TRUE CONFESSION: I am that crazy woman who stands outside in the middle of winter in a coat and scarf and mittens, tending the grill on the back porch, at the mercy of the elements. The first time I made this Asian-flavored turkey breast, shot through with soy, garlic and my favorite chili paste, that was the scenario; in fact, it was snowing, which made the act of grilling heroic and the result worth every moment of frozen-fingered suffering. Now that the weather is warmer, I grill more often, and more comfortably. Put thoughts of the all-day Thanksgiving turkey out of your mind; boneless turkey breast cooks quickly. If you can't find a whole boneless turkey breast, buy a bone-in and ask the butcher to break it down for you (save the bones, wings and neck for stock). I use this garlicky, spicy turkey to add spark to sandwiches, summer rolls and pasta salads.
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Until I moved to Rhode Island, I'd never heard of coffee syrup. (It's like Hershey's chocolate syrup, except made from coffee. If that helps.) The state drink, coffee milk, combines coffee syrup with, well, milk, and the favorite iced treat, a coffee cabinet, is a milkshake made with coffee ice cream and coffee syrup. Sweet, sweet, sweet. When I met up with my friend Jen of Savor the Thyme at Dave's Coffee, in the opposite end of the state, I bought a bottle of their all-natural coffee syrup, and couldn't resist experimenting with some savory recipes. I packed this slow cooker coffee-chipotle pulled chicken into a piece of oat-bran lavash bread with some lettuce and this smoky spicy cole slaw. That's a lot of Rhode Island goodness rolled up into one great sandwich. Not to worry: you can make this in your own kitchen even if you don't have our coffee syrup. Or you can come to my kitchen and I'll make it for you.
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Here in the hills of northern Rhode Island, we're surrounded by farms -- goat farms, herb farms, blueberry farms. We have horse farms, too, and plenty of them, but I have yet to run into any cowboys. Still, our village market sells Cowboy Ketchup, a heavenly condiment that's a little bit ketchup, a little bit mustard, and a little bit barbecue sauce. It's good enough to attract cowboys, and maybe that's the plan. You can slather some on a burger, of course. I really love to use it in this cowboy turkey meatloaf, where the sauce adds moisture to the very lean turkey, along with a little bit of the smoky flavor of barbeque.
I always have a bottle or two in the pantry, so if you're reading this and you're a cowboy, come on by. I might have a meatloaf or two in the freezer.
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If you've been hanging around The Perfect Pantry for a while, you've heard me rail against recipes that require you to make twelve other things -- sauces, spice blends, stock -- in order to have the components for one recipe. So it wouldn't be fair to ask you to make an entire beef stew so you'll have leftover already-diced rutabaga, parsnips and carrots that won't quite fit into the stew pot, but which will fit quite nicely into your soup pot. (And it would be especially unfair if you don't eat meat!) This root vegetable soup, vegan and and gluten-free, carries its own sweetness; add some fruit and warm spices like cumin, coriander and garam masala, and whip everything together with your immersion blender. If you love cilantro, garnish individual servings with a few chopped leaves.
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