KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: How Not to Cook a Turkey....
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
This is the Bristol, Madame...
Cocktails, Please! Bay Area
United States of Arugula Event 11/30
Holiday Gifts for your Food-Loving Friends
Crepes: A Day Off Activity
Hold the pie, pass the cannoli
Party by the Book
Heart of the City Farmers' Market, Sunday
Baking Classes: Caramel As A Subject
Thanksgiving Round-up
 
 
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
 
Saturday, December 02, 2006
How Not to Cook a Turkey....


If you didn't get your fill of what the French consider a very "bizarre bird" and have a hankering to roast up another turkey over the holidays, here's what not to do...

My Paris flatmates, John and Pierre, announced a few months ago that this year Thanksgiving was going to be in San Francisco and some of their closest French friends were flying in for the week to experience this crazy American tradition up close and personal. Naturally I couldn't pass up this opportunity so I hopped on United, San Francisco or bust. Actually it was "bust" coming back to Paris but that's another story that requires copious amounts of martinis, but I digress...



We didn't get started cooking until about 3pm (so much for our 4pm start time) because we first had to do a few things... such as scour the oven. At some point in the wee hours of the previous morning, someone decided it would be a good idea to go crazy with the oven cleaner. Not such a good idea in the light of day. Then Pierre popped and poured some champagne and announced that we could now begin cooking.



So a frantic scramble ensued to make the cornbread muffins for the stuffing, prepare the glaze for the turkey, get the cranberries going, prep the sweet potatoes and green beans, and make appetizers that would last 6 hours until dinner! I made my standard go-to app that I learned at Farallon: toasted brioche (round Hawaiian rolls in a pinch), topped with smoked salmon and a dollop of lemon creme fraiche to calm the hungry crowd.

The stuffing was finally ready so we filled up the turkey, rubbed olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika on the turkey, and - drumroll...here is what NOT to do - glazed the turkey. I should have waited until there was about an hour left of cooking. I wasn't thinking. I was tired, frazzled, exhausted from waking up at 4am from jetlag, a bit tipsy from the bubbly and distracted by all the hilarity going on around me that I just slathered that bird with abandon and sent him on his way.

An hour later, I checked on the turkey and it was charred, completely burned black. I wanted to cry. I was distraught. All that work and I ruined the turkey. ARGH! Pierre kept telling me it was OK and filling my champagne glass. John, who'd just emerged from a nap, had a clear head and the smart idea to baste it, cover it with foil and turn down the oven. So we did and continued to cook it for another few hours. I was still inconsolable.



Flora made the cranberry sauce with sugar, orange juice, orange zest and fresh grated ginger. There are no cranberries in France so this dish was most intriguing. So much so that Pierre decided they would be exponentially better mixed with vodka. They hijacked half my bowl of cranberries, pureed them and made cranberry martinis! Amen and pass the ice. When life hands you cranberries, make cocktails I say! As long as it diverts attention from the charcoal lump of a turkey...



Pierre snipped the ends off mounds of green beans while I cut up the sweet potatoes and chiffonade'd the sage. A quick toss in some duck fat and it was good to go in the oven. The green beans I blanched, then sauteed and tossed with toasted sliced almonds and crumbled Roquefort. I was praying everyone would be so enamoured of the rest of the meal they wouldn't notice the cardboard dry turkey meat. When it was time to take it out, I cringed, dreading the inevitable.





John kindly helped me pick off the charred skin and, to my absolute disbelief and joy, underneath the skin was the most moist, juicy, delicious turkey I'd ever made! I've only made two but you know what I mean. The charred skin must have formed an impenetrable seal that kept the turkey from drying out. It was delicious and I was estatic! I didn't ruin the turkey after all so more champagne was poured and toasted. I brushed a little more glaze over the now-naked turkey and around 9:00pm, we finally served to our French friends a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. Ok, I brought French wine from Burgundy....all in the name of fostering Franco-American relations :)



We were so hungry that we dispensed with prayers and sharing things we were grateful for and dove right into the meal. Dessert was a berry crumble that I learned at one of my first cooking classes at HomeChef. It's the best crumble recipe I've ever had anywhere, ever. We lumbered to the couches in the living room where I promptly fell asleep. Happy Thanksgiving! And if you still want to make a turkey for Christmas, now you know what not to do!

