Posts tagged turkey
Monday, November 12, 2012

thanksgiving turkey 101

thanksgiving turkey 101

Making a Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be a difficult event—or a stressful one. Today, my job is to try to take the scary out of the turkey for you. Believe me, the method I will offer you is far more hands-off than something your mother or grandmother has practiced and I’ll explain why it might be better.

I won’t tell you that this is the only method of making a turkey—that’s akin to saying there’s only one way to fry an egg or roast a chicken. But this has been the method that has consistently worked best for me. Also, I find the science behind cooking to be incredibly fascinating. Ask me about latkes, and I’ll manage to talk about them for an hour-though you might be asleep.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

deconstructed banh mi

deconstructed banh mi

It has been decided that wherever we happen to move after this apartment, our next home has to be within walking distance to a banh mi shop. I know it sounds like a trivial matter, but believe me – it’s not. Andrew agrees, and adds to it a list of foods that must be nearby and excellent: Thai, Indian (something we sorely lack!), Chinese and so on. Before he finishes, I add in Italian, a wine shop, a place we can get good prosciutto and cheese and oils and bread; oysters and bourbon (though not necessarily together), and root beer floats. There needs to be a good book store. And superlative baklava. These are all very important things. And to satisfy all those requirements, it’s pretty certain that we can’t move out of the neighborhood.

Thankfully, this is a conundrum that isn’t so pressing. Yet. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, there’s another book project in the works and a wedding less than three months away.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

turkey sausage and mushroom ragu

turkey sausage and mushroom ragu

Hi friends, it’s been awhile. I’ve miss you and I’ve missed this little space here. To say that life has taken a turn for the busiest would be an understatement. I don’t have ten seconds to myself. What I have been doing, however, is noting some funny things around me lately. Either I’ve grown more observant with the change of seasons, or the universe has grown stranger. Allow me to share.

The other day, as I was walking on my way to Andrew Scrivani’s for a day of cooking and shooting, something I do every Thursday, a dog passed me by and walked into a laundromat called “Klean and Kleaner”. I could say “wandered”, but that would imply an aimlessness; and the manner in which he entered the space was so purposeful and decisive, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was doing laundry and needed to switch it from the washer to the dryer. And then I thought to myself, “Is his doing his laundry or his owners?” I guess I’ll never know. But I have been contemplating the strange name of the shop – it is Klean or is it Kleaner? Or is it just like Alice in Wonderland – curiouser and curiouser?

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

stuffed cabbage

stuffed cabbagge

No one ever tells you this, but the week after you get back from vacation is impossibly busy. For all you know, you come back, relaxed and tan, full of those lovely umbrella drinks, sand in your bag – and then wham, you get knocked down by work and life that apparently had the audacity to go on without you. You return to a full mailbox, bills to pay and laundry to do. I mean, the nerve, right? Shouldn’t the world stand still while you’re exercising your right to a bikini and a beach chair every day for a full week?

hollowing out the cabbagesteaming the cabbage
riceonions & celery

Oh and don’t get me started on the cold. The bone-numbing, soul-sucking, stop-you-in-your-tracks cold. I mean, I can’t even properly describe my dismay. Someone at work mentioned today that New York average temperatures around now were always in the mid-thirties and, well, we’ve certainly dipped below that just about every day. As luck would have it, my flight got into Newark on the same day that security breach took place and the airport was in near lock-down mode. I suggested to the pilot we turn the plane around and got back to Dominican Republic and he gave me a stare. I thought to myself, “Fine, but it’s either this, or an umbrella drink, buddy – you choose.”

stuffingall mixed
lining the potremoving the vein

We’re not even a month into this winter and already I’m whining. I swear, as the years go by the cold gets to me more and more. I complain about it bitterly, but get very little sympathy. Russians are supposed to tolerate these temperatures without so much as a shrug, I am told. But since I’ve not lived in the blustery St. Petersburg winter in over 21 years, I really can’t claim high tolerance for cold weather. Even if you do give me a vodka shot to quell the pain.

how to rollhow to roll
how to rollhow to roll

What I find myself doing, however, is craving Russian food. Badly. I like the heartiness and honesty of it; the way that it fills me up and makes me feel warm as if wrapped in a blanket. A food version of Snuggie, if you will, but far more attractive looking. And for me, in moments like this, stuffed cabbage really hits the spot.

