Tuesday, November 23, 2010

(Adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe)


1 (14 to 16 pound) Free-Range Organic Young Turkey (reserve giblets for gravy)

1 (5 Gallon) Brining Bag

The Brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon chopped candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

The Aromatics:
2 Clementines (you may substitute Tangerines), 1 Quartered; 1 Sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
2 T Butter – softened and combined with a ½ t. each, finely chopped, lemon-thyme, sage and rosemary

The Glaze:
½ Cup freshly squeezed Clementine juice (approx. 4 clementines)
1 small cinnamon stick
1 T sugar
1 t corn starch
½ t salt
½ t white pepper

The Brine:
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Approx. 27-hours* prior to cooking time place thawed turkey breast side down into a large brining bag. Combine the brine with the ice water and pour over the turkey.

Tip: For a 6pm Thanksgiving dinner, 3pm Wednesday is perfect.

Close up the bag and store in a cool place such as your refrigerator or a large cooler*.

Tip: I generally store the turkey in a large cooler on my back porch w/ a couple ice packs.
However if there is room in your fridge that is ideal.

You will want to flip the turkey in the brine once, I usually do this first thing upon rising Thanksgiving morning, after making the coffee of course.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Combine the quartered clementine, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes (If you do not have a microwave you can you can combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer on med-high for 10 mins, just enough to bring out the flavors).

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Seasoning the Bird:
Place bird, breast side up, on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with the 1.5 T of the herbed butter.

Gently loosen the skin around the neck/ breast area to separate it from the meat. Once loosened gently rub remaining herbed butter directly on the meat under the skin, then insert the sliced clementine between the skin and the meat.

Cooking the Bird, step 1:
Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. While the Turkey is roasting prepare the glaze.

The Glaze:
In a small sauce pan combine clementine juice, sugar and cinnamon stick, heat on med-low until it begins to simmer. Whisk in the salt, pepper and corn starch and stir until just thickened, should just barely coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Cooking the Bird, step 2.:
After 30 mins. remove the turkey from oven and baste with the Clementine glaze. Cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.

After 90 mins. open the oven and baste* the bird again with pan drippings and glaze that have collected at the bottom of the roasting pan. And again after another 30 mins.

*I am well aware of how Alton Brown feels about opening the the oven to baste, I still choose to do so...

Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

Don't forget to save those pan dripping for your gravy, mmmmm

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Black Quinoa Risotto
Originally uploaded by fromhils

4 C Porcini Stock (may substitute vegetable or chicken) I use Star brand Porcini Bouillon Cubes

1 C Black Quinoa

1 sm Shallot chopped

1 Heirloom Squash (Acorn, Winter, Butternut will also work)

2 T Chopped Toasted Almonds

1 T Chopped Toasted Sage

Salt & White Pepper

¼ t Cayenne

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Step 1:

Peel and cube Squash, cubes should be approx. 1” squares

Step 2 (make stock):

If using the Porcini Bouillon: in medium saucepan bring 4 C water to boil, add 1 porcini bouillon cube and dissolve. Reduce heat to low. If using prepared stock simply bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.

Step 3:

In separate large bottom saucepan with heat on medium-low add oil, shallots and a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally.

When Shallots start to become translucent add cubed squash to pan, add salt, white pepper & cayenne to the squash then stir to coat w/the oil and shallots. Cover and cook for approx. 2 mins.

Using a standard size soup ladle add 1 ladle full of warm stock to squash mixture, stir and cover for another couple minutes.

Step 4:

Add quinoa to pan, stir to integrate with squash mixture, add a ladle full of stock and continue stirring, as liquid is absorbed by the squash and quinoa add more a ladles worth at a time while stirring constantly. After 3 ladle worth of stock have been incorporated, add 2 additional and allow to cook covered until fully incorporated.

Continue adding stock until the quinoa reaches the desired consistency.

Step 5:

While Quinoa is cooking, chop almonds and sage.

To toast almonds: Cook In a dry skillet over high heat stirring constantly, remove to paper towel when browned

To Toast Sage: Add 1 t olive oil to small skillet, heat on high, add sage. Once it begins to brown remove to paper towel.

Plating the dish:

Scoop Quinoa Risotto into bowl, sprinkle the top w/ toasted almonds and crunchy sage.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vegan Wild Mushroom Tacos With Almond Cream

INGREDIENTS, makes 4 tacos:

For Tacos:

8oz Mushroom Sampler Package (I used: MYCOPIA® Brand Chef Sampler, http://mycopia.com/fresh-consumers.htm)

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ t Cayenne

¼ t Cumin

1 T Ground Chipotle

1 T “Carne Asada” Seasoning (I use El Mexicano brand: http://www.mesamexicanfoods.com/market/shop/carne-asada-seasoning-mix/p_66.html)

1 C Water


4 Organic Sprouted Whole Kernel Flourless Corn Tortillas, I used Food for Life brand

1 C Spinach (Arugula or Mache would also be excellent)

For Almond Cream:

1T Almonds Blanched & Slivered

½ C Plain-Unsweetend Almond Milk

¼ t Cayenne

¼ t Cumin

Salt as needed

Step 1:

Clean and Trim Mushrooms, Slice if needed.

Step 2 (prepare Mushrooms):

Add Olive Oil to a very hot large deep sided skillet (or cast iron pan), Add Mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook on Med-High heat stirring occasionally until they begin to soften.

While mushrooms cook, mix together Cayenne. Cumin and Carne Asada Seasoning

Step 3:

Add seasoning mixture to mushrooms, stir to incorporate, reduce heat to med-low and add water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all water has evaporated.

Step 4:

While mushrooms simmer prepare Almond Cream. Place all dry ingredients in food processor and mix until the consistency of superfine cornmeal. When proper consistency is reached slowly add almond milk while continuing to process. Final product should have the consistency of crème fraiche. Note: there may still be tiny pebbles of almond.

Step 5:

Heat Corn tortillas in warm oven. Clean & Chop Spinach. Slice Avocado.

Plating the dish:

Place 2 warm tortillas on each plate, place 1/4th of the chopped spinach on each tortilla. Cover this w/ 1/4th of the braised mushrooms, then 1/4th of the sliced avocado. Spoon a dollop of Almond Cream over each taco. Season w/ additional cayenne or hot sauce to taste.