Saturday, December 5, 2015

Brine and Fry Your Holiday Turkey!

This Thanksgiving my wife and some friends and I decided we wanted to fry a turkey as we have heard it was delicious... however, being the guy that doesn't take the easy way out of a holiday meal, I decided I would brine the 14 lb-er before going for the fry.

Below are the ingredients of the dry brine mixture used:
1 1/2 cups of large grain salt (preferably white, but you can do pink, black, whatever)
2 TBS of garlic (3-4 cloves depending on size)
2 TBS of black pepper corns (or whatever pepper corn you think will add a good flavor to your turkey)
1 TBS orange rind

Now, mind you, a 14 lb turkey is an average size guy that really doesn't require all that much seasoning. 14 lbs is also the limit for the 
turkey fryer I bought. So if you are able to get a larger pot and a larger turkey, you'll have to fiddle with the amounts, but for us it was just right. The other thing I did to release some of the flavors was that I crushed all the ingredients together in a sandwhich bad. This made the brine pretty strong and thus the taste of the turkey was very perceptible. These fryers actually use peanut oil that I actually got from Home Depot, but you can click here for a link too. Don't use another kind of oil!!!! They don't work! Many of the giant turkey fire bombs you see online or on TV are caused because people opt for a "cheaper oil" that boils at a lower heat and causes a lot of splatter. DO NOT DO IT!

Here is a video of us frying the turkey:

I have to say, be sure to follow instructions given to you in the set that you get to fry your turkey! If you are hesitant at all about whether your turkey will fit without the oil spilling over, TAKE IT OUT. Also, we all know that water and oil don't mix well. In this case, that goes double! Any water or non-thawed piece of turkey will basically explode in the pot so... THAW THAT TURKEY! Don't take any risks at all with this, it just is not worth it! That being said, this was one of the best tasting, most flavorful turkeys that I have ever made. Very great experience and one that I will certainly do again.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product...




Friday, January 16, 2015

My take on Anne Burrell's Focaccia

Recently my wife and I were gifted a beautiful square Wilton baking pan.   I decided that I should attempt a focaccia with this new pan and had time yesterday to look for some recipes. I found one by Anne Burrell on Food Network and I thought it looked like a great place to start.

Here is her recipe:

I decided to take this recipe and add my own twist to it. I added some spice with red pepper flakes. I also replaced 1/2 cup of the extra-virgin olive oil with Lesley Elizabeth Dipping Oil with rosemary and sea salt flavor added. The dipping oil was on sale at our local market and has been one of the most pleasant surprises of my recent baking purchases. There are several different flavors and I would suggest it to anyone who loves baking and eating great breads!

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (you can mix this in with the bread or you can sprinkle it on top)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Lesley Elizabeth Dipping Oil (flavor of your choice)