savory turkey cupcakes

savory turkey cupcake(An original recipe by Bob Blumer)


This Thanksgiving, you can have your (cup)cake and eat it too! These savory turkey cupcakes can be made with a turkey tender for the big feast, or with your turkey leftovers later in the weekend.



1 medium butternut squash (or acorn or kabocha)

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

olive oil


Salt and pepper

2 eggs

1 pound uncooked turkey tender, or 2 cups fully cooked leftover dark and light meat, torn into pieces

3 green onions, roughly chopped

1 stick celery, roughly chopped

1/3 cup rustic bread crumbs or panko

2 tablespoons sour cream

zest of 1 orange

6 sage leaves, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


6 cupcake liners

muffin tin




Preheat oven to 425°F


Slice squash in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and place cut side down on a sheet pan drizzled with oil. Roast for 1¼ hours, or until squash begins to brown and caramelize.


Remove from oven, scoop flesh from skin and whisk in a bowl with butter, a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of salt until smooth. Reserve.







If using an uncooked turkey tender, slice out the white tendon, then roughly cut the tender cut into 1-inch pieces.


To a food processor, add turkey, eggs, green onions, celery, bread crumbs, sour cream, zest, sage, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pulse several times, or until coarsely chopped and well blended. If you don’t have a food processor, chop ingredients finer than indicated and blend in a bowl. Reserve. At this point turkey mixture can be refrigerated for up to a day.


to finish and serve


Preheat oven to 425°F.


Line a muffin tin with 6 paper liners. Spoon turkey mixture into liners. Gently press down and create a dome that rises slightly above the lip of the pan.


Just before baking, reheat squash by covering the bowl with aluminum foil and placing it over a pot of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.


For cupcakes made with uncooked turkey tenders, bake for 12 minutes, or until cakes are fully set, yet still moist. For cupcakes made with fully cooked turkey leftovers, bake for 8 minutes, or until cakes are fully set, yet still moist.


Use a piping bag with a star tip, or a table knife to ice the cupcakes.


yield 6 servings

uncommon goods Cupcake liners; muffin tin (not uncommon, but crucial); piping bag with a star tip (ideal, but not necessary)

level of difficulty About the same as making cupcakes from scratch.

active prep time 1 hour Cooking time 15 minutes

advance work The turkey mixture can be prepared earlier in the day, to the point that the cakes are ready to be baked. Bake and ice just before serving; Squash can be made earlier in the day then reheated over a double boiler just before serving.

liquid assets A Cru Beaujolais, sometimes considered the poor man’s Burgundy, is a lively match worthy of giving thanks.



The simple process of caramelization miraculously transforms this thick slice of cauliflower into a sweet, lip-smackin’ steak that will satiate dedicated vegetarians and committed carnivores.


1 head cauliflower (Select a firm head with minimal blemishes)

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, diced

6 anchovies + 1 teaspoon oil from the tin

6 jumbo, stemmed caper berries, (or 2 tablespoons conventional capers, drained of vinegar)

3 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons, parsley, chopped finely

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt & pepper

zest of one lemon


Set cauliflower on a solid cutting surface, stem side up. Cut cauliflower in half, vertically, through the center of the stem (it’s the stem that will help keep the steak intact). Stand each half up again as you did in the beginning. Starting from the flat side of each half, measure in 1-inch and slice down vertically creating a 1-inch thick “steak” (see photo). Save exterior section (which will likely fall apart because there is no stem to hold it together) for salads or crudité.

Pre-heat oven to 450°F.

Heat a large, heavy oven-proof pan (ideally cast iron), over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. After butter is melted, add cauliflower steaks and cook until the bottom side is a nutty brown color, about 10 – 15 minutes. Flip steaks and immediately transfer pan to oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender throughout and the bottom is browned.

While cauliflower is roasting in the oven, heat a medium size pan over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When butter has melted, add lemon juice, garlic, shallot, anchovies and anchovy oil, caper berries and raisins. Sauté until garlic and shallots have browned and anchovies have disintegrated into the butter, about 10 minutes. Add parsley. Turn off heat and reserve.

Remove cauliflower from the oven, set on warmed plates. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pan contents over steaks and finish with lemon zest.

Yield: serves 2