Sweet Baboo and I celebrate all of the major holidays with his family. His mother cooks every special meal. I’m ok with that. It’s a lot of work that I don’t have to do. Sometimes, though, I wish for a special meal at home for just the two of us. That’s what this recipe is all about – a holiday meal that takes less than 1 hour to make, cook and have on the table.
Wrapped food intrigues me. That’s what lead me to beef marguerite – a jelly roll of sorts that is one part seasoned, browned ground beef and one part cornbread. I’ve made it a few times, but Sweet Baboo doesn’t share my predilection for cornbread. Then, this idea was born. Turning the marguerite inside out (the beef version has the bread component on the outside while this will have stuffing on the inside) and using holiday fare sounded like something we could both appreciate. The bonus? It’s DELECTABLE!
Start with 1 pound of ground chicken. Or turkey. You choose.
The next step is to place another sheet of waxed paper on top and roll the meal as if it were cookie dough until it is a large rectangle. Try to get it uniformly thin. I have a very heavy rolling pin, so I find it is best to use a clean empty bottle with a rolling pin shape.
As you can see, it’s not a perfect rectangle. Now, peel the top sheet of waxed paper off. Use a knife to help separate the meat from the paper if it sticks a little.
Holiday meals call for red sauce. I love cranberry sauce but I can’t eat it, so I dotted the meat with tart crabapple jelly. Let your preference guide you as to what sauce to use, but please do not skip this step. Ground poultry dries quickly in the oven and becomes an unchewable rubber-like mass. That is not the kind of holiday meal to go for, so add something that will help preserve the meat’s moisture and pliability.
Next, out came a box of stuffing. This is not always available, so it can easily be swapped out with croutons and a package of instant soup mix.
Heat 1 cup of water and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a rolling boil. Add the stuffing/croutons and stir for a few seconds to incorporate the water and oil. Immediately dump this in a long line in the middle of the meat:
Gently spread the stuffing out evenly over the meat with the back of a spoon.
Now comes the fun (and slightly tricky) part! Pick up the waxed paper and slowly roll the meat like a jelly roll.
I know, it looks bad. Primordial ooze comes to mind. While there are all kinds of things I’m sure it could be compared to at this point, resist. Remember that the ugly duckling transforms into a beautiful swan.
I’ve left a bit of waxed paper under the rolled meat. This is used to help transport the roll onto a baking sheet that already has a sheet of aluminum foil and a sheet of parchment paper on it.
Generously sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper on the meat and set the baking sheet gently into a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven. In half an hour, the masterpiece will be fully cooked.
Use the time the meat is cooking to prepare a simple sauce and a colourful vegetable to make the meal complete.
When the marguerite comes out of the oven, slice it in rounds to show off the pinwheel inside.
And there it is! A holiday feast that looks impressive yet I didn’t slave away all day in the kitchen and there were less than 10 dishes (including utensils) to wash afterwards.