Holiday cooking tips from Celebrity Chef Jamika Pessoa

Chef Jamika Pessoa. Photo credit: Chef Jamika.

Chef Jamika Pessoa is one of my favorite celebrity chefs.

This Atlanta resident built a wildly successful catering business and garnered the title “Chef to the Stars,” because of her  A-list of loyal clients in entertainment and sports.

Chef Jamika has serious culinary chops. She graduated from the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute of Atlanta and studied in several European countries.

It was her appearance on season 5 of The Next Food Network Star that we saw her beauty, brilliance, creativity, talent and skilled execution as she competed down to the final rounds in the competition.

Chef Jamika in action. Photo credit: Chef Jamika.

Today this culinary entrepreneur makes regular appearances on shows like The Chew, The Today Show, the Cooking Channel, and the Food Network. She is among the bright lights in the culinary world and a leading subject matter expert in meal planning and entertaining at home.

Clash of the Grandama’s judges and host Cameron Mathison (top). Left to right: Lifestyle expert and POPSUGAR.com Reporter/Producer Brandi Milloy; former NFL player and Food Network star Eddie Jackson; and Food Network Star;Celebrity Chef and Television personality Jamika Pessoa. Photo credit: Chef Jamika.

I had the opportunity to meet Chef Jamika last year when I was contestant on the Food Network Show Clash of the Grandma’s.  She was as amazing judge filled with charm, personality, insightful and didactic critiques that not only elevated my culinary perspective but helped me become a more descriptive food writer.

Thanks chef!

Chef Jamika to the rescue

With the holiday season in full throttle, you undoubtedly are planning your holiday menu or soiree. If not, it has certainly crossed your mind a time or two. This can be overwhelming, even for fairly competent cooks like me.

I sent out an SOS to Chef Jamika and she was gracious enough to provide a few practical  planning and cooking tips to help allay this seasonal anxiety so you can enjoy the holiday season. She even shares an amazing recipe for a  Herb Crusted Prime Rib that the carnivores in your life are sure to love.  It’s at the end of the story.

Wait. I think I heard a somewhat inaudible “whew – thank you Ms. Collard Greens and Caviar.” And to that I say –  you are very welcome!

Make sure to visit her site at http://www.chefjamika.com/recipes/ for more mouth-watering  recipes and please follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook  to keep up with her amazing culinary journey.

Without any futher yadda yadda and pithy prose, the following is offered courtesy of the illustrious Chef Jamika.

As families begin to plan holiday gatherings, the worry of preparing the food always seems to rest on the “head chef” of the family. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips designed to make the meal preparation a special and stress free one.

Plan ahead.   There are benefits to being prepared before a big meal. Organizing yourself will mean a smooth transition from start to finish. Purchase food items as far in advance as possible. Waiting until the last minute does not mean that you will get fresher produce or meats. This only means that you will get items that are picked over and of less quality and taste.

Prep dishes in advance by freezing casseroles and pre-seasoned meats. On the day of the meal, all you have to do is bake them. This will save time and storage space in the refrigerator.

Also, if you are serving hors d’ oeuvres, have them prepped  and as the guests arrive you simply pop them in the oven. Hot and fresh hors d’ oeuvres will buy you some time as the remainder of the meal is still cooking. You never want a room full of hungry guests.

Cook what you like. Who ever said that you have to serve turkey or ham for the holidays? Change things up a bit by preparing dishes that you and your family enjoy the most. Try debuting some of those recipes you have collected over the year, but never tried.

Here is a fun suggestion; before you go shopping, have the kids research recipes they want to see on the table. Make this year’s menu a contributive effort from each family member. Moreover, having family favorites on the table will pay off when it comes time to eating leftovers.

Get the whole family involved. Since the holidays are about family, make cooking time quality time. Create kitchen task lists for each person to complete. While you supervise the entire operation, have dad and the kids measure out ingredients, clean vegetables, or even wash dishes. Each person can proudly present his or her involvement in the meal at the table.

