Thanksgiving Files: Turkey, Sides and Desserts

I’m not cooking this year, so it gives me some time to put together a list of recipes links for Thanksgiving.

Starting with the turkey here are some of my favorites:

Spatchcock Turkey is the only way I make it anymore and you can find the recipe here.

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Friday Recipes: Multi-Pot Bourbon Beef Stew and Cookies

Wow, what’s got into the food goddess? Another recipe? Quick someone check her for a fever.

I’ve posted this recipe before, but wanted to update it for the instant pot. (You don’t need to use the slow-cooker feature after pressure cooking, I had the time and it was easier than trying to find room for it in the refrigerator until dinner that night). You get a bonus Gabe photo, too. From What’s 4 Dinner Solutions:

I used the multi-pot to cook up a big batch of Bourbon Beef Stew (recipe here) for dinner guests. I sauteed the beef in the multi-pot, along with the onions and then added the remaining ingredients and used the soup/stew feature to pressure cook for 20 minutes. I then used the slow-cooker feature to let it cook for the rest of the day.

I have been using potato starch in lieu of flour for gravies and thickening. It makes for a satin texture and I really like it. Bonus, gluten-free.

The bread was not gluten-free and we had two loaves of it. Using this recipe and my new KitchenAid.

Sure looks like someone nicked a cookie before I got my photo

And for dessert, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here) – again using the new KitchenAid. I’m enjoying it and can’t wait for the big Christmas cookie baking session in December.

Bonus Gabe supervising the cooking:

I am not cooking Thanksgiving this year (though there still seems to be a 12lb turkey in my freezer). I’ll be traveling instead. That means I will have time on Sunday to put up a post with some Thanksgiving recipes, links to many more and be around to answer any pressing recipe questions.

Have I mentioned I love Thanksgiving?? Also, I know we are going to have 52 different versions of beef stew in the comments, claiming to be the best. So let me say this now, “Yes, yes, yours is the best, what were we all thinking with our inferior offerings?” 😎

What’s on your plate this weekend? Open thread.








Recipe and Baseball Open Thread

I promised you guys a recipe last night. Here it is. I have a wood pellet grill, but you can adapt it to a gas grill or oven easily.  Temps would be the same.  I would probably use olive oil or butter on the chicken before rubbing on the spices with either of those methods to keep it juicy.

I am seriously going to start a new cooking blog – it will have one simple recipe. Take item, season lightly with seasoning of your choice, cook on wood grill to appropriate temperature. Serve and enjoy the deliciousness.

Nothing has turned out badly on the new wood grill . Tonight’s roast chicken is no exception.

I’d been reluctant to cook a whole chicken because I’d never done one on a grill before. I doubt I would have tried it without the ability to control the temp and use a plug-in thermometer.

I seasoned the chicken with a flavor packet inside and rubbed the outside with crystallized lemon, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.

Inside, I added 5 cloves of garlic, 1/2 of an onion and a seasoning packet filled with Black Seed*, fresh basil and more poultry seasoning. If I’d had a fresh lemon I would have added that to the cavity, as well.  To make the seasoning packet, I just use an unbleached coffee filter and twist it shut.

I preheated the grill to 400 degrees F, added the chicken and then reduced the heat to 350 degrees. I cooked it until the breast registered 165 degrees, about 40 minutes.

It was crisp on the outside and completely juicy on the inside. Probably one of the most perfect chickens I’ve ever roasted.

*I just discovered Black Seed and I’m obsessed with it. Added a nice, mellow flavor to the chicken.

ETA: 100% Black Cumin Seed

Amazing Herbs Whole Black Seed™

I’m watching the Red Sox/Astros. What are you up to tonight?ba








Sunday Night Open Thread: Ropa Vieja For Tortilla Bowls

I haven’t been in the mood to cook much this summer…but occasionally something is pretty enough to post


I love ropa vieja salad bowls. I made two big batches the past few weeks in the Multi-Pot electric pressure cooker. The second batch, pictured above, I forgot the onions. Not sure how I did that! I thought about putting grilled onions in after the fact, but that would have meant more cooking. I always omit the olives, no mistake there.

For whatever reason, and you can probably deduce from my minimal posting the last few months, but I’m really off cooking. The best I do each week is either grill up a bunch of things one night or make large batches of something in the multi-pot and serve it over rice or lettuce for the next few days. It’s not necessarily pretty, but gets us through the week, along with the fresh veggies that are abundant. We are just about out of corn-on-the-cob season, and I’m sad.

Meanwhile, I’m so not in the cooking mood, that is a store-bought tortilla bowl. Which I never do, it’s so easy to make your own.

Ropa Vieja

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 lbs chuck roast, round roast or flank steak
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped or pureed (1 can crushed tomatoes substitute)
  • 1/4 cup green olives (oh, so very optional)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh leaves)
  • 1 tsp salt (more if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (more if desired)
  • cilantro for garnish

In the pressure cooker, heat oil and brown meat on all sides. Add remaining ingredients (except cilantro…and in my case, olives). Check your electric cooker guide, I cooked mine on the meat setting for 1-1/2 hours. I let it depressurize and then shredded the beef with a fork.

