Turkey Lurkey

December 11, 2010

This Thanksgiving marked the roasting of my first turkey. I was very nervous — since I’d never prepared a large piece of meat like this. Bon Appetit got me through it just fine. I decided to attempt the Malt-Beer-Brined Turkey with Malt Glaze, and I’m glad I did! This Thanksgiving dinner featured one of the best turkeys I’ve ever had {Grandma’s can’t be topped} — and it was so moist, we didn’t use gravy.

My only worry, is how I’m going to top this bird next year!

Malt-Beer-Brined Turkey with Malt Glaze

Ingredients (I halved this recipe, since we had a 6.5lb turkey)

Glaze
•2/3 cup barley malt syrup
•1/4 cup malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
•6 fresh sage sprigs
•4 fresh thyme sprigs
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Brine, Turkey, and Aromatics
•4 quarts water
•2 cups Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt or 1 1/2 cups Morton coarse kosher salt
•3 12-ounce bottles stout beer (I used Guinness)
•1 1/2 cups barley malt syrup
•1 14- to 16-pound turkey
•2 teaspoons ground black pepper
•2 peeled onions, quartered
•2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
•1 bunch fresh sage
•1 bunch fresh thyme
•1 unpeeled head of garlic, cut crosswise in half
•3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•2 cups (or more) water

Special Equipment
•2 turkey-size oven bags
•Turkey lacing pins

The Technique: Beer-Brined
Brining—soaking the bird in salt water—creates juicy turkey. Here, stout beer and barley malt syrup add a richness to the brine, which infuses the meat with flavor. And the malt glaze gives the bird a crisp, burnished skin.
•Ingredient Info
Barley malt syrup has a flavor similar to molasses. Look for it at natural foods stores or buy it from edenfoods.com.  (I found it at Rainbow Grocery in Decatur, GA.)
Preparation
Glaze
•Bring malt syrup, vinegar, herbs, and pepper to boil in small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until glaze coats spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in butter. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.
Brine, Turkey, and Aromatics
•Pour 4 quarts water into 16-quart nonreactive bowl or pot. Add salt; stir to dissolve. Mix in beer and malt syrup. Insert 1 oven bag into second bag; place in large bowl. Rinse turkey inside and out. Slide turkey, breast side down, into doubled bag. Pour brine into bag. Press out any air; seal bags. Chill turkey in brine (still in bowl) 16 to 18 hours.
•Remove turkey from brine. Pat very dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle main cavity with 2 teaspoons pepper; fill with onions, celery, sage, thyme, and garlic. Close cavity with turkey lacing pins. Tuck wing tips under; brush all over with oil.

135

A beautifully stuffed bird

•Set oven rack at lowest position; preheat to 350°F. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan; add 2 cups water.
•Roast turkey 2 hours. Brush with glaze; add water if pan is dry. Roast 30 minutes. Brush with glaze. Tent with foil if browning too quickly. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 30 to 45 minutes. Brush with more glaze. Transfer to platter; let rest 30 minutes (temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

141

No gravy necessary

Si, quiero Paella

November 29, 2010

I have a new favorite foodie website.  It’s full of creative recipes accompainied by gorgeous photos.  Take a peek:

Food 52

I have prepared over a half a dozen recipes in the past few weeks, and everything has been outstanding.  Seriously.  These are blow your hair back kinda concoctions. I had a taste for Paella about  a month ago and stumbled upon this recipe.  OMG. It’s soo good, I’ve already made it twice this month.  I considered having a Spanish themed Thanksgiving so I could make it a third.

I tweaked the original recipe a little by adding some additional meats/seafood, but this is definitely a dish I’ll be making for years to come…especially for company.  It’s soooo good, soooo easy and everyone thinks it’s a really exotic and difficult dish to make. And it’s okay to let ‘em keep thinking that ;0)

097

Sextuple Surprise Paella

Triple Surprise Paella (or sextuple, in this case)

Serves 4
  • 4 Chicken drumsticks (I like to use chicken wings)
  • 3 Links of Pork Chorizo (I used one Andouille and one Chorizo)
  • 1 pound Shrimp (shelled and deveined), seasoned with salt and pepper
  • ½ pound mussels
  • ½ pound crab legs
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Med. Red Onion (sliced)
  • 2 cups Bell pepper (diced, assorted colors)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3/4 cups Olives (sliced, assorted types – green and kalamata work great)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh thyme leaves (whole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Saffron springs (can be found behind the pastry counter at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market — $7.99/gram)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • evoo (for pan)
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. In a 12″ saute pan (or 18″ paella pan) add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Put pan over medium to high heat.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan and sear both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place chorizo in pan and sear both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Add onion to pan and cook until soft.
  6. Add garlic, peppers and olives. Continue to saute for 5 – 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add rice and saute for 3 – 5 minutes (until rice begins to toast)
  8. Add chicken stock.
  9. Add cumin, saffron, bay leaves and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add chicken and chorizo to pan. Arrange in decorative fashion. Cover with foil.
  11. Place pan in preheated oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
  12. Add shrimp, mussels and crab legs and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve.
085

Gettin' started

086

Toasting the Arborio rice

087

You can sub Turmeric (poor man's Saffron) for Saffron threads

088

Going in the oven

090

Ready to be topped with seafood

092

Delicious one-dish dinner

Check out the original recipe here.

Okay, so I took the day off to get some things done around the house.  I planted my flower pots and around the mailbox, organized my kitchen cabinets, did major grocery and farmer’s market shopping and some heavy duty cooking for dinner.  Did I mention I threw together this soup in the midst of this?  This is so easy and delicious — wow anyone.

Mexican Lentil Soup (with Jim's fave, purple tulips, in the background)

Mexican Lentil Soup

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 chipotle seasoning cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 purple potato, cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, your fave (I used pizza cheese, b/c that’s what I ha in the fridge)

 Add water through potatoes to pot, bring to a boil and simmer on low for about an hour TOTAL time.  Garnish each bowl with cilantro, avocado and cheese.  Enjoy.

(Warning: the chipotle bouillon packs a little heat.  Subtract it, or add more water to taste.)

Roasted Veggie Tales

December 19, 2009

By far the easiest, and yummiest, recipe for a side dish.  All sorts of vegetables can be used, besides what I’ve listed below.  Try eggplant, exotic mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.  My parents make this year round.  Also great served over pasta…and even eaten cold!

Roasted Veggies

  • 1 squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • Handful of button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Slice vegetables and lay over cookie sheet (I like to line with aluminum foil, makes for easier cleanup.)  Drizzle olive oil over veggies and sprinkle with s&p.  Place in pre-heated over and roast for 30-45 minutes.

Veggies before going into oven

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