Le Menu de Thanksgiving



Champagne Veuve Cliquot

Saumon Fumee sur Brioche Grillee avec Creme Fraiche Citron



1999 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "La Garennes"

Haricots-Verts avec Amandes et Roquefort



Patates-Douces avec Sauge et Grasse de Canard



Cranberry Sauce



Dinde Roti Farci



Dessert de Crumble de Fruits Frais
(I was too tired to take pictures at this point...)
----------------------------------

Les Recettes - The Recipes
The turkey, glaze, cranberry and stuffing recipes I adapted from Shiela Lukins' "Celebrate!". That, along with her "New Basics", are my first go-to books when I need inspiration.

Cornbread Stuffing



1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin mix. Yes, a box mix, spare me the flame mail. When you have 3 hours to pull together an entire Thanksgiving dinner, you do what you have to do. Cook the muffins according to the instructions then crumble them into a bowl.
1 head celery, small dice
1 large onion, small dice
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons butter
1 package of mild Italian sauages, casings removed, sauteed, broken into bits
1 cup Swansons chicken broth

1. Saute the celery, onions, parlsey until opaque

2. Add cherries, apricots and butter and combine



3. In a large bowl combine sausage and cornbread and add in the celery-dry fruit mix.



4. Add the broth slowly mixing as you go. Don't let it get soggy, add just enough to moisten it.




The Deadly Maple Ginger Glaze



Olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
grated zest of 1 orange

1. Heat a sauce pan with olive oil and add onion, ginger and garlic

2. Cook, stirring, until onions are opaque

3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil

4. Simmer and reduce for 10-15 minutes until thick and syrupy

5. Let cool.


Orange Ginger Cranberries



2 pounds of fresh cranberries (2 pounds was about 2-1/2 bags so rather than have a half bag of cranberries that I would never cook again until next Thanksgiving, I just threw in 3 bags, turned out fine)
4 cups sugar
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
zest from 2 oranges
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1. Comine all the ingredients in a large heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until the berries start to pop open, about 10-15 minutes.

2. Skim the foam off as they are cooking.

3. Let cool and serve as a side dish

note: you can also puree some of this, strain it, combine in a cocktail shaker with vodka and ice and have your self a fabulous martini!


Charred, Burned, Torched Turkey a la Laura



1 turkey
stuffing
glaze
oranges cut in 1/8s
1/2 bottle white wine

1. Wash and dry the turkey



2. Coat outside and inside cavity with olive oil, salt and pepper (and paprika on the outside)

3. Fill the cavity with stuffing



4. Place the oranges around the turkey in the pan

5. Add white wine to the pan

6. DO NOT glaze the turkey yet like I did below in the picture or it will burn (trust me on this one!)



7. Baste every 20 minutes with the wine and juices in the pan

8. Wait until there is about 1 hour left, brush the glaze on the turkey, cover with foil and finish cooking.

Bon Appetit!
 
 

2 Comments:

Blogger Amy Sherman said...

Wait, where's the berry crumble recipe?

12/07/2006 9:35 AM

 
Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

hi amy - since i didn't have a picture of it, i didn't want to post a bare recipe. I'll cook it soon and post, promise :)

12/16/2006 5:26 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
 
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
 
Tasty Food Sites
CHOW
Chowhound SF
Crushpad
CUESA
CulinaryCorps
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Epicurious
eGullet.org
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
KTEH Food
Leite's Culinaria
Locavores
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
 
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
agoodfoodblog
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Blogsoop
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Digesty-SF
Eater SF
Eggbeater
Extramsg.com
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
Gastronomie
Hedonia
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Jatbar
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
MeatHenge
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Nosheteria
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
Spicetart
The Amateur Gourmet
Tablehopper
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Vinography
VirgoBlue
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
 
 
   
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
 
Food Books
 
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
 
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
 
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
 
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
 
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
 
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
 
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
 
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
 
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
 
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
 
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
 
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
 
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
 
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
 
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
 
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
 
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
 
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
 
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
 
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
 
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
 
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
 
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
 
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
 
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
 
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
 
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
 
 
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
 
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
 
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
 
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
 
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
 
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
 
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
 
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
 
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
 
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
 
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
 
ChocolateChocolate
by Lisa Yockelson
 
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
 
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
 
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
 
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
 
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
 
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
 
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
 
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
 
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
 
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
 
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
 
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
 
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
 
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
 
 
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
 
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
 
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
 
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
 
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
 
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
 
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
 
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
 
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
 
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
 
Bouchon
by Thomas Keller
 
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
 
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
 
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
 
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
 
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
 
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
 
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
 
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
 
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
 
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
 
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
 
 
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.