pain au thanksgiving

11.14 turkey pain 2

I know that by now we have seen every possible use of Thanksgiving leftovers under the sun. We’ve seen them in pies, in soups, in sandwiches, and in salads, but one I had not seen was this masterpiece.

Imagine, if you will, your Thanksgiving leftovers tightly wrapped in a croissant dough and baked to perfection.  I think my knees just went weak…

May I present to you Pain au Thanksgiving! It’s very similar to its cousin pain au chocolate but instead of being filled with chocolate, it is filled with an entire Thanksgiving dinner … all rolled up into flaky buttery croissant dough… which is where it has apparently always belonged.

As soon as I got this idea I couldn’t wait to make it. I knew that I had to do it before Thanksgiving, so that you could use it for your leftovers. Of course, the added bonus of me getting to eat TWO Thanksgiving dinners this month may have weighed on my decision as well.

11.14 turkey pain 2.2

For these, I used a standard croissant dough (you can use your own favorite recipe, I used this one only because I had successfully used it before). If you’re short on time (or motivation) you could even use store-bought puff pastry or some of those refrigerated “crescent” rolls in a pinch. Just keep in mind that a different dough may yield a different amount of pastries. My recipe yielded 24 pastries each one about 4 by 2 inches when baked.

For the filling, I used turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I toyed with the idea of putting the gravy inside, but decided it would a> be too messy and b> be much better alongside the sandwich. Because, if there’s one thing I love more than a sandwich, it’s a sandwich with a jus for dipping.

I also opted to leave out the cranberry sauce since Mr. Eats turned his nose up at it. You’re welcome to include it if your guests are more cranberry-friendly – I personally think it would have been delicious stuffed inside or even drizzled on top as a glaze.

If you’re wondering what on earth you are going to do with 24 thanksgiving pastries, fear not! You can freeze the pains (baked or raw) and keep enjoying that turkey dinner for up to three months.

11.14 turkey 0055

 

Pain au Thanksgiving

Yield: 24 Pain au Thanksgivings                                                                  [  Printable Recipe ]

Time: 1 hour (prep), 8 – 18 hours (refrigeration), 15 – 20 minutes (baking)

For the croissant dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warm (105°F–110°F)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • Thanksgiving leftovers: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, whatever you want!

Baking & Serving: 

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
  • Gravy, for serving

Directions

Making the dough:
1. In the stand of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix the milk, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until foamy (appx 5 min). In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, set aside until yeast has foamed.
2. Add flour/salt mixture to yeast, while mixing on low. (I usually add half, then once incorporated add the rest)
3. Once it comes together into a smooth, slightly sticky mass, shape it into a rectangle about 1 ½ inches thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set in the fridge for about an hour until chilled

Laminating the dough:

1. Once dough is chilled, line up sticks of butter and smash with a rolling pin between two sheets of parchment paper until they are roughly the shape of an 8 x 5 inch rectangle. Wrap and chill, swapping butter for dough in the fridge.croissant 1
2. Unwrap dough and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary* into a 16 x 10 in rectangle. Arrange dough w shortest side nearest you, put butter rectangle in the center, and fold like a letter—cover the butter with the bottom 1/3rd of dough first, then with the top. Brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush.

3. Turn dough 90 degrees so new shortest side is near you, then pound with a rolling pin at even intervals, making uniform impressions (this will help the butter to spread). Roll dough again into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. Brush off any excess flour, and fold in thirds again, stretching the dough as needed to square off the ends—thus forming a 3 layer 10 x 5 inch rectangle.

dsc08507

4. Give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back for doing your (presumably) first ever “fold”, rewrap the dough in plastic wrap, and stick it back in the fridge at least another hour. (I’m not going to lie, I got a little impatient and may not have waited the whole hour… on that same note, I also left the house a while between another fold and it was in for over an hour, and alas the world has not come to an end)

5. Repeat 5 & 6 three more times, creating a total of 4 “folds”. Once you have completed your last fold, rewrap the dough and place in refrigerator for 8 – 18 hours.

When you’re ready to shape the Pain au Thanksgiving

1. Remove dough from refrigerator, unwrap and cut in half cross-wise. Re-wrap half of dough and place back in the fridge. Just look at all those buttery layers…

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2. Roll on lightly floured surface into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle, stretching as needed to maintain rectangular shape

11.14 turkey 0280
3. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Stretch each square so that it is slightly elongated and place a small amount of filling of your choice into the center. If you go over 2 tablespoons of filling you will probably have a hard time rolling it into shape.

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4. Fold one side over the filling and wet it slightly with some water. Fold the other side over and press down firmly to seal.*

5. Place onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan, seam side down. Continue with remaining squares, I was able to fit 8 onto each pan. Once the pan is filled cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in size 1 to 2 hours.

