Monday, November 18, 2013

Herbed Gravy

We like this with our herb roasted Thanksgiving turkey!

Herbed Gravy

2 cups of turkey drippings, most of fat removed
1/4 cup white wine
1 large shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. rubbed sage or 1 T chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 T fresh thyme
1 to 4 T arrowroot starch (or potato or tapioca starch)
olive oil
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, saute shallot and garlic in a little olive oil until golden brown.  Add white wine, all but 1/2 cup of the turkey drippings, and herbs and bring to a simmer.  Add arrowroot starch to the reserved turkey drippings and stir to dissolve.  Using a whisk, slowly add the starch mixture to the saucepan, stirring until thickened.  How much starch you use will depend on how thick you like your gravy to be - 1 T will be more like au jus and 4 T will be be thick.  I use 2 T.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Maple and Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce

This recipe doesn't have any spices in it (histamine problems!), but if you do fine with them you can add in cinnamon and cloves.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

24 oz. fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup water

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Keep stirring to prevent burning on the bottom.  Cool and then refrigerate.

Brined Turkey

If you are cooking a farm raised, pastured turkey this Thanksgiving you'll notice it's a bit drier than the supermarket ones, no matter how much you baste.  That's due to no injections of moisture holding solutions!  To make your turkey moister, you can brine it before you put it in to roast.

Brined Turkey

2 1/2 gallons water (you can sub 1 bottle of white wine in for that amount of the water if you have a wine you like - I use Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc for this)
1 1/2 cups kosher flake salt
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (or 4 quartered lemons if you have them)
8 sprigs of rosemary
8 juniper berries, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 T peppercorns

Before you begin, decide what you're going to put your turkey in!  If it's not too large, you may be able to get it and the brining liquid in a very large stockpot.  I use Ziploc X-tra large bags - Amazon carries them here.  

In a large container, mix 1 1/2 gallons of the water (sub the wine in here if you're going that way) and all the rest of the ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Rinse off the turkey and place in your brining container.  This is where I put the open back in my largest stockpot.  Put the turkey into the bag and add the brining mixture.  It really helps at this step to have another person helping so they can hold the bag upright!  Add additional water until the turkey is completely submerged.  Seal the bag (or cover the container you're using) and put in the refrigerator for 1 to 1/2 days - and yes, brining time is a matter of personal preference!  Some people would never dream of brining a turkey for longer than half a day and others don't consider it done before 2 days.  You have leeway!  

I also use packing tape to hold the bag upright above my stockpot as in the photo below.

Rinse and dry off before roasting with your usual recipe.