Do not be embarrassed to hire out. Take some of the pressure off of yourself by hiring a professional catering company or a personal chef for the day. The meal will have just as much meaning, without a lot of the hassle. Private companies and chefs book fast around this time, so make sure you place your order in time.

If private catering is not in your budget, your can still seek help outside of your kitchen. Instead of making everything from scratch, try purchasing your breads, side dishes, and desserts from the local bakery or specialty shop. The best way to enjoy a meal is to have someone else do the work.

Get creative with leftovers. There is more to leftovers than sandwiches and soups. Get creative! Take those candied yams, mash them and make a sweet potato soufflé. Try using the cranberry sauce to make cranberry muffins.

Check out her delicious recipe for Herb Crusted Prime Rib. Chef Jamika says your guests will go crazy when you bring this to the table.

Herb Crusted Prime Rib

  • Servings: 8 to 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jamika Pessoa

Ingredients

8 cloves of garlic
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, stem removed
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water
1 bone-in rib roast (prime rib), 8-10 pounds

Directions

  1. Position oven rack on the lowest level and preheat to 450 degrees. Place the garlic, parsley, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process into a coarse paste.
  2. Coat outside of rib roast generously with olive oil. Smear the paste over the top and sides of the rib roast. Place the roast bone-side down (fat side up) in a heavy roasting pan. Add cup of water to pan and place in the pre-heated oven.
  3. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a thermometer with the tip inserted to the center of the roast reaches 125 degrees.
  4. Transfer the roasted prime rib to a serving platter, and let rest for 15-20 minutes.

A special way to end the evening is to share your blessings with someone else and give leftover portions to those in the neighborhood or at your local church who are less fortunate.

Holidays should be a time of giving and spending time with family. Make this holiday an impressive one by being prepared. Plan down to the smallest detail so that the day is one filled with fond memories and not piles of dirty dishes.

Talkin’ Turkey Tips with the folks at Ralphs

The Thanksgiving turkey is the second best thing about Thanksgiving.

What’s the best thing about Thanksgiving? The long awaited gathering of family and friends around the holiday table laden with a cornucopia of food, including that glistening Thanksgiving bird.

Holiday roasted turkey. Photo credit: Ralphs

There are so many ways to prepare the hallowed bird from roasting it breast side up, stuffing herb butter under the skin, engulfing it in a cooking bag, deep frying to brining.

I’ve always been a big fan of brining, which is a form of marinating the turkey in a salt mixture with various herbs and other ingredients. But it can be quite a painstaking and time consuming production, steeped in mystery and intrigue. The time honored process is not always honored.

Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and I at Sur La Table during a recent signing of his book: My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients

At a recent book signing in Los Angeles with Food Network Star and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, I asked the question, “to brine or not to brine?”

His answer: not to brine.  Chef GZ says he has a few fellow chefs and culinary colleagues that are big briners, but he is not. When it comes to cooking the bird, he keeps it simple and that way he gets simply delicious results.

This year I’ve decided to keep it simple. No brine, no lengthy 12 hour marinating time. But I wanted to make sure that my turkey was moist, flavorful and delicious because after all, I have a culinary reputation to uphold.

Kristin Livingston, Natural Food Manager, Ralphs, Westwood, CA.

I reached out to the experts at my favorite market Ralphs for a little advice on making an oven roasted, moist and juicy Thanksgiving turkey. They invited me to chat with Kristin Livingston, Natural Food Manager, at their Westwood store near the campus of UCLA. Here’s a mind-bending fact: it’s the busiest store in Southern California and generates $1.4 million in sales a week.

We had a great chat, I asked her lots of questions, and here are a few tips Kristen shared with me during the time we spent together.

What kind of turkey should I buy?

It depends on your budget and preference. There are whole turkey breasts, oven ready turkeys, natural, organic and frozen turkeys. Most frozen turkeys are flash frozen immediately after being butchered and are delicious. Some turkeys have a salt solution injected into them to make them very flavorful.  I prefer the free range, certified organic turkeys that are feed healthier fed and free of hormones and antibiotics.  I think they are tastier.

There are a variety of turkeys to chose from.

