Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey Brine

This recipe is enough for a 6lb turkey scale accordingly (see end of recipe). I got this recipe from my friend Kerry Ann. She is the owner of Cooking Traditional Foods - A wonderful traditional foods weekly menu mailer.

3 qts Water
2 C Apple Juice
4 Oranges, quartered
2 Lemons, quartered
1 C Kosher or Sea Salt
1 C Rapadura, Sucanat or Sugar
1 Tbs Black Peppercorns
4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
4 Bay Leaves

Warm enough water to dissolve the salt & sugar. Cool to room temp and add in remaining ingredients. (squeeze citrus to release most of the juice as you are adding it) Place all into a non-reactive container like a stockpot. Rinse the turkey and place into the brine. Cover and Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 12+ more than 24hrs.

If you need more brine, be sure to use 1/2 C salt and 1/2 C sugar for every additional gallon on water needed to cover the whole bird. This ratio is what makes it penetrate and get so moist and flavorful.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spicy Steamed Shrimp

Tonight was my 2nd daughter's B-day....she turned 8. At our house you get to pick what you want to eat all day on your birthday.

For dinner she wanted Spicy Steamed Shrimp, Buttered Brown Rice, Broiled Asparagus, Raw carrot sticks and fresh orange slices. Not bad choices....not sure I would have put these together. But it was a wonderful meal.

The shrimp was REALLY good so I wanted to get down what I did...since it doesn't match anything on paper. :)

Spicy Steamed Shrimp

1 1/2 C Stock (Shrimp, mild chicken or veggie) or Sub with water.
1 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 stick of butter, 8oz
3 tsp Sea Salt
6 Tbs of Old Bay Seasoning
3lbs of Shrimp, deveined shell on

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Add shimp, stir gently to coat. Cover: Steam until pink, usually less than 5 minutes. I did stir twice during the time to coat well. I think necessary because my pan was taller than it should have been. They needed to be coated more.

Serve Immediately.

I served on a platter with a little sprinkle of old bay on top.
Serve with sides pf clarified butter, lemon and homemade cocktail sauce.

Don't toss the sauce from the is wonderful over some steamed rice!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our Thanksgiving 2009 Plans

This year I am doing most of the cooking but not at my house at my in-laws. I am trying to do everything possible ahead of time. The day of will be at their house...which is not baby/kid friendly with my 5 kids! So...not easy. I have planned lots of activities (see bottom) to do with the kids while the turkey is cooking to keep them busy and not overwhelm Grandma & Grandpa with our presence.

I am only cooking for 12 this year so I am not making very many sides/extras. 12 really is easy since I cook 3x's a day for 7 :) This is certainly not the most TF/NT thanksgiving plan but it is what works for our family especially feeding extended family who don't eat just like we do. I am happy when I get them all to drink homemade egg nog :)

Most of these recipes are the same that I use year after year. I do make changes often (my copies are well worn and written on....if I have time I will type these up with my changes. Nothing big...just a little more TF and using fresh whenever possible)

We will be arriving in the late morning so I am bringing our brunch with us and eat shortly after we get there.

Caramel Apple Breakfast Casserole
Orange Citrus Salad - Just basic fresh oranges, tangerines and grapefuit with lots of raw honey on top.
Fresh Orange Juice - we were blessed recently with fresh oranges of a friend's (neighbor's) tree. :) Nothing better than picking them yourself.

Spinach Dip in Pumpernickel Bread Bowl
Relish Tray
Cheese Ball and crackers
Deviled Eggs - I use the recipe straight out of NT
Spiced Walnuts

Turkey & Sides
Turkey Brine
Maple Riesling Turkey
I use Kerry Ann's recipe for the Brine and then Martha's Turkey recipe...hence the 2 different links :)
Mashed Potatoes - Brittany's specialty...lots of cream, butter & cream cheese!
Turkey Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole w/Marshmallows - MIL loves....I can't make I let her buy it :)
Fresh Green bean/Wild Mushroom Casserole
Oyster Cornbread Dressing I will use my homemade cornbread recipe and homemade chicken broth.
Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Bread This is not soaked but so good. I use fresh pumpkin and sucanat. I have a soaked recipe but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

Apple Cinnamon Spiced Iced Tea
Coffee & Cream
Apple Cider
Homemade "Raw" Egg Nog

Caramelized Pear Cheesecake
Pineapple Upside-down Cake - This is a specialty by my daughter Brittany.
Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie I use fresh pumpkin and raw yummy! be added won't let me type anymore...think....turkey crafts, apple bobbing, thanksgiving trivia and coloring pages.