Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

After making homemade croutons a few days ago I had a hankering for another salad topper we enjoy. Mr. Comfortable picked up a bag of dried cranberry & candied pecans a while back. We loved them. In fact I loved them not just on salads. I snacked on them until they were gone. Oops. So I made a big batch of homemade Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans. Now there’s enough for salads and snacks!

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

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Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts

I’m still on my “I’m too tired and sore to cook” kick. The weather has decided that it’s going to stay cold and rainy and I was thinking I wanted to wrap myself up in heating pads and stay in bed. That, because my mind never travels in a straight line, got me thinking about the enormous amount of leftover turkey I have and how turkey wraps would be a simple dinner. In about 30 minutes I’d made Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts and now I can bundle up and spend the rest of the night watching Netflix!

Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts take less than 30 minutes to make!

These wraps have the flavors of the holidays I love; turkey, cranberries, and nuts. And, except for chopping some celery and onion I can throw things in the food processor and save my hands. Best of all, it only takes about 30 minutes to put these wraps together.

First I chopped a couple of stalks of celery and 1/4 cup onion.

Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts get extra crunch from celery and onion

I put 1/2 cup of almonds in the food processor and pulsed them until they were chopped but not too fine.

Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts get lots of crunch from almonds or walnuts

Next I threw some turkey in the food processor and pulsed it until I got 4 cups of very finely chopped meat.

I mixed 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, the nuts, turkey, celery, and onion in a large bowl until it was all combined really well.

Once the dry ingredients were mixed I added 2 cups of good mayonnaise, a little salt and pepper, and mixed it all really well.

Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts take less than 30 minutes to make!

I put about 1 cup of the filling on each large flour tortilla and rolled it up. Viola! Done! We have plenty for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.

In less than 30 minutes you can make Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts

In less than 30 minutes you can make Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts

They’re not fancy but the combination of tender turkey with crunchy vegetables and nuts is great. And I love the cranberry/onion combo!

In less than 30 minutes you can make Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts

Turkey Wraps with Cranberry & Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds (or walnuts or pecans), chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups turkey, finely chopped (you don’t want any chunks)
  • 2 cups good mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 – 6 large tortillas (I had flour tortillas on hand but any variety would work)

Directions:

  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Stir in the mayonnaise until everything is well coated.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put 3/4 – 1 cup filling on each tortilla and roll to form wrap.

 

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Make Your Own – Infused Oils

So many recipes call for oil and using infused oil can add another layer of flavor. Oil can be infused with herbs, aromatics like garlic or onion, citrus, and even nuts. It’s easy to make your own infused oils! Here’s how to do it.

First, remember that you must always use fresh herbs when making infused oils. The flavor of fresh herbs is more pure than dried and using fresh herbs will give your oil a vibrant color.

Make-Your-Own-Infused-Oils

You’ll need:

  • A blender or food processor
  • Cooking pot or oven-safe bowl
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
  • Funnel
  • Glass bottles with tight fitting caps
  • Olive oil (or any other neutrally flavored oil)
  • Fresh herbs, aromatics, citrus, and/or nuts

 

 

Herb Infused Oils:

herbs

Blend soft herbs like basil and cilantro with the oil in the blender or food processor before heating. If you want a more vibrant color blanch the herbs then shock with ice water before blending. Adding the herbs without blanching gives you more flavorful oil. When using woody herbs like thyme or rosemary, simply add the sprigs to the oil and follow the instructions for heating.

When you have combined your herbs and oil heat them in a small saucepan over medium heat until the oil is lightly bubbling. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cool completely.

Strain the oil through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. If making oil using soft herbs, be sure not to press on the solids. Care during the straining process will prevent cloudy oil. You can place the woody herbs in the bottle but it will cause slightly cloudier oil.

While basil, cilantro, rosemary, and thyme are commonly used herbs you may want to also try these herbs:

Chives

Dill

Marjoram

Mint

Oregano

Parsley

Sage

Tarragon

 

Aromatic Infused Oils:

aromatics

For both dipping and cooking oils infused with aromatics like garlic and onion can’t be beat.

Wash whatever aromatic you’re going to use even though you’ve peeled them. You want to be sure to remove any trace of impurities.

Cut large items like onions in half or in rings. Garlic cloves and shallots can be left whole.

Roast aromatics before heating them with the oil. Pop them in the over on a baking sheet at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until just golden. This releases the fragrance and flavor.
Add the aromatic to the oil in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the oil begins to lightly bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool completely.

Although you can leave aromatics in the bottle without causing cloudiness the aromatic will continue to infuse the oil making the flavor stronger over time.

Garlic and onion are popular aromatics used in infused oil but also try:

Ginger

Green onions (scallions)

Lemongrass

Shallots
Citrus Infused Oils:

citrus

Citrus zest can add a bright flavor with a little tang to your infused oil.

Wash fruit carefully to remove any trace of pesticides. Use a vegetable peeler to make long strips of peel for easier removal. Be sure not to get any of the bitter, white pith.

Add peel to oil in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the oil begins to lightly bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and allow oil to cool completely.

Removing the zest while the oil is cooling will leave you with clearer and more delicately flavored oil. Leaving the zest in while the oil cools will produce a stronger flavor but cloudier oil. Strain the zest from the oil before bottling.

Lemons, limes, and oranges are typical citrus choices for infusing oil but you can also infuse oils with these citrus flavors:

Blood orange

Clementine

Grapefruit

Meyer lemon

Tangerine

Kumquat

 

Nut Infused Oils:

nuts

Use raw, unsalted nuts to make nut infused oils. Buy nuts that have been skinned or blanched. The oil will not taste quite the same as nut oils because they are made by pressing the oil from crushed nuts. Your nut infused oil will have a rich, roasted, savory flavor.

Add the nuts to the oil in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the oil is lightly bubbling. Remove from heat and allow oil to cool completely.

You don’t even have to strain the nuts out because they will not cloud the oil.

Peanut infused oil, while not the same as commercially produced peanut oil can add a lot of flavor but you may want to try these, too:

Almond

Cashew

Hazelnut

Pecan

Pine nut

Pistachio
Be Creative:

be-creative

Try combining flavors when you infuse oils. Many herbs, aromatics, citrus fruits, and nuts combine well together. Just follow the instructions for preparing each ingredient then combine with the oil and heat, cool, and strain.

Make these for cooking or great dipping oils for crusty bread:

Basil and garlic

Basil and mint

Marinade or cook chicken in these tasty oils:

Cardamom and orange

Rosemary and orange

Try these spicy combinations for Mexican dishes:

Cilantro, red pepper flakes, lime, and onion

Cilantro, scallions, jalapeno, and garlic

Keep your infused oils in the refrigerator and discard after a month.

 

 

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