Home Cooked for the Holidays: Marcela Valladolid

Posted on Nov 22, 2013 11:45am

Chef Marcela Valladolid, author of "Mexican Made Easy" and TV host, returned to THE TALK for "Home Cooked for the Holidays."  Marcela made a few of our traditional Thanksgiving favorite dishes with a Mexican twist!


4 cups chicken broth

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons tequila

1 14-pound turkey, giblets removed from cavity

5 California chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons crumbled oregano

1/3 cup good-quality apricot marmalade

Fresh apricot halves (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix 3/4 cup chicken broth, melted butter and tequila in a small metal bowl. Season with salt. Using kitchen flavor injector, inject mixture all over turkey (into thighs, breasts and legs). If mixture solidifies, place bowl over gas burner to melt butter.

Place turkey in rack set in large roasting pan. Tuck wing tips under turkey body. Tie legs together to hold shape. Place giblets in pan.

Place chiles and 2 cups chicken broth in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes to soften. Transfer chiles with liquid to blender along with garlic and oregano and process until smooth.

Transfer chile puree to bowl and mix with apricot marmalade. Use about 1 cup of chile-apricot mixture (reserve rest for sauce at the end) to rub all over turkey, working some of it between the breast and the skin. Sprinkle turkey generously all over with salt and pepper.

Add 1 cup broth to the roasting pan and roast turkey 45 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F., basting every 20 minutes with drippings, about 1 1/4 hours longer (cover turkey loosely with foil if beginning to brown).

Transfer turkey to platter, reserving pan juices. Let turkey stand while preparing sauce.

Strain pan juices into heavy large saucepan; discard solids in strainer. Spoon fat off top; discard fat. Add remaining chile-apricot mixture to saucepan with pan juices and stir until well combined. Boil over high heat 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish turkey with fresh apricot halves and serve with chile-apricot sauce.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 3 1/2 hours

Ease of preparation: easy

Chorizo, Apple, and Pepita Stuffing

3 bolillo rolls, cut into 1-inch cubes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup white onion, medium diced

2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

12 ounces pork chorizo, casing removed

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup roasted pepitas

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350°F. Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onions, apples, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread crumbs.

In the same sauté pan, cook the chorizo over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the chorizo with a fork while cooking. Drain excess fat on a paper towel and add to the bread crumbs and vegetables.

Add chicken stock and pepitas to the mixture, mix well and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm immediately.

Yield: Serves 6-8

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Tangerine-Rosemary vinaigrette

1 1/2 pound butternut squash, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons rosemary, roughly chopped

4 tangerines, peeled, sliced

1/4 cup cranberries

1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed

1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Toss squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a baking sheet and spread in 1 layer. Season with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons rosemary and roast in the middle of the oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until squash is just tender and golden, about 40 minutes total. Cool in pan on a rack until warm, about 15 minutes.

While squash is roasting, peel 3 of the mandarins and slice them into 1-inch rounds, removing any seeds. Juice the extra mandarin and mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining rosemary and whisk until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Combine squash, spinach, mandarin slices and cranberries with the dressing and toss gently to coat. Top with crumbled goat cheese.

Divide salad among salad plates.

Yield: Serves 4

Tequila Hot Toddy

Bring 12 cups of water to a boil

Add 2 cups of dried fruit of your choice (cranberries, dried apples, etc.)

Add 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers

Add 2 mandarins, sliced

Add 2 cinnamon sticks

Return to a boil for 5 minutes and then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Let seep for 15 minutes.  Drain liquid; add liquid back to pot.

Make Syrup

Combine all ingredients:

4 cups of waters

2 cups of brown sugar

1 pound of fresh guavas sliced in half

2 cinnamon sticks

Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce to simmer; simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat off, drain liquid, return liquid to pot.

Combine syrup liquid with punch liquid.

Serve punch warm, 1 cup per person, add 3/4 ounce of reposado tequila to cup.

Another way to serve it is to cut off the top of a pear, clean out the meat and serve the punch inside.

Yield: Serves 8-10

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