered, 2-3 stalks celery cut in about 2" pieces, parsley, one orange quartered. (These will be discarded once roasting is complete but will impart a wonderful aroma while roasting as well as flavoring the turkey.) Loosen skin on turkey in 4 or 5 places. Reaching under skin of turkey, rub butter generously on turkey. Rub chili powder mixture (using half or less) over entire outside of turkey.
    3. Place turkey (warmed to room temperature) in large roasting pan in preheated oven set at 325. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (shiny side out) and roast as shown below depending on weight of turkey. For best results, plan on roughly 13 minutes per pound, however, actual oven temps can vary and density of individual birds can affect cooking times. Better to check after a couple hours for smaller turkeys and 3 hours for larger ones. Turkey is fully cooked when a meat thermometer placed in thickest part of leg reads 170F and juice of turkey is no longer pink when center is cut.
    4. Remove turkey from roasting pan; cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Cooking Times in a Regular Oven (325F)

Weight / Cook Time (Unstuffed)

    7-9 lbs.- 2 1/2 to 3 hrs.
    9-18 lbs.- 3 to 3 1/2 hrs.
    18-22 lbs.- 3 1/2 to 4 hrs.
    22-24 lbs.- 4 to 4 1/2 hrs.
    24-30 lbs.- 4 1/2 to 5 hrs.


M's South of the Border Turkey


~~~~~~~~~~~

Queso Rodrigo

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (10.5 oz. each) Cheddar Cheese soup
  • 1 can (10.5 oz ) Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced fine
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pimiento pepper, drained and diced fine
  • 2 Tbsp. Corn or vegetable oil (do not use olive oil for this recipe)
  • 1/2 brick cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. Chunky salsa

Instructions:

    1. Whisk together soups and green chiles. Set aside.
    2. Assemble diced onion and jalapeno chile pepper, reserving roasted pimiento pepper.
    3. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and jalapeno chile pepper. Stir and braise until onion is transparent. A touch of caramelization is okay but show restraint. A little is plenty.
    4. Stir in soup mixture. Add roasted pimiento pepper. Heat through while stirring to prevent scorching. Add cream cheese and continue stirring.
    5. Add chunky salsa, continue stirring until heated through.
    6. Cover and keep warm while preparing dishes.


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