Here is the turkey I will be working with this Thanksgiving! It is 14.56 pounds. I have to time its cooking perfectly because I have to cook it for a half hour per kilogram. When it is cooked, I have to let it rest, which will allow it to reabsorb its juices and relax its texture. It is a young turkey, which is ideal because turkeys are at their best flavor when they are young. I look forward to working with this little fellow.
Another Gordon Ramsay recipe I intend to use for Thanksgiving is this apple and cranberry sauce. It will require two herbs and spices I never ate or used before: Star Anise, which comes from Vietnam and China, and Cardamon, which comes from India. These two could not be found in my local grocery store so I bought them online from Amazon. It will be nice to try something new, especially around the holidays.
For those of you who are interested in this recipe, here it is:
15 – 20 minutes
Core, peel and thinly slice 2 apples.
Grate thezest of one Orange and squeeze out the juice.
Place castor sugar, star annisse and cardamon in a heavy-bottom skillet and caramelize.
Add the cranberries and cook until they start to blister and pop.
This year, I will be cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving. I came across this recipe by grand master chef Gordon Ramsay. Even though this recipe is meant for Christmas, I think it will do just fine as a Thanksgiving recipe. It also comes with a recipe for gravy. I watched the video of him cooking the turkey multiple times and it looks divine. My family is super-excited!
For those of you who are interested in trying this recipe for Thanksgiving, here it is:
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Meanwhile, prepare the herb butter. Put the butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley. Mix well to combine.
Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity well with salt and pepper, then stuff with the onions, lemon, garlic halves and 2 bay leaves.
With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both ends of the bird so that you will be able to stuff the flavoured butter underneath it, making sure you keep the skin intact. Repeat with the skin on the legs – from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosening the gap.
Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered. Finally, insert the rest of the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts.
Place the bird in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin. Season well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil. (If preparing a day ahead, cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate at this stage.)
Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for about 2 1⁄2 hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.
To test whether your turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter and remove the parson’s nose, wings and tips of the drumsticks; reserve these for the gravy. Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes; make the gravy in the meantime. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before carving. Serve the turkey with the piping hot gravy, stuffing and accompaniments.
Once you’ve transferred the cooked turkey to a platter to rest, drain off most of the fat from the roasting tray and place on the hob.
Roughly chop the bacon, add to the tray and fry for a few minutes. Chop the onions and lemon and add to the tray with 2 rosemary sprigs and the tomatoes. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then add the turkey wings, parson’s nose and drumstick tips and fry for a few more minutes.
Pour in the cider and boil for a few minutes. Add the juices from the resting turkey and simmer to reduce the liquid by half. Pour in the stock, return to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly. Using a potato masher, crush the vegetables in the tray. Simmer for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced again by a third. Take off the heat.
Strain the gravy through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing down on the solids in the sieve with a ladle to extract as much of the flavourful juice as possible. Add a fresh sprig of rosemary to the pan, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
Before serving, remove the rosemary and reheat the gravy. Coarsely crush the walnut pieces using a pestle and mortar and then tip into a warmed gravy jug. Pour the piping hot gravy on top and serve at once.
Last night, I discovered a new anime called Food Wars, which pretty much embodies my love of both cooking and eating. Some of the recipes looked so good that I wanted to know if they existed in real life. I started with the Gotcha Pork Roast, which was the first epic dish that was presented in the whole series. Over the course of summer, I will be trying many recipes including this one. I found the recipe:
INGREDIENTS: “Pork” Roast:
3 1/2 cubed russet potatoes
3/4 cup finely chopped Eringi mushrooms
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 packs thick cut bacon
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary Baker’s twine
Watercress for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sweet sake soy sauce (to taste)
1/2 cup red cooking wine
2 Tbsp butter
This recipe, as beautiful and complex as it looks, is actually extremely simple! First skin and cut your potatoes up into small cubes and steam them for 10-12 minutes until they are soft and squishy. In a separate pan, saute your onions and eringi mushrooms together with some extra virgin olive oil until the ingredients are golden brown and soft. Mash your potatoes by hand (or with a potato masher) and mix in your sauteed veggies. Prepare your bacon wrap by laying out your bacon strips on a baking pan with tin foil or a baking rack. Create the heart of your dish by molding your mashed potatoes into a loaf like shape. Place on your bacon strips, and carefully wrap the bacon around the potatoes. You’ll need to add strips to the ends and on top to fully encapsulate this beautiful concoction. Use your twine / string to tightly wrap the Pork Roast so it does not fall apart while it bakes. When your done, break up your rosemary into small sprigs and pin it against the string and the bacon wrapped mashed potatoes. Bring your oven to 300 F and bake for 35-45 minutes until your bacon is golden browned. Broil on high for 3 minutes afterwards to make it extra crispy. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce by combining a half cup of wine, sweet soy sauce, and butter in a frying pan and let it all bubble up and combine and reduce. When that’s done, you can pour it directly onto your Gotcha Pork Roast! Remove your pork roast from the oven, cut the string off, pour your reduced red wine glaze on top, and add garnish with watercress. ENJOY!
I underwent a new culinary adventure tonight to gather inspiration for the food of my fantasy world. I got to taste organic honeycomb and strawberry pie, both of which I never tried before. In the early to middle medieval times, the only sweet substance available in most European kingdoms was honey and villages had their own beekeepers. Other forms of sugar would not be available or become an everyday taste until the sixteenth century. In Tudor times, there were custard tarts topped with pomegranite seeds. I could not find that dish anywhere so I had to make do with a strawberry pie. The honeycomb was so sweet it tickled my tongue in a pleasant way though I had to spit out the beeswax once I drained it of honey because I received conflicting advice of whether or not the beeswax was edible. The strawberry pie was coated in a sweet and fruity sauce, the strawberries themselves were plump and juicy, and the crust was crunchy with a slightly buttery aftertaste. Overall, I think these descriptions will come in handy in future works.
I thought of something interesting I could do for my Kaiju story. Because the Kaiju genre was created in Japan, I decided to include some Japanese themes to my story. Just as I gained inspiration for my fantasy series by trying authentic medieval food, I am planning to gain inspiration for my Kaiju story by tasting ramen, rice balls, and sake. All three of these food items are things I have never tried before, but I am thinking of including them in my story and I will require an authentic description of their taste, smell, and texture. I will keep you updated on any further developments.