Category Archives: Recipes
I put this offer elsewhere and I want to extend it here. While I will begin posting holiday recipes soon, most of my focus is on Christmas – that’s the tradition I grew up in – I would love to share other’s holiday traditions.
If you have recipes, photos and stories of your family’s holiday traditions, I want to read about them and share them. I Email me!
Getting the hang of sous vide steaks, anyway. I found a pair of rib eyes in the same freezer bag so I thawed and then re-bagged them individually. This time the steaks were seasoned with salt and pepper before sealing, and each bag got two pats of butter, too.I reserved the cooking juices and added them to the pan along with more butter and a splash of white wine after searing the steaks off. That deglazed the pan and reduced to a nice sauce.
This is the first thing I’ve cooked from scratch since the big holiday meal. There are just so many ways a fellow can present leftovers without drawing catcalls from the crowd so I’ve not been posting many food pics. This is chicken in a honey/soy marinade. I vacuum sealed skinless chicken thighs and breast tenders in about of 1/4 cup of the marinade each, and then cooked them in a water bath just for fun. I wanted to see if the marinade would better penetrate the chicken pieces in the vacuum bag than it would just by soaking in a bowl.I cut the bags extra long to see if I could keep the marinade from sucking up into the sealing area of the bags. It worked up to a point. I think the marinade did better in the bags than just soaking, and an overnighter in the fridge would have been even better.
The marinade was honey, sweet soy sauce, light soy, black vinegar, and sesame oil. It worked pretty well.As an aside, I once had some old broccoli that seemed a bit limp so I soaked it in water for and hour or two and that firmed it right up. I got into the habit of preparing my veggies early and soaking them in water just to help keep them fresh.It might look as if Gabe is gazing adoringly at his Dog Daddy here but he was just taking a second to gather himself for another lunge at my face, hoping to grab enough beard for a good tug.It rained all day long yesterday but right at sunset it cleared a bit and we had this full rainbow, too big to get it all in one frame. That was nothing compared to the scene behind me:
I love whole berry cranberry sauce and adding apple takes it up a notch. Always best prepped the day before so the flavors can meld. Yummy.
It couldn’t be simpler and fun to make (mostly because the cranberries pop as they cook). Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup water or apple-cranberry juice (100% juice)
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar
- 12 oz (1 bag) whole, raw cranberries
- 1-2 apples, finely chopped.
Wash cranberries. Bring juice and water to a boil, add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, then add cranberries, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, no more. Remove to a tempered glass dish or mold, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. What you’ll have is a nice thick cranberry sauce with whole cranberries. You can add different things for a variety of sauces: pecans, orange rind, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, currants.
Spatchcock turkey is 2 for 2 here at W4D today. Herbed butter under the skin, and massaged all over the bird after dry brining and an overnight in the basement fridge air-drying.Sweet potatoes in olive oil and honey and teeny potatoes in olive oil and kosher salt on their trays ready for the oven.The turkey turned out very well, note the leg position, there will be a short quiz later.Clockwise from the top right: Cloverleaf dinner rolls, sauteed Brussels sprouts, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, honey roasted sweet potatoes, those little potatoes with rosemary, cranberry relish, and a stick of butter on top. The dressing is on the counter behind me. GrrI remembered the dressing so it wasn’t a turkey dinner without. That quiz I mentioned: What is peculiar about the turkey legs in the before and after pictures?
I get an extra day for prep, for which I am very Thankful. It’s been so busy I’d never have made it if I had to serve dinner today. We’ll be eating our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. So today, I have a full, relaxed day to cook, walk the dogs and put the finishing touches on the house.
I decided to use the spatchcock recipe this year. I’ll be cooking it on a bed of carrots, onions and celery.
BTW, my recommendation is to always get two smaller birds instead of one massive bird – you’ll have a much better outcome with shorter cooking times. Not to mention not having to worry about fitting a huge bird in the oven. You can do an oven bird, then grill, smoke or fry another.
