Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deconstructed Turkey

I know a lot of you figure that I put my recipes on my blog to either a) show off or b) provide a public service (and I don’t need votes to know where most of you stand on this).  But the real reason is so that when I go to someone’s house and cook, I can look up on the web how I cook things, especially details on times and temperatures.

I have done my last several turkeys using this method Based on Julia Child and Jacques Pipen’s Cooking at Home Series.  Basically, you cut the turkey up a bit before roasting.   There are many advantages to cooking a turkey this way:

1)     You can actually get something else in the oven with turkey
2)     The broth (and resulting stuffing, gravy, and soup) is awesome
3)    The thighs are easy to slice, and very impressive with the stuffing in them
4)    The bird cooks in 2 hours **

I have not tried to do a big turkey this way, generally just the 12-14 pounders.  Here is an abbreviated set of instructions, which will help me if it’s your house I’m cooking in.  Unfortunately, the cook book is out of print.   But if you have questions, just call… or leave a comment.  Maybe next year I will have pictures.

 ** At 400 degrees in a convection oven, it will cook in just over an hour ...  which I demonstrated last year at my brothers.

 Turkey prep (12 - 14lb) and stock:

Cut off both legs, with thigh attached. Get the chunk of meat from the back when cutting the thigh.  De-bone the thigh, but not the leg. Cut the back off the breast. Remove the wishbone.  Remove fat from breast flap, but leave the skin on. Leave the wings on. 

Use back, neck, and giblets to make stock.  Brown the meat, add 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1 onion, (all roughly chopped), and a big handful of herbs.  Add 2-3 quarts of water plus salt and pepper.  Cook over low for 4 hours.  Strain, cool.  Keep the giblets if desired.


1 bag Partridge Farms cubed stuffing (or make your own bread for stuffing)
½ ounce dry mushrooms <I used black trumpets>, reconstituted in ~ 1 cup boiling water.
Stain mushrooms, reserve liquid, rinse if needed.  Chop mushrooms and add to stuffing.  Add most of liquid, careful to not get any grit at bottom.

Meanwhile, sauté in a couple of tablespoons of butter:
½ pound mushrooms (sliced)
1 shallot (diced small)
½ a large onion (diced)
2 stalked celery (diced small)

Add to stuffing, along with ~ ¼ cup of chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, etc).
Add ~2 cups of broth, or until moist.


Stuff the thighs and tie with string. Tuck wings back on the breast.  Make a pile of stuffing, put the breast on top. Put some stuffing in front cavity of breast.  Put the thighs/legs next to the breast in the pan.

Roast at 325 F for ~2 hours.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


This is a hard time of year to figure out “what’s for dinner”.   We are tired of salads and things tossed on the grill that we have been eating all summer, but since its been in the 90’s, it still doesn’t’ seem right to have soups and stews.  If you ever lived in Tucson, you will remember these giant deep fried burritos.. served enchilada style for a real gut buster.

So, this is not the same thing, not at all.  But they are very good, easy to make, and great for getting out of the dinner rut.

The original version called for jarred salsa, but I generally make with a mix of red peppers, green chili’s, and onions to keep them tomato free.  Either way is good.  I tend to use more vegetables than called for (big surprise). I usually do it without meat, but  if you happen to have some leftover grilled or roasted meat  you can chop it up and through it in too.

Baked Veggie Chimi’s

3 servings

1 can (15 oz) black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons sliced olives
1 can (7oz) diced green chilies
½ cup (+) of shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup roasted (or not) red pepper (from a jar is OK), diced *
4 green onions, sliced thin  *
2 tablespoons cilantro *
Cumin or chili powder to taste *
3 flour tortilla’s (large) or 4 or 5 if they are medium or small
* or can use ½ cup of salsa

Garnish (pick a couple):
Sour cream or Plain yogurt
Shredded cabbage mixed with cilantro
Sliced avocado

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

In a bowl, mix everything up to the tortilla’s.  Heat the tortilla’s in the microwave (about 30 sec).  Put 1/3 of the bean mixture in a tortilla and wrap. Put seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Spray or brush or rub chimi’s lightly with olive or other oil. Bake until crisp and brown, about 15 minutes. Top with garnishes.