Archive for the 'Thanksgiving' Category

Recipe: How to cook a turkey

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen
 
There is nothing like a golden brown turkey that is moist, juicy and full of flavor in every bite. Nothing is worse than a bland, burnt and tasteless bird!

Before cooking your turkey, read the thread “How to clean a turkey”.

When planning your meal, allow approximately 1 to 1 ½ lbs. uncooked turkey per person.

For ROASTING:
For a simple roasted turkey, you can begin with brining to add flavor, keep your bird moist and tender.

Clean your defrosted turkey.

Make your brine:

In large, non-reactive container** (plastic, glass or stainless steel), add:
2 cups table salt
2 gallons cold water
Stir until salt dissolves.
Place turkey in container and place in refrigerator for 6 hours.

**Make sure the container is large enough to submerge the whole turkey.

Additional notes on brining: You can add sugar if you want – equal parts sugar and salt, stirring well to dissolve before placing the turkey in the brine. Some use honey or maple syrup in place of sugar. You can also add herbs and seasonings, if desired.

NOTE: Do not brine kosher or self-basting turkey. They are pre-treated in such a way that no additional salt is needed.

When ready to cook, removed turkey from brine and discard brine. Thoroughly rinse entire bird, inside and out using cold water; rinse for several minutes; pat dry with paper towels.

Use a large V-rack that fits into your roasting pan; cover rack with foil and poke holes to allow the heat to circulate.

Chop one onion, 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery; toss with thyme and place in roasting pan. This is a great way to add flavor to your pan drippings for making gravy. Pour a cup of water or chicken bouillon in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter and brush over dried turkey; brush entire bird and place breast down in V-rack. Place in preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and brush back and legs with pan drippings.
Cook an additional 45 minutes.
Brush entire surface with drippings again.
Cook another 30 minutes.
Continue this process until your bird is cooked – a meat thermometer should read 165* F. for the breast and 175* f., for the thigh.
Let rest 20 minutes before carving.

Stuff your bird the safe way
The USDA warns that cooking with stuffing can increase the chances of contracting a foodborne illness.

NOTE: If you bird is pre-stuffed DO NOT THAW BEFORE COOKING. ALWAYS COOK DIRECTLY FROM ITS FROZEN STATE.

Do NOT use fresh stuffing if you plan on grilling, smoking, frying or microwaving the turkey.

Do not combine stuffing ingredients for your stuffing ahead of time and refrigerate. Prepare everything immediately before you stuff the bird.

Do not overstuff. Stuffing expands while cooking so keep it loosely packed. Try to stick to the ratio of ¾ cup stuffing per pound of meat. Cook at 325* F.

NOTE: Cooking overnight at a lower temperature is not sufficient to keep bacteria from thriving. And stuffing should reach an internal temperature of at least 165* F. before turning off the heat.

For SMOKING:
Smoking a turkey add a warm, moist flavor and does not take any longer than traditional roasting. You can use a water-based method or smoke directly on the BBQ grill.

First of all, brine your turkey as described above to add moisture. It’s your choice if you want to use the direct heat method or the indirect heat method. Remember to replenish wood chips frequently. Do NOT stuff turkey that is being smoked.

Smoke turkey until done – breast meat should register 165* F. and thigh meat should register 175* F. on the meat thermometer.

OVEN SMOKED TURKEY

1 (10 to 12 pound) turkey
1/2 cup seasoned salt
1/4 cup fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
Vegetable oil

Grease a large brown paper grocery bag with vegetable oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the turkey and pat dry with a paper towel. Combine 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, seasoned salt, garlic powder, liquid smoke and black pepper and mix together to make a paste. Rub the turkey well with the paste, inside and out. Place the turkey in the greased bag and tie the bag closed with a piece of string. Place on a baking sheet and roast 3 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before untying the bag and removing the turkey.

