Buttermilk-Marinated 1/2 Turkey with Caramelized Onion Gravy – Trial Run

Buttermilk-Marinated 1/2 Turkey with Caramelized Onion Gravy – Trial Run

About 2 weeks ago whiles cooking, I was turned and asked Lyn, I wonder how turkey would be marinated in buttermilk. I had used butter milk with many of my chicken dishes and always love the results, tender and juicy. So why not Turkey, let’s try it for Thanksgiving. She smiled and said that is a good idea but I hate to try an experiment on that day why not try it first. I personally feel she was secretly hoping I would get discourage and go with a beef tenderloin roast. I did not. I “Googled” turkey and buttermilk and was surprised that others had beat me to it, I was not the genius I thought.  Armed with their ideas we marched to Wholefoods because they were the only ones who had a half turkey before the big day. With half a turkey and a quart of butter milk in my arms I was happy as live turkey after thanksgiving something new to try.

Ingredients:

  • Half (1/2) fresh or thawed frozen turkey (about 6-7 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to rub the turkey with
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Touch of gravy master

How:

Wash and pat dry the half turkey. Place the turkey, breast side up, in an oven-roasting bag.

Add the hot sauce, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper to the buttermilk container; shake to combine.

Pour the buttermilk mixture over the turkey. Seal the bag, transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate, turning the turkey over once, for at least 4-5 hours. I suppose you could do it over night.

Remove the turkey and pat dry inside and out. Rub the skin with 1 tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Tuck the wings behind the back of the turkey. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Roast, basting once with the pan juices, for 1 hour. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and roast, basting every half hour, until an instant-read thermometer registers 155 degrees when inserted into the thigh, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more. If the turkey is over browning, tent with foil. Remove from the oven, tent and let rest for 30 minutes.

Gravy

While this is cooking

In a large pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat, add optional butter. Add the onions, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and browned until caramelized, about 35-45 minutes. Add the flour cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Stir in a touch of gravy master. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve the gravy with the turkey. I was lazy but a nice touch might be to blend the end results together.

Note: The skin was nicely colored, crisp and tasty the meat was really juicy and tender even the breast.

****************************************************************************************************************

Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left over from churning butter from cultured or fermented cream. Traditionally, before cream could be skimmed from whole milk, the milk was left to sit for a period of time to allow the cream and milk to separate. During this time, naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria in the milk fermented it. This facilitates the butter churning process, since fat from cream with a lower pH coalesces more readily than that of fresh cream. The acidic environment also helps prevent potentially harmful microorganisms from growing, increasing shelf-life. However, in establishments that used cream separators, the cream was hardly acidic at all.

Pork with Pineapple

Pork with Pineapple

Never really understood coupons, always seems that they are for something I do not use. Switching to another brand just because I can save 20 cents made no sense, will I like it, and back in the day will the kid eat it. Don’t get me wrong I am not against using them for something we already use that would be foolish. Then there are the coupons that print out when you are checking out, you know the ones they are counting on you to forget about or leave at home. Save $7.00 on your next order of $70 or more. Can’t tell you how many times we have forgotten about them until we see them on the counter at home, after shopping. Why can’t they just add it to your non privacy store card and automatically deduct it, makes more sense to me.  Better yet why not get rid of those cards all together and give us lower more reasonable prices. So back to my point, we had one of these coupons and remembered it but had to go around finding things that we use to get the total up to take advantage of the coupon. We did it but one of the things was a buy one and get one free package of center cut boneless pork chops. I am still on the fend for myself diet so I figure I could put them to good use.  I decided with the suggestion from my wife that I could slip each chop and make cutlets. I know that the loin in the better cut for this but one makes do with what they have. So split and pound I did.

I made the following first and then some pan fried cutlets for salads and other meals.

Ingredients

  • ½ small pineapple or 1- 15oz can unsweetened pineapple.
  • 8 oz. of pork cullet slice thinly across the grain
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornflour
  • 1/ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Light soy sauce
  • 2 Tsps. Sesame oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 6 Spring Onions, slice
  • 1 green or red bell pepper cut into bite size pieces
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish.

