Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Turkey Stock

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

This is adapted from From Julia Child’s Kitchen, by Julia Child.

    The turkey giblets (neck, heart, and gizzard – save the liver to add to the stuffing or for another use)
    4 T cooking oil
    1 c chopped onions
    1 c chopped celery
    1 c chopped carrots
    1 c dry white wine or 2/3 c dry white French vermouth (optional)
    2 c chicken stock (or water)
    Water
    Salt
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 tsp dried thyme or few sprigs of fresh
    Several sprigs of fresh parsley (optional)

Remove the package of giblets from the turkey and wash them. Chop the neck into several pieces, quarter the gizzard, and halve the heart. Dry on paper towels. Set the liver aside for another use.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, stir in the giblets, and brown them rapidly on all sides. Don’t let the oil burn. Remove the giblets and stir in the chopped veggies. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and let the veggies cook for 5-8 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat, and let them brown slightly, stirring.

Return the giblets to the pan, add the wine, stock, herbs, salt, and enough water to cover the ingredients by an inch or so. You should have a total of 4-5 cups of liquid. Simmer partially covered for 1-3 hours. (Julia says 2-1/2 to 3 hrs, but you can get a good stock in an hour.) Add more water if the liquid evaporates too much. You want to end up with about 3 cups of stock in the end.

Stain, discard the giblets and veggies, allow to cool, and store the stock in the refrigerator. Use for moistening the stuffing, making the gravy or adding to a Turkey Soup made from leftovers later in the week.

Cornbread

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Adapted from The Greens Cook Book by Deborah Madison. This is a non-sweet, coarsely-textured cornbread with excellent flavor.

    1 c white flour
    1 c cornmeal
    2 T sugar
    2-1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1 c milk
    2 T melted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 8″ x 8″ baking pan.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the milk and butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir just enough to combine – about 15-16 strokes. Overmixing causes the cornbread to be tough. Pour into the buttered pan and bake until the corn bread is firm anda toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Total time: about 45 minutes. This is the ideal cornbread for turkey stuffing.

Roast Turkey – Need to Know

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

This information is adapted from Julia Child’s book From Julia Child’s Kitchen. Another good source of turkey basics is the National Turkey Federation.

Buying the turkey (and thawing it if it’s frozen):

Buy your turkey from a meat market or grocer who is serious about providing high-quality food. If possible, buy a fresh (unfrozen), organically-raised turkey with no added brine, water, butter, etc. Read the label, because sometimes turkeys are injected with stuff to plump them up.

Frozen turkeys are okay too, but you must defrost them completely in the refrigerator before cooking (this takes a minimum of 3-4 days to accomplish). If the price on the frozen turkey is really low, it’s probably last year’s bird that’s been stored for a year – don’t buy this. To defrost a frozen turkey, leave it in its wrapper in the refrigerator until it’s fully thawed. Then unwrap it and pull out the package of giblets in the cavity. If they’re still frozen, so is part of the turkey. You can finish thawing at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Don’t leave it at room temperature for more than a couple of hours. An alternative way to thaw the turkey is to put it, still wrapped, in a sinkful of water. It will take at least 12 hours to thaw. (It’s safer to do it in the refrigerator.) Frozen turkeys spoil more rapidly than fresh ones, so you have to be ready to roast it within a day or so of thawing.

Stuffing or not?

An unstuffed turkey is easy to prepare for roasting and can be prepared for roasting the day ahead. The bird will cook faster, the breast will be juicier because it is less likely to overcook, and a handful of aromatic vegetables trussed inside the cavity will flavor the meat nicely. Julia Child likes to do the stuffing separately, but I think the stuffing tastes so much better if it’s been cooked in the bird, so I always stuff. She bakes the stuffing in a covered casserole in a pan of water and bastes it with the roasting juices.

The Steps to Turkey and a Timetable

4 days before roasting:

    1. Thaw the turkey if it is frozen. See above.

The day before roasting:

    2. Make a Turkey Stock from the giblets (if you are using a frozen turkey, it will need to be thawed first). This will take 2-4 hours. Do this the day before you cook the turkey.
    3. Make the stuffing. Prepare the chopped vegetables and herbs and the dry ingredients the day before. This entails making a loaf of coarse-grained non-sweet bread (you can buy this) and a recipe of a coarse-grained, non-sweet Cornbread. (Don’t use a box mix or buy pre-baked cornbread at the grocer – these will be sweet. Making cornbread from scratch is really easy – you can do it.) If you are a bread baker, you’ll have a recipe. If you are not, buy a rustic loaf. I prefer white bread, but a whole grain bread is fine. Be careful that your bread isn’t sweet – most commercial whole grain breads seem to be. Making bread takes 3-4 hours. Making the cornbread takes about an hour or so.

On the day you’re roasting and serving:

    4. Prepare the turkey.
    5. Roast the turkey. See below for a timetable.
    6. Make the gravy while the turkey rests out of the oven.

