Open Thread with Tasty Bread!

Here are bakers creating loaves of Cuban bread at my favorite bakery in Tampa:

mauricio-faedo-bakery

See the little strips of green protruding from the ends of the loaves like serpents’ tongues? Those are palm leaves, which give Cuban bread its distinctive pattern. How I missed this bread when I lived up north for a few years!

This particular bakery prints the following list of ingredients on its long bread sacks: Water, flour, salt, lard and yeast. If you don’t consume it all within 24 hours, the loaf will petrify to the point that it can be used for household demolition chores.

Open thread!



College Football Open Thread

trumpkin-bar

It’s Rivalry Week (say that out loud three times), so some interesting games are on tap today. The ones I’ll be watching with the most interest — in chronological order and ascending importance (to me) — will be Ohio State and Michigan, Alabama and Auburn, and, of course, Florida vs. Florida State (Go Gators!). But there are many other consequential matchups today. Which teams are you pulling for, if any?

Got into a somewhat slurry bar argument with a Trumpkin last night. It all started when hubby decided he didn’t want Thanksgiving leftovers, so we went to the local Greek restaurant/lounge to have a cocktail and order a pizza to take home. Turns out many people in town had the same pizza idea, so it took much longer than expected.

While we waited at the bar, my husband and the guy seated next to him struck up a conversation. I was only half paying attention. But then the man said something about the economy getting better since there will be a businessman in the White House, causing me to aspirate bourbon while laughing bitterly.

The man inquired if I were unhappy with the outcome of the election. I answered in the affirmative. It escalated from there and got mildly snarly. To be honest, I don’t think either of us acquitted ourselves particularly well, though I was correct on the merits.

Anyway, poor, long-suffering hubby. On the bright side, I am a pretty good cook, and today I’m making my famous shrimp etouffee, so he’s got that going for him. Open thread!



Thanksgiving Dinner

So the frills on the frilly apron have drooped in all the heat from the oven and the tiara is tarnished with all the sweat, but Thanksgiving Dinner came out perfect!

First up the pictures.

One spatchcocked turkey preparing to rest for 30 minutes:

resting_turkey

40 minutes later – 30 for the resting and ten for the slicing – and we are ready!

sliced_turkey

The meat was tender, flavorful, and juicy and the skin was crisp!

And now for some sides. Cornbread stuffing and roasted root vegetables – red and purple heritage potatoes, celery, and carrots.

sides

And for desert: double chocolate pie:

double_chocolate_pie

double_chocolate_pie_slice

Here’s the recipes for those that want.

Turkey:

1 14 to 15 lbs turkey

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Rubbed sage to taste

Poultry seasoning to taste

Directions:

Remove the turkey from the wrapping, remove the neck and giblets and set them aside, and pat dry. Then spatchcock the turkey/remove the backbone and set the backbone aside. turn the turkey breast side up and place firm pressure on each turkey breast to break the breast bone. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Mix the salt, black pepper, rubbed sage, and poultry seasoning together to make a dry rub (dry brine). Place the turkey inside up on the baking sheet and coat the inside with 1/2 the dry rub. Turn the turkey over and coat the outside (breast side up) with the remaining dry rub. Place the dry rubbed turkey in the refrigerator for two to four days.

Roasting:

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator one hour prior to roasting. Preheat oven to 425. When oven reaches 425 place the turkey on an oiled/cooking sprayed wire rack set over a roasting pan (to catch the juices) and place in the oven. Roast at 425 for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350. Continue to roast until a probe thermometer inserted into the deepest portion of the breast reads 155 degrees. Then remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

Cornbread Stuffing

Ingredients:

Enough cornbread from scratch to fill a 9X11 baking pan

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Crushed sage to taste

One large, sweet onion – chopped fine

Four large stalks of celery – chopped fine

2 Teaspoons of olive oil.

The giblets from a turkey or a large chicken – sauteed and minced fine

Chicken or turkey stock to moisten the stuffing

Directions:

Bake the cornbread. In a sauté pan sweat off the onions in the olive oil. Add the giblets, sauté them, then remove from heat and mince the giblets. Crumble the cornbread in a big mixing bowl and add the sweated off onions, the finely chopped celery, and the finely minced giblets. Add the kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and sage to taste. Mix thoroughly. Add just enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing and hold it together. Once everything is combined and seasoned to your taste, stuff the turkey. Or, as in this case because the turkey is spatchcocked, place it in a roasting dish and cook it separately. 

To finish the stuffing: place the roasting dish full of stuffing on the upper rack of the oven above the turkey when you turn the heat down to 350 from 425 degrees.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

1 small bag of red heirloom potatoes

1 small bag of purple heirloom potatoes

1 lbs of carrots

4-6 celery stalks (depending on size)

Wash all the vegetables. Cut the potatoes in half and cut the carrots and celery into 1 inch pieces. Toss them in olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place them in a roasting dish and place the roasting dish on the upper rack of the oven above the turkey and next to the stuffing when you turn the heat down to 350 from 425 degrees.