What size turkey should I buy?

A widely used general guideline is one pound of turkey per person. But if you are serving a lot of guests, I recommend preparing two smaller turkeys weighing 12 pounds or less.

What’s the best way to thaw a frozen turkey?

The best way to thaw your turkey is in the refrigerator. A general rule to follow when thawing a turkey is to allow 1 day of thawing for every 4 pounds. Make sure to keep the turkey unopened and thaw it breast side up.  It’s best to cook it within 4 days after thawing.

How should I season my turkey?

Here the possibilities are endless.  Make sure you wash and pat it dry first. Of course you need to generously salt the outside and cavity of the bird. Adding olive oil, vegetable oil or butter on the surface of the bird before adding the salt will help it brown.  There are a lot of traditional turkey seasoning mixes out there, but why not try something different like a Indian or Moroccan spice mix. There are many on the market or you can experiment with making your own.*

Should I stuff my turkey?

So many herbs, so many choices for your Thanksgiving turkey.

Stuffing a turkey is no longer recommended because of health reasons. If the bird is removed from the oven before the stuffing reaches 165°F, some bacteria from the stuffing or from the interior surface of the turkey’s cavity could remain alive in the stuffing.  To get the stuffing up to 165°F, you would risk overcooking the breast meat.  My recommendation is to cook your dressing or stuffing separately.

But do stuff the cavity of your turkey lot of aromatics like onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Those aromatics will cook and the flavors will permeate the turkey. Besides, those pan drippings make the best gravy.  Also, many stores stock a poultry bundle that can take the stress out of what herbs to buy. I would suggest trying that.

How long should I roast my turkey in the oven?

I recommend a temperature of  325°F from start to finish.  The  general cooking guideline for a fully defrosted or fresh bird is about 15 minutes per pound.

How will I know when the turkey is done?

A temperature of 180°F degrees is what you are looking for.

Your turkey is done when it reaches a temperature of 180°F degrees in the thigh and 170°F degrees in the breast. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook your turkey. Some turkeys come inserted with a plastic pop up button. But these buttons are set to pop up at 180°F to 185°F degrees and at that temperature, the turkey is overcooked and dry.

How long do I wait before I carve it?

Just like you let a steak rest after cooking so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat, you should let your turkey rest too. About 15 to 20 minutes is best. While its resting, why not use that time and make a gravy out of the those flavorful pan drippings.

Should I carve the turkey at table or not?

Turkey breasts removed and sliced for serving.

I love the presentation of a beautiful turkey at the table. Yet carving takes time. You can carve and plate the turkey right before serving to make it more convenient.  The best way to do this is to:

  • Remove the legs and thighs and cut through the bone that connects them.
  • Remove the wings and separate them at the joints.
  • Remove the wishbone and cut away to remove both breasts.
  • Slice the thigh meat.
  • Slice the breast meat, cutting it at an angle against the grain.
  • Arrange the turkey pieces and slices on a serving platter with fresh herbs and roasted vegetables for a great presentation.

My tip if you need more help

Since 1981 the folks at Butterball Turkey have staffed a Turkey Talk Line with food experts who can help answer any turkey question you might have. You can call them at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800)288-8372 or visit their site at http://www.butterball.com/contact-us for information on their hours of operation and how you can chat, text or communicate with them about all your turkey questions via social media.

Time to make that turkey

*I like Kristin’s suggestion to make your own Indian or Moroccan inspired turkey seasoning. Here’s an easy mix I created you might want to give a try. Feel free to tweak this rustic blend and add additional ingredients if you like.  Double the recipe if you think you many need more seasoning mix. I recommend you rub the surface of the turkey with olive oil before you season your bird. In a bowl whisk together:
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon sugar

The folks at Ralphs have shared an easy recipe to help you make your turkey moist and delicious.  There are so many other great recipes on their site as well. Make sure to visit  them at https://www.ralphs.com/recipes and see what’s there. Have a Happy Thanksgiving my foodie friends. [Note: this is not a sponsored post]

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Servings: 10 to 14
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe courtesy of Ralphs.

