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The Food Lab: How to Roast the Best Potatoes of Your Life | Serious Eats

As easy as roasting potatoes may sound, getting the potatoes to come out just right with the perfect combination of crispy and crunchy outside with a creamy inside is not as simple as it seems. More often than not I find I struggle in getting the combination perfect and either get ptoatoes too crunchy outside and dried out inside or moist inside but not crunchy. Well Serious Eats seeks to make the process easier for you and I by showing just what you need and what you have to do to create the perfect roasted potatoes any time. Check it out!

Source: The Food Lab: How to Roast the Best Potatoes of Your Life | Serious Eats

 

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The End of the Turkey in a Delicious Way – Turkey Rice Soup

Now that I have returned from visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday and gotten caught up with some of the work I had to catch up on, I can get back to trying to do some blogging. Even though I did not cook Thanksgiving dinner at home this year, I still had some leftover turkey from a couple of the turkey meals I had tried out before Thanksgiving. With that in mind, I naturally had to come up with some different ways to use some of the turkey meat and the turkey stock that I had created with the carcass from the turkey. I have made potpie and open-faced turkey sandwiches in the past and even turkey salad but this seemed like a good opportunity to try to make a quick and easy soup. I found this recipe at Food Network for turkey rice soup that was simple, used basic ingredients and was put together very easily. This recipe assumes that you have not already made turkey stock with the leftover carcass and gives you instructions on how to do so but if you have a ready-made the stock you can simply skip over that step and get right down to making the soup.

Turkey Rice Soup

1 turkey carcass
2 stalks celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
8 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup rice
2 cups chopped leftover turkey
1 cup frozen or leftover corn
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, combine the turkey carcass, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf and water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer the stock for about 2 to 3 hours over medium low heat. Strain and discard all of the vegetables and bones. Reserve the turkey stock.

In a separate large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onions until they are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the celery and the dried thyme. Stir in the carrots and rice and toss the ingredients to coat the rice. Stir in the turkey stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook the soup until the vegetables and rice are tender about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the turkey, corn and the parsley. Return the soup to a simmer and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

That is all there is to this particular recipe. You can easily make use of everything you have right in your home and have the entire meal done in under thirty minutes. It produces a very flavorful soup that you can use as a meal all on its own. You could certainly add other vegetables to the soup if you have some that are left over or just prefer having different vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, peas or just about anything else. You could also swap out the rice and use noodles instead if you want to make a turkey noodle soup, though you will not have to cook the noodles quite as long as you would the rice in order to get them tender. Soup always goes great with some homemade bread or biscuits if you have them or even your favorite store-bought variety. You could also have your soup with a sandwich or salad to make it a more complete meal with that is what you want.

That is all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Emergency Hacks for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

As much as you may plan your meal on Thanksgiving, there can always be a situation where you find you run out of one ingredient you may need. Williams-Sonoma has put together a few hacks for you for items you can use in a pinch if you run out of something like buttermilk or cornstarch. Check it out!

Emergency Hacks for Your Thanksgiving Meal

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Cooking, Cooking Tips, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Holidays

 

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Spatchcock Your Way on Thanksgiving Day -Crisp Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey

Thanksgiving is just a few days away now and you probably already have a plan of what you are going to do if you are hosting dinner this year or just staying home. I’m traveling this Thanksgiving so we won’t be cooking anything here, but with such a good deal on turkeys right now I couldn’t resist picking up a couple and used one this weekend to have a new turkey recipe to show for this week. If you have a smaller turkey for your meal (about 10 to 12 pounds would be small), there is a great way that you can cook your turkey, have it done in about 2 hours and have super crispy skin to go with perfectly cooked meat. If you have never tried spatchcocking a turkey before, it can seem a little intimidating at first, but all you really need is a cutting board, some poultry shears and a couple of good knives and you can make it all happen. You can also ask your butcher to do it for you if you happen to have one that you like. I decided this would be the easiest way to make our trial run turkey and came across this recipe from Serious Eats for an herb-rubbed, crisp-skinned butterflied roast turkey. I liked the recipe, but to be honest the herb rub did not overwhelm me, so I eliminated it, and went with this basic option, also from Serious Eats, that uses some basic salt, pepper and vegetable oil instead, and went ahead with this recipe. You could certainly use the herb rub if you like and follow the link for the original recipe.

