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.


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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