Turkey Gravy

1 Turkey backbone bisected half way up

1 Turkey neck

3/4 lbs of carrots

4-6 celery stalks (depending on size)

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

Place the turkey backbone and neck in a stock pot and add the salt and black pepper. Chop the carrots and celery into 1 inch pieces and add to the stock pot. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and let it continue to boil for 2 to 3 hours. Skim off the scum, cool, and transfer to the refrigerator.

An hour before serving remove the stock from the refrigerator, place in a sauce pot over medium heat. Once hot transfer the stock, including veggies, to the blender. High pulse the stock and veggies until everything is incorporated. Transfer back to the pot over medium heat, taste, and re-season as necessary. Once the turkey finishes resting, any pan drippings can be added to the gravy. Because of the carrots and celery you will not need to add any thickening agents (roux, corn starch, potato starch) to the gravy.

Double Chocolate Pie

First off, I’m pretty sure this is actually an Emeril Lagasse recipe. I’ve been making it for a while, and have tweaked a few things, but I’m almost certain I first saw the recipe on an episode of Essence of Emeril in the mid 90s. Now that disclosure is full, away we go.

Double Chocolate Pie is a dark chocolate mousse pie with crushed Double Stuff Oreos folded into the mousse on a crushed Double Stuff Oreo base.

Crust Ingredients:

1/2 a family size package of Double Stuff Oreos

1/2 a cup of melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or baking spray the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan. Crush the Oreos and then mix them with the butter. Place the crushed, buttered Oreos into the bottom of the pie pan or springform pan and make sure you’ve covered the entire bottom. Bake for 10 minutes then remove to the refrigerator to chill and set the crust the rest of the way.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Step 1: Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

8 Ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Add 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract to 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream. Whip until you’ve got stiff peaks. Refrigerate while making the ganache.

Step 2: Dark Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

8 Ounces of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips (or your preferred dark chocolate)

8 Ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Place the 8 ounces of dark chocolate into a mixing bowl and set aside. Place the 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the scalded cream over the dark chocolate. Let sit for five minutes. After five minutes whisk the cream and melted chocolate to combine.

Step 3: Making the Mousse

Ingredients:

Freshly Whipped Cream

Fresh Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 family size package of Double Stuff Oreos Crushed

Directions:

Crush the Oreos and set aside. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and fold it into the dark chocolate ganache a little at a time. Once all of the whipped cream is folded into the ganache, fold in 2/3 of the crushed Oreos. Remove pie crust from the refrigerator. Scoop 1/2 the mousse into the springform pan. Smooth the top and then cover with the remaining 1/3 of the crushed Oreos. Then scoop the remaining mousse into the springform pan, smooth the top, and return the pie to the refrigerator to set up for at least three to four hours.

Optional finish (as seen in the pictures above)

After three to four hours make a second batch of ganache. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and remove the springform ring from the pie and base pan. Pour the dark chocolate ganache over the top of the pie, turning the ganache from the center to the edge and then around the sides to form a smooth, dark chocolate ganache glaze/shell for the pie. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve (at least one hour).

You all are on your own for antacids and stomach pumping!

 

 



Thanksgiving Morning Open Thread

I’m sure some of you are horrified now, but frankly, I’d eat this over the usual giant hacked-up bird.

The gathering where I’ll be spending the day will have a high-end, well-prepared turkey — along with a goose and a duck, also painstakingly prepared. I will be eating some of the Dakin ham that is my contribution to the feast. I’ll be sorry not to share the general accolades, but not sorry enough to force myself to chew poultry with a smile on my face.

What are y’all looking forward to, or looking forward to avoiding, at the table today?








Florida Man: Tutu Edition! Updated at 10:15 PM EDT

Another day, another embarrassing act by someone from my home state (Like BettyC, I’m a native. We’re on 6 hour shifts!).

– Two men, one wearing a tutu, broke into Tampa Farmer’s Market to eat fruit and drink soda early Tuesday morning.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance footage of the suspects breaking into the Fletcher Avenue store in hopes that the public can help identify them.

According to HCSO, the suspects gained access to the store by breaking out the glass door at approximately 1 a.m. on November 1, and proceeded to consume fruit and soda once inside.

A sheriff’s office spokesperson shared the following descriptions of the two suspects:

#1 – white male, thin build, possibly dressed in a cheerleading costume, wearing a TuTu, possibly wearing a wig.

#2-  male (unknown race), wearing a hoodie with an image of an owl on the front.

Anyone with any information reference these suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of these suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

There’s video at the link!

Open, night before Thanksgiving open thread!!!

Updated at 10:15 PM EDT

Allow me to regale you with more tales of the nightlife of Tampa!

– Newly released surveillance video could help Tampa Police locate the man who drove his car onto a sidewalk in Ybor City, hitting two people and a bar early Tuesday morning.

Around 3:25 a.m. Tuesday, after businesses had closed, a group of men began fighting outside the Bad Monkey Bar on East 7th Avenue in Tampa.

