I should probably have just called this "winter tomato week." Although you did get fair warning yesterday when I mentioned I'd be sharing ways to use my favorite ruby summer treat.
Yesterday I talked about the using the shells, which are nice and firm in the winter. But cooking the tomatoes with loads of yummy spices also is chock full of benefits.
Cajun and Creole flavors are some of my favorite. Both rely heavily on the tomato and neither take a break in the winter - especially not in February, when Mardi Gras overflows the streets of New Orleans. The heat and spice make even the blandest tomato the star of your entree.
This macaroni is definitely not an authentic creole recipe. It is a bastardization at best - don't expect to see it on any bayou menus. It's really only a step above hamburger helper. But I promise you won't mind. Not with a creamy, spicy, pasta. Emeril's Essence has been my go to spice blend for most of my "what should I put in here" needs, and in my eyes that makes any recipe "Creole."
1/2 box of elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound ground turkey
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 sprig thyme
2 tablespoon Emeril's Essence
1 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cream cheese
- Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the green pepper and onion and cook slowly over medium-low heat, stirring for about 10 minutes.
- Add turkey and cook until brown.
- Add the tomatoes, Essence, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add macaroni and cream cheese, and stir to combine. Simmer for another few minutes before serving.