I realized I hadn’t posted my roasted garlic technique yet and it is one of my favorite things. It is so delicious and versatile. You can add it to any dish you’d use plain garlic in and it’s even great smeared on toasted baguette.
a whole head of garlic
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Trim about 1/4 inch off of the top of the garlic. Place on foil square and drizzle olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and wrap foil around garlic head. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle before using. Squeeze near bottom of head to remove cloves from skins.
I am finishing up on some Christmas gifts and made a few seasonings today. One of which is a lemon pepper seasoning. This will be great on fish or chicken; actually I can’t really think of anything it wouldn’t be good on even vegetables would be delicious with this combination.
1 Tbs lemon zest ~ dehydrate if making ahead
1 Tbs black peppercorns
1 Tbs french thyme
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
In spice grinder combine lemon zest, peppercorns, and thyme until desired size. Combine with remaining ingredients and use as seasoning for your favorite foods.
I keep seeing stories and recipes for flavored salts. I thought I would give a few a try; today I went for a cilantro lime combination. I made it when I was ready to use it so I didn’t worry about the moisture from the lime zest or cilantro; I do think I will make a batch ahead and dry it out though to see if it hold the flavor as well as the fresh did.
2 tsp fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp lime zest
In herb grinder (I used a coffee grinder I picked up just for these herb salts) combine all ingredients and grind together. This made the perfect amount for the pound of fish I was fixing for dinner. Very green color and it imparted the flavors into each other very well. I wouldn’t have expected this much difference between grinding everything together and just using each on its own but it definitely made a great flavored salt. I can think of so many things this would be good on or in! Can’t wait to use it again.
Part of the greatness of a homemade Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers if you ask me! I love turkey sandwiches the next day and I could eat dressing all of the time. Here are a couple of different things I did with our leftover turkey and sides last week.
Sauté mushrooms in olive oil until desired tenderness. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through. Check for flavor; season as needed ~ assuming your gravy and such was flavored well to begin with you likely won’t need anything else at all! This would be great over rice but I decided to fry up some dressing patties to go along with instead.
I simply took some of the left over dressing and pressed it into patties; this probably wouldn’t work with a dry stuffing but a sticky moist dressing is perfect. Fry for 3 – 4 minutes each side in some olive oil until browned and heated through.
My other favorite of the week was of course a turkey sandwich. This year I added some cranberry sauce and a little dressing to the usual bread, mayo, and turkey…. yummy!
Start the night before; make citrus seasoning and rub all over dry turkey. Refrigerate turkey uncovered overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle a bit of paprika on turkey and if desired place some rosemary sprigs, a quartered onion half and a lemon sliced in half inside the cavity.
Place turkey in oven; reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Begin baking for 25 minutes. Meanwhile combine apple cider, orange and lemon juice, butter, and paprika; bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Baste turkey after 25 minutes; continuing to baste every 25 minutes or until turkey is done. Cover with foil when skin starts to brown; I think we’d cooked about 50 minutes when we covered ours. We roasted ours about 3 1/4 hours which was right in line with the recommended times from one of my trusted cookbooks; others suggested it would be ready as quickly as 2 – 2 1/2 hours. You’d be looking for 165 degrees in the thigh area and clear juices. Try to let it rest for 30 minutes before carving; this helps to ensure a juicy bird!
With Thanksgiving approaching I think I shall share a few of my turkey dinner ideas. We are making a turkey dinner tomorrow so I will begin with the rub we are trying out. We decided to go with a lemon, orange and thyme combination after seeing a few different recipes and articles.
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
2 Tbs coarse salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
Combine all ingredients. Pat turkey dry and rub all over tossing any extra inside the cavity. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
We are using a 14 pound turkey and this made enough rub for one turkey. In the morning we will set it out for about an hour before baking. I will continue the recipe tomorrow once we get this turkey roasted!
I decided I’d roast some jalapeno but I didn’t feel like firing up the grill so I thought I would find out what my broiler could do. Not bad results; I didn’t really end up with the same charing you get from a charcoal fire, but still great results. It adds a new depth of flavor when you roast the jalapeno instead of just adding fresh to salsa or any dish you choose.
Turn broiler on and place jalapeno on foil.
Broil for 5-8 minutes or until skin starts to blister and slight browning occurs. Flip over and cook other side for 4-6 minutes until blistered as well. Place in ziplock bag and let rest for about 5 minutes to finish softening skin. Remove as much skin as possible and dice or slice to use in your salsa.
Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
3 roasted jalapeno
1 medium – large tomato
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
Chop tomato ~ I used an heirloom tomato from my garden so my salsa will be yellow, but very tasty.
Dice roasted jalapeno.
Season with lime juice, salt and pepper; mix well before serving.
I used boneless skinless chicken breast ~ in this instance I used two chicken breast so the recipe would need multiplied out to make as much as desired.
To poach the chicken add chicken breast to hot skillet with about 1 cup of water. I went with rosemary for flavor; add 1 tsp rosemary and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes, flip chicken over and cover with lid. Continue cooking 5 more minutes. In 10 minutes you will have perfectly poached chicken. Remove from skillet and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Cut and shred into desired pieces.
I love vanilla beans. Probably one of my favorite discoveries. I remember trying straight vanilla extract as a kid and how wonderful it smelled yet tasted terrible.
A couple of years ago I got my first vanilla beans. They aren’t cheap, but neither is good vanilla.
There are a few things to know and to do with vanilla beans. For starters there is no waste. If using in a recipe you will procure the seeds but the remaining pod is full of flavor and likely still brimming with seeds so there is plenty to do with it.
As a general rule an inch of vanilla bean is equal to a teaspoon of vanilla. Of course as with any spice it will vary by quality. In bean form though you get a very good product to work with so use accordingly.
The easiest way to harvest the seeds is to cut to desired length and make a slit down the middle. Using a dull knife or spoon scrape the seeds from the bean and add to recipe.
Now what to do with the rest of the bean. I personally keep a jar of vodka with all of the bean remnants; I use that anytime I just need some simple vanilla extract for a recipe. You can though add the bean to some sugar for some vanilla infused sugar or simply toss into a potpourri mix. What ever you do; don’t thow it out! There is so much good flavor and smell left that you really should enjoy every last bit.
There isn’t much better than fresh from the garden corn on the cob this time of year. It really is best freshly picked or at least eaten within a few hours of picking. Setting even overnight diminished the flavor which is why that corn on the cob from the grocery store never really hits the spot. Around here a variety called Incredible is the best most versatile type. It is sweet and delicious fresh and also freezes well cut of the cob for great corn all winter long if you are lucky enough to have some left. There are some other great varieties too but this one is alway good.
I’ve found a couple of ways to cook it that we really enjoy. First is the old water bath like mom used to do. It is quick and easy and gets great consistent results.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place as many ears in pan as you can comfortably fit and cover with water and bring pot back to a boil about 3 minutes. We used to cook it 5 minutes once we placed the corn in the pot but really I think just returning to a boil and maybe a few more seconds does the trick beautifully.
The newest way I’ve discovered to cook it is to grill it. Now I’ve seen all the techniques of leaving the husks on, pulling out the silks, soaking in water ….. but I’ve found shucking the corn and rinsing off then grilling over hot coals for about 10 minutes gets the corn nicely cooked and the sugars evolve in a way you really don’t even need butter. It will however need to “steam” for a few minutes so I like to place mine into a gallon plastic bag or a covered bowl for 3 – 4 minutes before serving to really bring out the flavors and equalize the heat.