Two-Stage Roast Turkey with Southwestern Honey-Pepper Rub

* 3 sticks unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup ground cumin
* 4 tablespoons dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* Pinch of ground cloves
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 (14 pound) turkey, well chilled

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Prepare the rub: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour butter into a large mixing bowl. Add pepper, cumin, oregano (pulverizing it with your fingers), chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, clove, and salt, mixing well. Drizzle in the honey and blend well.

3. Rub mixture all over the cold turkey?both on and under the skin, as evenly as possible. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan in the lower portion of the oven, legs toward the back. Roast until the turkey starts to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast the turkey for about 1 1/2 hours, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so. (The white meat is done when a quick-read thermometer reaches 150 degrees.)
4. Remove turkey from oven and (at table, if desired), remove the large breast fillet from each side of the turkey. Let the fillets rest a few minutes before carving into slices. Serve white meat with Cilantro-Poblano Cream Sauce.

5. Meanwhile, return the rest of the bird to the 325-degree oven. Cook until the dark meat reaches 175 degrees, about 20 minutes more. Remove, let rest a few minutes, and serve the dark meat with Smoky Chipotle-Mushroom Gravy.

Recipe: The weekend before Thanksgiving –

|September 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

just a typical weekend before –

 
It's like the calm before the storm.

Hurricane Mama!

This is the weekend before Thanksgiving and there is so much to do. Not just preparing a great meal – but at this time I'm doing curtains and windows so they will be done for the holidays. I am a clean freak – so scrubbing the house is just normally done in this house.

So today I've got the laundry going, so far I've got all the windows done and I've got to iron the last of the curtains and hang them. Just waiting for them to dry a bit more.

With that done – and I've danced around the house with the vacuum, doing all the baseboards and furniture as well, and I've polished the furniture and washed all the knick knacks and lamps. The doors and doorways are done, the cupboards are done. So I have a little time to breathe.

Then scrub the floors – and with that done – I get a break.

I've done all my shopping – so the only thing I'll need to get at the store is milk, lettuce and tomatoes. And believe me – I'll make sure I am the first in and out of the store when I do get them. I really do not like crowds.

With a ton of recipes I'd like to post to Recipes by Ingredient (one of my other blogs) I'd like to be able to collapse in front of my computer and share them all.

and on that note – I think I best get finished so I can play later…………..

Recipe: an incorrectly published pie recipe

|September 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I am posting this once again – for those that may be recipe hoarders and never really take the time to read the recipe through until it is time to make it –

 

Okay – it's Sunday morning and we all look forward to enjoying the Sunday paper, reading ads, looking at sale papers and at this time of the year, we check out the recipes that are including in the coupon sections that they hand out with the paper.

Of course I am drawn to the recipes –

sure as shootin'

take a look at this recipe:

Pumpkin Apple Pie

Yield:
8 servings Prep Time:
10 minutes Bake Time:
50-55 minutes Chill Time:
2 hours

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon Karo® Corn Syrup OR Karo® Lite Syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 can (5 fluid ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (21 ounces) Comstock® or Wilderness® Apple Pie Filling

1 (9-inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust

MIX sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Add egg and beat slightly. Add syrup, pumpkin and evaporated milk; blend well.

SPREAD apple pie filling in pie crust. Gently pour pumpkin filling over the apples.

BAKE in a 425°F preheated oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in pie center comes out clean.

CHILL a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

WHHHAAATTTTTT???

Am I THAT old that I don't understand this recipe?

Or do they need to find an editor that is not blind and knows something about baking pies?

Or is it me?

Did you read this recipe? Please take a look –

What am I looking at?

1/4 TEASPOON Karo syrup

????????????

If their Classic Pumpkin Pie has 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Karo syrup in the ingredient list, why is this 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 TEASPOON Karo syrup – shouldn't it read 1/4 CUP???

To me – that cannot be right. So I called their customer service, which of course is closed today and I cannot call again until tomorrow – 9 to 4 Central time.

I honestly can't wait to hear their response on this one!

Do you realize – if this is incorrect – how many will follow that recipe because it is a Brand Name recipe and those that write them are supposed to put out correct recipes? Not only was it in the coupon section printed that way, but it is also on their site.

