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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Turkey Devonshire a gobbling pleasure

Thursday, October 28, 1999

Tested by Betsy Kline

Countdown to Dinner stresses that it is in search of quick and easy recipes of six ingredients or fewer (not including water, salt and pepper), but we're going to make an exception for this yummy entry which uses one itty bitty ingredient too many. You'll thank us come Thanksgiving, when you have leftover turkey.

Pat Mountin of Brookline was inspired to devise this recipe after enjoying Turkey Devonshire for lunch at a local restaurant and finding herself with leftover turkey in the fridge. You'll be amazed how quickly it comes together, especially if you use the microwave to heat your main ingredients. Put the bread in the toaster before you start the white sauce, then push the button when the sauce starts to bubble. Everything will be piping hot and ready for assembly in minutes.

Needless to say, leftover turkey is best, but thickly sliced deli turkey does nicely. Use a good-quality New York white Cheddar, even if you have to shred it yourself. It won't take long.

Mountin likes quickie dishes like this almost as much as she likes the slow-cooked meals that can be popped into the oven and left for hours, freeing her to pursue her at-home work: She's working on her second novel, a psychological thriller, and seeking a publisher for her first science fiction novel.

Turkey Devonshire a la Quick and Easy

3/4 cup white sauce (recipe below)
1 cup shredded New York Cheddar cheese
4 slices bread (she prefers Italian, so that's what we used)
4 thick slices cooked turkey breast or enough to cover the bread (we used deli turkey, sliced 1/4-inch thick)
8 slices cooked bacon
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Put toast in the toaster. Heat turkey and bacon in the microwave. Optional: Prepare four serving dishes by placing a potato and a serving of broccoli, or your choice of sides, on each.

Make white sauce.

White Sauce

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup milk (Mountin uses 2 percent; we used skim and it thickened beautifully)

In a small, stainless steel sauce pan, melt butter or margarine over low heat. Whisk in flour. Add milk all at once. Increase heat to medium and continue whisking. Heat until mixture is bubbling. Cook one minute longer, whisking continuously. Secret: Whisk continuously until the sauce is done. Whisk in cheese. Stir until melted. Add pepper to taste.

Place one piece of toast on each plate. Top with two slices bacon, then cover with turkey. Pour equal portions of sauce over each. Serve any extra sauce on the side.

Hints: Using precooked turkey and bacon saves time. Shred cheese or buy shredded. Store in the refrigerator.

Turkey can be cooked in the microwave -- see manufacturer's instructions), leftover, or bought in the deli. If you choose deli turkey, be sure to get it cut about 1/4-inch thick or use at least three slices per serving.

Bacon can be microwaved or fried. Microwaving is healthier and gives you flat pieces that make the dish less likely to fall apart. Fried bacon tastes better.

Preparing the sauce ahead of time is not recommended.

Variation: In four small casserole dishes, prepare the Devonshire as above. Place under the broiler for two minutes or until the sauce is browned on top. Serve the sides on separate small plates. Warn your guests these dishes are HOT!


Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.



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