Thanksgiving Recipes

Wed, Nov 24 • 0

Here’s a list of recipes and techniques from the archives.

What’s a “Heritage” Turkey? — information on whether you should bother with this expensive variety of turkey.

My Turkey Plans — This post has a recipe and instructions for brining a turkey.

Roasted Turkey : An Old-Fashioned Method — Larding a turkey has you putting sliced bacon or salt pork on the turkey to keep it moist.

Wild Rice Stuffing — With chestnuts and onions, this recipe works well with any poultry dish.

Broccoli Supreme — An easy side dish with broccoli and creamed corn that everyone loves. It’s easily doubled or tripled, and don’t count on leftovers.

Here’s a new recipe for cranberry relish. Take a bag of whole cranberries and pick out the soft ones. Put them in a wide saucepan along with a little water and bring it to a boil along with a cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat and simmer, along with a diced apple, some finely chopped orange peel and the juice of the same orange. Optionally, you can toss in a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans and/or some chopped orange segments. You can also optionally spice it up with some cinnamon, ground star anise, or ground cloves.  Cook until the cranberries have all popped and the sauce thickens. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Cheater BBQ

Sat, May 30 • 0

I picked up a new cookbook last week, and I’ve been trying some of the recipes in it, with varying success. The cookbook is called Cheater BBQ: Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, in Any Weather, by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn. The basic premise of the book is that you can bypass hours of slow roasting over a fire, using wood to create smoke and flavor, all by using a bottle of liquid smoke.

(If you are a bbq purist, I’ll wait for you to finish screaming now.)

Ok. Here’s the deal. I don’t think the premise is completely true. I think that long, slow roasting over a flame with natural wood smoke produces really great results that you really can’t replicate in any way. That being said, if you live in an apartment building, or just don’t have the time or inclination to wait around for 16 hours while your hunk of meat gets from raw to succulence, then this book just might be something that might interest you.

My first foray into the world of bbq bogosity
Keep reading…

What’s a “Heritage” Turkey?

Sun, Nov 16 • 0

You’ve probably seen this phrase tossed about a lot lately, what with the holidays approaching. Your choices of what kind of turkey to put on the table seems to be widening, and the confusion mounts. Heritage turkeys are heirloom varieties, the ancestor breeds of the much more common but freak-of-nature, broad-breasted white turkey.

Heritage does not denote any specific breed of bird. In fact, you could conceivably buy the same breed of bird, marketed as “heritage” that are raised locally on pasture that you’d buy deep-frozen with the Butterball label on it. Standard breeds of turkey include Black, Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Slate, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White, and Royal Palm. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy includes all of the standard breeds plus a few others under the definition of “heritage,” including Chocolate, Lavendar/Lilac, Jersey, Buff, and Midget White. The vast majority of birds available for the American consumer are the Hybrid Broad-breasted White, which are bred to meet the commercial turkey industry’s desire for birds with accelerated growth rates and unnatural proportions of white and dark meat.

In 1997, a census by the National Turkey Federation found that 301,000,000 turkeys were produced commercially but only 1,335 turkeys were heritage birds. Today, that number hovers around 10,000.

According to the Heritage Turkey Foundation, all turkeys that are sold as heritage birds must have bodies that allow them to mate naturally, are hardy enough to live their whole lives outdoors, and are allowed to grow at a natural rate. Strictly speaking, the birds marked as heritage are not necessarily free-range nor are they raised organically, but considering the small number of birds that can be classified as such, chances are good that these birds were raised in a healthier and more humane environment than your typical industrial turkey farm.

Be aware that because there are so few birds available on the market, it may already be too late to get one for your holiday table in 2008, and you need to get your orders in by early November. But the good news is, the more people who seek out and are willing to pay a little extra for these special birds, the more will come to market in the coming seasons.

Pecan Crusted Turkey Cutlets

Thu, Jun 26 • 0

A low-fat, inexpensive alternative to breaded chicken cutlets.

I was originally going to make this with chicken breast cutlets, but the turkey cutlets were half the price in my grocery store, so I went with them instead. The recipe is relatively low fat. If you’d rather not waste the egg yolks and don’t mind the extra cholesterol, substitute the 3 egg whites for another whole egg, but the extra egg whites seem to make the coating stick better after cooking.

¾ c pecans
1 egg
3 egg whites
¼ c flour
4 turkey cutlets
salt and pepper to taste

Take ½ c of the pecans and pulse in a food processor to make a coarse chop. Set aside on a plate. Take the rest of the pecans, plus the flour, salt and pepper, and process until a fine powder, and set aside on another plate. Put the eggs in a bowl and mix.

First, dredge each cutlet in the fine pecan and flour mixture. Then, dip into the eggs. Then dip into the coarse pecans. Let the cutlets set a bit.

In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, and then slip the coated cutlets in, and fry until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes a side. Remove to a paper towel to wick off excess oil.

Spanish Gnocchi

Mon, Jan 28 • 0

42-15440489.jpgI came up with this recipe some years ago, while I was tossing about, trying to find something good to eat in the cupboard. I’m sure it could be jazzed up with a homemade marinara, but at the time, I only used the jarred tomato sauces, and this is a great way to make a jarred sauce sing. And don’t let the olives in the recipe scare you. Even people who say they don’t like olives like this recipe.

2 lbs. ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2 T olive oil

2-3 packages of frozen gnocchi
1 large jar of your favorite pasta sauce (32 oz.)
10-20 green olives with pimento, sliced thin
1 T. fennel seed

Bring enough salted water to boil for the gnocchi. Brown the turkey and the onion over medium heat in the olive oil. Add the olives, fennel seed and tomato sauce to the turkey onion mixture. Simmer 20 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, start the gnocchi going, but undercook them a little bit, and drain. After they’re well-drained, put them in with the sauce and the meat, and let them finish cooking there (about 5 minutes). Serve hot. Makes enough to feed a small army. It tastes even better reheated the next day.

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