Recipes thread (continued)

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by emason, Oct 12, 2009.

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  1. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    So I tried a totally new recipe for my turkey this year and now I'm having second thoughts about it.

    Usually, I make a mix of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sage), garlic, olive oil, and some bread crumbs to bind it and stuff the mix under the turkey skin. The remainder coats the cavity and skin which gets extra olive oil and salt and pepper. It comes out great, because the herbs keep the moisture inside and give the meat great flavor. The downside is that the skin is so heavily flavored, some people find it unpleasant. Also, from a cooking perspective, I find it a chore to strip down all the herbs to make the mixture, and my hands are always itchy after handling the herbs for so long.

    This year, my stepmom (who taught me the prior recipe) mentioned that she was putting truffle butter under the skin of her turkey and just putting the herbs in the cavity. I had some truffle butter so I figured I would do the same. I did that, and it seemed like I used a lot of butter, but I'm not sure I spread it around enough and as deeply so that it will reach all the meat. I also put a lot of herbs (the same ones I used in the past) in the cavity with garlic and slices of orange and lemon. That was much easier, because I could just put in the full stalks of the herbs and just break them up a little. And on the skin, I used olive oil, truffle salt, and black pepper.

    But now I'm worried. I'm afraid that it's going to not be as moist as the past turkeys and the meat won't have as much flavor because the herbs are not right next to the meat. And I worry alternatively that there is either too much butter, which might make the meat greasy or there is not enough butter in some spots. So does anyone do something similar and get a good result? It would help me sleep tonight.

    At least I know the chocolate-caramel fudge I made is really good. So if the turkey sucks, we can just skip to dessert.
     
  2. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Stuffing tends to dry out the bird, especially the white meat, so you can rest easy on that account.

    I usually do the following (which is similar to what your stepmother suggested): put slivers of garlic under the skin, roll the bird in seasoned salt, coat the skin with olive oil and paprika, put some celery and fresh herbs in the cavity, and a cup of white wine and a quartered onion in the pan. It comes out just fine.

    Sleep well, and post the chocolate-caramel fudge recipe when you have time. :)
     
  3. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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    The vodka goes into the chef (that is, if you're watching Semi-Ho-made). :lol:

    I'm about to start my baking this morning: Famous chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin/chocolate chip bundt cake, which turns out heavenly.
     
  4. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Great idea! I must give credit where it's due though - this is the book I got it from - lovely farm-to-table book with lots of good recipes and essays about breadmaking and such:

    Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann

    I see you have dined at my inlaws :lol:

    Good point though, and I never thought of that before. My family makes the stuffing separate in a casserole doused with chicken or other broth, while the turkey is roasted with a few large pieces of root vegetables in it (which we also serve). It's roasted low and slow, then wrapped in a bunch of blankets to make an hour trip, arrives hot and totally moist. Hubby does chicken with fresh herbs and wedges of lemon inside, bit of olive oil on the skin, basting and rotating the chicken during roasting, and it's to-die-for tender every time. We never do anything under the skin for either bird.

    re the vodka (can't stop thinking about that one :p), I'm wondering what the science is there? Makes me wonder about gin - I'm imagining a leek pie for example, with a bit of gin in the crust and a crushed juniper berry in the filling ... I'm going to dig out this wonderful book for some inspiration for the holiday season:

    The Book of Old Tarts by Elizabeth Hodder
     
  5. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    :sekret:
     
  6. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    I should have explained that what I usually do is not really stuffing. There are some minimal breadcrumbs to bind the herbs together, but it really is just more of an herb paste that goes between the skin and the meat. But this year's turkey looks good. We haven't tasted it yet.

    [/quote[Sleep well, and post the chocolate-caramel fudge recipe when you have time. :)[/quote]
    This is pretty much foolproof fudge and, despite being something that sounds like it comes from Sandra Lee, is very good.

    18 oz. chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened, condensed milk
    11/2 tsp. vanilla
    dash of salt
    8 ounces of melted caramel. (I cheat and get Werther's soft caramels, which I melt with a little bit of milk or cream. Don't use the cheap caramels that have no milk or butter in them.)

    In on saucepan, melt the caramel. In another, melt all the other ingredients. You don't need a double-boiler for the chocolate. Just make sure you stir constantly. As soon as everything is melted, pour the chocolate mixture into a 9x9 pan. Then swirl in the melted caramel.

    That entire process takes about 10 minutes. Then let it cool and cut. (Don't refrigerate.)
     
  7. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    I just tried Jenny's recipe. It was very easy to work, and following JAF's example, I trimmed some extra dough off when I was assembling the pie and just baked it separately to sample. It is astounding - crispy, flaky, buttery, perfect. :swoon: So thank you, Jenny! :respec:

    JAF - I know you liked the samples of your vodka crust. How was it in the pie?
     
  8. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    So glad it worked BittyBug!

    We had the yummiest dinner last night. It's been cold and wet and miserable here, so with visions of the South of France in springtime, we made risotto with asparagus, leeks and peas, plus tomatoes baked in olive oil, herbs and parmesan, and cucumber salad with mint and spring onions. I confess the asparagus was from Mexico, but other than that it was all fresh/frozen or local hothouse grown. :) I don't eat a lot of meat, so hubby went out in the rain and barbecued himself a small rack of lamb to go with.

    Leftover risotto for lunch today :swoon:
     
  9. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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    Do you knead the dough with your hands, doesn't it melt the butter, or do you mix with a chilled fork or spoon? This sounds really good and I want to try it!
     
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Quickly, with my hands. Trick is to have everything cold - I put all the utensils in the fridge before using, and the butter in the freezer. Right before I'm going to start, I wash my hands in very cold water. The beauty of this method is that you can just toss the butter salad-style in a matter of seconds rather than melting it as you cut it with knives or a pastry blender, which takes longer and blends more of the butter with the flour rather than leaving it separate to make delicious little flaky pockets. Once it's tossed, I work the dough with my hands, dribbling in the icy cold water, and it really only takes a few moments to do it.

    Good luck, and do share your results!

    I must caution that this dough is very rich due to all the butter. Some family members have objected, but since it's usually a special occasion when I serve it, they succumb and after a few bites all such nonsense is forgotten. :)
     
  11. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Anyone ever make jambalaya in a slow cooker?
     
  12. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    That's exactly why it's so delicious! :lol:
     
  13. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    time for a new thread (after more than TWO YEARS!)!
     
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