Saturday, January 22

Tin Pan Turkey and Ale Bread

Solar Tin Pan Turkey - Winter Casserole
Some foods, no matter what you do, always look as though they belong on a tin plate! Today's is no exception. It's another study in beiges and so yummy, I don't care. The sun was shining, I had some reports to get out, and leftover turkey in the freezer. The secret ingredients give this winter casserole a 'pop' and, along with warm slices of Ale Bread, became the perfect comfort food.

The process is the same for most of my casseroles, so I didn't take step-by-step photos. But, preheat your solar or conventional oven to at least 275F. 

Tin Pan Turkey Casserole
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, coined thin
2 Tbspns minced garlic
2 Tbspns olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp. powdered cream
1 tsp juniper berries, crushed fine
2 Tbspn flour
2 Tbspns orange marmalade
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup dark brewed coffee (or, 1 tsp. instant + 1 cup water)
1 cup brown rice

In a large skillet over med-high heat, soften onions, celery, and carrots, in olive oil. Blend all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add marmalade to skillet and blend. Add dry ingredients; stir in completely while flour is cooking, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup of liquid while mixture is thickening to combine ingredients without scorching; add turkey, then balance of liquid. Bring to just under a boil and add rice. Transfer to casserole dish; stir and cover. Bake in solar oven at 275F for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. 

Ale Bread

[Pssst! Bread will cook at same time in solar oven, stacked above casserole, if using a flat top casserole cover.]

This recipe is from my cookbook, A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cooking at Home, with the change from beer to ale. There's only three ingredients and you can be serving fresh hot bread to your family and friends within an hour and a half. The texture is dense but light for chewing and the crust is nice and crunchy. That's because it starts out with a cover and then is left open for the last 30 minutes of cooking. In any event, the ale substitution made a heartier flavor and I'm going to see if I can't persuade my SOL to share more of his brewing results with me!

In a bowl, combine 3 cups self-rising flour, 2 Tbspns sugar, 12 ounces room-temperature ale/beer. Pour into greased casserole. I've used a 3-qt roasting pan here.
Cover and bake for 50 minutes. Remove cover and bake until browned and hollow when thumped -- approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool about 15 minutes before cutting. If I had used a loaf pan instead of the wider roasting pan, this would look like a standard loaf, perfect for sandwiches.
This bread was great with the Tin Pan Turkey Casserole! Didn't expect it because I wasn't sure of the final flavor, switching from beer to ale; but, what a great surprise!
The beige pallette was finished with a dollop of golden butter! The textures in this meal are well-balanced and you can always add contrast with some fresh fruit or greens.

[NOTE: We're going to be going through another move. Getting a dot-com has spread me all over the place with my blogs and I want to be able to access them from just one account. I know my followers will move with me, but I think I'm going to lose comments, again, unless I remember to revert to Blogger commenting. I've decided to not blend platforms because it's too complicated. I'm just a little fish, here, and I think it will be less trouble, for me. This is when I wish I was eight years old and had all this high-tech stuff figured out!]
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