Posts Tagged 'thanksgiving'

Livebloggin the Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today is the day all domestic geeks look forward to (or dread for some)…a day focused on food, family and more food. I started my preparations at about 3 pm yesterday by making an Apple-Cranberry Sauce, Curry Sweet Potato Mash, baking bread (gluten free) for the stuffing, making the butternut squash for the stuffing and setting the turkey to brine (brining is a surefire way to create a moist and juicy turkey). I cheated a bit and just got a pre-made brine from Whole Foods…it smelled delicious and was almost identical to the one I was going to make so why not save some time? All I have left today is roast the turkey…which I forgot to mention will be bacon wrapped. I bacon wrapped the turkey last year and it was amazing! I waited until the turkey was almost done and applied the bacon for the last half hour and the bacony taste permeated the turkey to the core. Well this year I decided to start wrapping the turkey from the beginning and just remove and reapply the bacon throughout (to keep it from burning. By my calculations, this will either cause the turkey to have a bacony flavor the likes of which the world has never seen….or I will blow up my kitchen. Either way it should be good times!

So you might be wondering why Im here now and why Im live blogging. Well why not? People live blog stupid stuff all the time (ie: Live Blogging Martha Stewart) and dammit Im going to liveblog cooking my turkey. So keep checking back for more turkey updates and let me know what youre cooking and how its going. ;)

8:33– Ok Ive hit snooze long enough, time to get up and get this bird going! I removed it from the brine and patted it dry. Next I heated up an apple quartered, a half onion, some cinnamin, some sage, a cup of water and a splash of maple syrup and filled the bird with the mixture (leaving out most of the liquid).

9:06– The Turkey has entered the oven! Its a scorching 500 degrees and Ive opened up all the windows in my apartment to avoid setting off any smoke alarms. It kind of sucks because it lets all the delicious turkey scent out.

9:36– Alright 30 minutes of broiling (and only one burn to my hand) and the heat has been reduced to 350 and the turkey wrapped in its FIRST layer of bacon! Look at this beauty!

Bacon application #1

10:15– OMG my apartment smells like bacon and all kinds of deliciousness. I wish I could transmit scent over the internet because this is what love smells like. Im trying to gauge how long to leave each bacon application on. I want it to cook trough but not burn…but I also need to make sure I dont open the oven too much because that will just add more cook time to the bird and lead to drying it out. Oh and have no fear the bacon from the turkey will not go to waste…what I manage to avoid eating will be diced and added to the stuffing to make a Bacon Butternut Squash Stuffing.

11:01– Alrighty, so the bacon has cooked and is ready to be removed…although some of the bacon decided to graft itself to the turkey and it took some finagling to remove it. But the first layer was shed and the second applied and the turkey is popped back into the oven for the final hour to 2 hours. Sadly I just realized I forgot to get a turkey thermometer so I have to run out and procure that. Lets hope the store isnt too crazy!

12:09– Back from the store and shockingly enough, there were hardly any lines! I was able to walk right up to a register and was out in less than 10 minutes! So now the thermometer is in the turkey and its just under 140 degrees and looking lovely. Check out the all that turkey n bacon juice accumulating at the bottom of the pan…that will make for some tasty gravy! Time to dice up the bacon I removed earlier and make the stuffing! Going to make the executive decision to drop the temperature of the oven a bit so that I dont overdo the bird (chow time is scheduled for around 2pm).

12:47– Success! The turkey has reached peak deliciousness (and something about proper temperature)! Final result was 2 bacon applications (about an hour and 15 minutes for each application). I cooked up some extra bacon and along with the bacon from before, diced it for the stuffing. Ive got to say, I might actually be more excited for the stuffing! Look at it! Homemade bread…butternut squash sauteed with onions, celery and herbs…and now bacon. Just popped that into the oven while the turkey sits wrapped in foil awaiting its transportation.

fun fact- between the turkey and the stuffing there is a total of 3 lbs of bacon!

1:33– Stuffing is almost done and the Curry Sweet Potato Mash is warming up. Just finished the gravy which involved not only the bacon/turkey drippings but a secret ingredient (hint- Aunt Jemima would be proud).