Roasting Timetable (charts from the National Turkey Federation)

For unstuffed, moderately chilled turkeys roasted at 325 degrees

8-12 lbs: 2-3/4 to 3 hours
12-14 lbs: 3 to 3-3/4 hours
14-18 lbs: 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours
18-20 lbs: 4-1/4 to 4-1/2 hours
20-24 lbs: 4-1/2 to 5 hrs

For stuffed, moderately chilled turkeys roasted at 325 degrees

8-12 lbs: 3 to 3-1/2 hours
12-14 lbs: 3-1/2 to 4 hours
14-18 lbs: 4 to 4-1/2 hours
18-20 lbs: 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 hours
20-24 lbs: 4-3/42 to 5-1/4 hrs

Add a buffer of 20-30 minutes to the times on the timetable plus 20-30 minutes for the turkey to rest out of the oven before carving.

If you have a meat thermometer, you can use it to fine-tune the cooking times. Remove the turkey from the oven when the breast meat registers 170 degrees and/or the thigh meat registers 180 degrees. The turkey is done when the legs can be wiggled in their sockets.

Banana Walnut Bread

Friday, September 10th, 2010

This recipe was written for a food processor. Directions for mixing by hand or with a mixer are in parentheses.

    2/3 c sugar
    1 t lemon juice
    6 T (3/4 stick) butter at room temperature, cut into 6 pieces
    1-1/4 c mashed ripe banana (measure by squishing banana chunks into measuring cup)
    1 large eggs
    1 c walnut meats
    1-1/3 c all-purpose flour
    1 t baking soda
    3/4 t baking powder
    1/4 t salt

Adjust oven rack to center position. Butter and flour a 6 cup ring mold or large loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With metal blade in place, add sugar, lemon juice and butter to bowl of food processor. Process until well mixed, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides with a spatula. Add banana and process until well mixed, about 35 seconds. Add eggs and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Add walnuts and pulse on and off. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together; add to work bowl. Pulse on and off only until flour disappears.

(If you’re doing this by hand or with a mixer: Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and mix some more. Stir in banana and lemon juice. Beat eggs and add to mix, stirring well. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Stir into mix, mixing only until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Stir in walnuts.)

Transfer batter to prepared mold or pan and bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes for ring mold and 1 hour and 15 minutes for loaf pan.

Makes 1 cake or loaf.

Ms Katie’s Tea Scones

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Thank you Ms Katie! We have eaten thousands of these.

    2 c sifted flour
    2 T sugar
    3 t baking powder
    1/2 t salt
    1/3 c unsalted butter
    1 egg, beaten
    Approximately 3/4 c milk

To make by hand:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
3. Chop/cut in the butter until it’s the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
4. Add egg and three-quarters of the milk. Stir quickly and lightly. Add more milk if needed to make a soft dough.
5. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead about 15 times.
6. Pat dough into a round shape about 1/2″ thick. Cut into 8 wedges.
8. Glaze with more beaten egg if desired
9. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

To make in food processor

1. Put dry ingredients in processor and run processor until well mixed.
2. Cut cold butter into approx. 1/2″ cubes and add to processor. Pulse three or four times until butter is about the size of grains of rice.
3. Combine egg and about 5/8 c of milk and add to processor while it’s running. Stop processor as soon as ingredients are moistened. If you mix it longer, dough may get tough. Dough will be very sticky.
4. Turn dough out onto generously floured surface and knead lightly 12 times.
5. Pat into a 1/2″ thick round, cut into wedges and bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Hints:

1. Use unsalted butter. Decrease the salt if you use salted butter.
2. Add enough milk to make a very moist dough. The scones will not be as light if the dough is dry.
3. Handle dough as lightly as possible so the you don’t activate the gluten in the flour.
4. A pastry scraper is a great tool to cut the scones – just press the edge straight down into the dough. A knife sort of tears the dough. They taste just as good either way.
5. Use an insulated cookie sheet if possible to avoid burning the bottom of the scones. No need to grease it.
6. Check scones after 10 minutes. If they are brown, they are done. Some like them better slightly underdone than overdone.
7. Preparation time is 10-15 minutes. Total time start to finish is 20-30 minutes.

Homemade granola

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Here’s a fabulous recipe for granola, from Sarah Leah Chase’s Nantucket Open-House Cookbook, with my notes in brackets:

Homemade Granola

9 cups old-fashioned rolled oats [1 1/3 box]
4 c shredded coconut [one bag – sweetened is fine]
1 1/2 cups whole hazelnuts [You can vary the nuts. I have used all sliced almonds, part almonds & part pecans, chopped instead of whole hazelnuts, etc.]
1 1/2 cups slivered or sliced almonds
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates (optional) [I’ve never added these.]

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. [I have had better luck at 350 degrees. Depends on your oven.]

2. Toss the oats, coconut, hazelnuts, and almonds together in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. [Do it in a large bowl. Plus, you will need an 18 x 13-inch baking pan or two 13 x 9-inch baking pans, not one, for baking.]

