Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey
Serves 6-8 with leftovers
from Craig Lee/San Francisco Chronicle
Try pairing a brined turkey with this air-chilling method. This may take up space in the fridge and add an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.
1 turkey â€“ about 12 pounds
For the Brine:
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 to 1-Â¾ cups kosher salt
2-1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves â€“ torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed
2 tbsp. softened butter and butter for basting
1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Â½ cup chicken stock and more as needed
Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and
pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in
a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine
Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air; if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.
Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If the turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.
To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.
Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes; turn the turkey to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.
Roasting: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread 2 tbsp. of softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wings tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.
Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly. Rotate roasting pan 180 degrees every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with Â½ cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more as needed.
Start checking internal temperature after about 1 hour by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the inner meatiest part of the thigh, not touching the bone. If legs or breast begin to get too brown. Cover loosely with foil. Roast until internal thigh temperature reaches 165 degrees. Total roasting time should be about 2 to 2-3/4 hours. Let bird rest for at least 20 â€“ 30 minutes before carving.
Ahi Tuna - Fire Roasted Garlic - Jalapeno Tilapia
First thing, start with a good rack of ribs. Actually start with two. One never seems enough. Once you get the hang of it you can move up to ten, twenty, enough to please the crowd that will gather.
Prepare ribs by washing racks and pealing membrane from the bone side. To remove the membrane, slip a sharp knife under the membrane at one end of the rack and pealing back enough to get a good grip. Try using a paper towel to hold the membrane, then pull. You might need a little practice, but you'll get the hang of it. If you are planning on hanging the rack of ribs on a hook, don't remove the membrane. Once the ribs are prepared, evenly coat with the rub and let sit. You can refrigerate overnight or let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you get the smoker ready.
Basting is an option to making ribs. On one hand it will add more flavor to your ribs and can help keep them moist. On the other you can wash off the rub you've already applied. By using a baste (sometimes called a mop) that contains the seasonings of the rub you already used you will enhance the flavor without washing away the flavor you've already added. The mustard in this recipe thickens the baste and holds the seasonings to the ribs.Only add sauces at the very end of the cooking process or after you have removed the ribs from the smoker. Sauces can cause burning or excessive caramelization to foods. I will typically remove the ribs, cut them up and then add the sauce. You might also want to put the sauce on the side for people to add as they see fit. Of course sugar burns at 265 degrees F. (129 degrees C.), generally above smoking temperatures, but it is best to leave sauces to the end either way.
Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
Makes 8 servings:
- 1 (7-pound) semi-boneless leg of lamb, aitchbone removed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick, and lamb tied
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth
Spice up your New Year's party with these tasty appetizers....
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 (8 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
3/4 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion. Roll into small meatballs.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once.
In a slow cooker or large saucepan over low heat, blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Add meatballs, and simmer for 1 hour before serving.
Blue Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Mushrooms stuffed with blue cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and garlic make a delicious appetizer!
3 strips bacon
6 large mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces blue cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
Cook bacon strips in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy; drain on paper towels. While the bacon is cooking, remove stems from mushrooms. Set caps aside, and chop stems.
Add butter to skillet with bacon grease. When melted, stir in mushroom stems, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.
Once the onion mixture has reached a deep, rich brown color, place into a blender along with bacon, cream cheese, blue cheese, and bread crumbs. Blend on low until ingredients are roughly chopped and evenly combined. Stuff cheese mixture into mushroom caps and place into prepared baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
Consider this for your main course: A raw ham is slow roasted, then seasoned with a sweet smoky sauce during the last hour to make a memorable meal with little actual work involved.
Yields 12 servings
1 (8 pound) bone-in shank ham
4 cups water, or as needed
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Place ham in a roasting pan. Pour in water to a 2 inch depth. Cover with a tight fitting lid.
Bake for 6 to 8 hours in the preheated oven (all day or all night). Remove from the oven, pour off drippings and reserve. Debone ham, removing any excess fat as well, and return to the roasting pan.
Skim fat from the top of the drippings, and discard. In a small bowl, mix one cup of the drippings with honey, brown sugar, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce and cloves. Pour this over the ham, cover and return to the oven. Remaining drippings may be discarded or reserved for other uses.
Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.