Surveillance cameras captured the brawl, including one subject involved in the fighting who attempted to leave the scene by driving away in a black Nissan.

“He tries to do a U-turn, and it’s really too tight of a street to do that. He gets hung up on the curb,” said Steve Hegarty, spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department.

The driver jumped the sidewalk and crashed into several men who were still fighting. One of the men was pushed through the window of the Bad Monkey bar when the car made impact, smashing the glass.
After crashing through the building, the driver left the scene.

Detectives are working to determine if the driver intentionally accelerated his car or if the crash was accidental.

“That’s a big question that we have right now. At the very least, it’s a hit and run. There was damage to the building, clearly, someone was injured and he left the scene,” said Hegarty.

Only one of the men on the sidewalk, Michael Silhol, 25, was hurt in the crash. Silhol suffered a minor leg and head injury.

The Bad Monkey bar was left with $15,000 worth of damage. It was closed at the time of the crash.

Video at the link, too, also, again!



T-1 Open Thread

tg-rage

I’m going to try to take a Thanksgiving holiday break from thinking or writing about Trump-related issues. It’s a health and safety thing; I just can’t cook turkey and dressing, make gravy, mash potatoes, etc., while contemplating an asshole-punching rampage through the center of town.

So, Thanksgiving. My sister is a vegetarian, and Thanksgiving is at her house this year. It grosses her out to deal with raw turkey, so if left to her own devices, she’d buy a heat-and-serve turkey from the grocery store. She’s done that in years when I was at my in-laws for TG. Well, not on my fucking watch, sis.

Instead, I’m roasting the turkey at my house and transporting it there. Timing shouldn’t be an issue because it takes about the same amount of time I’d let a roasted turkey rest before carving it to drive to my sister’s house. So, I think we’re okay there.

Luckily for us, we won’t encounter any of the Trumpenproletariat this Thanksgiving; only the sane half of the family will be in attendance. I’ll deal with the others once I’ve calmed down a bit. So don’t bother looking for “Florida Woman Bludgeons Father with Turkey Carcass, Shoves Uncle’s Face into Molten Sweet Potato Casserole” on your Twitter feeds.

Went to the store for feast preparation supplies yesterday, and goddamn, what a zoo. Unfortunately, I forgot sugar — a critical ingredient in the mister’s homemade cranberry sauce. I think I’ll just hit the convenience store and pay a premium rather than braving the supermarket on T-1.

What are your holiday plans, if any?



Saturday Dinner: Roasted Leg of Lamb With Root Vegetables

While TaMara made a return last night with her recipe exchange, I thought I’d go ahead and slip on the tiara, frilly apron, and matching oven mitts and get to work. For your gustatory pleasure, I proudly present a roasted bone out leg of lamb with root vegetables.

sliced_lamb   roasted_vegetables

The recipe is really very basic, but quite delicious:

Ingredients:

1 Boneless Lamb Roast (in this case 4.5 lbs)

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Remove the lamb from the cryovac, remove the netting, rinse, and pat dry inside and out. Then salt and pepper the inside and outside of the lamb to taste. Let sit on the counter for an hour or so to bring the temperature of the lamb closer to room temperature. Preheat oven to 275. After an hour roll the lamb up, truss with twine tightly, and tie the twine off. Cover the bottom of a broiler pan with silver foil, then place the lamb roast onto the top of the broiler pan so the juices can run through the slits and be captured by the foil lined place. Roast until the internal temperature is 125-130 for rare or 135 for medium rare. When the internal temperature reaches your preference, remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 30 to 40 minutes. While the lamb is resting heat the oven to 500 degrees. After 30-40 minutes uncover the roast, place it back in the now 500 degree oven, and sear it for 15 minutes to crisp up the fat and make a nice, crispy crust. Remove from the oven after 15 minutes, move the roast to a cutting board, remove the twine, and slice.

seasoned_lamb

(Salted and Peppered Lamb Ready for Twining)

trussed_lamb

(All Trussed Up and Nowhere to Go)

resting_lamb

(Getting Read to Rest)

seared_lamb

(Seared and Ready for Slicing)

Roasted root vegetables.

Ingredients

1 small bag Red heirloom potatoes

1 small bag Purple heirloom potatoes

8 stalks of celery

1 and 1/2 lbs of carrots chopped

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Minced garlic to taste

Instructions:

Rinse and then cut the potatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Rinse, trim the tops and bottoms, and then chop the celery into 1 inch pieces. Rinse, and if necessary (depending on what you’ve purchased) trim the tops from the carrots. Then chop into 1 inch pieces. Place the potatoes, celery, and carrots into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss. Then salt, pepper, and add the minced garlic to taste. Toss to coat the vegetables thoroughly and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast on the top rack of the oven while the lamb is roasting. When the lamb comes out to rest, leave the veggies in to finish as the oven heats to 500 degrees. When the lamb goes back in to sear, remove the vegetables and cover with foil until the lamb is seared, sliced, and ready for serving.

seasoned_veggies

(Oiled, Seasoned, and Ready for Roasting)

And then enjoy!