Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good Eats Roast Turkey


  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil

Directions

Click here to see how it's done.

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Skillet Cornbread (No Sugar)

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder and stir together. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir together with a fork. Add the baking soda and stir. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until just combined. Do not over stir. In a small bowl, melt 1/4 cup of the shortening in the microwave. Slowly add the melted shortening to the batter, stirring constantly until just combined.

In an iron skillet over high heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and spread to even out the surface. Cook on the stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. The edges should be crispy.

Slice into squares and serve. Cowboys will smile.

Cornbread Stuffing with Poblano Peppers

Ingredients
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 bunches green onions, sliced
2 (1-pound) packages frozen corn, thawed, divided
3 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds prepared cornbread, coarsely crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish; set aside.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add poblano and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden and tender. Add onions and 1 bag of corn and continue cooking until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside to let cool then drain some of the liquid if too wet. Meanwhile, pulse remaining bag of corn in a food processor with eggs, salt and pepper until well combined and almost smooth.

In a large bowl, combine cooled pepper mixture with corn mixture then gradually fold in cornbread. Do not over mix; stuffing should have a coarse texture.

Transfer to prepared dish, cover with parchment paper, then snugly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spiced Pumpkin Bars


Bars
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease bottom and sides of 15x10x1-inch pan. In large bowl, beat eggs, granulated sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves. Spread in pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until smooth and spreadable. Spread frosting over bars. For bars, cut into 7 rows by 7 rows. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Grain Salad


From Heidi

I took this really interesting course on Sustainable Living on a Budget that encouraged buying whole grains in bulk and rethinking our meal planning. One of my favorite recipes so far has been for the grain salad which I haven't made the same way twice (and like most of my favorite recipes, isn't meant to be followed exactly). Use it as inspiration, I've suggested a few substitutions in parenthesis. You could also make any kind of dressing really-- something with sesame oil and rice vinegar, tamari and ginger, etc. I had some today with a little maple yogurt-- yum!

*You'll need to soak the grains in advance! Look for a whole grain that is a berry or groat, not cracked, rolled, or quick cooking grains, you don't want them mushy.

Grain Salad

3 cups water
1 cup uncooked rye berries, wheat berries, or a mix of whole grains
1 cup hot water
2 Tablespoons currants (raisins)
1 1/2 cups apples (celery, something crunchy)
1/4 cup basil (parsley, fresh herb)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (green onion, chive)
1 Tablespoon grated orange or lemon rind
1 Tablespoon grated orange or lemon juice
2 teaspoons champagne or white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Soak 1 cup uncooked grains overnight with a little lemon juice.

Combine 3 cups water with grains and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a simmer for 1 hour. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine hot water and currants in a small bowl for at least 30 minutes-- drain.

Combine grains, currants, apples, basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, shallots, rind, juice, and vinegar in a small bowl-- whisk in oil. Add dressing to grains-- toss to coat. Serve immediately or refridgerate-- keeps well for a day or two.

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