Ingredients

1 turkey (14 lbs.)
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
1 small onion, cut in quarters
salt
ground black pepper
1 poultry bundle (thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, parsley)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Rinse turkey and pat dry.
  3. Combine butter, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Carefully spread the butter mixture between the skin and meat of the turkey, trying not to tear the skin. Sprinkle outside of the turkey and the cavity with additional salt and pepper.
  4. Stuff turkey cavity with onion, garlic cloves and poultry bundle.
  5. Truss the legs and place the turkey in a roasting pan.
  6. Roast for about 3 hours, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes. Cook until the internal temperature is about 170°F when thermometer is inserted into the meaty part of the breast.
  7. Remove from oven. Rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

 

 

 

 

Glynis Albright – the sound of music is culinary success

Glynis Albright, culinary entrepreneur

Imagine the sound of chicken frying in a cast iron skillet.

Or a metal whisk whipping eggs in a ceramic bowl until they are fluffy and light.

For this foodie, these sounds are music in the kitchen. For Glynis Albright, these are the sounds of sweet success.

Glynis and Gerald Albright

Glynis and Gerald Albright

Her husband, Gerald Albright, is one of the most renowned contemporary and straight-ahead jazz saxophonist of all time. He’s been making sweet and savory music for over 35 years; she’s been honing her culinary chops and creating sweet and savory recipes for over 35 years as well.

While her famed husband launches a series of contemporary jazz concert dates that will take him around the world, Glynis has just launched her new line of culinary creations that have been introduced worldwide.  Her Los Angeles kitchen was where it all began.

The Early Years

When the Albright’s were a young and aspiring married couple, they were on a tight budget. As necessity is the mother of invention, Glynis quickly learned how to make meager ingredients into mouth-watering masterpieces.

The Albright’s at home

“I had to be very creative during those years and make that budget stretch. I mastered three kinds of sauces: red, brown and white. Those sauces would be served over rice or pasta with a meat or protein,” recalls Glynis. “I even developed recipe mixes to make ordinary fried chicken and waffles into something my family said was very special.”

It was her recipe mixes for her succulent fried chicken and tasty waffles that got friends and family members clamoring for a seat at her dinner table.

After their move to Colorado some years later, family members and friends would often visit – including such notables like Dave Koz, Shelia E, DL Hughley, Jonathan Butler, and John Legend.   What was their number one request during their stay? Her fried chicken and waffles. They simply couldn’t imagine leaving town without having them.

Fried chicken the Albright way. Photo credit: Albright.Cuisine.com

“Everyone kept encouraging me to make my poultry coating and waffle mixes available to the public.  I really had to pray about it because my focus at that juncture in my life was on my other businesses,” said Glynis, which she founded after being diagnosed with and later recovered from a rare form of leukemia.

Just sweet enough gets sweeter

Glynis, who is a UCLA graduate and holds a PhD in natural medicine,  used her background in chemistry and biology to develop  Just Sweet Enough Gourmet Desserts, a company that uses the nutrients from fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices to create a line of desserts infused with more real flavors, juices and extracts.  She says not only did the desserts taste good, but they could also be beneficial in the healing process of those combating catastrophic illness and other health challenges.

As President and CEO of her company,  she led the research and product development that resulted in her unique menu offerings including five different mini pies, 13 cookies varieties and over 25 different pound cake flavors including, her wildly popular Sweet Potato Pound Cake. Business was going well and she had no shortage of customers, including many celebs.

But the clamor to take her poultry coating and waffle mix to market was simply too resounding.  After about two years of product and packaging development, she turned her kitchen recipe into a market ready formula.

Glynis’ Waffle and Poultry mixes are now available at Albright.Cuisine.com

Earlier this year, Glynis debuted her chicken and waffles to over 4,000 guests on the Dave Koz Mediterranean Cruise. And last month, her chicken and waffles were featured during a star-studded product launch at the famed Spaghettini Grill and Jazz Club in Southern California. Glynis says the feedback she has received has been amazing.

