Daily Archives: May 24, 2014

Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayonnaise and Turkey Hunter’s Stew


I think people fall into one of two categories at Thanksgiving – those who love leftovers and those who hate them. I fall into the love category. Although Thanksgiving lends to alot of  food in the house, I love the challenge of trying to make something new out of what is left. Many times I enjoy just reheating dinner from Thursday, but it’s more fun to fiddle around with the ingredients so that it becomes a dish you would just love to eat at any time of the year. The first recipe is my take on a post thanksgiving day sandwich. I use a nice sliced brioche bread and make a cranberry mayonnaise using leftover cranberry sauce. It’s layered up with turkey, pear slices, brie and proscuitto. The brie and proscuitto are leftover from my Thanksgiving cheese platter that I serve accompanied by fruit – including of course some pears. The second dish is Hunter Stew with turkey. This is a french stew that typically uses chicken. Instead, I made a stew of mushrooms using some of the leftover turkey gravy along with chicken stock and then add the cooked turkey at the end. You’ll love this dish. If you don’t have gravy leftover just add another cup of chicken stock along with 1/2 cup of white wine and increase the amount of flour by another two tablespoons. If you know any leftover haters, these recipes could convert them!

From by the bay wishing you the happiest thanksgiving and fond food memories!

blog turkey sandwich

Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayonnaise
Serves 1
2 slices brioche bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cranberry mayonnaise
2 slices turkey
2 thin slices pear
1 slice proscuitto ham
2 tablespoons softened brie cheese, no rind
Heat panini press or skillet. Butter two slices of bread. Buttered sides are the outside of the sandwich. On one side of bread – not buttered spread the cranberry mayonnaise, add the turkey , then pear, proscuitto. Last spread the brie across the top of the proscuitto. Top with the other slice of bread , press down and then toast until cheese is melted and bread browned. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Mayonnaise
Makes 4 sandwiches

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce

Mix both ingreidents well.

blog turkey hunter stew

Turkey Hunter’s Stew
Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
12 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chardonnay herb gravy ( or whatever turkey gravy you have leftover)
1 bay leave
2 springs thyme
4 cups cooked turkey cubed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Heat in a dutch oven butter and olive oil. Add garlic, shallots and rosemary and saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 8 to 10 minutes until mushrooms are also softened and brown. To this add the flour and stir, saute for another minute then add the tomato paste , gravy , broth, bay leave and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Add the turkey and cook long enough for the turkey to warm in the gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately accompanied with egg noodles.



Cranberry and Pecan Biscotti



Cranberry and Pecan Biscotti

24 cookies

½ cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon shortening (Crisco)

3 eggs

1 cup fine granulated  sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer , beat together butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add vanilla and cinnamon until well blended. Add the flour , baking powder and salt. Mix well until the dough is smooth. Using a spoon, mix in the cranberries and pecans. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Shape each half of the dough  into a log approximately 2 inch high x 12 inches long.  Place the logs on to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack. Place on a cutting board and using a serrated knife slice each log on the diagonal  into 12 pieces approximately 1 inch thick. Place the pieces back on to the baking sheet and bake 5-8  minutes, turn the slices to the other side and bake another 5-8  minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store cookies in an air tight container.


Peanut Brittle

blog peanut brittle 2

Everyone serves pie on Thanksgiving! I do too , but I like to go along with the abundance theme and serve several desserts and sweets. Here are two great recipes to add to your feast of desserts . The first recipe is for a cranberry and pecan biscotti ( this is also great to serve at breakfast too) and the other is for the perfect peanut brittle. I was never a fan of peanut brittle until the first time I tried it at Craft Bar in New York. I went from loathe to love! Fortunately, Tom Colicchio shared his recipe in “Craft of Cooking”. I’ve tweaked it a little but it’s sublime. Enjoy!

Come back on Wednesday for some great leftover ideas.

From by the bay wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving and fond food memories!


Peanut Brittle

Adapted from “Craft of Cooking” by Tom Colicchio

Makes one 10 x 15 – inch pan


2 cups sugar

1/4 pound unsalted butter

6 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 pound shelled dry roasted salted peanuts 

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

extra coarse sea salt  to top –  Maldon preferred



Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil or non-stick baking pad. Take a large non-stick pot and add sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1 1/3 cups water. Place on high heat melting sugar until the caramel turns amber color, stir occasionally as this is cooking. This might take awhile, it will thicken as it boils before it finally turns amber. At this point add the baking soda and salt, then remove from heat and add the peanuts. Stirring well, then quickly pour onto the baking sheet and spread out evening with a spatula. Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt. Let the brittle cool and then break into pieces. If you can resist eating this , store in an air tight container.




Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad

blog sweet potato salad


Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad

Serves 4

2 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes

3 cups baby arugula leaves

2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Coarse sea salt to taste

Directions to roast sweet potatoes and red onion:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line with parchment a baking sheet add the sweet potato cubes, sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, red chili and salt. Mix well.  Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes.

Directions for toasted pine nuts:

Use a small dry fry pan heat and add the pine nuts stirring until they are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.

Directions to assemble salad:


To a bowl or serving platter add the arugula with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss. To the arugula add the roasted sweet potatoes and red onions. Top with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, pine nuts, black pepper and finish with coarse sea salt to taste. Serve warm.


Chardonnay Herb Gravy

blog gravy


When I first started making Thanksgiving for my family – one of my biggest challenges was getting that gravy perfect! My early apartments in Queens and Manhattan were all small. I struggled cooking in my typical long narrow galley kitchen. Anything I could prepare in advance helped. Over the years , as I continued to experiment with my gravy recipe, I came up with this foolproof recipe. It can be made in advance , which is always my goal so that I can enjoy the holiday along with my guests. This gravy is the perfect compliment to my Roasted Honey Herb Turkey. 


From by the bay, wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving and fond food memories!

Maryann Check in for more Thanksgiving blogs on side dishes, desserts and leftovers!  Chardonnay Herb Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 bouquet garni

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 celery stick, chopped

1 teaspoon black peppercorns


1 1/3 cup chardonnay

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup chop parsley

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, bouquet garni, onion, celery, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Melt butter in a bowl and then add flour , whisk until it is a smooth paste. Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Pour this back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add bay leaves, honey, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the chardonnay. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, mix in parsley adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey. 



Honey Herb Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving has always been a very special holiday in my family. Our celebrations, always wonderful, still left my sisters and I yearning for the day we could go into Manhattan to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. When my niece was just 4 years old, we decided this was the year to start going to the parade and that I should prepare the Thanksgiving meal in my city apartment. I was frightened at the thought of cooking this meal. So, I decided to buy a semi prepared meal from a great caterer. The turkey still needed to be cooked in the oven. Unfortunately, I didn’t really think the logistics through. The caterer was in midtown Manhattan and my apartment was in Queens. The caterer was not delivering , it was pick up only. I did not think about the boxes or how big they might be, or what if there was bad weather, or how much space I might need to actually need to cook or heat up the entire meal. So when Thanksgiving morning arrived, it was snowing- hard. In fact, I think it was the most snow I had ever seen for Thanksgiving. My family was coming into Queens from Long Island, we quickly ditched our plan to see the Thanksgiving Day parade. Now we just hoped that the roads would be clear later in the day to travel. I went to the caterer with a friend ( at least I had the presence of mind to not go to the caterer alone) to pick up the meal. It was three enormous cartons of food. We somehow got the boxes out onto the street slipping and sliding in the snow trying to hail a cab. If you are not from New York, let me share with you that cab drivers are not very happy with a fare to Queens, especially in the snow. Finally, I was able to plea with a driver to take me and the boxes to Queens. Naively, I thought the worse part of my day was over. It was just beginning. The directions to complete the meal were long and needed a much bigger kitchen than my little narrow gallery kitchen. I did, finally, manage to complete the meal but not all at the same time. The final vote from the family was the meal was ok, but I could make a much better one on my own. Lesson learned. I have been making the Thanksgiving meal ever since, whether it was in my Manhattan apartment or by the bay. Either way, I want to share my easy recipes for making a successful Thanksgiving meal – starting with my roasted honey herb turkey, always tender because it’s brined the night before! This turkey has big fresh and bright flavor from the lemons and herbs. It’s simple to prepare and delicious and moist. Give it a try!

From by the bay, wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving and fond food memories!


Check in for more Thanksgiving blogs on gravy, side dishes, desserts and leftovers!

blog turkey 2012

Honey Herb Roasted Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic
16 cups cold water , or more to cover turkey
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup fine sea salt
1 cup fine granulated sugar
3 lemons , quartered
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 springs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
1 cup honey
2 onions , peeled and quartered
3 sprigs sage leaves
To roast turkey
1 lemon, quartered
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
To baste
8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup honey
Prepare brine by combining water, sea salt, honey, sugar, onions, rosemary, thyme, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cut 2 lemons into wedges, squeezing juice of lemons into the brine along with the wedges and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base. Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night. The next day remove turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degress F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice into the cavity and add the quarters along with rosemary and sage. Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter and honey together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350 degrees F. For an 18 lb. turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175 degrees F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and honey mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready, remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.