Sauce:

  • 2 Tsps. Cornflour
  • ½ cup pineapple juice (either juice from other half or can).
  • 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce.

How

Skin the pineapple, clear all the eyes, and cut lengthways into triangles wedges. Trim away the core then cut across into slices.

Pound the pork until very thin and slice thinly across the grain

Toss Pork in a mixture of cornflour, salt and pepper until well coated.

Add soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic to pork and mix well

Heat peanut oil in wok or fry pan, add pork and fry just until the color changes. Add pineapple, bell pepper and  red pepper flakes reduce heat cover and simmer about 3 minutes. Give the sauce a quick stir and add to pork and stir until thicken, toss in spring onions and mix thoroughly. Spoon into serving dish.

Sauce: Add pineapple juice gradually to cornflour, mixing until smooth. Stir in soy sauce.

I prefer fresh pineapple rather than canned.

This can also be made with Chicken instead of pork, works well some might say better.

8 Healthy Facts About Pineapple

English: Pineapple on its plant, Costa Rica De...

From Webmd.comPineapple Discovery

In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus found pineapples on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean. The fruit is also native to southern Brazil and Paraguay.

Pineapples in Colonial America

American colonists regarded pineapples as a luxurious treat because of their rarity and cost.

Pineapple Anatomy

A pineapple is the result of many flowers whose fruitlets have joined around the core.

Pineapple Nutrition

Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that may help arthritis pain by reducing inflammation. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system.

Pineapples in Hawaii

Some of the largest pineapple crops are in Hawaii, which produces 500,000 tons of the fruit each year.

Pineapple Selection

Pass over sour-smelling or bruised pineapples. Fruit from Hawaii or Central America tends to be freshest.

Pineapple Care

To make your pineapple softer and juicier, keep it at room temperature for one or two days before cutting.

Pineapple Calories

One cup of pineapple has 70 to 85 calories.

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

From Cooks Illustrated with minor Steve tweaks

Why this recipe works:

A classic Italian antipasto, foraged wild mushrooms are rich with earthy flavor. The right combination of bright acidity, heady herbs, and the nap of a fine olive oil should pack each bite with a punch. When we developed our marinated mushroom recipe, we liked cremini and white button mushrooms for their flavor and availability. Crowding the mushrooms in a 12-inch skillet generated, at first, an alarming amount of liquid; cranking up the heat, however, reduced the liquid down to a potent glaze with concentrated mushroom flavor.

Skillet size limits the yield of this recipe; if you would like to double it, cook the mushrooms in two separate batches but marinate them together. Thyme, parsley, or basil makes a good last-minute addition—use only one, however, not all three.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil , *plus 1 tablespoon for finishing
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt (Steve tweak not much of one they use table salt)
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms or white button mushrooms, cleaned, left whole if small, halved if medium, quartered if large
  • 2 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon for finishing
  • 1 medium clove garlic , sliced very thin
  • 1 large shallot , chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
    • I have some dried shallot around because I usually forget to grab one at the grocery store in that case use about ½ the call for amount
  • 1/4 small red bell pepper , chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 sun dried dried tomatoes minced (Steve tweak)
  • *Zest of one lemon (Steve tweak)
  • *1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves (see note)
  • Ground black pepper

How

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add mushrooms and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice; cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms release moisture, moisture evaporates, and mushrooms have browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Spread mushrooms in single layer on large plate or rimmed baking sheet; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. When cooled, transfer mushrooms to medium bowl, leaving behind any juices. Stir garlic, shallot, and bell pepper into mushrooms, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 6 or up to 24 hours.

*Combine the olive oil, lemon juice thyme and zest in small jar cover and set aside. I shake it once in a while just because I see it.

Before serving, allow mushrooms to stand at room temperature about 1 hour. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, thyme and zest and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper just before serving.

