Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Turkey - Episode IV - Roasting (Recipe)

Now the final stage, roasting your turkey:
You can say this is the easiest part :D

Since I don't have a meat thermometer, then I will provide guidelines to get the turkey well done without using one. Moreover because we, egyptians, like our meat very well cooked, this recipe will get ur turkey very well cooked. If you don't like that, you might want to follow something like these guidelines.

- some butter (same as from seasoning)

- Put the turkey in a roasting pan, or on the oven rack and put a pan under it to collect the dropping juices.
- cover the seasoned and buttered turkey with a tent of alumunim foil (donot let the tent touch the turkey, this might cause the skin to stick to the tent and tear on removal).
- preheat the oven to 220-230 deg C.
- put the covered turkey in the preheated oven.
- leave the turkey for 40 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180 deg C.
- calculate the cooking time, 40 additional minutes for each kg of turkey, this is the minimum time for cooking. for my turkey it was 40+40*5.6 = 4.4 hours
- for a well done turkey, calculate it based on 50 additional minutes for each kg, for my turkey 40+50*5.6 = 5.33 hours
- now leave the turkey alone for all except the last hour of cooking.
- when 1 hour is remaining, take the turkey out, remove the tent, and paint it with butter. Now put it back in the oven without the tent.
- redo the last step every 15-20 minutes until your turkey looks exactly the way you want.

Guten appetit.

Christmas Turkey - Episode III - Stuffing (Recipe)

Okay, so here you go for the stuffing. Take care that the stuffing has to be ready when the turkey needs it, especially if your turkey was in brine, because right after you take your turkey out of the brine, it starts loosing the water it took in, so better get the turkey in the oven 20-30 minutes after taking it ouf ot the brine.

- 6-8 cups bread, cut into 1-2 cm cubes
- 100 gm walnut
- 100 gm almonds
- 3 big chopped onions
- 2 chopped colored paprikas
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 green apple, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Stock from turkey giblets (boil them for 30 minutes with some salt)
- 2 tbsp dried parsley (substitute 1/4 cup chipped fresh parsley)
- some salt and ground pepper

- Take the bread to the oven on medion-low heat (160-180 deg C) for 10-15 minutes, till dry and golden red.
- roast the nuts on low heat in a pan (without adding any butter or oil). Afte roasing, break them with your fingers.
- melt 3 tbsp butter in a pan and add the onions and the paprika and fry for 10 minutes
- melt 3 tbsp butter in a pan and add the bread, fry for 2 minutes or so.
- add the onions and paprika to the bread, and add all remaining ingredients
- add 1 to 1&1/2 cup of stock, make sure not to make the bread very moist, the bread should be half moist half dry.
- cook on low heat for 10 minutes.

Ready :D

Now you can stuff your turkey, in the cavity, between the skin and the meat, between the thighs and the breast, in the neck cavity or any other place you like.

Christmas Turkey - Episode II - Seasoning (Recipe)

Now time to season your turkey:
- 1 orange
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tsp thyme (za3tar)
- 1 tsp all spice (baharat)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 bay leaves, break it finely with your fingers
- 1 tsp rosemary, break it finely with your fingers
- some molten butter (substitute some olive oil/normal oil for that)

- Rinse the turkey with normal tap water after removing from the brine.
- insert your hand between the meat and the skin (separate them along the way) from the neck and go over the breast, and from the cavity opening and go over the thighs.
- mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
- cut the orange, and juice it all over the turkey, inside the cavity and between the skin and the meat.
- take small quantities of the mixed seasoning and put it between the skin and the meat in the separated places. Also season inside the cavity. You should use half the amount for this.
- Spread the other half over the skin of the turkey from the outside, make sure the seasoning is spread evenly.
- Now you can stuff the turkey if you want.
- the left over from the orange is used to plug the cavity to keep the stuffing in place.
- after seasoning, paint the turkey with molten butter (should solidify when touching the turkey because the turkey should be just out of the fridge).

- You should start with Episode III - Stuffing before even taking the turkey out of the brine. But the actual stuffing comes after most of the seasoning is done.

Christmas Eggnog (Recipe)

Again, one amazing Christmas Recipe, here you go:

(yields 4-5 cups)
- 350 ml cold milk
- 3 cold eggs
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 cloves
- some vanilla (I use 2 packs of vanilla with sugar)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cold whipping cream (substitute 1/2 cup of milk if you don't have whipping cream)
- 3/4 cup dark rum (you can use your favorite alcohol here)
- 1/2 tsp salt

- Separate the eggs, put the whites in a pan and the yolks in another
- Add the salt to the whites, and whisk them, you need continuous, hard, fast whisking for may be 3 minutes. The whites will start to foam, keep whisking until stiff peaks form (lift a litte of the foam with the whisk, it should form a peak, now rotate the whisk, if the peak doesn't lean to any side or move, that's your stiff peak).
- now, add the sugar to the yolks, and beat them till they get a softened butter appearance.
- add the rum to the yolks little by little while stirring.
- add the nutmeg, the cloves and the vanilla.
- add the milk again while stirring.
- now add the egg whites.
- and at last, add the whipping cream.
- stirr for 1 more minute.
- garnish with a little ground nutmeg

And it's ready :D, Enjoy

- after whisking the egg whites, the foam will start to diminish, so if you need to make the eggnog well before serving, then do everything except for whisking the eggwhites.. then 30-20 minutes before serving, whisk the whites and add them to the mixture and you're ready.
- If you are concerned about foodsafety, and/or don't like eating raw eggs, please don't use this recipe.

Christmas Turkey - Episode I - Brine (Recipe)

After this turkey was cooked, it turned out to be very well seasoned till the deepest meat inside. Here's how you go for this:

- 1 cup table salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 bay leaves (wara2 lawra)
- 1 tbsp dried thyme (za3tar)
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 6 litres of cold water

- In a large bucket (more than 10 litres big), combine the salt and the dry ingredients with the water first, and stir well until the salt is completely dissolved.
- Now, juice the lemon and the orange on the water, and then cut the remaining into wedges, then add them to the water.
- Cut the onion into wedges and add all the remaining ingredients to the water.
- Stir well.
- Put your turkey inside, breast side down, and cover the bucket.
- Put the bucket in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours.

- Leaving the turkey for more than 24 hours will result in a little oversalted turkey, do that only if you like your food salty.
- Remember to wash your turkey well before putting it into the brine.
- Remember to wash your turkey well after removing it from the brine.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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