1:46– Huzzah its all done! Now to back it up and pray it survives the 2 mile trek to my friend’s house. Wish me luck!

2:21– Food arrived safely! Got a celebratory glass of wine and am waiting for everyone’s delicious contribution to the feast. Will post final pics later. Thanks for following and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

<3 seanalyn

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The sad tale of the turbaconucken that never was :(

As many of you know I was excited…no ecstatic about the plan to bacon wrap and deep fry a turducken this year for Thanksgiving. However my dreams were crushed by certain wussy boys who were afraid of the awesomeness that would be the turbaconducken. We had it all worked out…we would make the turducken then deep fry it until it was almost done then pull it out and wrap it in bacon and pop it in the oven for the rest of the way. It was perfect…there was no way it could go wrong! But at the last minute some of the guys decided it wouldnt work or something (I think they were just afraid of its awesomeness). Dreams = crushed.

Although not all was lost, due to the high number of people attending our Thanksgiving we decided one mega bird wasnt enough so we got a backup turkey. Needless to say, I claimed it as my own and announced that I would bacon wrap and roast it myself.

The plan was simple. Prepare the bird as normal: rub with oil and salt and pepper…. stuff with an onion, garlic and celery… place more onions, garlic, and celery in the pan…pop in the oven and roast. I basted it every 45 minutes to keep it moist and right before it was done I draped it with 2 lbs of delicious bacon. I also stuffed some bacon inside the bird and then cut up some pears and tossed them in the pan to roast along with some dried rose petals. After about 20 minutes the bird was done (a few pieces of bacon werent cooked all the way so I removed them, wrapped em in foil and tossed em back in the oven to finish up before draping them back on the bird).

I took the juice and made a gravy as you usually do, only I blended up the roasted pears and mixed that in (I also tossed in a few extra pieces of bacon to the gravy just to reinforce the bacon flavors).

The bird was carved and served…to my surprise the meat was very bacony tasting! I thought that the bacon would just infuse the skin but some how it permeated the deeper layers of the turkey giving it all a delicious bacony flavor. The pear gravy was a perfect accent adding the sweetness that the salty bacon needed (you know, for that yin/yang balance shit). I highly recommend trying a bacon wrapped turkey for anyone looking to pep up their bird this holiday season. Next time I want to try a maple syrup glaze instead of the pear, really I think just about any sweet topping would match perfectly.

All in all the bacon wrapped turkey was a total and complete success.

Oh and I guess the turducken wasnt too bad either….but it would’ve been better with bacon.


This turducken would look a lot happier if it wasnt naked…it needs a nice bacon suit.

Obligatory Thanksgiving leftovers post

So tomorrow is the big day….the day where we feast on the flesh of a thousand turkeys (or tofurkeys if you so choose). Inevitably there are going to be leftovers, but theres only so many turkey sandwiches and turkey casseroles you can eat before you just can’t take it anymore. Heres a few recipes that take your turkey leftovers one step beyond.

Turkey Curry

Anyone who knows me knows I love curry. This recipe is a quick easy way to reuse your turkey, but totally changing the flavor so no one feels like theyre just having a repeat of Thanksgiving.

Turkey and Broccoli Quiche

The day after Thanksgiving everyone goes into that inevitable food coma…personally I dont feel like eating until midday at least. Why not recycle some of that Turkey into a delicious brunch dish?

Mashed Potato Croquettes

Why should turkey have all the fun? My mom always used to make too much mashed potatoes so we would have a plethora of those left over every year. I’ve always loved croquettes, so just take your potatoes add some spices (I’d throw in some green onions too) and bread and fry the suckers. You could also add salmon or more cheese to create different types of croquettes. These would go great with your turkey curry!