3. Whisk the honey and oil together in a small bowl. [You need a medium size bowl.] Pour over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. [Hands work a lot better.]

4. Bake, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon, until the mixture turns a nice even golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. [Sometimes it only takes 15 minutes, so pay attention. A spatula works better for turning the granola. Also, stir and turn it over every 5 minutes from the beginning and every 2 minutes once it starts to brown. You don’t want it to burn or get too brown.]

5. Remove the granola from the oven and stir constantly to aerate the mixture and keep it from sticking together, until the granola is cool. Stir in the golden and dark raisins and the dates, if using. Other diced fruits, such as apricots, figs, and prunes, can be added or substituted if you want. [Apricots get too hard after it’s been stored a day or two.] Store the granola in an airtight glass canister or tightly wrapped earthenware bowl. [Will keep quite a while.]

Makes about 18 cups. [This is a lot. You can halve this recipe and still get a lot.]

I like to eat this plain or mixed with plain yogurt. It’s pretty sweet and definitely not low-fat, but it’s YUMMY!

Macaroni and cheese

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

Time for some comfort food. I’ve tried a number of recipes for one of my favorites, macaroni and cheese, but always come back to this basic recipe. As with any project, use good quality ingredients for the best tasting result – organic butter and whole milk, fresh flour (King Arthur is the best), and great tasting cheese.

Serve this with a nice salad of tender lettuces and baby leafy greens and a balsamic vinaigrette and a cold glass of orange juice!

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mustard or up to 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (optional)
  • A few shakes of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 10 oz. extra sharp cheddar (I like Cracker Barrel New York Aged Reserve Extra Sharp White Cheddar, in the black wrapper)
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add about 1/2 T. of salt to the water, then cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Be sure to stir the macaroni from time to time so the pieces don’t stick together. Drain off the water.

While the water is coming to a boil and the macaroni is cooking, heat up the milk (on the stove or in the microwave), but don’t let it boil. Grate the cheese coarsely (a food processor with a grater disc works fast for this).

Melt the butter over medium-low heat, then stir in the flour with a whisk (this is called a roux). Turn the burner down a bit and let the roux bubble a few minutes (continue to stir) to cook the flour a bit. Don’t let it brown. Stir in the hot milk all at once, stirring vigorously with the whisk to smooth out any lumps. Whisk in the mustard and cayenne if you are using them and let the sauce bubble gently for about 2 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the stove and stir in the grated cheese. Stir until it is melted, then add salt to taste. Stir the cheese sauce into the cooked macaroni and taste it again to see if you need more salt or a grind or two of black pepper.

You can eat it as is, or you can put it in a baking dish, sprinkle more cheese or some buttered breadcrumbs* on top, and bake it for 20 or 30 minutes at about 375 degrees. The baked version is less creamy and has a crusty top.

Serves 4-6.

*Buttered bread crumbs: Heat up some butter in a small skillet, stir in the crumbs, which you make from good quality bread. Forget about the pre-made crumbs from the grocery store, they’re no good.

Chicken stock

Monday, March 6th, 2006

If you cook, you need chicken stock. It’s the basis of many soups, sauces, and other dishes and an ingredient used in cuisines all over the world. But all chicken stock is not the same. To get a good chicken stock, you can’t just pick a can off a shelf. You have to make it yourself and you have to make it from the best ingredients. It really makes a difference.

Chicken stock is, then, much like design. Both are basic and both require the best ingredients. To achieve a product or process that works and doesn’t create harm, you must design it right. To know how to design it right, you need a thorough design education, quality materials, and time for creativity.

As a student, I’m building up my design pantry. I’ve got the chicken stock down pat.

Here’s my recipe for chicken stock:

    Chicken Stock
  • 1 whole fryer, preferably organic free-range
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, washed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters or eighths
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves or a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • About a Tbs of salt (to taste)

    Remove any giblets from the chicken’s cavity and wash the chicken well under cold water. Wash the neck and giblets too if you want to add them to the pot. Some cooks don’t like to add the liver, but I don’t think it matters.

    Combine all ingredients, including the neck and giblets, in a deep stockpot and add enough cold water to cover the chicken by about 1-1/2″. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and slowly simmer, uncovered, about 1-1/2 hours or until the leg feels really loose when you wiggle it and the meat is tender.

    Pour the stock through a strainer into a large bowl or pot. Taste it and add more salt if necessary. That’s your stock. Use it now, or seal it in containers and freeze it for the future.

    Let the chicken cool until you can handle it, then pick all the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones and anything unappetizing (give this part to your dog, but never any bones!). This is easier if the chicken is still warm than if the meat has completely cooled. Now you have several cups of wonderfully flavorful cooked chicken to use in another recipe or freeze for later.

Ideas for the chicken: chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, creamed chicken on toast, chicken sandwiches, chicken and rice casserole, etc.

Adapted from my mother’s recipe. Happy Birthday, Dani!