This has become one of my favorite salads to prepare as a main entrée for my
family. You will note in the directions that I smoke my own turkey breast for this
recipe. Of course you can use your personal style of ‘smoker’ for the same
outcome. I have used my ‘dry’ Cameron Smoker to achieve this delicious salad.
These can run anywhere for $45. – $65. depending upon where you purchase, I
use mine all the time. Some of you will remember me talking about all the cheese
I was smoking during the holidays. Once again smoking is a chance to enhance
the outcome of a dish without the extra sodium or spices.
The wonderful thing about smoking a turkey breast is to be sure and do a large
one. I use what I need for the salads and then I vacuum seal portions for use in
other recipes. In example a smoked turkey and wild rice soup or a smoked
chicken or turkey stew, etc.
As an example today let me refer to a salsa my son, Phillip, can eat by the
buckets: ‘Daddy Jack’s Salsa’. (I usually get this in Kansas specialty shops, as it’s a
Kansas made product.) This morning we were having scrambled eggs and Phillip
got out this salsa. As I was eating I said: ‘Wow, there’s a subtle undertone of
smoke flavoring in this, and I mean subtle.’ As Phillip read the label the only
ingredient that was smoked was the jalapenos. How come I never noticed this
before? I don’t eat Phillip’s salsa, I eat my homemade salsa! He enjoys this label
because it does not have any ‘chunks’, it’s almost smooth.
Another example would be making homemade pimento cheese, (yum). At one
time I thought I would make an entire recipe ‘smoked’. Now I think I would only
smoke the pimentos and/or jalapenos. Giving a more subtle approach and
pleasing more palates at the same time.
The same approach continues for me with other smoked meats. I enjoy smoking
country style ribs or brisket to put into my baked beans. I smoke, process and
freeze the meat and then it’s at my fingertips.
This weekend I’ll be back at the Cook’s Nook in McPherson, Kansas for a class on
the 7th of February. I am pleased to say the first class is sold out and we have
added a second class at 1pm. I’m really excited about the dishes in this session
and getting everyone’s reaction to the new recipes. I will share two of my new
recipes in the weeks ahead. My husband, Ervin, is going to be my assistant this
time. (Hm..That should be interesting…)
In the last couple of weeks I’ve had a couple of speaking engagements in my area.
It was fun doing a New Year’s talk on versatility and then implementing it into a
recipe in the kitchen. One of my favorite things to do is motivational speaking;
besides ‘cooking’ that is. Of course we can’t motivate anyone but I can share
‘vehicles’ that have worked for me. I often ask myself: ‘How did a little fat girl
like me get where I am today?’ That’s a speech/presentation within itself!
If your organization or club is looking for a guest speaker keep me in mind. As
long as I work at Silver Dollar City these events must be at least 150 miles away
The new cookbook gets most of my attention this week along with preparations
for my trip to McPherson. I’m sure I’ll also do more work in the closets at the
Uhrig household. Take a breath this week and do something special for
yourselves. Make your reservations for Valentine’s Day or plan that special
dinner. Don’t wait on the guys to do it, just promise me you’ll do ‘something’
special for yourselves! See you next week, Simply Yours, The Covered Dish.
Smoked Turkey Salad with bacon dressing
Strawberries, halved or sliced
Grapes, halved or sliced
English Walnuts, toasted
Tender Greens or Spinach
Smoked Turkey Breast, sliced
Feta or Asiago Cheese, optional
6 slices bacon, sliced thin and cooked
6 green onions, (if desired)
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup cider vinegar plus 1 tablespoon vinegar
This dressing should do 4-5 side salads. For only 2 cut recipe in half.
The amount of strawberries, grapes, walnuts, cheese, onion and greens totally
depends upon how many people you are planning to serve. Purchase according
to your dinner numbers.
The smoked turkey in this dish is a whole turkey breast smoked on a ‘dry’
Cameron Smoker. Usually I like a strong smoked flavor so I’ll prepare the turkey
using hickory or oak. For those desiring a more subtle taste reach for fruit, nut or
alder chips. The dry smokers use a ‘chip’ that looks like sawdust. The resin has
been removed making it safe to use with your food products. The weight of the
turkey breast will guide you in how long to cook. Keep in mind that in smoking
the flavor develops at the very beginning. If I’m doing a whole turkey I will often
finish the cooking process in the oven so the brown meat looks like it’s fully
cooked. Consult your Cameron smoker handbook for full smoking instructions. It
is also easy to find directions on line.
For the dressing sauté the bacon until cooked, keep heat medium to low. Stir in
the sugar so that it dissolves in the warm grease. Add seasonings and vinegar
mixing all ingredients, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to cool
slightly so it’s not ‘boiling’ when you pour it over the salad.
How to toast nutmeats: My routine habit is to always toast more than I need.
Toasting enhances the flavor of the nuts. Because several things are usually
happening at once in my kitchen I bake my walnuts at 300 degrees. Place them in
the oven on parchment paper and toast. If you’re doing enough for this salad
then approximately 15 minutes should work. If you’re doing 1-2 pounds the time
would be more like 30 minutes. Sure, you can toast them at 350 degrees. I just
don’t like the chance of them overbrowning at this temperature!