I know I am old(er), and I know I've been 'round the kitchen a few times (better than being 'round the block a few times!) but in all my years of baking – I have NEVER seen 1/4 TEASPOON of Karo in a pie recipe! Why use it to begin with at that measurement!!!!

Maybe it's me – but I will know tomorrow and I will edit this post and let you know what they say…………..

 

UPDATE –

I just got off the phone with customer service (they really appreciate me calling – NOT!) – the recipe was incorrectly printed in the paper and on their site. The customer service rep (what a way to start her day – with me – and thousands of other calls for the same reason) assured me that it WAS corrected on the site – as of our conversation – it wasn't – and I told her that it needed to be changed (she insisted it WAS corrected – until she checked and saw it for herself – but she was told they changed it). (Their proof-reader needs glasses!)

This is the correct recipe – and I was right – 1/4 cup not 1/4 teaspoon Karo syrup:

Pumpkin Apple Pie

Yield:
8 servings Prep Time:
10 minutes Bake Time:
50-55 minutes Chill Time:
2 hours

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1/4 cup Karo® Corn Syrup OR Karo® Lite Syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 can (5 fluid ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (21 ounces) Comstock® or Wilderness® Apple Pie Filling

1 (9-inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust

MIX sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Add egg and beat slightly. Add syrup, pumpkin and evaporated milk; blend well.

SPREAD apple pie filling in pie crust. Gently pour pumpkin filling over the apples.

BAKE in a 425°F preheated oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in pie center comes out clean.

CHILL a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

So the recipe is supposed to be corrected on their site – and for those that are going to follow the recipe from the newspaper – oh well – Karo is not reprinting it for them.

Recipe: Pumpkins

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

And what about the pumpkins??

Halloween is over. Is it the end of your pumpkin as well?

NOPE!

I am a fall baby – it’s my favorite time of the year. I love to grow pumpkins – especially sugar pumpkins – they are great for baking and cooking. Come September – as soon as I have “the perfect pumpkin” – it’s washed and sitting in my kitchen for beauty. It’s cousins in the garden are not so lucky.

Along comes Halloween and you find hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins on porches and decks, lining driveways, etc. all ready to be carved. The pumpkin carvings that some do are absolutely beautiful. We see anything from the traditional pumpkin faces to intricate scenes, crosses, symbols, etc.

What is sad about this is that many just discard the pulp and the seeds.

I remember when I was a kid, we’d get a nickel from out moms and we’d rush to the store to buy a box of pumpkin seeds. Pure salt! And we loved them. Eventually I got away from them and I started enjoying homemade much better.

And the pulp always made a great pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin anything!

Although we would all love to have the world’s biggest pumpkin, I find that the smaller pumpkins that are small to medium in size are the best ones to use for baking and cooking because their flesh has a finer texture than the very large pumpkins. The “heavier” pumpkins that don’t have the hollow sound are perfect – regardless of size.

Select a ripe and firm medium pumpkin. Larger pumpkins can be used, but they begin to take on a grainy texture the larger they get. Cut open the pumpkin and remove the seeds and fibrous strings. Cut the pumpkin into four to eight pieces. Line a large baking pan aluminum foil. Place the pumpkin pieces onto the baking pan. Bake at 375* F. 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until pulp is soft. Remove the pulp from the rind with a spoon and discard the rind. Blend the pulp until smooth using a blender, food processor or mixer. To create a really thick puree, put the pulp into a cheesecloth and squeeze out excess water.

Make and use fresh puree whenever possible for the best taste and freshness. Leftover puree can be frozen for a short period of time. Canning of pumpkin puree is not recommended by the USDA.

You can also wash your pumpkin, remove the fibrous stings and seeds, cut into 2-inch cubes and boil in water till tender; drain very well; allow to cool completely.

To use – thaw in the refrigerator. If it seems a bit watery after freezing, just drain it in a strainer to remove excess liquid.

Please note the you NEVER bake a pumpkin that has been carved and sitting around for several days.