6. Remove other half from fridge and repeat the steps again.

 

 

Baking: 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F and make an egg wash by whisking one egg with 1 tablespoon water.
Right before you put the dough into the oven, brush with egg wash. If you feel so inclined, you can sprinkle some shredded cheese on top for added flavor. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until well-browned.

Notes:

To freeze raw:

Once you have filled and sealed the dough, you can place them seam-side down on a small baking sheet (that will fit in the freezer) and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 hour until firm, then transfer to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and return to freezer until ready to bake.

To freeze cooked:
Wrap cooled pains tightly in foil and place into a freezer-proof Ziploc bag.

To bake from frozen (un-baked):
Place frozen dough on parchment-lined sheet and cover with plastic wrap.Place on counter to rise overnight about 8 to 10 hours. Once doubled in size paint with egg wash prior to baking.

If you freeze croissants pre-baked:
Frozen croissants can be thawed overnight prior to reheating or taken from the freezer directly to the oven, in which case they will need a few minutes more to reheat.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375F from thawed, add a few extra minutes if baking from frozen.

 

 

 

stuffed peppers

stuffed pepper wee-eats.com

I DID IT! I SURVIVED THE WHOLE 30!

And to celebrate, I saved the best (recipe) for last. This recipe was by far the FH’s favorite Whole30 recipe. In fact, I just made a huge batch of the filling so that we could enjoy these stuffed peppers later this week, even though we aren’t even on the diet anymore!

To make this “W-30 compliant”, I used cauliflower “rice” instead of real rice. These are super delicious as-is, but if you feel like that’s not something you’re into, feel free to replace the cauliflower with cooked rice or quinoa (or orzo, any grain of your choice).  I also recommend topping these with cheese, which I may very well do later this week now that I’m allowed to have cheese again. (Hi, cheese!)

As another bonus, this recipe makes a ton of filling. A ton.

So, if you don’t feel like eating 6 stuffed peppers today, you can make a couple peppers tonight and freeze the rest of the filling for your future self. You know that one, the one who comes home late and has no time to make dinner… yeah, that one!  Or you can make the whole recipe and eat them throughout the week – the leftovers reheat great in the microwave. Just pop them in the microwaved (covered, of course, otherwise you may anger your household microwave-cleaner) for about 2 minutes and Voila – just as good as new!

stuffed peppers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6

Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper half

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 pound (1 medium head) cauliflower, riced
  • 4 large bell peppers, halved with seeds and stems removed
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (I really liked this one )
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

    For the peppers:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Place two halves of a pepper, cut side up, onto a microwave-safe plate and cover with wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes until just starting to soften. Repeat with remaining halves of peppers; set aside until ready to fill.
  3. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking pan by spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  4. For the filling:
  5. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef or turkey with a generous pinch of salt until well-browned.
  6. Meanwhile, finely chop one of the bell peppers. Add onions and chopped bell pepper to ground meat and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir to prevent burning. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  7. Add half to 3/4 of the cauliflower "rice" (it should make up about half of your total mixture) and another pinch of salt. Add chicken broth and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and cover loosely with foil to allow cauliflower to steam. Cook about five minutes then stir again. Continue to cook another 5 minutes uncovered, allowing any remaining liquid to cook off, stirring occasionally.
  9. Reduce heat to low and add about a half jar of tomato sauce (just enough to moisten the mixture) along with the parsley, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and let simmer about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Assembling the peppers
  11. Place peppers cut-side-up into baking dish. Fill with meat and cauliflower mixture. Top with more tomato sauce and cheese, if desired.
  12. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes* until peppers are tender.
  13. * If baking from chilled, bake covered for 30 minutes then uncovered for the last 10 minutes.

Notes

Feel free to use cooked rice, quinoa, orzo (or any grain you like!) in place of the cauilflower - I made this for the Whole 30 where grains were outlawed so I wasn't allowed to.

Also outlawed on the Whole 30 was cheese, but these would be even better with a bit of mozzarella, fontina, or provolone mixed in (and on top).

http://wee-eats.com/2014/07/01/whole-30-grain-free-stuffed-peppers/

winner winner chicken dinner

chicken with snow peas

WE’VE GOT A WINNER!

This chicken with snow peas is one of the top 5 recipes I’ve made over this past month – and since I’m only sharing my favorites with you then here you go! This tastes so good you won’t even know that it’s good for you – in fact I’ll be making it over and over again even after I finish this whole “diet” ordeal.

As most of our recipes come about – FH had been begging for chicken and snow peas. However, good luck going to a Chinese restaurant and not ending up with mystery ingredients (or soy sauce) in your meal – So my mission began.