Stuffing Frittata

Stuffing, yet another side dish that usually doesnt get changed too much when it comes to leftovers. But simply by adding some eggs and cheese, you can create a whole new dish. Also perfect for a post turkey coma brunch.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

One of my favorite things to do is stroll over to the local Irish pub and order up a plate of boxty and trout. Boxty is basically just Irish potato pancakes (they are similar to this recipe only a bit of flour and baking soda is added) so you could easily substitute these Mashed Potato Pancakes in. Top them with some smoked trout or salmon and cream and you have an utterly delicious meal.

Leftover Tofurkey Stroganoff

Ah my dear veggie friends…don’t think I forgot about you! Even you can get some mileage out of your tofurkey leftovers! Just mix up the leftover veggie gravy with some garlic,sour cream and mushrooms then pour it all over rice or noodles for instant deliciousness.

Tofurkey Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Now this recipe sounds so delicious Im almost jealous that Im not cooking a tofurkey! Pesto, pumpkin seeds and lemon get blended together to create a totally new tofurkey experience. My mouth is watering!

So there you have it, just a few easy and delicious alternatives to reusing your Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ll try and pop in and write another blog before the weekend but no promises since the bacon wrapped turducken is sure to induce a mighty turkey coma. However I will document all our delicious Thanksgiving recipes and share them with you later! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thankgiving recipes…with a twist

As I posted last week, we are planning an epic endeavor…Bacon Wrapped Turducken. Now man and woman cannot live on bacon bird alone…we need side dishes. Now we cannot do with instant mashed potatoes, no we are going for recipes with a twist on the traditional. Whether they are a unique family recipe or a new creation. Here are a few of the sides I am planning on making.

Mashed Cauliflower

I want to make this partly to try and attempt to balance out the Turducken (ok honestly nothing will balance out that besides some diet pills and exlax) but also just to have a bit different flavor than plain potatoes. Personally I’ve always loved mashed cauliflower just because its got a better taste than boring plain potatoes. My recipe is adapted from Dani Spires L’s Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream ( prefer light sour cream)
  • 1 cup chives or green onions finely diced
  • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika

Boil the cauliflower until it is soft…be sure not to overcook! About 8 minutes should be enough.  Allow the cauliflower to cool a bit then dump it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the paprika and chives.  Blend until everything is smooth then transfer back into a pot.  Stir until everything is warm then stir in the chives/green onion.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

You could easily do some variations on this recipe…try roasting the garlic beforehand, adding curry for a spicy curry mash, more cheese for a cheesy cauliflower mash, or really anything else you would do to mashed potatoes!

Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds

I want to do something different than nasty green bean cassarole…honestly I dont know how this frozen canned soup monstrosity became a Thanksgiving staple.  Its the one dish I see getting passed over at every Thanksgiving dinner (except the grandparents…grandparents loooove green bean cassarole). So why not just do a delicious and light green bean side?  I mean with all the other rich heavy dishes we have going on, I want to save some room for Cesar’s homemade pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of green beans (about a pound)
  • olive oil
  • 4-6  medium sized shallots
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (you could easily substitute walnuts)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans until they are bright green, about 3 minutes.  In a skillet heat some olive oil and saute the shallots until they are carmelized.  Toss in the green beans, a bit of lemon juice (just enough to coat the beans), the almonds and salt and pepper.

Voila! Easy huh?

So now that I have the green beams and cauliflower mash all figured out, i just need to figure out something to do with the sweet potatoes.  Im not a fan of the super sugary mini marshmallow sweet potatoes…so I want to do something different and more special. Im thinking either a cranberry and sweet potato dish…or ginger and honey sweet potatoes….something else that is a little more special.  When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to post it up ;)

OR you can help me out…anyone have any delicious and different sweet potato or yam recipes?

Turbaconducken….all that is good in this world

Just moments ago my friend Rob sent me proof that there is a God and he is made of pure bacon and love.
Behold…..

Turbaconducken

It is the perfect harmony of turkey, duck and chicken all harmoniously wrapped in bacon and baked to perfection. Corey James of Bacon Today describes every juice detail for creating this culinary masterpiece.

I am currently trying to convince all my friends that this is really the only option for thanksgiving dinner.

Only we want to step it up a notch and deep fry it! My arteries and heart are swelling just thinking about it.


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