Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving in the Southwest - Part 2, and the Disappearing Table!

It's no secret that my mother was a terrible cook! Nor did she cook often. In fact, I only remember one Thanksgiving that she attempted to make herself. It was a small affair because my father, who was Chief of Surgery, always worked on Thanksgiving so he could spend Christmas at home. I remember sitting with my brother and sister at our formal dining table from Italy, which consisted of a cast iron base and an inch thick beveled glass top. While we sat there horsing around, my mother brought in the piping hot turkey in its roasting pan, sat it on the corner of the table, and promptly returned to the kitchen to get the remaining dishes. One minute later, the entire corner of the table cracked and fell to the ground, turkey and all! My siblings and I sat there wide-eyed, not knowing her reaction, and didn't mutter a peep. When she returned and saw that part of the table had disappeared along with the turkey, she said, "I always hated that table. Your father has terrible taste." Needless to say, after their divorce a few years later, she left the table when we moved....and that darn glass corner was still sitting there, just where it had fell! 

Moral of the story? Besides not placing a hot roasting pan directly on a glass table, sometimes roasting an entire turkey is more trouble than it's worth! So as part of my Southwestern Thanksgiving menu, try this unforgettably delicious recipe for "Stuffed Turkey Rolls with Poblano Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing and Pecan Mole Sauce." Instead of dealing with an entire turkey, turkey tenderloins are marinated in a delicious white wine-Dijon marinade, rolled around a fantastic chorizo-poblano stuffing, and served with a simple yet delicious pecan mole sauce. The turkey needs to be marinated 2 days ahead, filled and rolled 1 day ahead, making it convenient and hands-off on Thanksgiving day. In addition, the pecan mole sauce can also be made days ahead so you can enjoy the holiday with family and friends! I promise you will love it!


Stuffed Turkey Rolls with Poblano Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing and Pecan Mole Sauce

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for Turkey Rolls:
4 turkey tenderloins

For the Marinade:
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Mustang Spice* (*1 teaspoon Guajillo chile powder, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

1 recipe Poblano Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing (see below)
1 recipe Pecan Mole Sauce (see below)

Directions for Turkey Rolls:
*Two days before cooking:
Remove tendon from tenderloins, splitting in two. Butterfly each piece open and pound slightly to flatten and even out thickness.

Mix wine, mustard, seasonings and oil in a freezer zipper-close plastic bag and add tenderloin fillets. Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. (Overnight is preferred.)

*One day before cooking:
Remove from the marinade and discard bag. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and lay out 4 approximately 12-inch pieces of kitchen twine on top of the plastic wrap. 



Next nestle 4 of the tenderloin fillets next to each other and top with half of the Poblano Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing. (If you can't get all the stuffing in the turkey rolls, reserve the remainder and refrigerate until time of baking.)


Using the plastic wrap to help, roll and tie the tenderloins together. Tighten the plastic wrap around the turkey roll, twist ends and fold under. Repeat with the remainder of turkey and stuffing, making two rolls. Refrigerate overnight.



*Time to cook:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Carefully remove plastic wrap and discard. Lay turkey rolls seam-side down in a buttered baking dish. Add any leftover stuffing to the ends of the rolls. (At this point, I recommend inserting an oven-safe meat thermometer. See Gadgets.) Pour in 1 cup of stock and cover with lid or foil.


Bake for approximately 1-1 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving with pecan mole sauce (recipe follows). I promise you will love it!


Poblano Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing

Ingredients:
1, 9"x9" pan cornbread, crumbled (I baked 1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix and it was just the right amount.)
1/2 teaspoon each dried sage, thyme, oregano, and cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced (See Techniques for more information, if needed.)
1/2 stick butter
1 cup red onions, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
14 ounce Mexican chorizo, casing removed, cooked, and well drained
3 eggs
1 cup chicken stock (or more as necessary)

Directions:
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add herbs, poblano, and spices. Heat butter over medium heat and saute the onions and celery until translucent. Add to cornbread. Mix well. Add enough stock to moisten. Add drained chorizo and mix in well. Beat eggs and add to stuffing. Use to stuff turkey rolls, or to use as a casserole, bake in a pan about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.


Pecan Mole Sauce

Ingredients:
2 Ancho chiles (Ancho chiles are dried poblano chiles, available at most well-stocked grocers, Mexican grocers,or online.)
2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 roma tomatoes
1 cup toasted pecans
2 slices stale white bread, torn into pieces
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:
Soak Ancho chiles in warm water for about 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain and remove stems.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic for approximately 8 minutes or until browned and caramelized. Set aside.

Broil or roast tomatoes until the skins are blackened and slightly softened. Peel when cool enough to handle and discard the skins.

Place the tomatoes, pecans, onions and garlic, bread, Anchos and 1 cup of the chicken stock in a blender. Process until smooth.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the puree from the blender and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 1 hour. Strain if a smoother sauce is desired and serve.

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