a view from the top

In Russia, we called this dish “golubtsi”, and I’ve heard my Ukrainian friends refer to them as “holubki”. My friend Ryan took it one step further and referred to them as “pigs in blankets” and when I made fun of him and told he confused the name with another dish, quickly proved me wrong. But whatever you call them, they are amazing. In fact, they’re even better in the next few days as flavors develop more, and, if that weren’t bonus enough, they freeze beautifully too. Which is a great asset when you arrive home from the airport at 1 o’clock in the morning, starving and cold. A few minutes of defrosting in a microwave and you have a comforting, warm, soothing dinner. And if my week is busy, I can manage it, because I can have dinner ready in mere minutes, and focus on those other pesky things that took place in my absence, clearing my schedule for more important things like editing vacation photos. Clearly, more of a priority than paying bills.

stuffed cabbagge

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

turkey salad

turkey salad

Minutes after putting down my fork at the Thanksgiving dinner table, I decided that I had had enough of turkey for the rest of the year. It’s anti-climactic, really. I get all worked up for the turkey, slave over it, fuss and ooh and aah, and then – then I eat a few pieces, gorge on vegetarian sides and pig-out on dessert. The turkey, beloved by so many, and myself included, doesn’t get as much affection from me as you’d expect. Just as quickly as I fall in love with it, my interest cools. Can we say flighty food mind?

As unenthusiastic as I was about picking at cold turkey remains, or reheating it, or folding it into a casserole (because I really need to eat more heavy food after my Thanksgiving gluttony, as I undo the top button of my jeans), I get really excited for this salad. For one, it tastes healthy, and if I can delude myself into thinking I’m actually undoing the damage done, I’m a happy camper.

Secondly, and no less important, is that it’s just plain tasty. The crunch of the celery and the onion, combined with the slight sweetness of the apple and refreshing cool of the dill, makes this salad worth making, even if the though of turkey is killing your appetite. Because it doesn’t even remind you of turkey leftovers – it is simply a delicious salad that you happen to make because you have some leftover turkey in the fridge. My friends Paul and Sharon declared it a success and even volunteered their Canon to immortalize the moment as we made this salad at their place and I left my trusty Nikon at home. I’m sorry that this picture is not all that great, but we didn’t have a macro lens or a schnazzy flash to work with and we really did try. But trust me, this salad is a keeper for your post-holiday recipe clipping and requires very little work on your end, something truly valuable in the post-Thanksgiving food-induced coma.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

turkey chili

onions instead of sour cream

Ever since I read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” I’ve been rather preoccupied with eliminating high-fructose corn syrup from my diet, and trying to get my hands on grass fed meat and true free range chicken. Yes, I’ll eat whatever meat is being sold in Whole Foods from time to time, but when I can, I will try to get the stuff from small family farms, and by small, I mean small.

welcome, fall!

In general though, we’ve been trying to decrease the red meat consumption – for health reasons more than anything. And as temperatures suddenly dropped last week and we all felt a fall chill, my mind turned to chili. Everyone marks fall in their own way and for me, nothing signals the change of seasons more than crisp, fall apples (preferably Cortlands) and a steaming bowl of chili. And yes, chili con carne is the traditional way to go, but I’m making a few alterations.

dried poblanos
without planning and in a hurry, canned beans will do turkey for me, turkey for you

And if anything, seeing King Corn this afternoon with KS and his younger sister made me feel a lot more vindicated for abandoning the classic oldie-but-goodie and sticking with something slightly healthier (nevermind the whole Topps debacle). For the record, the film is great and I was (for the most part) engaged and entertained. I’ve learned little new as Michael Pollan has obliged in educating me in this matter, but it did drive the point home yet again – we are what we eat and for the most part, Americans are children of the corn.

oh the goodness!

I have to confess that eating this batch of chili made me realize that I actually prefer the turkey version to its original “con carne” one. I suppose that “chili con gobble” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as “chili con carne” does, but I’ll get used to it – my palate has already.

Since we’re decreasing/limiting dairy consumption in our household, we chose to top our chili off with some chopped onions and added some hot sauce (when do we not). But I think that the most preferred way is to give your generous bowl some sour cream, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and green onions and award yourself with a heaping spoonful!

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