What was my mission exactly? To find a way to make FH’s beloved chicken and snow peas Whole-30-approved. I found this recipe on All Recipes (remember that site? apparently it’s still a thing!) and it looked pretty easy to modify to fit our diet… and I was right! Swapped the corn starch with arrowroot powder, used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and added/subtracted whatever veggies I wanted and voila (is there a Chinese word for “voila”?) DELICIOUS CHICKEN AND SNOW PEAS WAS BORN.

Only six days left on the Whole 30 and I can see ice cream on the horizon (although, honestly, I’d settle for a bowl of rice or quinoa at this point!). Aren’t you excited to see Wee Eats get back to normal with photos taken with something besides my iPhone? And recipes including our beloved friend Mr. Sugar? I am.

chicken with snow peas

Ingredients

    For the sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use Imagine brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ground ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • For the stir fry
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 9 ounces snow peas, washed and dried
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil; divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • Scallions, diced, for serving
  • Cauliflower rice or regular rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the sauce, set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, slice chicken breast and toss with 1 Tablespoon of coconut aminos.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add chicken (in batches, if necessary, to avoid over-crowding the pan) and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside in large bowl.
  5. Add remaining sesame oil to pan and add the onions and carrots to the pan. Cook until onions are translucent (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  6. Add chicken and snow peas to pan, sprinkle with white pepper and toss to combine.
  7. Add sauce to pan and stir to combine. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 more minutes.
  8. Taste and add salt or pepper (or even a hint of red pepper flakes) if needed.
  9. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice, or eat on its own (it's that good).

Notes

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/24/chicken-with-snow-peas-and-a-whole-30-updat/

chicken with snow peas | wee-eats.com

m4s0n501

barbacoa steak salad with cumin-spiced sweet potatoes

whole 30 chipotle steak salad

Well, we’ve passed the halfway mark on this Whole30 thing and one thing I have been eating a lot of this month is salads.

So many salads. Like, all the salads.

This day in particular I wanted tacos. But, since I can’t eat tortillas, cheese, rice, or sour cream, I made a salad instead.

It’s basically the same thing (not really).

However, this recipe passed a very important test. The FH test. You see, at some point during this ordeal FH decided he was going to support me, stand by my side, and eat only what I could eat (at least, while I was around).

I mean, he saw the cruelty in pigging out on chips and cookies while I was chewing on lettuce on apples… If that’s not love then I don’t know what is.

This is probably one of our favorite Whole 30-compliant recipes that I’ve made so far (along with that delicious cauliflower soup).

As an added bonus, it’s super easy to make. Don’t let the mile-long recipe throw you off – You throw all the meat stuff together in a slow cooker and cook it on low for a bajillion hours until it’s fall-apart-tender.

While that’s cooking, you chop up some veggies ( I chose onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and roasted sweet potatoes), and then when you’re ready to eat just cook up some cilantro-lime cauliflower “rice” alongside so you can pretend like you’re eating rice.

As for the Whole 30?

17 days down, 13 more to go!

I haven’t gained any super powers yet (unless wanting to fall asleep while walking up a flight of stairs or being able to quickly find “sugar” in any of its numerous forms on an ingredient label count as super powers).

HOWEVER, my skin has cleared up significantly and is softer than a baby’s behind, my belly feels less gross and bloaty (generally speaking), I’m sleeping better than I have in ages, and I have the added benefit of just knowing that I”m doing something good for my body. That counts for something, right?

You can see what else I’ve been cooking up on Instagram.

barbacoa steak salad with cumin-spiced sweet potatoes

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 hours

Total Time: 10 hours, 50 minutes

Ingredients

    For the beef:
  • 1 small (3 pound) chuck roast (or other cut of meat that is good for cooking low and slow)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth ( Imagine broth is whole 30 approved :) )
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle paste (or 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 1 or 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • For the cauliflower "rice"
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • For sauteed peppers
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the salad
  • Lettuce of your choice; washed,dried, and chopped (I used romaine)
  • Optional Add-ins
  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa

Instructions

    For the beef*:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Pat steak dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown steak on both sides (don't cook it through, just get some good color on it). Then transfer to slow cooker.
  2. In same pan, add sliced onions and cook until softened but not browned. Add to slow cooker.
  3. Pour chicken or beef broth into pan and scrape off any browned bits remaining in the pan. Add remaining ingredients to broth and stir to combine. Pour over steak in slow cooker.
  4. Set slow cooker to "low" - Cook on low until meat is tender about 8 to 10 hours.
  5. When meat is finished cooking, shred and let sit in juices. Skim and remove fat, if necessary.
  6. For the sweet potatoes:
  7. Heat oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with foil and toss sweet potato chunks with melted coconut oil, salt, and spices.
  8. Roast 30 to 40 minutes until browned, tossing halfway through.
  9. For the "rice":
  10. Process cauliflower in food processor until pieces are about the size of grains of rice. Be sure not to over-process.
  11. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add coconut oil until melted. Add cauliflower rice and a healthy dash of salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover pan and allow cauliflower to "steam" for about 5 to 7 minutes.**
  12. Remove cover and stir cauliflower - I like to get my cauliflower nice and browned so it takes another 5 to 7 minutes or so, but you don't have to cook it that far.
  13. Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Transfer cauliflower to another dish until ready to serve.
  14. (***See notes below for oven-method)
  15. For the peppers:
  16. Heat oil in saute pan until shimmering. Add peppers and onions and saute until softened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  17. For the salad:
  18. Assemble salad with lettuce, peppers, onions, etc and enjoy! Top with salsa or a simple dressing, if desired. (Try a vinaigrette with lime, olive oil, and paprika)

Notes

* I usually make my beef the day before and store it in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. When I start cooking everything else, I reheat the meat in a saucepan over low heat.

**Alternatively, you can give your rice a head-start in the microwave. Place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high 2 to 3 minutes, covered with a microwave-safe plastic wrap. Continue with the rest of the steps as directed.

*** You can make your cauliflower rice more "hands off" by roasting it in the oven on a separate sheet pan while you roast your sweet potatoes, stirring occasionally. Add lime and cilantro before serving. (Thanks Shannon for turning me on to this method!)

Beef recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/17/whole-30-barbacoa-steak-salad-with-cumin-spiced-sweet-potatoes/

creamy cauliflower soup (without cream!)

cauliflower-soup 1

Apologies as I’ve been MIA lately. You see, I’m in a bit of a predicament as I’m on an “elimination diet” of sorts. (You may have heard of it, it’s called the Whole 30, or as my fiance is referring to it, “The worst 30 days of his life”) What that means is that I can’t eat like 98% of the things I would normally be eating (cake, cookies, bread, dairy, peanut butter). Instead, my life is filled to the top with fruits, veggies, and protein. So much protein.

I think I even got a case of the meat sweats last night…

So how do you make your life feel normal when you’re on a diet that cuts out most “normal” food? Well, this soup is a good start.

This soup is so good, in fact, that the fiance ate it for like 4 days straight without a single complaint. He has even asked if we could have it again, even though I’m pretty sure that if he even sees one more piece of cauliflower in the kitchen my life may be in peril. Did you have any idea how versatile cauliflower was? I didn’t.

I know what you’re wondering – Can you really get all the luxury of creamy cauliflower soup without any cream?

In short, yes.

cauliflower soup 2

In long, basically there is something about the very low insoluble fiber content of cauliflower  [ insert science here ] that makes it the perfect vegetable for blending into a rich, creamy oblivion. America’s Test Kitchen (where I got the recipe from) does a much better job of explaining it.

Basically, what that means is that you can get that perfect, satisfyingly rich, velvety mouth-feel with zero cream.

Not even a drop.

So even though you feel like you’re enjoying a rich, indulgent soup, you’re actually just enjoying some good-for-you veggies! (Sh, don’t tell anyone!). And although the soup looks really thick and heavy, it doesn’t feel heavy in your belly – Think of it like a creamy potato-leek soup minus the brick that usually ends up in your belly when you finish eating it. So go ahead and have a second bowl!

creamless cauliflower soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

Serving Size: ~1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets (1 head)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (clarified butter, if you're on Whole 30, or even olive oil would probably do.)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 medium onion (between 1/2 to 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
  • 4 to 5 cups water

Instructions

  1. Trim leaves and stem from cauliflower, removing the core. Thinly slice the core of the cauliflower and cut the cauliflower head into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add leek, onion, and salt to the pan with the melted butter. Saute until leek and onion are soft but not browned (about 5 to 7 minutes).
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add half of the cauliflower, along with the sliced core, and enough water to cover (about 4 to 5 cups). Bring water to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook at a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, add remaining cauliflower and return soup to a simmer. Continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
  5. When cauliflower is ready, remove the pan from the heat and puree the cauliflower with an immersion blender until smooth.* If desired, add more water to thin the soup. The soup should have a thick texture but be thin enough to settle to a flat surface after being stirred, but should not be thin or runny (maybe slightly thinner than cupcake batter).
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Notes

* If you don't have an immersion blender, you can process the soup in a regular blender (in batches if needed). Remember to remove the middle plug (can cover with a towel) to allow steam to escape while processing. Return soup to the pan after processing and add water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

* I topped my soup with bits of roasted cauliflower and some chives to make it look pretty, but you really don't need to add a single thing because it's delicious on its own.

Source America's Test Kitchen

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/12/creamy-cauliflower-soup-without-cream/

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