Marinated Mushrooms prep  Marinated Mushrooms cooking
Marinated Mushrooms marinated  Marinated Mushrooms serve with cornbread, turkey burger and snap pea salad 

Per Serving:
Cal 110; Fat 9 g; Sat fat 1.5 g; Chol 0 mg; Carb 4 g; Protein 2 g; Fiber 0 g; Sodium 55 mg
Lyn’s Blueberry Oatmeal pancakes

Lyn’s Blueberry Oatmeal pancakes

Sunday morning the newspaper, waffles, pancakes or even eggs and bacon what could be better? We have made these plenty of times before each time the memory never lets us down. With this much oatmeal, you can expect it to be pretty hardy. Two of these fills me up for most of the morning but I cheat and have a third they are just so good. I caught Lyn sneaking another this morning, at least she did not put pepper on them she is a pepper head after all.   You can cook the entire batch then freeze them, separated by parchment or wax paper and warm one for a quick breakfast of breakfast for supper.

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp. powdered buttermilk and 2 cups water or milk  you can substitute with 2 cups real buttermilk
  • 1 ¾ cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ½  cup oat flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

Warm maple pancake syrup

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ to ½ cup frozen blueberries.
  • Chopped walnuts

How

Mix together all ingredients in a blender let stand in frig for a short while or if hunger plow ahead.

Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a drop of water skates over the surface and lightly grease. Pour about a ¼ cup for each pancake onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, the edges are dry and the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn once, cooking the other side until golden, about 1 minute. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200° oven until ready to serve.

To make the warm pancake syrup, combine the blueberries in a small saucepan or microwave-proof bowl. Heat

Serve immediately top with chopped walnuts.

Makes 6-12 pancakes

Lyn's oatmeal pancakes ingredients

Double click to enlarge pictures

   Lyn's oatmeal pancakes pulse to mix   Lyn's oatmeal pancakes let's eat

Reality check

Reality check

I am trying to see how I am doing, so far just a few comments not that I expected hundreds this early on or ever, and I am just overwhelmed that I have 67 followers between Facebook and my blog I could not imagine when I began that anyone would be interested in what I cook or write about.

I am learning things everyday about writing recipes, taking pictures, cropping pictures the list goes on….

I need your help.

What I am looking for is how am I doing, any suggestions, what might you like to see, what improvements would you suggests, what should I stop doing? I have so many recipes that I don’t prepare any more but they were/are good, should I share those? I could go on but I won’t….

I am asking is that if possible, would you could you make the comments on the blog site not Facebook, I know it’s an extra click and wait but hey it’s for a friend right. Use the comment section at bottom of recipe and let me know what you think. Exchange ideas to try. Rate the dish if you tried it, there is the “Rate this” section below the Title then others might think to try.

But most importantly I encourage you to enjoy cooking and eating and watching for that smile on someone’s face when they take the first bite and shake their head.

Thanks so much!

Fried Chicken Szechwan Style

This is a dish that I usually cook on bachelor night since Lyn feels there might be too much oil. Steam some broccoli or asparagus for a side dish and you are good to go. Fairly easy and uncomplicated and for me…. I just like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs. of boneless chicken breast or thighs

 Coating

  • 2 Tbsp. corn flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ teaspoon five spice powder

 Sauce

  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 2 tsps. chinese wine or dry sherry
  • Extra ¼ tsp. five spice powder
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

 Thickener

  • 2 tsps. Corn flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water

Cooking

  • ½ cup peanut or other oil for frying. You could use less oil if you wanted that keeps my wife happy.

 Spice

  • 15 dried red chilies, seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tsps. Finely chopped fresh ginger.  Fresh is best but I always have some whole ginger in the freezer
  • 3 scallions, cut into 2 inch long pieces (white and greens).

How:

Cut chicken into bite size pieces (sometimes partially freezing make the cutting easier)

In a plastic bag mix together the corn flour, salt, and five spice powder. Shake to mix. Add chicken and shake to coat.  Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess corn flour mixture and place chicken aside. This can be done in a glass bowl instead of a plastic bag that keeps my wife happy.

In another bowl mix together chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, wine, ¼ tsp. five spice and pepper together.

In another small bowl mix the corn flour and cold water.

Heat the oil in a wok and when VERY hot add chicken pieces, in 3 batches and fry on high heat tossing to brown all over.  Batches allow the chicken to cook rather than steam if oil gets to cool. Allow the oil to heat up again between batches. Place each batch on absorbent paper towel that are on a dish or tray so counter does not get all oily, ok ok I learned a lesson way back when.  When all the chicken has been fried pour off all but about 2 Tbsp. of the oil.