Also, if baking you pumpkin, some will use a large baking pan lined with foil and will add a little water for baking.

And – before using puree – always drain in a strainer to remove all excess liquid. Some pumpkins are very moist.

Pumpkins can be peeled before or after cooking – it’s your choice and it depend on how much you are preparing. If baking, always peel after baking.

To make pumpkin seeds:

After removing the seeds from the pumpkin, wash in warm water and dry. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with oil or melted butter, sprinkle with salt; bake 45 minutes in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted

For seasoned pumpkin seeds:

Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings
of your choice before baking (some add after baking – experiment and see how you like it done):

Seasoning salt – simple enough
Cheesy Pumpkin Seeds- sprinkle with Cheesy popcorn seasoning.
Tex-Mex Style- Sprinkle powdered Taco seasoning onto the seeds. This is better mixed in a bowl first. Add more red pepper powder for a really hot seed!
Cajun style- Mix seeds in a bowl with a packet of cajun seasonings mix. If you like it really spicy, add extra hot sauce.
Garlic Salt- REALLY GOOD!

Just a tidbit – did you know that the canned pumpkin that is sold in the stores in 95% squash?

FYI:
Are you a pumpkin lover? Whole pumpkins will store well in a cool, dry environment. Never store on the basement floor and never store near apples.

Recipe: before Thanksgiving – Ham Salad – from 11/2010

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Before Thanksgiving it is so hectic for me. All the scrubbing and cleaning, windows, curtains and all, plus the menu planning, who's who, etc. and I just need more time to get everything done. And it always comes together for me.

The Sunday before seems to be the last day of making a big meal for us to enjoy until the big "stuffing" day.

On this day I made a pork steak dinner – just look under Pork, Yams, Potato Dressing – it's there.

Then it's "cheater" meals until Thursday.

The Monday before Thanksgiving I pick up the last of what I need – and in my travels I purchased a 3-pound canned ham. Great for sandwiches – and ham salad. That is always popular around here. Always rinse off well and pat dry with paper towels.

What I like about it – it's easy to make and you can add as much as you want of anything you want in it – and it's a great sammie-stuffer, or can be used as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., or use to stuff tomatoes, celery, pita breads; you can turn it into a sub/hoagie by adding lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc., or you can serve it on lettuce leaves for a nice salad. There is so much you can do with a salad like this.

Here's my minced ham, minced onion, sweet pickle relish –

Once mixed – I can eat this with a spoon and I'd be in heaven!

Ham Salad

Deli/cooked ham (leftovers are good for this)
Sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles
Onion and/or celery
Mayo or salad dressing

Mince your ham in your food processor; occasional lumps are okay – they taste good! Add enough sweet pickle relish, minced onion and/or celery, and mayo/dressing to make it the right consistency.

Will last in the refrigerator for 3 days, covered. Unfortunately – mine NEVER lasts that long!

Served on a nice deli rye with pickles and olives – Yep – I can do this quite often!

I hope you try it! Make it for yourself, your family, or for your next party as a spread.

Recipe: Sometimes I am my own worse enemy!

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

You know – there are days and then there are days.

Well today was one of those days.

I know that Thanksgiving isnot that far off – but I have been craving turkey for the past month! I love turkey and I always have a couple in the freezer for my turkey cravings. So this morning I pulled the last of the turkeys (now I can stock up on them again – time to watch for the sales) out of the chest freezer and stuck ol' Tom in a sink of cold water.

Changing the cold water every 15 minutes and wrestling with his body parts took me from 8 this morning till almost 1 this afternoon when I finally got his butt in the oven! Well – not his butt – that got hacked off as soon as I could do it. No butts in my house – turkey or chicken – off with the butts immediately! Several of my friends would kill for the butts – not in my house – those things are disgusting!

