Mom de Cuisine

Make-Ahead Monday: Jambalaya Casserole
November 9, 2011, 10:20 am
Filed under: Main Course, Pasta & Rice, Turkey | Tags: ,


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s Wednesday when I’m posting this “make ahead Monday” dish.  To be honest, I’ve been so busy playing catch up that we’ve been ordering delivery from our favorite kabob place more than I’ve been cooking.  But better late than never, right?  I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because I am exhausted and still have a to-do list longer than I care to think about. 

I’ve been planning to make this casserole for a few weeks now, but I finally got around to doing it the other day.  I wanted to make some kind of baked rice casserole, for a while, but my husband who says he hates rice (lie) has been adamant that I don’t.  Well, I thought if I make a rice dish that he likes otherwise into a casserole maybe he wouldn’t mind (I also didn’t tell him what I was making ahead of time so he wouldn’t be able to protest.)   I would call this casserole a success, not because my husband didn’t protest to eating a rice casserole (which he didn’t) but because “C” also ate it!  Well, “C” ate all of the pieces of turkey out of his portion.  This was a big deal because “C” doesn’t eat anything.  His diet is fruit, chips, cereal, french fries and occasionally bread.  Maybe we’ve made a bit of a break through in my deciding to no longer be a short order cook because last night, everyone ate the same meal.  Maybe.

Jambalaya Casserole


1 green bell pepper, diced

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 onion, diced

2 cups cooked, diced turkey breast

1 cup diced cooked sausage (andoulle is best, but it was unavailable, so I used a beef kielbasa)

1 can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic

3 cups white rice

6 cups low sodium chicken stock

3 table spoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons Zatarains seasoning


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large casserole dish.  Mix the stock, tomato paste, and zatarains.  Pour over the rice mixture and bake, covered for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Allow the casserole to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Mexi-Monday: Tex-Mex Turkey Burgers, Fully Loaded
August 30, 2011, 4:48 am
Filed under: Main Course, Turkey | Tags: , , ,

I am a total realist.  Not a pessimist, I just think I know when to be positive about something, and when to face the facts.  I know what I am good at, and I know where I could use some improvement.  If you have read my blog before, then you’ll know that I am not the best food photographer/stylist.  I am trying to get better, as a matter of fact, I recently finished, Plate to Pixels by Helene DuJardin and I think I have seen some, ever so slight, improvement in my photography.  Next, I plan to read Food Photography “From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Nicole S. Young(just have to make my way over to Amazon to get it. )

So, with all that being said, I was still disappointed in my shots of my Mexi-Monday Loaded Burger.  I started planning the styling, the photographs, the lighting in my head from the moment I decided to make my “famous” burgers for dinner tonight.  Side note:  my burger is only actually “famous” to my husband. 

 Well, when it came time to start shooting,  I just wasn’t getting the shot I set up in my head.  The more I tried to “style” my burger, the worse it looked.  I realized that it was getting worse and worse because, little by little I had picked at, and eaten my burger!!!!!  Oh well, I guess I will decide that it is a testament to how amazing the burger was!  I thought about trying to style another burger, but then decided that I would probably end up eating that one too and since my husband wouldn’t be home for at least another hour…I would throw in the proverbial towel and just succumb myself to finishing up the crumbs left and pretending the whole event never happened.

But onto the burger….My husband loves these burgers.  In fact, when I tell him that’s what I’m making, he always says, “Please, keep to the recipe.  I like the burgers the way they are, so don’t go changing stuff!”  This time, I pretty much kept to my usual recipe.  I haven’t been able to find the cans of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce here, so sadly, I had to omit those.  I usually love the smokey and slightly spicy flavor those give to the burgers.  I found some local dried chilis that  I was hoping I could soak and puree to maybe give some of the same flavor.  It didn’t work. I do tend to change around the toppings depending on what I have on hand and feel like making.  I’ve made chipotle ketchup, carmelized balsamic onions,  and guac before as toppings.  Today, however, I decided to top these bad boys with left over mango BBQ sauce from my pulled pork empanadas (I totally forgot about it until I was cleaning out the fridge the day before, then I was like, JACKPOT!!!) and crispy sweet potato shoestrings. 

I originally made the sweet potato shoe strings as an accompaniment to the burger.  Stephanie at Eat. Drink. Love. made sweet potato chips about a week ago and they looked soooo good!  I, however, have never had much luck making chips.  They either burn or are soggy in the middle.  I have, however, made shoe string sweet potatoes as a garnish to pork chops, and they turned out perfectly crispy.  I loved Stephanie’s combination of seasoning, and I thought it would go well with the burgers.  but as I assembled the burger, I realized that it was missing some crunch, so onto the burger my shoestrings went. 

All in all, even though my pictures were terrible, the burger was outstanding!

Tex-Mex Burgers, Fully Loaded


1 lb lean ground turkey meat

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 cup diced pickled jalapeno

1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed, diced

2-3 tablespoons cumin, divided

1 tablespoon tomato paste

salt, black pepper to taste

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprkia

Sesame seed buns

fresh red and green spinach (optional)

4-8 slices Pepper jack cheese(optional)

Avacado, sliced (optional)

Mango BBQ Sauce (optional)


To make the burgers: combine onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro, tomato paste, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Mix in the turkey meat until all the ingredients are evenly combined, being careful not to over mix the meat.  Allow mixture to marinade, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours. 

Make divide into fourths and make burger patties.  Grill until burgers are cooked through.  Int the last few minutes of cooking, add pepper jack cheese to the burger, close the grill to allow the cheese to melt.

While the burgers grill, Julienne the sweet potato (I used a Julienne vegetable peeler, but the Julienne attachment of a mandolin also works).  Heat oil to 350 and fry sweet potato shoe strings in batches, 3-4 minutes until crisp, but not burnt.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and  remaining cumin.

To assemble the burgers:  Spread BBQ sauce on both the top and bottom bun.  Add spinach,, avacado, burger, and shoestrings.  Enjoy!!!

P.S. I know it’s not Monday anymore, at least not here, but real life got in the way of me posting this yesterday 🙂