Monday, November 28, 2011

Roast Turkey

Okay. So I haven't posted to this blog since January. And Thanksgiving was last Thursday. But that doesn't mean I can't post my roast turkey recipe now! And if I do it now, it'll be written down before I forget it again next year.

There are many schools of thought on cooking a turkey. But something that everybody who knows something about cooking turkey knows is: you'll get much better results if you don't stuff it.

The "traditional" method (that is written on the side of the frozen turkey bag) has low heat (325F) for 15 minutes a pound. But this doesn't actually yield very good turkey, and 325F isn't hot enough to brown the skin to give you that nice roasted-turkey look.

But then there are people who say you should put it in high heat first, then low heat. Or low first then high. Or you should deep fry it. (This is slightly dangerous, but yields a good turkey).

Anyway, what do I do for Thanksgiving every year? That I can answer. I learned this method in my professional cooking class. It works well, and can be applied to any bird, though I've only roasted chickens and turkeys. You need to keep an eye on the bird -- the cooking time depends on the size of the turkey! But it's considerably less than the canonical 15 minutes per pound. This Thanksgiving, the 20 pound turkey took about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Some time ago, I posted a recipe for courgette (zucchini) bread, inspired by a particularly successful loaf of pumpkin bread that Mike V. and I baked in Tanzania. And I'm sure everybody has been wondering...but what about that pumpkin bread?

Well, at long last, here is a fantastic pumpkin bread recipe, adapted from an article by Christopher Kimball, the editor of Cook's Illustrated. I recommend using fresh pumpkin, the preparation of which I described on my pumpkin pie recipe.