With the exhaust vent on add the chilies, garlic and ginger and fry until the garlic and ginger are golden and the chilies turn dark. Does not take long.

Add the scallions and toss a few seconds then add the stock mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the corn flour mixture again to mix smoothly and add to the pan, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens. Add the chicken and toss to coat and heat through.

Serve immediately with steam brown or white rice.

Twist that I have done over the years

  • Added fresh red or mix color peppers or substitute just peppers for chilies, a milder dish
  • Left the chilies seeds in for a spicier dish
  • Add unsalted peanuts or raw cashews

Spicy Blue Potatoes & Corn Salad.

I wondered why I open the lower frig draw and saw blue or purple potatoes, I’m color blind can’t tell the difference, was Lyn hinting she wanted something different, was she challenging my adventurousness? Then she came to me and said those words I have heard so many times before, “Do you think you could make this?”(from  Isa Chandra Moskowitz). Sure no problem but what will we have with it, soon there was a trip to the meat market and a steak, pork chop and a couple of pounds of ground sirloin later we were headed back to our kitchen. Who would have thought a few potatoes could lead to a trip to the Meat House. New butcher shop we found via LivingSocials so we decided to try it we will compare to Wholefoods quality. Forget about what we have in the freezer this called for fresh meat.

Serves 6

Prep 20 minutes

Total time includes cooling about 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of corn  ( about 2 ¼ cups of frozen kernels)
  • 3 Pounds Blue potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
  • 3 table spoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 canned chipotles, seeded and mashed into a paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Adobe sauce from the chipotles can
  • 2 tsp. of grape seed oil (I did not have grape seed oil, so olive oil for me)
  • 1 tsp. light agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic grated or minced very fine
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans. Drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion (I did not have red onions but had shallots so I used them)1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro mixed greens for serving. Smoked paprika (optional)
  • ¼ red bell pepper finely chopped (Steve tweak)

How

Prepare your steamer while you prep the veggies.

First steam the corn about 5 minutes if on cob, about 2 minutes if frozen kernels. Remove the corn from the steamer put aside to cool.

Place the potatoes in the steamer and steam for about 7-8 minutes until tender enough to pierce with a fork, but not falling apart.  Remove and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, preparing the dressing.  Note: I usually just put the ingredients together in a bowl eyeing the measurements but decided to take a picture hence the little bowls that Lyn got me a while back for prepping. In a small mixing bowl stir together the vinegar, chipotles, adobo, oil, agave, water, and salt. Grate in the garlic or add the minced garlic.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, place in a larger mixing bowl pointy side up. Steve Hint: I like to place a small cup or bowl bottom side up inside the bowl and place the flat side on the cob on the bowl bottom making a stand. This makes it easier to run you knife along the corn cob removing the kernels from the cob. Break apart separating kernels. If using frozen corn then all that is done already isn’t it.

Fold in the cooled potatoes, pinto beans, red pepper and red onion (shallot).

Add the dressing and toss to coat. Mix in the cilantro and taste for salt.  You can add the paprika now to taste if you want. Chill until ready to serve on top of some mixed greens

Steve tweak: Instead of steaming the corn on the cob I would grill on the BBQ that would add a smoky flavor and sweeten up the corn little.

Of course everyone has thier own idea of what a handful of or a pinch of is.

1/3 cup. How do I measure up to you?

Patti sent me a chain letter the other day, normally I would have just hit the delete button but it was from Patti so I looked. The jest was to send a recipe to the next person on the list and then remove that person and add yourself to the bottom (only 2 people to start with). After doing that you were to send the starter email out to 20 of your friends. I bought into it (sorry guys) and gladly sent out a recipe. Well this started a conversation going between my brother, sister and myself about measurements. “I can’t send a recipe because I don’t measure anything”. I will admit I understand where they were coming from although I start with a recipe on new things I quickly move away with a handful of this, a pinch of that and a half palm full of ….eyeballing I guess is the best way to describe. My first try I measure as the cook says, I figure I should at least taste what they created.  I like to talk about what I made last night at to anyone that will listen and sometimes they ask for the recipe. It was not long that before I knew that this much in the palm of my hand was about a teaspoon and a handful was close to a cup of chopped herbs and ½ if crumbs or similar. A small grab and twist of fresh cilantro was about 2 Tablespoon minced…. I think you get the idea. So whether you measure or not and you like to share recipes it does not take long to figure out how your handful measures up. This is not me throwing a guilt trip on them they just got me thinking.

