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Cook once, eat twice

By Staff | Nov 25, 2011

Molly Halstead adds a little extra milk to thin her Northwood wild rice soup to the desired consistency.

By Darcy

Dougherty Maulsby

Farm News staff writer

ROLAND-In Molly Halstead’s kitchen, Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are no mere afterthought.

These “planned overs” take a starring role in many of the Halstead family’s favorite recipes, including turkey fettuccine skillet, turkey crescent chimichangas and Northwood wild rice soup with turkey.

Molly Halstead credits her sister-in-law in Minnesota for sharing the recipe for these cakes, with filling that looks and tastes like hot fudge.

“It’s important to me that our family sits down and eats meals together,” said Halstead, a mother of four, whose husband, Cal, serves as the president of the Iowa Turkey Federation.

“You just have to have a plan if you want to serve healthy, home-cooked meals without spending hours in the kitchen.”

Halstead looks for opportunities to streamline recipes and do as much prep work ahead of time as possible. With her wild rice soup recipe, for example, she mixes the flour, salt and pepper and stores them in a plastic bag until she’s ready to make soup.

She also chops the onions and carrots ahead of time, so she can have a homemade meal on the table in minutes.

This culinary skill reflects a lifetime of learning for Halstead, who grew up on a farm in northeast Iowa near Petersburg. “I love to cook, especially in the fall and winter, and I enjoy trying new recipes. I’ve also been blessed with a family who will try anything.”

This creamy Greek dip showcases a variety of fresh flavors.

Turkey crescent chimichangas

(Cal Halstead has been preparing these chimichangas for nearly 20 years. They are always a hit with the kids, Molly Halstead said.)

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons oil

2 1/2 cups cooked, ground turkey

2 8-ounce cans crescent dinner rolls

1/2 cup salsa

8 ounces cheddar cheese (2 cups), divided

8 ounces sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease large cookie sheet. In large skillet, saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are tender.

Remove from heat to cool about 5 minutes. Combine mixture with turkey. Add 1 cup or cheese and half a cup of salsa.

Separate crescent roll dough into eight rectangles; firmly pinch perforations to seal. Spoon heaping 1/3 cup meat mixture on one half filling, roll up and pinch to seal. Place seam side down on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven; top each with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Return to oven for another 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and chopped lettuce.

Northwood wild rice soup with turkey

(Halstead, who received this recipe from a friend, often makes a double batch for her family. The soup freezes well, she said, she adds a little extra chicken broth or milk, as needed, to thin the soup to the desired consistency.)

1/4 cup butter

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 to 5 cups chicken broth, divided

1 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk

1 box Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice (with seasoning packet)

1 cup turkey, chopped or shredded (leftover turkey is great to use)

4 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Melt butter in soup pan and saute mushrooms, onions and carrots until tender.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper to about mixture. Add 2 cups of broth, stir and cook until bubbling.

Stir in evaporated milk, wild rice (and the contents of the seasoning packet), turkey and cream cheese. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted. Once cheese has melted, add remaining chicken broth to desired consistency. Serves 4 to 5.

Turkey fettuccine skillet

(This recipe comes together quickly, which is a plus for any busy home cook, Halstead said, who added that the recipe is equally delicious when pork tenderloin is substituted for turkey.)

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 cup chopped celery

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups fat-free milk

1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups of cooked cubed turkey breast

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large, oven-proof skillet, coated with non-stick cooking spray, saute the onion, celery and garlic in oil for 3 minutes.

Add mushrooms. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender.

Stir in the milk, seasoning blend and salt. Bring to boil.

Mix cornstarch and halfand-half until smooth; stir into skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese just until melted.

Stir in turkey. Drain fettuccine; add to turkey mixture. Heat through. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Greek dip

(This creamy dip showcases a variety of fresh flavors.)

8 ounces garden veggie cream cheese

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon

Combine all ingredients and put into pie plate or square pan. Chill.

Top with half a cup of chopped cucumber, 1 cup chopped tomato, chopped green onions and black olives (optional). Serve with crackers of your choice.

Molten chocolate cakes

(Halstead said she loves baking these amazing cakes and credits her sister-in-law in Minnesota for sharing the recipe.)

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 sticks of butter

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup flour

Set oven to 450 degrees.

Stir chocolate chips and butter in a pan over low heat until just melted. Remove and cool slightly. In separate bowl whisk eggs and egg yolks together. Add sugar, chocolate mixture and flour. Whisk until completely blended and smooth. Pour batter into six greased custard bowls.

Place bowls on top of cooking sheet. Bake on top rack of oven for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm, but centers are still jiggly. Alter baking time for desired consistency. (Note: Every oven varies, and this dessert is easy to over-bake.)

Cool cakes for 5 minutes. Scrape the edges with knife before flipping over into serving bowl.

(Note: custard bowls will be hot when flipping the dessert out.)

The center of dessert should look like hot fudge. Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You can contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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