Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Roast a Small Butterball™ Turkey

Small Butterball Turkey™ after Roasting
Prepared November 23, 2013 for a pre-Thanksgiving family gathering. The method closely follows the meat packer's recommendations. Butterball™ turkeys are brined with a salty broth-vegetable oil emulsion, which accounts for the moistness, tenderness, and reliability. DrDaddy's mom always roasted BB's after she stopped keeping glatt Kosher and never served a bad one.
10 to 12 lb Butterball™ turkey, safely thawed, carefully rinsed, pin feathers pulled, cool but not cold, wings tucked under, unstuffed

vegetable oil

2-inch-deep roasting pan
flat roasting rack
Thoroughly pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Position the rack in the lower third. Dry outside of bird with paper towels. Spread vegetable oil generously by hand all over the bird. No other seasoning is needed. Breast up. Fold the neck skin under the bird, and close the vent with a slice of bread to keep the interior moist. Place the pan toward the rear of the oven. Roast undisturbed for one hour. Turn 180 degrees, and return to oven. After another hour, lightly tent the breast with aluminum foil to protect the white meat from overcooking. Return to oven. Remove in 30 minutes and check the temperature deep in the thigh and breast. The recommended internal temperature is 175 to 180 degrees F (about 80 C) but many prefer turkey less well-cooked. They aim for 165 F (75 C). Remove from oven, discard the foil and let cool 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 8 to 10 generously.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Prepared November 17, 2013. Except for the fresh tomatoes, the ingredients are found in most pantries. Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence, a chef on Food Network TV. Can be prepared as traditional or vegan. The roasted walnuts boost flavor and nutrition.
3 medium (about 1-1/4 lb) ripe tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 t salt
1 t sugar
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 t dry thyme
1/2 t dry tarragon
2 T ground roasted walnuts
2 T medium grind bulgur wheat
4 T butter (or vegan margarine)
lemon juice, to offset sweetness in the vegetables
freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat toaster oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Cut the tomatoes into large chunks, and spread them and the garlic and onions onto a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, add the salt and sugar, and toss with tongs. Roast 40 minutes, or until well caramelized, turning twice to prevent burning. Transfer the roasted vegetable to a 2-quart saucepan, add the stock, herbs, and ground walnuts. Bring to a fast simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, remove the bay leaves, and, off heat, puree with an immersion blender. Stir in the bulgur and continue simmering until the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and  black pepper, and correct seasonings to taste. Serves 4.