Nov 27, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner

Last night we had the second installment of our Thanksgiving dinner and I thought I would share my recipes with you. I didn't take pictures during our actual Thanksgiving dinner because I was completely exhausted after everything was done. So much time goes in planning and making Thanksgiving dinner and it's over in such a short time. Is it really worth all the effort?

Anyway, this past Thanksgiving was my first Thanksgiving at my new home and I'm happy to report that everything went well. The turkey was sooo delicious, it's a Cajun-Injected Spicy Turkey recipe from Emeril Lagasse. It was my first time using a meat injector and it's really a lot of fun!!! A little tip from me, make sure the needle is deep into the meat before you depress the plunger, otherwise, you'll have turkey marinade all over your house....(i hope my landlord is not reading this!!!) The turkey came out really moist and flavorful. The reviews from the recipe said it was really spicy, so I cut down on the cayenne and it was perfect.

My favorite part of the meal was the dinner rolls!!! This recipe comes from Average Betty. They are the best dinner rolls that I have ever made. I made this a few times before and I had success every time. It is a bit time consuming because it requires three rises, but it is soooo worth it!!!

No recipe to post for the's just stove top..yikes!! I had planned to make stuffing from scratch but Mr. G talked me out of it. Thank you!!!

Mr. G's favorite part of the meal was the garlic mashed potatoes!! I love this recipe as well. It comes from Cook's Illustrated, so it is more time consuming than most mashed potatoes recipe, but it's worth it. It's soooo good!! I cut down on the butter, but I don't think the potatoes suffered. I'm thinking of making croquettes with the left overs..but don't know how..any suggestions? Do I just mix veggies in it, top it with panko and fry? hm....HELP!!

The asparagus were just roasted briefly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Easy and tasty!

Overall, Thanksgiving was a success. I will post the dessert the next time. Dessert deserves its own post!! Hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Here are the recipes.

Cajun-Injected Spicy Turkey
From Emeril Lagasse

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon concentrated liquid crab and shrimp boil (recommended: Zatarian's)
1/4 cup apple cider
3/4 cup honey
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 cup Creole seasoning (recipe to follow)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely minced garlic
1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey, rinsed well inside and out, patted dry
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 cups chicken broth, as needed for bottom of roasting pan

1. Make the marinade by combining the Worcestershire sauce, crab boil, apple cider, honey, beer, salt, allspice, Creole seasoning, cayenne, olive oil, and minced garlic in a blender and process until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Fill a large syringe* and inject turkey in the breast and thigh area, as well as the back, wings, and legs, with at least 2/3 of the marinade. You will have to fill the syringe numerous times.

2. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F and line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil.

3. Season the injected turkey well both inside and out with the kosher salt and black pepper. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil and pour the remaining marinade all over the turkey. Bake the turkey uncovered for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, add 1 cup of the chicken broth to the roasting pan, and continue to bake the turkey until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part between the thigh and the leg registers 165 degrees F. (If the turkey begins to brown too much, tent loosely with aluminum foil until it is done. Also, add more broth as necessary to keep the bottom of the roasting pan from burning.)

4. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and set aside to rest at least 20 minutes before carving.

Creole Seasoning
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (see note)
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • *Original recipe uses 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper, I decreased it so that the turkey wouldn't be too spicy.

Mama Betty's Dinner Rolls
from Average Betty
makes 16 dinner rolls

3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 package dry yeast (Betty used Fleischmann’s¨ Rapid Rise Yeast)
1/4 cup dry milk
3/4 cup tap water
2 tbsp butter
1 egg
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. In an electric mixer, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, dry yeast and powdered milk.

2. Dissolve butter in warm water (not hot!). Water should be about 120(F). If you have a kitchen thermometer, use it! Betty doesn’t have one, but the water should feel warm and comfortable to the touch. Add egg.

5. With mixer running, slowly add warm water mixture to dry mixture. Begin adding remaining 1 cup flour. You may not need to add ALL the flour - so add gradually. Betty’s Mom says, “For best results, the dough should be sticky.”

6. Knead dough on floured board and form into a ball. Knead about 2-3 minutes if you used a dough hook; knead 6-8 minutes if not.

7. Place dough ball top down in a bowl you’ve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and flip ball over. Cover first with plastic, then with a towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size. This will take about 1 1/2 hours.

8. Punch down. Knead, reshape into ball, cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size. This will occur more quickly, about 45 minutes. Punch down, knead and reshape into a ball.

