Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and the birth of a blog

The time has come to try to keep track of my cooking experiments and adventures so that I can find what I have done.  This will be my go to place for recipe sources and reminders of what I liked and what I didn't like, what worked and what didn't work.
First off the fantastic Cranberry Sauce from sophistimom (thank you, it is just as good as you said)
                                 Cranberry Sauce with Maple and Orange Zest
1 12 oz. pkg of cranberries
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c maple syrup ( I used grade b for more flavor)

Put all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 min.  Cool and then refrigerate.
This year I cooked a heritage turkey for the first time.  I butterflied it (actually Len did) and roasted it at high heat (425 degrees) using convection, on top of the stuffing.  The turkey was very good, though the white meat was a little drier than I like.  The stuffing was not only crisp, but some what charred.  The stuffing was still great when eaten with the turkey and cranberry sauce.  Next time I should lower the heat a bit, maybe 25 degrees, and shorten the roasting time.  I roasted the bird only about an hour, so this is a really quick way to cook a turkey.  This was a combination of the Cook's Illustrated (Best Recipe) cookbook and Mark Bittmen and a convection turkey roasting post I found.
I based my stuffing on a Mark Bittman recipe, and used 12 cups of bread cubes (Gayle's sourdough bread), a couple of chopped onions and 5 or 6 celery spears, chopped, browned in butter with about 1/2 cup pine nuts added to the veggies to brown also near the end.  I used about a cup of butter total.  I might reduce the butter next time because there was plenty of fat in the turkey drippings.  The stuffing was delicious as it was, but we needed more of it.  We didn't have as much left over as we would have liked.
I roasted sweet potatoes in olive oil with a sprinkling of cinnamon (Jordan's idea, very good) and Jordan steamed some green beans and added almonds, pan toasted in olive oil, at the end.
Desert was pumpkin creme brulee.  I made them a day ahead and then added the sugar coating after Thanksgiving dinner.  They were very good, but I missed the leftover pumpkin pie.  They are definitely worth repeating as not only are they good, they are lighter than the pie.
I'll add the pumpkin creme brulee in my next post.


Eeva said...

It all sounds wonderful! I love the idea of pumpkin creme brulee. This year as last year Chris made stuffing based on a recipe you sent him, so perhaps we had the same kind? It was extremely good.

I look forward to reading about your cooking, not to mention enjoying it in person in a few weeks! :)

Chris M. said...

Our turkey ended up tasting fairly good. Just a brined Harris Teeter turkey. It was definitely better than the kosher turkey we got from TJ's last year.

How much was the heritage turkey? We might look into that next year. I hear there's a farm around here that sells free-range organic which we're tenative about trying after the free-range chicken debacle.