Citrus & Spice and Everything Nice…

One of my favorite ways to marinate turkey breast is with citrus. I’ve learned that you can somewhat replicate sour oranges (often used in Cuban mojos) by combining the juice from regular oranges and limes.

This time, I actually used about 7 clementines and 8 key limes. I mixed that juice with a bit of olive oil (maybe a fourth of a cup,) about a tablespoon of chopped ginger root, a couple cloves of smashes garlic, teaspoon black pepper, and a teaspoon kosher salt. I poured that whole mixture over a double bagged 5 pound turkey breast and let it marinate for about 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Then I mixed some of my Saz贸n of Little Egypt with a bit of brown sugar and black pepper and added enough olive oil to form a paste. I made a rack for the turkey breast with the squeezed lime and orange halves after filling the cavity with a cut up onion, a couple smashed garlic cloves, and a few of the citrus halves. Then I placed the turkey breast on the makeshift rack, cavity side down, and drizzled it with olive oil. I used a silicone brush to paint on the saz贸n paste mixture before pouring the remaining marinade in the bottom of the pain for some moisture. Next, it went into the oven for a couple hours at 350 degrees Farenheit until it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe it would have been fine at a slightly higher temp for a crisper skin because all of the marinade did a great job of tenderizing.

I think any leftovers might be good with some avocado and crostini…or maybe in a salad? Then again, some toasted bread, cheddar cheese, and sandwich fixings sound pretty good too… Since this is Illinois, a horseshoe made with with turkey over a pile a fries smothered in cheesy goodness would also work.

Corn & Salad Dressing

One of the go-to condiments in our house is a really quick corn dressing–mayo, Southern Illinois honey, and Saz贸n– to spread on corn of the cob. Sometimes I also sprinkle either parmesan or a cheese like feta or cotija onto it once it is on the cob.

When I couldn’t decide what to put on my chef salad for lunch one day, it hit me. I could easily use the corn dressing on my salad. I added the juice of a lime to thin it a bit, and that was it.

I love it when I can have homeade things all set to go that pull double duty. I’ve been using the homeade salsa fresca in my salad for other meals as well. My lettuce was already washed, chopped, and ready to go in a bowl in the fridge. The longest it took me to do anything was tear some thinly slice ham and turkey into pieces. That’s only because I’m still dealing with the chemo-induced neuropathy. Otherwise, it was a pretty quick and tasty chef salad.

Here is the basic recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey

1 packet of Saz贸n

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Adjust the thickness by adding more mayonnaise or honey.

Optional:

Add the juice or zest of a lime for variation.

Cucumber Chef Salad

I have been craving cucumbers since I watched Katie Lee make a yummy cucumber salad (I know it is yummy because I made a version of it at home…) on “The Kitchen” last weekend. So, I packed a cucumber with my salad fixings for my lunch yesterday. Unfortunately, I forgot my lettuce. This actually turned out to be a good thing.

I decided to use the cucumber as the base of my salad instead of lettuce. After peeling the skin, I cut it lengthwise into quarters and then cut those quarters into smaller bite sized pieces.

Chopped sundried tomatoes, olives, palmitos (hearts of palm,) shredded mozzarella, shaved turkey breast, and some pepitos were added to the cucumbers. A bit of sea salt, pepper, and Caesar dressing (because that’s what was handy…) topped off the creation. I did manage to wait long enough to eat it to snap a photo.

It shouldn’t be too much longer before Southern Illinois cucumbers are ripe. I can’t wait to try it again with some local produce and perhaps a homemade vinegrette.