Those damn wires they use for holding the legs in position! Cripe – thank heaven I have a kitchen pliers for the job. Everyone should have a good set of pliers in there utensil drawer just for this type of job. FINALLY I got him thawed completely (my hands are frozen from it) and gave him a nice bath in the sink. Cut off some of the neck fat, pulled out his innards – saved the neck and tossed the rest. Got him well "powdered" (don't you use powder after a bath???) with salt, pepper, fresh parsley and fresh garlic – inside and out. A touch of oil in the pan and into the oven he went. Washed and seasoned the neck the same way and laid it on top. Covered him with foil and in he went at 350* F. I let him cook for a good 2 hours before I turned him over and put the neck on his back. Covered again and bake in the oven. It's now 4:30 and I removed the foil to brown him. Then I will turn him over and brown him some more.

I can't wait to enjoy the neck! I've got to make the gravy, the potatoes are boiling for mashed potatoes, buttered corn and my stove top dressing – homemade. I broke my homemade bread (homemade bread makes the best stuffing/dressing) in-between wrestling with Tom while trying to thaw him.

Cooked my veggies in my stainless steel bowl (one of those big ones – great for making stuffing!), added my bread and broth and transferred to a baking dish. Popped in the oven a while ago to heat through.

I figure dinner will be on the table and ready to enjoy by 5:30. Not bad for what I went through.

After dinner I'll strip the turkey down to the bones and place the bones and skin, and the wings in the stock pot with onions, carrots, celery and seasonings to make a large pot of stock. It won't take too long because the turkey is a cooked product. Then I'll strain it and ladle into quart jars so that I have stock in the freezer. Place the jars in the refrigerator overnight, cap them tomorrow and place in the freezer. From the looks of it – this is a tender turkey and I will get a really good stock from it. I'll save some and make a pot of soup for tomorrow with veggies and macaroni. Served with turkey panini on Italian bread and I've got another excellent meal.

I know I will have leftover turkey – some I will portion and freeze to have with BBQ sauce. Some I will freeze in gravy for another meal or open-faced sammmies.

As far as the stuffing/dressing goes – we will devour that between today and tomorrow. I love dressing. I don't make stuffing. Too great of a chance of bacteria setting in – besides – it tastes so much better when it is not in the bird. I make dressing quite often. It goes great with turkey, chicken or pork. For the life of me, I don't understand why people only make it once a year for Thanksgiving. And why do they use those boxed stuffing mixes? YUCKY! Do you really need all the MSG?

Waste not, want not.

Save all the heels from your bread and those last couple slices, save your rolls, etc. and place in a bread bag in the freezer. When you get enough – make dressing. White bread, rye bread, wheat bread – it all goes so well together. Including potato bread and egg bread. Even seeded rolls! Sweet breads should be saved in a separate bread bag in the freezer for making bread puddings. Betcha never thought of that one.

Well it's time for me to finish my dinner so I can start my soup.

And of course – I'll have my "turkey coma" later – and I have worked hard for it – I deserve it!

Recipe: See’s Fudge – Original Recipe

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I enjoy trying various recipes and then using friends and family as "guinea pigs" – LOL.  I make a very good fudge that everyone likes – but I wanted to make this one to see how they liked it.


Of course they did –


Here's the recipe:


4 1/2 cups sugar
3 pkgs. (12 oz. each) chocolate chips*
1/2 lb. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can evaporated milk
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
2 cups chopped nuts


Combine sugar and evaporated milk in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to boil; boil 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often. (rolling boil).  In large bowl, combine chocolate chips,  marshmallow creme, butter. Cream well.  Add add chocolate chips. Pour hot mixture over chocolate mixture. After chocolate has melted, add nuts and vanilla, blend well, pour into buttered pans and chill in refrigerator.

Cut into squares before firm. This recipe makes about 5 lbs of fudge.

 

*I've used milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips and white chips.

 

I've also added candied fruit to the white chocolate for a festive look for the holidays.

 

A nice recipe to play with!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving is a day I make sure I make a nice dinner for us because the rest of the week, with all the preparations being done, I will be cheating in the kitchen until the big meal on Thanksgiving.


I spend this time of the year really scrubbing everything in the house in preparation for the upcoming holidays. It's been like that in my family forever – everything has to be cleaned. But then again – I am cleaning every day of the year anyway – and I can thank my "Antiseptic Annie" mom for making me OCG! LOL –

Most of my family is anyway – I swear it.


