This recipe was inspired by a lunch we had with our cousin Ann last month and I’ve been excited about trying it ever since. I altered things somewhat (is that really a surprise to anyone who knows me??) but it turned out extremely well.
Here’s the basic recipe I used:
- 1/2 package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups of leftover turkey, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, with tops, diced fine
- 1 large spoon of dijon mustard
- 3 large spoons of mayo (I used 2 large spoons of nonfat plain Greek yogurt and 1 spoon of Miracle Whip Light)
- 1/4 cup James River Cellars Chardonel (could have used Chardonnay but I had Chardonel available)
- 1/2 package of craisins
- 3 strips of cooked bacon, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 packages of crescent dough (sheets work best, but rolls work as well)
- Mix the turkey salad together and allow the flavors to meld for a bit – you can certainly make it and put it right into the braid, but the flavors intensify if you can let it sit in the fridge a little bit.
- On a large sheet pan covered in foil (or sprayed with cooking spray… I just don’t like the mess otherwise), lay out both packages of crescent dough side-to-side so you have a long rectangle of dough. Smoosh any openings in the dough so everything is flat and uniform.
- Spread the turkey mixture evenly down the center of the rectangle of dough.
- Make slits along each side, doing your best to keep them at even intervals from each other on each side.
- NOTE: Here’s the “fancy” part. Turn the pan so that the rectangle has a “top” and a “bottom. Starting from one end, and working down to the other, you’re now going to make a “braid” to keep the salad inside. Lift the left and right top strips, bring them to together, twist once, and lay them back down. Continue with all remaining strips until it looks like a braided package in front of you. Pinch the edges closed and tuck under each end.
- Bake braid in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes and then serve with or without a salad. This meal should serve 4-5 people (or 3 very hungry people who forgot to eat lunch).
You could also add toasted almonds if you want more crunch but we find that the celery gives it just the right bite. I’ve used this method for a few different meals (especially the Wine Taco Braid post on this blog) so feel free to incorporate any changes or flavors you want. After all, who knows your family’s tastes better than you! Have fun!