Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Talk

Turkey terminology has changed. When I went to buy our turkey this year, I saw the abundance of fresh turkeys. That used to be all of the frozen turkeys. They seemed quite hard (frozen) so I asked the butcher if they were previously frozen. He said they keep them at temperatures down to 32º but were considered fresh, never frozen. Then I noticed the butterballs and store brands were injected with the solutions just like the frozen ones used to be. It seems like they've just changed the wording on them  since more customers want "fresh" birds. 
I explained I wanted to brine my bird so I didn't want one already injected with some solution.
I finally found this beautiful 20 lb. Bell & Evans bird, on sale.
For brining this year, it fit so nicely in my canning pot. I used a premixed brining solution from World Market, covered it with water and brined it for 24 hours.
Once it was rinsed really well and roasted for 4 hours, she was a beauty. I think one of the moistest turkey's I've ever cooked.

Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I made Mark an Indian feast for his birthday.
 We started with Mangopolitans, using mango vodka(2oz.), regular vodka (1oz.), mango nectar or puree (2T.) and fresh lime juice (2T.).
For starters I made the Samosas I blogged about in Feb.
Then the curry shrimp I've been making for years and he loves. It's such a good recipe I got from one of Ruth Reichl's books. It can easily be doubled and you can adjust the heat depending the kind of curry powder you use.
 Then I tried a vegetable dish from southern India I learned at my friend Kumud's cooking class.
You can use any variety of vegetables so I used butternut squash, potatoes, green beans and peas.
A recipe for Avial.
I also made basmati rice, but not the way the Indian cookbooks and rice packages suggest. They boil the basmati rice in lots of water like pasta and then drain it, steam it and fluff it. I cooked it the regular way with no time for failure in the rice department.
A really great addition to the meal and my favorite new thing was this green chutney.
I don't have a picture but here's the recipe. Great to dip the naan in.
Green Chutney
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1-2 hot green chilis (serrano)
2 cloves garlic
4-6 Tbsp. water
1tsp. salt
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
10 cashews
Blend all of the above in a blender until ground to a smooth paste.

For dessert I made toasted coconut icecream and mango sorbet. They were served with ginger cookies.
I was too busy to take many pictures but it was a really fun meal so I hope I've inspired you to put on some bollywood music and get your curry cooking going!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie?

I know it sounds contradictory but hear me out. I was checking in on some of the food blogs I follow, which have links towards the bottom of my page. One of them is Molly Wizenburg's blog Orangette.
Her book 'A Homemade Life' is a fun read too. Anyway her latest entry is about this whole wheat chocolate chip recipe. I wasn't that intrigued until she mentioned that they taste a bit like digestive biscuits. I've had quite a thing for digestive biscuits for years. I keep them in my car so when I'm driving home and am so hungry I start looking around for kid snack droppings, I can take the edge off with a not so sweet biscuit. So because of that comparison I was compelled to give them a try. I used  White Whole Wheat Flour like she recommended. I think regular whole wheat would make them quite dense.
They are yummy! (And do I dare say "good for you too!")