“What people like about my waffle mix is that they are incredibly light and crispy,” said Glynis, adding that the mix can also be used to make pancakes and crêpes. “I am blown away with the success of the products and by the love and support I’ve received.”

Left: Crepes made with Glynis' Waffle mix. Right: pancakes made with Glynis' Waffle Mix

Left: Pancakes made with Glynis’ Waffle Mix. Right: Crepes made with Glynis’ Waffle Mix

The chicken mix is unlike any other. It contains two bags: one is a buttermilk brine, and the other is a special poultry coating mix.

“In this one package, I give you everything you need to make the most delicious and flavorful fried chicken, “said Glynis.

What’s next

Coming Soon: Glynis’ Caramel Spice Syrup

Glynis has taken a hiatus from Just Sweet Enough Gourmet Desserts to do more research and product development. But good news – she will be back online from December 1-15 to take orders of the Sweet Potato Pound Cake that made her business so popular.

Coming soon: her Carmel Spice Syrup. Glynis says she is also working on manufacturing her seafood coating mix, beignet mix, sour cream biscuit mix, French toast mix and plenty more!

“This is just the beginning,” said Glynis as she talked about the future. “I have many ideas in development from cookware to dinnerware and kitchen accessories. And who knows, you may even see a Waffle Queen Doll.”

More about Glynis Albright

Gerald and Glynis met in junior high school at the age of 13. They attended Samuel Gompers Junior High School in South Central Los Angeles. They met after her family relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans, Louisiana. The two of them became an item the following year in junior high school and they have been together ever since.  The Albright’s have been married for almost 36 years, and have been together as a couple since 1972.

In addition to Albright Cuisine and Just Sweet Enough Gourmet Desserts, Glynis is the CEO and founder of Cookie Dots, a company that makes tiny, delicious treats that are cholesterol free and low in sodium and sugar; and Making Advancements Towards Nutritional Empowerment or M.A.N.E, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that takes a holistic approach to help in rebuilding  the self-esteem of women and men whose physical appearance has been impacted by their treatment of catastrophic illnesses.

Selina Albright, daughter, is also in the music industry. Her latest CD “Conversations” is Grammy-bound. Selina has her own band and tours with other major artists.  She will be one of the featured vocalists in the upcoming Dave Koz Christmas Tour.

Brandon Albright, son, is an award-winning digital filmmaker and is one of the top film editors/videographers in Colorado.  He’s the founder and owner of  Snow Desert Productions, a full service video production company. Brandon is also a semi-pro golfer.

The waffle recipe

Glynis’ Waffle Mix and Glynis’ Poultry Mix are available at AlbrightCuisine.com.  Glynis shares her recipe for her light and crispy, crowd pleasing waffle recipe here.

Glynis’ Crispy and Light Waffle

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Crispy and light waffles with a burst of vanilla and cinnamon in every bite.

Ingredients

4 eggs
1-1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 Cup Glynis’ Waffle Mix

Directions

  1. In a stand mixer, whip eggs for 15 minutes.
  2. Turn mixer down and add in heavy whipping cream.
  3. Mix at low speed for a minute until slightly thick, then whip for a couple minutes until fluffy.
    Turn mixer down and Slowly Add in Glynis’ Waffle Mix.
  4. Whip until incorporated (about 10 seconds).
  5. Using a spatula, scrape bowl down and stir mixture.
  6. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of mixture to the center of 8” round, hot waffle iron.
  7. With spatula, Spread mixture but not to the edge of waffle iron.
  8. Bake for 3 minutes or until waffle reaches desired brown color. Makes 6-8 waffles.

 

National Pie Pot Day is coming – I got ya

Turkey Pot Pie Casserole

I don’t need a day to celebrate my love affair with meat pot pies. But it you give me one, I’ll take it.

September 23rd is National Great American Pot Pie Day. Urban legend points to the pie maker and frozen food manufacturer Marie Callender’s as the source of crowning this crust filled observance.

And speaking of crust, it’s the very best part of the pot pie.

