Category Archives: Holidays

curing corned beef

With assists from Michael Ruhlman and The Spice House, I began curing a brisket this past Saturday for St. Patrick's Day on Thursday.  I used Ruhlman's recipe, which calls for corning spices and curing salt (a.k.a. InstaCure #1, Prague Powder #1, pink salt, or by its chemical name: sodium nitrite), both of which I got via mail order from The Spice House in Chicago.  It's essentially a long, slow brine, so you have to know ahead of time that you want to do this.  I almost didn't have enough time Read more [...]

[recipe review] dry-brined turkey

Just to recap, I followed the advice of Russ Parsons (Food Editor of the LA Times) and dry-brined the turkey.  The process began on Monday afternoon with the application of 3 TB kosher salt (Morton's) to a 16 lb. fresh, free-range turkey.  Double-wrapped in plastic bags (no leaky turkeys here), it was flipped and turned around and around for a couple of days until I pulled it out on Thanksgiving morning. I made an herb butter with fresh sage, thyme, and unsalted butter and smeared it underneath Read more [...]

turkey time twenty-ten

Last year it was brined and high-temp-roasted.  The year before it was brined, air-dried, and spun around and around on the rotisserie.  The year before was my first year on the rotisserie; I burned the turkey because I hadn't figured out how to configure the burners on my gas grill.  (Turns out when you have a front-to-back three-zone grill you leave the middle one off.) This all goes to support the fact that, for a fairly traditional family, I'm given a lot of leeway with turkey techniques. Read more [...]

happy thanksgiving!

I've just returned to the world of food blogging after a couple of months off.  Anyway, I'm back just in time for Thanksgiving, the #1 eater's holiday of the year.  For starters, I'll link to some of my past Turkey Day recipes: the turkey is in the brine... mulled wine cranberry sauce ginger glazed carrots lemon garlic veggies (green beans, broccoli, etc.) maple cornbread spiced pumpkin bread As I looked over this list, I realized that I have never shared my recipes for stuffing Read more [...]

drying the turkey (but not "dry" turkey)

The turkey, she's a beaut -- 18 pounds of heritage-bred fowl, she's safely tucked away in the refrigerator, air drying in order to ensure crisp skin along with the juicy, flavorful meat that will occur as a result of a day-long soak in brine.The plan is to slather her in butter and use the roasting method called for by Cook's Illustrated magazine.We traditionally roast our bird early and let it come to room temperature before we eat dinner. This frees up the oven and gives my mom and I a chance Read more [...]