Ask Chef Hosch and Ann

Turkey tenderloins with mushroom stuffing

Q: Our holiday meals seem to always be the same … do you have any new recipe ideas I could try to spice them up or make them really stand out this year?

A: I’m sure you are not the only one who gets bored by the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. I like to try new recipes each year to give the traditional a new feel. Especially if you are going to be eating several meals at different houses with friends and family, it’s nice to add a new taste to the meal. Here are some ideas to serve traditional ingredients in innovative ways.

Turkey tenderloins with mushroom stuffing

3 cups boiling water

2 cups dried porcini mushrooms (about 2 ounces)

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

3 cups finely chopped cremini or button mushrooms

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

4 tablespoons Madeira or port wine

3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

4 (10 ounces) turkey tenderloins

3 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chicken broth or stock

1 cup milk

Place the boiling water and porcini mushrooms in a covered bowl and let stand for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and save the liquid and chop fine, set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and saute 3 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms, sautee 3 minutes. Add half the salt and pepper to this mix and then the wine and cook for 1 minute or until the liquid evaporates. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup porcini and thyme.

Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each tenderloin to form a pocket. Fill the pockets evenly with the cremini mixture and secure at 1 inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper and dredge in 3 teaspoons of the flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey and cook about 4 minutes on each side until browned. Add the reserved soaking liquid from the porcini and the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes. Remove the turkey, keep warm. Cook the broth mixture until reduced, about 5 minutes. Combine flour and milk, stirring with a fork. Add that to the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in remaining porcini.

Remove the twine from the tenderloins, slice and serve with the sauce.

I think this twist on our usual turkey is sure to please and would go great with a simple wild rice pilaf and the corn bread recipe to follow.

Roasted cornbread stuffing

5 strips center cut bacon, chopped

1 cup fresh corn kernels

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

2/3 cup water

4 corn bread muffins

2 thick slices of white bread

4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chicken broth or stock

Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and save 2 teaspoons of the drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. Combine the corn, onion and celery and cook in the bacon fat 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the water and bring to a boil and simmer about 3 minutes.

Crumble the cornbread muffins into a large bowl, place white bread in food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Stir into the cornbread crumbles and then add the corn and celery mixture, sage, thyme, salt, pepper and bacon and stir together. Add the broth and mix to coat. Place the mixture in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

There are a few more easy ways to switch things up this holiday season and most don’t require a whole new recipe. Instead of that mushy green bean casserole try sauteing fresh green beans in olive oil or  butter.

I like to toss them with caramelized onions as well. Instead of opening a can of that cranberry gel stuff try some fresh or even dried cranberries and simply mix them with some citrus and nuts to add freshness. Instead of those candied sweet potatoes, try just roasting them with some fresh thyme and smoked paprika for a new and simple side.

We all love the traditional holiday meal and without changing things up too much these are a few ways to add a fresh spin on your family meal.

Chef Hosch and Ann are a husband and wife team devoted to healthy and gourmet cooking and catering. Chef Hosch is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, and brings more than 25 years of experience and passion to his culinary arts. Ann is an occupational therapist and has worked as a cook and baker in the past. Chef Hosch and Ann opened the Tower Cafe, 1000 Commerce Park Drive, in December 2013. They serve lunch Monday through Friday.

Chef Hosch and Ann specialize in creating food for all tastes and diets. Their column is published on the first Wednesday of each month in the Food section. Submit cooking questions for Chef Hosch and Ann to finefood@chefhos­ch­.com and “like” them on Facebook to ask questions and get tips and recipes.

Hunter is Chef Hosch and Ann’s sous chef. She received a degree in culinary arts from Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in 2002. After working in the field for several years, she went back to school at The Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 2005 with a degree in baking and pastry arts. She has worked in several different kitchens on both sides of culinary and baking.