Crisp Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey

3 large onions, roughly chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 

4 stalks celery, roughly chopped 

12 thyme sprigs

1 whole turkey (12 to 14 pounds total), butterflied, backbone, neck, and giblets reserved

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 quarts homemade or store-bought chicken or turkey broth

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

To butterfly the turkey, pat the turkey dry with paper towels, then place it breast-side-down on the cutting board. Holding it firmly with one hand, make a cut along one side of the backbone, starting down near where the thighs meet the tail.Continue cutting, working your way around the thigh joint until you’ve snipped through every rib bone and completely split the turkey up to the neck. Use your hands the spread the turkey open slightly. Be careful, the snipped bones can be quite sharp.Make an identical cut along the other side of the backbone. This cut is a little trickier, so make sure not to get your fingers in the way of the blade. Using a clean dish towel or rag to hold on to the bird will make it easier to keep control.There may or may not be a large excess hood of fat up near the neck. If it’s there, remove it. If you wish to make carving even easier, the wish bone can also be removed by making a thin incision with the tip of a paring knife or boning knife along both sides of it, and pulling it out with your fingers.

Turn the turkey over onto what once was its back, splaying its legs out in a manner that can only be described as inappropriate. Press down hard on the ridge of the breast bone. You should hear a couple of cracks, and the turkey should now rest flatter. Flatter is better for even cooking and crisper skin.Tuck the wing tips behind the breast. This step is not strictly necessary, but it’ll prevent your turkey from looking like it wants to give you a high-five as it roasts.

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450°. Line a rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan with aluminum foil. Scatter 2/3rds of the onions, carrots, celery and thyme sprigs across the bottom of the pan. Place a slotted broiler rack or wire rack directly on top of the vegetables.

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and rub it on all surfaces with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the turkey liberally on all surfaces with salt and black pepper (if using a brined, salted, or Kosher turkey, omit the salting step). Place the turkey on top of the rack, arranging it so that it does not overlap the edges, pressing down on the breast bone to flatten the breasts slightly.

 

Transfer the turkey to the oven and roast, rotating occasionally, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast registers 150°, and the thighs register at least 165°, about 80 to 90 minutes.

 

While the turkey roasts, make the gravy. Roughly chop the neck, backbone, and giblets. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a 3-quart saucepan set over high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the chopped turkey parts and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining onions, carrots, and celery and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften and brown in spots, another 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, remaining thyme, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Allow the stock to cook for 45 minutes, then strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a 2-quart liquid measuring cup and discard the solids. Skim off any fat from the surface of the broth.

 

Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the flour is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the broth in a thin, steady stream until it is all incorporated. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and cook the gravy until it is reduced to about 1 quart, about 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and keep the gravy warm.

 

When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer the rack to a new baking sheet. Allow the turkey to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before carving. Carefully pour any collected juices from out of the roasting pan through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup. Skim off the excess fat and discard. Whisk the juices into the prepared gravy.

To begin carving, start by cutting off the first leg by slicing through the joint where the thigh meets the body. Next, find the joint between the thigh and the drumstick by rotating the drumstick back and forth. Cut through the joint with your knife, then repeat the process with the other leg. Remove the wings by locating the ball joint near the top of the breast and working the knife through it. The wings can be left whole or further separated into drumettes and flats by cutting through the first joint. Hold the breast firmly in place with one hand. A clean kitchen towel can help if you have a slippery grip or fingers sensitive to heat. Then slice down one side of the breast, using the tip of the knife to follow the contour of the bone. Continue using the tip of the knife so slowly work the meat away from the breast bone, pulling outwards at it with finger tips to separate the meat from the bone. Again, a clean towel can help if you have sensitive fingers. As you continue to slice, the breast should fall away in one complete piece. Make sure you take the tenderloin along with it. Repeat the process for the other side.