For this recipe, a good set of poultry shears makes quick work of removing the backbone. I’ll prep the bird today, wrapped it up and refrigerated it.
Roasted Spatchcock Turkey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 whole turkey (10-12 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
Rimmed baking sheet, rack
In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, crush together pepper, salt, sage and rosemary and add to brown sugar. Set aside.
With a sharp knife or scissors, remove the back bone of the turkey, flip over and press down on the breast bone to break and flatten. I wasn’t quite strong enough, so I turned the bird over, scored the bone, flipped it back and tried again, this time it broke easily. I then trimmed off the wing tips. See my notes below on what to do with the back and wing tips.
Place the bird flat, breast side up, on the rack in the baking sheet. Rub with spice mix and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Before cooking drizzle olive oil over turkey and roast for 1 hour or until the temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes (during this time the bird temperature will reach 165 degrees and thighs should be 175 degrees).
Carve and serve.
NOTES: I took the back, wing tips, neck and giblets, covered them with water and simmered them for about an hour. I then used the broth for both the stuffing and gravy. I also cooked the stuffing in the oven, in a baking dish, uncovered, with the turkey. They finished up about the same time.
This year, I’ll skip the metal rack and instead will use a roasting pan and place the bird on a bed of carrots, celery and onion. With the shorter cooking time, the flavor could use the boost. I do feel this is a great technique for wood grilling or smoking.
Today I’ll also prep Cranberry/Apple Sauce (recipe to follow in a later post), make the Pumpkin Cream Pie (recipe here), prep the stuffing and put together two loaves of Slow-Rise Bread (recipe here) to bake for sandwiches over the weekend. I’m also making Cucumber Salsa (recipe here) and Garden Salsa (recipe here) so I can use up the last of my tomato harvest and serve with chips as an appetizer. I’m also going to make the gravy ahead of time. So that leaves just roasting the turkey, making the potatoes, and green bean casserole for tomorrow. Makes for a very low stress holiday meal.
More Recipes: We have a bunch, a peck, a bushel, of Thanksgiving recipes, including my favorite Upside-Down Cranberry Cake (here), No Boil Mashed Potatoes (here), and Non-Traditional Sides (here), click on this link for all the other recipes or search by name or ingredient in the search box at the bottom of the blog.
I’ll update you on the cooking progress as I go today.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! – TaMara
We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and we’ve had our second hard freeze. The first time I carted the vulnerable jalapenos into the garage overnight but I didn’t this time. I combed through the wilting foliage for the last harvest. The cornbread cubes are drying in anticipation of making a dressing. I baked a loaf of plain white bread earlier and dried them in a low oven.Here’s another treatment of the picture of Bea among the habaneros, it’s done with the “mosaic” filter in the Prisma app. It most effective when there are a lot of discrete elements within the photo like the leaves and peppers in this one.Sammich pr0n! This is a cod fillet that had been dredged one time in a commercial fish breading that I added some coarser cornmeal to. I made a very busy tartar sauce of mayo, onions, chives, horseradish, jalapeno, lemon juice, salt and pepper – and topped that with slaw.Here’s a chicken breast that was slow cooked in the toaster oven with my (current) favorite hot sides of fried potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.Just your basic cheeseburger – pickles, onions, mustard.Here’s that mosaic filter again. The algorithm that draws in the tiles has trouble with the motion blurred background. And that tongue! LOLI had the stub end of a loaf of Italian bread left over from making garlic bread to go with a small lasagna I made the other day. The lasagna was pretty good but I served it right out of the oven and the layers slipped and slid all over the plate in the bechamel/tomato sauce. Served it in a bowl, I could have called it soup. Ha Ha I meant to do that!
Here’s a photo from the archives. I like the symmetry.Kroger had a sale on strip steaks. They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value. I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours. They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.Sloppy joes for lunch the other day. This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles. The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning. It adds a bit of a tang to it.BBQ chicken! I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting. I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting. Set it to low and the default is four hours.I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds. It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:
Hot dogs! I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side. These are Pepperidge Farms brand.I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.