I have very few things to pick up at the grocery store before Thanksgiving. I absolutely HATE shopping with crowds of idiots that do not know what they are doing and have no patience or manners. The roads are loaded with demolition derby drivers. Everyone is parked in handicapped parking – even those that are not handicapped; and parking lots are jammed with people, kids lagging behind, and the demolition derby drivers are driving faster than Nascar drivers! And if you think that is bad – give these same people shopping carts and turn them loose in the stores and it is total hell!

NEVER and I mean NEVER take a purse/handbag in the stores shopping! NEVER! Invest in one of those little purses you can hang on your neck and it holds your money, credit cards, license, and cell phone. Clip your keys to it using those clips that mountain climbers use.


My frozen turkey is in the refrigerator – thawing.
I'll start my baking Tuesday night. Wednesday I still take my babies to school and pick them up – and once I get home from there – I am in total hibernation until Saturday! No – I do not do the Black Friday routine. I do not appreciate pushing, shoving, ignorance, road rage, and drunks on the road. I have enough to take care of at home to keep me busy.


If I need to get any milk or eggs or fresh produce – I can do it Saturday or Sunday. Until then I'll have it all.


Our "last supper" is usually on the Sunday before. Then I cheat until Thanksgiving.
Skillet-Fried Pork Steaks, Steamed Yams, Potato Dressing, Applesauce and Creamed-Style Corn – with fruited gelatin for dessert with whipped cream on top.

First I drained a can of fruit cocktail, reserving the juice while I boiled my water. I measured the reserved juice into a measuring cup and it was about 3/4 cup – added cold water to make 1 cup and counted that as 1 cup of the cold water needed. I used 2 boxes of gelatin so I needed 2 cups of boiling water and 2 cups cold "liquid".

Heat my heavy skillet, then add my olive oil and heat that.

While that was heating, I washed my pork steaks and patted them dry. Added to hot oil and seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, parsley, and a bit of onion powder.

I placed my Louisiana yams in my steamer basket over boiling water until tender.

Meanwhile, I made my Potato Dressing.

I began my potato dressing by melting butter in my sauce pan in milk with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and parsley. Since this was a "last minute" idea – I cheated and used instant potato flakes instead of cooked and mashed potatoes; combined and removed from heat.

Using my wok-shaped skillet, I melted butter and added chopped onion; sauteed until tender.

While the onions were softening, I diced a couple slices of seeded rye bread; added to onion saute; mix well; add to cooked potatoes.

Transferred to small pie plate covered with foil and placed in a 350* F. oven for 15 minutes – just enough to heat through.


Added milk to my canned creamed corn – heated through adding a bit of Kosher salt and pepper.

Stripped my sweet potatoes from their skins with a fork, added a tub of applesauce and my meal was complete.   Added some applesauce.


Stirred my drained fruit into my strawberry-flavored gelatin that was partially set. Served with whipped cream.

Recipe: How to cook a turkey

|February 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

There is nothing like a golden brown turkey that is moist, juicy and full of flavor in every bite. Nothing is worse than a bland, burnt and tasteless bird!


Before cooking your turkey, read the thread “How to clean a turkey”.


When planning your meal, allow approximately 1 to 1 ½ lbs. uncooked turkey per person.

 


For ROASTING:
For a simple roasted turkey, you can begin with brining to add flavor, keep your bird moist and tender.


Clean your defrosted turkey.


Make your brine:
In large, non-reactive container** (plastic, glass or stainless steel), add:
2 cups table salt
2 gallons cold water
Stir until salt dissolves.


Place turkey in container and place in refrigerator for 6 hours.
**Make sure the container is large enough to submerge the whole turkey.


Additional notes on brining: You can add sugar if you want – equal parts sugar and salt, stirring well to dissolve before placing the turkey in the brine. Some use honey or maple syrup in place of sugar. You can also add herbs and seasonings, if desired.