Back in the day

I remember how Mom would occasionally stock our freezer with frozen Banquet turkey and chicken pot pies. They were packaged in a gold and red box that made my taste buds weep. We would pop that aluminum pot pie tray into the oven and it seemed like it took ages for it get done. And if you took it out too soon, the crust at the bottom would be soggy. But it didn’t matter, we ate them anyway. Between that golden brown, flaky double crust delight was tender chunks of meat and vegetables mixed in a delicate gravy. They were such a treat and not to mention these little pot pies gave mom a day off from serious cooking.

Turkey pot pie remake

To this day I love pot pies. And for years I have made and served a modified version of a turkey pot pie. It’s made in a casserole dish and has a single, puff pastry crust. I’ve posted pictures of it on my social media pages. But I’ve never published the recipe – until now.

While the flaky puff pastry crust is definitely the star, the filling is deliciously satisfying and flavorful. Using turkey thigh meat makes it hearty.  And the Jersey sweet potatoes and fresh rosemary elevates the dish to something you’ll be proud to serve company.

Enjoy National Great American Pot Pie Day and enjoy this recipe any day you want that down home pot pie flavor minus the gold and red box of course.

Turkey Pot Pie Casserole

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

It’s made in a casserole dish and has a single, puff pastry crust.

Ingredients

2 cups Jersey (white) sweet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 ½ to 2 pounds skinless, boneless turkey thighs cut in chunks
Cooking oil (Grapeseed oil used in this recipe)
1 ½   teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
2 ½ cup chicken stock (organic used in this recipe)
1 cup frozen sweet peas
4 tablespoons flour
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farms used in this recipe)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a non-stick skillet set at medium heat. When oil is hot, add Jersey sweet potatoes and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. They will be slightly browned. Remember, color equals flavor. When done, place in a separate bowl or plate.
  2. To that same skillet, add about a teaspoon more of oil and add sliced carrots. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula.  When done, place cooked carrots in a bowl or plate with sweet potatoes.
  3. Wash and pat dry turkey thigh. Cut in 1 inch pieces/chunks. Place cut meat on waxed paper or parchment paper. Generously season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to your taste. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over turkey meat and mix well. Add 2-3 tablespoon of oil to that same skillet set medium heat. When oil is hot, add turkey thigh meat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly until done. Add the cooked meat to the sweet potatoes and carrots in your separate bowl or plate.
  4. To that same skillet, add another teaspoon of oil, onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon of rosemary. Sauté for 1 minute. Add 4 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of oil. Mix well, stirring for a minute until flour is well incorporated.
  5. Whisk or stir in 2 ½ cups of chicken stock into flour mixture and mix well.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Turn down the heat and simmer 2 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.  Make sure to stir mixture constantly while simmering. Season with additional salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. Add in cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, turkey thigh meat and 1 cup of frozen sweet peas to the thickened stock mixture. Stir well. Pour mixture into a baking dish (13 x 9 used in this recipe) sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Place one thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured, parchment paper covered surface. With a rolling pen, gently roll out pastry to fit the inside of  your baking dish. Roll puff pastry loosely around the rolling pin and ease it on top of the mixture in casserole dish.  Lightly press it into place. If pastry is too wide, just press the edges up along the sides of the dish. Lightly the brush the surface with milk or an egg wash.  Make 6 to 9 prick marks in pastry with a fork to vent the surface. Sprinkle top with the remaining ½ teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary.
  8. Place casserole dish in oven and bake 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool 20 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 squares.

    Cook Jersey sweet potatoes 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula.

    Cook sliced carrots 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula.

    Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour over turkey meat and mix well.

    Add turkey thigh meat to a skillet and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly until done.

    Add flour and oil to sauteed onions and garlic.

    Whisk or stir in chicken stock into flour mixture and mix well.

    Add in cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, turkey thigh meat and frozen sweet peas.

    Pour mixture into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

    Gently roll out single sheet of puff pastry to fit the inside of baking dish.

    Ease puff pastry on top of the mixture in casserole dish. Lightly press it into place and brush with egg or milk wash.

    Cut into 6 or 8 serving squares.