Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble

In keeping with family tradition, I gave my turkey an ironic and worthy moniker. In recent years, the lighthearted, dubious honor has mostly gone to our current president in some form of his name. Our turkey has been "W" and "Bush," and I think even just "George." Sometimes it's named after a political figure, sometimes not, but given this years' intense political climate, we just decided to go with it. We landed on "Joe the Turkey."

Joe was a tricky bird. He turned out pretty well, but I think it was the side dishes that stole the show (maybe I should have named them Sarah Palin!). And I'm usually not one to gloat, but I'm especially proud of how the gravy turned out. I skipped the bread stuffing (served it on the side instead), and filled Joe with onion, carrot, celery, fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, which flavored the bird, but mostly aided the yummy drippings. After Joe was cooked, I tipped him upright and dumped out the juices into the pan, and skimmed out the fat. Then I added turkey stock and brought to a simmer, stirring and scraping the browned bits off the bottom. I mixed equal parts flour with room-temperature butter, and stirred it in to the stock and juice, a little at a time, until thick and creamy.

Here are full recipes for some of the Sarah Palin side dishes:

Recipe for Sweet Corn Soup with Basil Cream:
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups sweet corn off the cob, frozen
  • about 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, leaves torn in half
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Take the torn basil leaves and soak in the heavy cream, crushing and piercing the leaves with a fork. Set aside in the fridge. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and simmer the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper while stirring. Pour in the vegetable stock until the liquid is just covering the top of the corn, and bring to a boil. Transfer the hot stock, onions and corn to the blender and blend until smooth. As you would for any hot soup, leave an opening at the top of the blender and cover with a clean tea towel to absorb the steam. Push the soup through a strainer or chinois. Pour in the cream, making sure not to get any of the actual basil leaves in the soup, and whisk until combined. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables:

  • 2 turnips, peeled and sliced into thick strips
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into thick strips
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the horizontal into thick rounds
  • 1 big shallot, sliced and rings pulled apart, skin off
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Salt and cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the vegetables in a bowl and cover with olive oil, stirring until all are well coated. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Stir, and add splash of balsamic vinegar and tablespoon of brown sugar, and stir again to evenly coat. Spread out the veggies on a roasting pan, and sprinkle salt and pepper over the tops. Roast at 400, giving the pan a few shakes as it cooks. It will take about 20 minutes depending on how big or small your pieces are, but keep an eye on it and remove from the oven when the veggies are caramelized and dark around the edges.


Anonymous said...

How about "all of the above" for the poll? I love the name. Ours was Terrence. Stephen picked the name- I'm not sure but I suspect he was British. Ernie was in BIG trouble when he drained all the potato water down the sink before I could put some into the gravy. The Grandma Pat Pumpkin Pie was a hit. One more piece before bed.
Love, Mom

Veronica said...

Ooooh... potato water. Good idea. Thanks Mom!