NOTE: Do not brine kosher or self-basting turkey. They are pre-treated in such a way that no additional salt is needed.

 


When ready to cook, removed turkey from brine and discard brine. Thoroughly rinse entire bird, inside and out using cold water; rinse for several minutes; pat dry with paper towels.


Use a large V-rack that fits into your roasting pan; cover rack with foil and poke holes to allow the heat to circulate.


Chop one onion, 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery; toss with thyme and place in roasting pan. This is a great way to add flavor to your pan drippings for making gravy. Pour a cup of water or chicken bouillon in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter and brush over dried turkey; brush entire bird and place breast down in V-rack. Place in preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.


Remove from oven and brush back and legs with pan drippings.


Cook an additional 45 minutes.


Brush entire surface with drippings again.
Cook another 30 minutes.


Continue this process until your bird is cooked – a meat thermometer should read 165* F. for the breast and 175* f., for the thigh.


Let rest 20 minutes before carving.

 


Stuff your bird the safe way


The USDA warns that cooking with stuffing can increase the chances of contracting a foodborne illness.


NOTE: If you bird is pre-stuffed DO NOT THAW BEFORE COOKING. ALWAYS COOK DIRECTLY FROM ITS FROZEN STATE.


Do NOT use fresh stuffing if you plan on grilling, smoking, frying or microwaving the turkey.


Do not combine stuffing ingredients for your stuffing ahead of time and refrigerate. Prepare everything immediately before you stuff the bird.
Do not overstuff. Stuffing expands while cooking so keep it loosely packed. Try to stick to the ratio of ¾ cup stuffing per pound of meat. Cook at 325* F.


NOTE: Cooking overnight at a lower temperature is not sufficient to keep bacteria from thriving. And stuffing should reach an internal temperature of at least 165* F. before turning off the heat.

 


For SMOKING:


Smoking a turkey add a warm, moist flavor and does not take any longer than traditional roasting. You can use a water-based method or smoke directly on the BBQ grill.


First of all, brine your turkey as described above to add moisture. It’s your choice if you want to use the direct heat method or the indirect heat method. Remember to replenish wood chips frequently.

Do NOT stuff turkey that is being smoked.


Smoke turkey until done – breast meat should register 165* F. and thigh meat should register 175* F. on the meat thermometer.

 


OVEN SMOKED TURKEY


1 (10 to 12 pound) turkey
1/2 cup seasoned salt
1/4 cup fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
Vegetable oil


Grease a large brown paper grocery bag with vegetable oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Wash the turkey and pat dry with a paper towel. Combine 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, seasoned salt, garlic powder, liquid smoke and black pepper and mix together to make a paste. Rub the turkey well with the paste, inside and out. Place the turkey in the greased bag and tie the bag closed with a piece of string. Place on a baking sheet and roast 3 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before untying the bag and removing the turkey.

 


Two-Stage Roast Turkey with Southwestern Honey-Pepper Rub


* 3 sticks unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup ground cumin
* 4 tablespoons dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* Pinch of ground cloves
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 (14 pound) turkey, well chilled


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


2. Prepare the rub: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour butter into a large mixing bowl. Add pepper, cumin, oregano (pulverizing it with your fingers), chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, clove, and salt, mixing well. Drizzle in the honey and blend well.


3. Rub mixture all over the cold turkey?both on and under the skin, as evenly as possible. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan in the lower portion of the oven, legs toward the back. Roast until the turkey starts to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast the turkey for about 1 1/2 hours, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so. (The white meat is done when a quick-read thermometer reaches 150 degrees.)


4. Remove turkey from oven and (at table, if desired), remove the large breast fillet from each side of the turkey. Let the fillets rest a few minutes before carving into slices. Serve white meat with Cilantro-Poblano Cream Sauce.


5. Meanwhile, return the rest of the bird to the 325-degree oven. Cook until the dark meat reaches 175 degrees, about 20 minutes more. Remove, let rest a few minutes, and serve the dark meat with Smoky Chipotle-Mushroom Gravy.