The late Jimmy Dubuisson, who worked with my husband for years at Gayfers and Dillard's in Mississippi, loved to cook and was good at it.
He always was trying out new recipes and comparing food ideas with me. One of favorites has stayed in my favorites, too: whole bone-in or boneless turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker.
Last week, one local supermarket ran a special on bone-in turkey breasts. The day the advertisement appeared, I was at the store snapping up one of those birds. I bought a 7- 1/2-pound turkey breast for under $9, a bargain in anyone's book.
I love turkey any time of year, not just holidays. Turkey breast is a budget stretcher. The turkey can be served with all the trimmings or simple, healthy side dishes such as broccoli and baked sweet potato. The next day, it's great for sandwiches. I also like to use leftover turkey in a turkey Mornay, which is served in a puff pastry shell.
When I got home with the turkey, my husband asked if I was cooking it in the slow cooker, which is a favorite of his also. I assured him that I was.
After the turkey breast had defrosted in the fridge, I washed the bird and heavily sprinkled Creole seasoning over every inch of the bird, including the cavity. I also seasoned it with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For cooking liquid, I poured in 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of white wine. I then put the lid on the slow cooker and set the temperature on high.
The turkey cooked for about 4 hours on high. I
turned the temperature to low and cooked it for another couple of hours until the bird's internal temperature hit 165 degrees. I then turned off the slow cooker and let the bird rest for 30 minutes or so and turned the carving duties over to my husband.
How easy is that for a turkey dinner? Anyone, novice cook or pro, can turn out a flavorful turkey using this method with little effort. The slow cooker does all the work.
Easier cornbread salad
Linda Huey sent in a cornbread salad for Peter Meakins, who asked for a recipe.
"Here's another cornbread salad recipe that is a lot easier and very good," Huey said. "I got it from a friend at sorority meeting."
Meakins will have to let us know which salad worked best for them.
1 box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
1 tomato (medium size)
1/2 bell pepper
5 stalks green onion
1 package real bacon bits
Mayonnaise, salt and pepper
Cook cornbread, let cool, then crumble. Chop tomato, bell pepper and onion.
Mix cornbread, tomato, bell pepper, onion and bacon bits. Add mayonnaise until moist (as moist as you like).
Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
-- Submitted by Linda Huey
Biloxian Helen Skupien, whose cooking I have had the privilege of eating, sent in a crabmeat casserole recipe that she thought readers might enjoy.
"I have a recipe from a 1986 or 1987 book that was made by the seniors from the Scranton Museum in Pascagoula," Skupien said. "I have made it, and it is very good."
1 pound crabmeat
2 cups cracker crumbs
3 or 4 green onions, chopped
3 or 4 pieces celery, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
3 eggs, well beaten
1 pint half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup or more shredded Cheddar cheese (amount depends on your taste)
Mix together all the ingredients except the butter and cheese and pour into a greased baking dish; if mixture is too dry, add more milk, about 1 cup. Top with the stick of butter, melted, and pour over top of mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until golden brown. For variation, you may use half shrimp and half crabmeat. Top with cheese when almost done.
-- Submitted by Helen Skupien
Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567. If requesting a recipe, include the name or describe it.