9. Oil a pie plate or round cake pan. Form rolls a little smaller than golf balls. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. Allow the rolls to rise another 30-45 minutes and bake in a preheated 375 (F) oven for 15-20 minutes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
from Cook's Illustrated's New Best Recipe

2/3 cups garlic cloves (about 22 cloves)
2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (see note)
1 cup half and half, warmed
1 1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper

1. Toast garlic cloves with skins left on in a small covered skillet over the lowest possible heat, shaking the pan frequently until the cloves are dark spotty brown and slightly softened, about 22 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from heat and let stand, covered, until the cloves are fully softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Peel the cloves and, using a paring knife, cut off the woody ends. Set aside

3. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender when pricked with a thin-bladed knife, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes.

4. Set a food mill or ricer over the now empty but still warm saucepan. Spear each potato with a dinner fork, then peel back the skin with a paring knife. Working in batches, cut the peeled potatoes into chunks and drop them into the hopper of a food mill. To use a ricer, halve the potatoes and place cut side down in the ricer. Process or rice the potatoes into the sauce pan. Add the toasted garlic in with the potatoes. (see note)

5. Stir in the melted butter with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Gently whisk in the half and half, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

  • *The original recipe uses 8 tbsp of butter, I cut the butter in half.
  • *I didn't have a food mill or a potato ricer, so I grated my potatoes instead. If you're planning to grate the potatoes, don't cut the potatoes in chunks, just grate it whole. It's worth the effort to grate the potatoes because the texture is a lot nicer than potatoes that are mashed!

Nov 23, 2010

Crunchy banana muffin

I'm so happy to be baking again. I've been doing so much cooking that my baking has been neglected. As much I enjoy cooking and experimenting with different ingredients, I enjoy baking a lot more.

Mr. G's mom gave us about 30 apple bananas and although I love apple bananas, I could only eat so much. I decided to make some banana muffins for Mr. G's coworkers. I had problems deciding which recipe to use. I thought about making Cook's illustrated recent Ultimate Banana bread recipe, but it was too much work for the time that I had. I was also planning to use CI's recipe for best banana bread, but I didn't have any plain yogurt and I was too lazy to go to the store. Finally, I decided to go with Ina Garten's Crunchy Banana muffins. It got great reviews and I've never been disappointed by Ina here goes!!

The result is very yummy banana muffins. They were not as crunchy as I thought they would be, but I did like the bits of granola in it. If you love the banana muffins that are super moist, this is not that type of banana bread. I actually like this better than the oiliness of some of the other banana muffins. I also like how in Ina's recipe, she didn't mash all the bananas, so you get little bits of banana throughout the muffin. It's a nice touch I think!! I will definite try the CI one next time..I hear the banana tree is bearing more fruit. yikes!! Do you have any banana recipes to share?

Crunchy banana muffin
adapted from Ina Garten

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.

3. Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, and granola into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.

  • * The original recipe uses 2 cups of sugar, I cut it down to 1 1/2 cups and I thought it was sweet enough.
  • * The original recipe adds an additional 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes. I didn't have any on hand so I omitted it. If you want to add the coconut, you can add it with the granola.

Nov 4, 2010

Turkey chili

I wish I could love healthy food. I really do. It would make life so much easier and much less guilt with meal time. But that's not me, I love love love my carbs. I love almost anything that's bad for you. So in the rare occasion when I find a recipe where something yummy is good for me, I'm completely shocked. This is one of those occasion.

This turkey chili comes from the geniuses at Cook's Illustrated. I think I post so many of their recipes that one day I will get a nasty email from them. Until then...I will continue to share. I bought some ground turkey the other day, thinking I was going to make turkey burgers, but I opted for this chili instead. It is a bit time consuming, I think in total it took about two to three hours, but it's well worth it.

You definitely don't miss the beef in the chili. If I didn't put the turkey in there myself, I would've thought it was beef. It's a really good chili and it has a really nice spicy kick to it. You must try it!!

Turkey Chili
from Cook's Illustrated magazine, Jan 2008 issue

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1.5 pounds 93 percent lean ground turkey (see note)
2 (15.5-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes , with juice
(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Table salt
2 limes , cut into wedges

1. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add half the turkey; cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add beans, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Pat remaining 1 pound turkey together into ball, then pinch off teaspoon-sized pieces of meat and stir into chili. Continue to simmer about 40 minutes longer, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until turkey is tender and chili is dark and slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments if desired.

  • *the original recipe calls for 2 lbs, I only had 1.5 lbs so that's what I put in.


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