You now have two breast halves, two drumsticks, two thighs, four wing pieces, and one carcass from which to pick meat for leftovers soup. To continue cutting the breast into serving pieces, slice each breast into even slices on a bias. The hip bone is still attached to the back of the thighs and must be removed. To do this, pick up the flat bone from one side and shake it gently back and forth until the thigh bone pops out of its socket. Pry away the hip and save it along with the carcass for soup. Cut along one side of the thigh bone with the tip of your knife, removing as much meat as possible along that side. Repeat on the other side of the bone. Save the bone along with the rest of the bones for soup.Slice the dark meat across its width into thin serving portions and add it, along with the other meat, to a warm platter and serve the turkey with the gravy.

It may seem like it is complicated, but trust me it isn’t. I was able to butterfly the turkey without any trouble and it comes out perfectly, with the crispest turkey skin you might ever get. The carving does take a little getting used to, especially if you are accustomed to doing it a traditional way, but once you get into it, it goes pretty smoothly. I had an easy time with the breast meat, but the thighs were a bit of challenge. However, it is great to be able to cook a turkey this quickly so you do not have to spend countless hours cooking and if you prepare your sides ahead of schedule you will have no trouble getting dinner on the table just when you want it. The gravy, by the way, comes out fantastic. The rich stock you make while the bird is cooking is perfect for gravy and makes the meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Uncategorized

 

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100+ Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes : Food Network

Sure, the turkey is the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal, but the side dishes you serve can really help the dinner shine and be what people remember the most about the meal. Choosing new, interesting or classic side dishes is easy when you take a look at over 100 different side dish recipes that Food Network provides for you. Check it out!

Source: 100+ Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes : Food Network

 

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Pair Up the Pork – Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Scallion Chutney

When it comes to cooking pork, it seems to me the pork tenderloin is the forgotten son. Most people pay more attention to cooking pork chops or ribs and tend to overlook the greatness that the tenderloin can offer you. I find very often that pork tenderloin is on sale at one supermarket or another and since you get to in a package you can very often get a few meals at of just one purchase for about eight or nine dollars. Tenderloin is also very quick to cook so it makes an ideal choice for a weeknight meal when you may not have a lot of time to put into dinner. One thing I have noticed about pork tenderloin is that it does need some spice or seasoning to really jazz up the flavor. I had purchased pork tenderloin not that long ago and was looking for something different to do with it when I came across this recipe at Fine Cooking. The original recipe makes use of a pork loin, which is typically a little bit of a bigger and thicker roast and takes more time to cook but I did adapt it to the tenderloins that I had available and made it into a pretty tasty meal.

Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Scallion Chutney

2 large cloves garlic

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1-1/2 teaspoons toasted coriander seeds, ground (or just ground coriander)

2 pork tenderloins, trimmed

1 medium fresh pineapple (about 3-1/2 lb.)

1/4 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 large shallot, minced

Pinch ground cayenne

1 large scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Peel and coarsely chop the garlic. Sprinkle it with a generous pinch of salt and mash it to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl and stir in the oil, lemon zest, coriander, and 1 tablespoon of salt.

Put the pork on a large rimmed baking sheet, pat it dry with paper towels, and rub the tenderloins all over with the salt mixture. Let the tenderloins sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°. Roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 130°F. Factor in about 20 minutes per pound of cooking time for the tenderloins to reach this temperature.

