Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plantation Turkey


Back when Jill and Brent were little, I judged The Hutchinson News recipe contest several years. Randy and I always loved it. It was like torture to the short people who lived here.

"What's this recipe? What's all this stuff on the ham? Can't we just have a sandwich?" Those were all things I heard from the kids and then reported in my At Home with Kim column.

Plantation Turkey is one of the recipes that has survived the test of time. I hadn't made it for a long time, but it made an appearance at a recent noon meal.

And, ironically, when Brent found out I made it, he was sorry to have missed it. This is a little different from 3-year-old Brent's evaluation of recipe testing back in 1991, when I wrote the column:
"The Fritzemeier family has again survived Randy's favorite time of the year - and Jill's and Brent's culinary catastrophe. You see, Mom tested recipes like Honey Walnut Chicken, Polynesian Meatballs and Cranberry-Glazed Ham. It was an adventure for Randy and me. But the two short people at our house were begging for chicken nuggets or a ham sandwich by the end of the month."
That year, I sifted through 118 recipes and tested 20 of them. For six years total, I judged the main dish portion of the holiday contest.

In a 1993 column, I wrote:
"After I agreed to judge again, Randy tried to convince me to call back and request desserts instead. No deal, I told him. If I made and judged desserts, I'd still have to come up with a main dish every day for dinner and supper. And we need 19 desserts sitting around about as much as we need swimsuits in November."

A few of the recipes I chose as winners through the years still make appearances at the Fritzemeier dinner table, even 17-plus years after I tried them for the first time. Plantation Turkey is one of those.

Hope it does for your dinner table, too. Enjoy!


Plantation Turkey
1 pkg. corn bread mix
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups ham, chopped
2 1/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken breast, chopped
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

Prepare corn bread according to package directions and bake in a deep, 9-inch baking dish. (I used a 11- by 8.5-inch this time because my 9- by 9-inch pans were in the freezer. It worked just fine.) Melt butter in large skillet or saucepan; blend in flour, making a roux. Stir in milk and salt. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups cheese. Cook until melted, stirring constantly.

Layer 2/3 cup of sauce over corn bread. Top with half of turkey. Put additional 2/3 cup of cheese sauce. Add ham. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbly. Serves about 6.

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Taco Pizza is another recipe from a long-ago recipe contest from The Hutchinson News. It's another favorite and easy to get on the table quickly. Enjoy!

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