You can also use the slow-cooker method and slow cook for 8-10 hours.

Serve with tortillas, over rice or on a salad. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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How are you spending your holiday? I will have to work some, but will definitely get out with the dogs for a nice long hike.

Open thread








Sunday Afternoon Open Thread: A Little Meeca Update

Scamp Dog responded to my inquiry about Meeca with this cute video of her talking to him:

I made a few items from my garden bounty this week – Pickled Jalapeno Relish and Fresh Salsa (recipes here)

I’m off to rescue the backyard from a couple weeks of neglect. I’ll try for pet pictures later. Also, I heard some requests to start up the writing threads again…so I’ll put on my list of things to do.

What’s on your plate this afternoon?

Open thread.

ETA: since I had to pull this to post later, you get this cute otter video someone shared on my FB page. Looking at Youtube – seems to be a common occurrence. Otters seem to like to hitchhike on kayaks. Oh and one baby seal. LOL

 








Recipe: Electric Pressure Cooker 4-Minute Potato Salad

I have a house full of people. I’ve sent them off to the movies to cool down. It is uncharacteristically hot here this week. I’m having a whole-house attic fan installed, but it wasn’t a rush because I wasn’t expecting an unprecedented number of 95-100 degree days. So we sweat.

Luckily, I did buy the new grill/smoker, so meals have been a breeze. Yesterday I decided since I dug up potatoes, we needed potato salad. And since I have a Multi-pot electric pressure cooker I could do it without heating up the house.  For something I was so skeptical about originally, I’ve found I use it multiple times a week.

Photo of course by JeffreyW. Yum

Here’s the recipe I used, but you could easily adapt it to your favorite potato salad recipe if you have an instant pot style cooker.

At the last-minute yesterday, I decided we needed potato salad at our cookout. Luckily, electric pressure cooker to the rescue.  Four minutes cooking time, about 10 minutes prep. I left potatoes and eggs in the fridge to cool while we ran around. Added mayo, mustard, some dill pickle juice just before dinner and served with grilled hamburgers and corn. Yum.

Perfect Picnic Potato Salad

  • 6 large potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • mayo and yellow mustard to taste – I used less than a cup of mayo and about 1/4 cup mustard – but I know some people like a lot more. I added a 1/4 cup of dill pickle juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add the steaming basket to the pressure cooker. Add cubed potatoes (and you don’t need to be too fancy with cutting the pieces – just relatively same size for uniform cooking). Place washed eggs on top of the potatoes. Close the unit, set to steam for 4 minutes. When finished, use the rapid release method to ensure eggs don’t over cook and potatoes stay firm.

Add eggs to a cold water ice bath. Remove potatoes and drain excess water. Add to large serving bowl.  Peel eggs, wash and cube. Add to potatoes. Let cool completely before mixing so as not to turn the potatoes into mush.

Once cooled, add remaining ingredients and fold until well mixed.  Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 easily

Open thread!








A Late Snack: Caramel Swirl Cake

I made a caramel swirl layer cake with salted caramel ganache for Mother’s Day brunch last week.

I adapted the white layer cake recipe from Epicurious, which you can find at this link. Or use your own preferred white cake recipe. The adaptation was swirling salted caramel ganache into the cake batter before putting it into the oven.

Salted Caramel Ganache

8 ounces of caramels (If you have a recipe for caramels you like and want to do the work, then make them. If there is a for purchase caramels that you like, then save yourself some time and effort and buy them.)

8 ounces of heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Kosher salt to taste

Place 8 ounces of caramels in a mixing bowl. Scald the cream and vanilla extract and pour it over the caramels. Because caramels don’t melt like chocolate does, place the mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water as a double boiler. Let the scalded cream sit on the caramels in the double bowler till the caramels are soft enough to whisk the hot cream into, then whisk them together to make the ganache. Add kosher salt to taste, or if you like your caramel unsalted, leave it out. I won’t call the food police. Swirl the caramel ganache into the cake batter after it has been poured into the cake pans and then bake per the recipe’s instruction. They should look something like this:

Once the cakes are done and cool, make another batch of caramel ganache and set it aside until it comes to room temperature. Then whip another 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream till you get stiff peaked whipped cream. Fold the room temperature caramel ganache into the whipped cream to make caramel mousse.

Turn the cake out onto a round, then frost the top of the first layer with mousse. Place the second layer on top, then frost the top of that and the sides of the whole cake. Then place in the refrigerator. Make one last 1/2 batch of the caramel ganache – just 1/2 everything in the recipe – and let it cool to room temperature. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and pour the ganache over the top and smoothing it out over the top and the sides with a spatula. Then sprinkle the top with kosher salt or whatever your preferred finishing salt is.

 

Then slice and enjoy!

Stay hungry!

Open thread.