Big Fat Cod potato pancakes

I don’t eat a lot of potatoes these days but every once in a while they hit the spot. Funny we could go weeks without having them and then it seems every night for a week nothing but potatoes with or in the meal. Could there be some sort of vitamin deficiency that causes these potato cravings. I firmly believe that the body will make you crave what it needs to fix an issue.  Yes the rest of the family thinks I’m a little off too.

 

Big Fat Cod Potato Pancakes

Prep 10-15 minutes

Cook 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 lbs cod fillets, cubed
  • 1 Tbps.butter
  • 1 Tbpsgrated onion
  • 1 Tbps chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 Tbps oil for frying (canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, vegetable- all have high smoke point and are good for pan frying)

How

Boil the potatoes in a large pot, remember to start with cold or room temperature water and add potatoes then bring to boil then the outside will not cook faster than the inside. Cook until they are almost tender.

Add the fish to the pot and let the fish and potatoes cook until they are both soft. Drain and transfer into to a large mixing bowl. Add butter, onion, parsley, and egg to the bowl; mash the mixture together. Have some kid fun and mold the patties.

Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat, fry the patties on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

All you need now is a vegetable broccoli sound good doesn’t it? A quick homemade tartar sauce mix mayo, and relish together maybe a few red pepper flakes cause I like the heat.

I think next time we will try with sweet potatoes.

Herb Rub Flank Steak

Herb Rub Flank Steak

I love flank steak you can do so much with it tonight we are trying a stir fry, recipe to come. Anyway this is one of my favorite especially around late spring early summer when my rosemary is growing and calling me to run my hands along a sprig. I just love the smell it leaves on them. We tried many different combinations and came up with this but as I said we like to experiment so send me ideas you think might work.

Herb Rubbed Flank Steak with Sweet Potato Pancake and Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ to 2 lbs. beef flank steak.
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary or 1 Tbsp. dried crushed if your house is too dry and it just never last the winter.
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp. dried, crushed.
  • 3 table Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried, crushed.
  • Yes you should see my deck in the height of the summer.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced about 1 ½ tsp. minced.
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika (try with the different kinds each adds a slightly different kick).
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt.
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper.
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil.

ingredients

How

Trim fat from the meat. Score both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow cuts at 1 inch intervals, set aside. In a small bowl mix the rosemary, marjoram, oregano, garlic, paprika, kosher salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Stir in the oil until combined. This makes your rub.

rub

Divide the mixture roughly by half, spoon mixture over one side of steak and rub in with your fingers. Repeat on the other side. Come on give it a good massage it is a rub.

give it a roob rubbing all sides

I like to wrap it with plastic wrap then put on plate but you can put in a shallow dish unwrapped as long as you can cover it tightly. Place in refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours, got better results the longer I waited.

wrap in plastice wrap

Grilling: Ok I have done both but I mostly use a gas grill but since I am a nice guy you can grill directly over medium coals. Grill 17 to 21 minutes uncovered or until medium doneness about 160° turning once halfway. For gas grill I found preheating grill to high, reduce heat to medium. Place on grill over heat.  And grill as above Ha fooled you, both about the same.

Transfer to a cutting board cover loosely with tinfoil let stand for 10 minutes. To serve, slice very thinly across the grain. Some say across and at an angle you try it an let me know which way you prefer just remember across the grain.

slice and serve (2) slice and serve (1)

Grill Tip:

  • I keep tin foil shinny side down on the grill while preheating this really cooks anything that was left on last time and turns it into easy to remove ashes.
  • Wipe down with veggie oil on a wad of paper towels held by tongs.