Meanwhile, peel and core the pineapple. Cut half of the pineapple into a small dice and roughly chop the other half. Purée the roughly chopped pineapple in a blender, then strain it through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids with a spoon, to yield about 3/4 cup of pineapple juice. In a small saucepan, combine the strained pineapple juice and maple syrup and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 12 to 15 minutes. The liquid will become very bubbly as it reduces; lower the heat as necessary.

Set aside all but 2 tablespoons of the reduced liquid (this will be your glaze). Add the vinegar, shallot, cayenne, and a pinch of salt to the 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining in the saucepan and cook the mixture over medium heat just until the shallot begins to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced pineapple and scallion whites and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pineapple softens and releases some of its juice, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the chutney from the heat and let it cool slightly.

When the pork reaches 130°F, brush it with some of the glaze and continue to roast, brushing with more glaze every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145°F, about 20 minutes more. Let the tenderloins rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

When you are ready to serve, stir the scallion greens and cilantro into the chutney. Slice the pork into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and serve it with the chutney.

The recipe itself is pretty straightforward and you do want to keep a close eye on the tenderloins and the temperature to make sure that it is cooked all the way through. You may even want to sear the tenderloins on the stove top to get a little bit of color on them before you place them in the oven. I actually follow the recipe and glazed them every few minutes and then in the last two or three minutes of cooking placed them under the broiler to give them some extra color. The glaze has fantastic flavor with the combination of the maple syrup and pineapple and the chutney has a nice combination of heat and sweetness thanks to the cayenne pepper and the pineapple. The chutney makes quite a bit so you likely will have some left over (which I did) and then you can use it again as a side dish or other meals or even as a topping for chicken or hamburger. Overall it is a pretty quick meal that you can cook during the week that provide you with something different to do with pork. I served it with some plain white rice, steamed broccoli and homemade biscuits to complete the meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2016 in Cooking, Dinner, Fruit, Pork, Side Dishes

 

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Bring on the Brussels Sprouts – Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables, like cauliflower and beets, that you either love or you hate. Some people just do not like the look or texture of them or the way that they smell when they are cooked. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of Brussels sprouts and love to make them just about any time of the year, though they seem particularly well suited for fall and winter meals. To me they are a great side dish for any dinner entrée and can be something different and special for your Thanksgiving meal this year. There are a number of different ways to cook them, but I find roasting them gives them the best flavor. It also gives you a chance to add something to them to have their flavor come out even better and get a fabulous green color when they are cooked. I found this recipe from Food & Wine not long ago for maple-roasted Brussels sprouts that sounded like a really tasty way to bring sprouts to the table.

Maple- Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1/4 cup canola oil

2 1/4 pounds baby Brussels sprouts or regular Brussels sprouts that are halved lengthwise

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cut into tablespoons and softened

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces), optional

1 tablespoon walnut oil, optional

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until it is shimmering. Add the Brussels sprouts and season them with salt and pepper, then cook the sprouts over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and brown sugar and cook the ingredients over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil, if using, and cook until they are hot.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until it is thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the Brussels sprouts and serve.

A couple of things about the original recipe. This recipe serves 10, so it is well-suited to use for Thanksgiving if you are having a lot of people over. For my purposes, I cut down the recipe significantly since they are only 3 of us for dinner. I cut everything in half and still had some leftovers. Also, the original recipe from Food & Wine doesn’t have the chestnuts and walnut oil as optional. While they might provide great crunch and flavor, I didn’t have either on hand and find both to be quite expensive for something that I would rarely use so I eliminated them and made them optional. If you love chestnuts and have walnut oil, I am sure they add to the dish but I think it was good without them. I loved the mix of the maple syrup and sprouts and the glaze created for the sprouts was fantastic. Make sure to use real maple syrup and not the pancake syrup (which isn’t really maple) to get the great taste. The Brussels sprouts were nicely browned and crisp and done just perfectly. It was the perfect side dish for the engagement chicken recipe I made the other day it was one I would make with turkey, poultry or pork.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Cooking, Dinner, Side Dishes, Vegetables

 

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