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Old 11-17-2017, 10:39 AM
Brad I's Avatar
Brad I Brad I is offline
Procrastinate Now!
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Posts: 6,789
Default Turkey Day

Hi All,

Got a couple of Thanksgiving ideas here.

First, you may have been hearing how brining a turkey before cooking has become a big the past several years. But its hard to do from a practical point of view–not many of us have a bucket large enough to fully submerge a big turkey and probably none of us have a refrigerator big enough to hold that loaded bucket for a few days while the brine does its thing on the turkey.

But last year I came up with a hack, We may not have a frig large enough, but as fishermen, many of us do have a cooler large enough. I submerged the turkey in the brine in a cooler, and the brining does indeed make a real difference–moist and flavorful, really worth doing. Some tips–clean the cooler VERY well before and after brining the turkey and if turkey is fully or partially frozen, that acts like ice to keep everything inside the cooler nice and cold. But it does mean that the right amount of time to defrost the turkey while still keeping everything cold is an inexact science, so start it early (like this weekend) and check on it daily to monitor progress. OR (and I haven’t tried this yet), submerge the turkey and enough brine to cover it well in a new heavy duty trash bag and then put that in the cooler or frig. (I think that commercial brining bags may now be sold too). Be sure to check it daily to make sure that all parts of the turkey are submerged and being brined.

When the turkey is completely defrosted and spent 2-3 days in the brine, its ready to remove and store in the fridge or cook it. Last year I put some chopped fresh rosemary in the brine and it was real good.

Second, here’s a non traditional side dish. I’ve had this recipe for many years but didn’t get around to trying it until last week, where it was a big hit. The first bite or two will make you wonder if it needs more seasoning, but the more you eat, the more the flavor comes through. It’s a bit exotic, but not enough to scare off traditionalists and all ingrediants can be found at most SoCal grocery stores. As a bonus for vegetarians/vegans, a main dish size serving has almost half of the RDA of protein. Its from Ismail Merchant, of the art film Ivory-Merchant duo. Hint–don’t overcook the lentils or they become mushy, test them after 20 minutes of cooking.

LEMON LENTILS

cup oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2-2" long inch cinnamon sticks
1 pound orange lentils (masoor dal), picked over and rinsed
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
water
teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt
juice of one medium or large lemon
small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 medium pasilla chile, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

Cook sliced onion until tender in half the oil over medium heat. Add cinnamon sticks, lentils and ginger. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add stock, 2 cups water, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook 10 minutes, stirring often. When finished, the lentils should be tender but not mushy and about the consistency of risotto (add more of water if it gets too dry or cook uncovered if its too moist).

While that’s going one, heat remaining oil in a different pan. Add chopped onion, garlic, chili and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until onion is brown. Add to lentils and stir in. Serve lentils in bowl with cilantro garnish. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Last edited by Brad I; 11-17-2017 at 10:51 AM.
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