Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good friends, good food... and a dwarf turkey?

If you've been following my blog you know that some friends and I had a 100 mile Thanksgiving.
Some of you asked for recipes so here they are.

Vegetable stock (for the stuffing and butternut squash soup)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 large leek, washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, trimmed and quartered
1 turnip, trimmed and quartered
2 tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
6 parsley sprigs
6 peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 quarts water
(all the veggies were from the Saturday Green Market at McCarren Park or Union Square Green Market)
In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Partially cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add additional water if necessary. Cool stock and strain. Discard solids (or puree them like I did and search for a new recipe. you know I can't discard anything). Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Use extra leeks as pom poms like Josette did here - cheering on the meal

Apple and herb stuffing
8 cups 1-inch bread cubes, sourdough bread
3 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 large)
2 small apples, unpeeled, cored and large diced
1 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the bread cubes on a 13 by 18 by 1-inch baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 7 minutes.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onion, apples, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, until the mixture is soft.

Combine the bread cubes and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and add the chicken stock, and almonds, if desired.

Place the stuffing into the main cavity of the turkey (or chicken?).. Cook poultry with a meat thermometer at 350 degrees F until it reaches 180 degrees F.

Now here's a funny story. Or at least I laughed. So I went to the Greenmarket first thing on Wednesday morning. I had intended to make turkey breasts. When I got there, they had no turkey breasts. But they had small turkeys (or at least turkey looking things) sitting up front. So I had a whole conversation with the farm guy about how to cook a small turkey. He said a clay pot would work just as well as a roasting pan. And I'm certain I used the word turkey at least once in conversation. When I arrived home I looked up online how to cook a turkey. The one that I bought was 4 pounds. There was nothing listed for a 4 pound turkey. The smallest one was a 6 pound turkey and supposedly that was small. It dawned on me that it could be a chicken. Well, at least it was local, organic, and well cared for. So when my friends arrived I told them the story and they all thought I was a little goofy, and we all studied what we were now referring to as "churkey" and no one knew definitively what type of bird it was. We figured when we tried it, we'd be able to tell, but not so. It tasted like turkey. I called my dad to see if he'd ever heard of a dwarf turkey variety and he said "well, honey, anything is possible." So I considered calling the farm, but in some ways it might be better not to know.
I stuffed a mixture of chopped onion, parsley and sage under the skin and basted with butter. Then baked until the churkey reached 180 degrees.

Up next is our unexpected churkey apple gravy.

Apple Gravy
This gravy was, we'll call it unique. I think the recipe I found on Food TV miswrote the amount of apple cider to add. It called for 2 to 3 cups. I think it meant 2 to 3 tablespoons. Unless they intended for it to be served as a beverage. I added a cup of apple cider to our pan drippings and we tasted it and decided that was more than enough. I've adjusted to recipe below for what I think would be the correct amount.
Pan drippings from the turkey... or chicken
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup apple or pear brandy
2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider (from Red Jacket Orchards)
Salt and pepper
Pour the pan drippings in a pan on and cook on medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the pan juices, and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the apple brandy, and scrape the pan to lift the bits that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol, then, while stirring, pour in the apple cider. Bring to a simmer, and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

So now we have herb stuffed churkey and apple gravy. Mmm mmm good so far...

Cranberry sauce
This was my favorite dish. Keeping it local and using honey instead of sugar made a huge difference in flavor. It was sweet, but a different kind of sweet. Just try it for yourself.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 (12-ounce) container fresh cranberries (ours were from New Jersey)
1 chopped apple
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid simmers. Add the apples and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool.

Butternut squash soup with roasted garlic
1 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
1/3 cup butter (1/4 stick)
1 cups chopped onions
1/3 cups chopped carrots
2 lbs. Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups vegetable stock
1 TBS chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup whipping cream
a generous dollop of creme fraiche (butter, cream, and creme fraiche from Ronnybrook Farms)

Preheat oven to 350. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with butter. Put halves back together to reassemble heads. Wrap each tightly in foil; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic in foil.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots; saute until onions are beginning to soften, about five minutes. Add squash, broth and sage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, unwrap garlic. Squeeze from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. (can be made one day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in ½ cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put in bowls and drizzle with creme fraiche.

We also had super tasty mashed potatoes with a healthy portion of butter, milk, and roasted garlic; a good side of steamed broccoli with grated manchego cheese; some cherry tomatoes and green peppers also topped with cheese; and some really good sweet but dry white wine from long island.

For the grand finale:

Pear Clafouti
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup honey
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple or pear brandy
3 firm but ripe pears
Creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a 10 inch round baking dish
Beat the eggs and thehoney in a bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then, mix in the flour, cream, salt, and brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, and put a great big dollop of creme fraiche on top. Tasty!

All in all the meal was delicious. Local food, good friends, and a few chicken/turkey/apple surprises along the way. It wouldn't have been fun otherwise! Happy churkey day!


shannon said...

No greens? Are there not any good local greens in the NYC vicinity??? Hmmmm.

tiffanytomato said...

hmm. well, to answer your question with a question - if you can't have the best greens, then why bother?

shannon said...