Turkey thighs are one of the most economical cuts of poultry, and they are DE-LISH. This is an easy tray bake recipe I developed, inspired by Jamie Oliver's recipe (here). NOTE: You'll need to brine the thighs for 2 days ahead of baking.
2 turkey thighs, with bone and skin
Brining water/addititves (see technique here)
Baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked until tender
Marniated tomatoes with their marinade juice
6 garlic cloves, peeled
Smoked sausage, sliced (I use about half of a package of Pederson's Sweet
German Smoked Sausage)
Brine the turkey thighs in a brine mixture for 2 days. Drain brined turkey and pat dry. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat with a glug of olive oil. Brown the thighs, skin side down. You'll know they are ready when they no longer want to stick to the pan. Set aside. They will not be done -- that's okay. We're gonna bake 'em.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a baking pan, line the bottom with the cooked potatoes, the tomatoes, the garlic and the slices of smoked sausage. Pour the marinade from the tomatoes over all.
Make a well for each of the turkey thighs, and put the thighs, skin down, in the wells. Drizzle liberally with maple syrup. Bake for 45 minutes, until thighs register 170 degrees internal temp. If the juices that run out are clear, the turkey is done. If you see any red tinge of blood, keep cooking for a little longer.
OK, history and pizza fans: In the words of Lindsey, here are some facts you may not know:
Pizza spread to America, France, England & Spain where it was little known until after World War II. While occupying Italian territories, many America & European soldiers tasted pizza for the first time. It was love at first taste!
Today we celebrate pizza. February 9th is the International Pizza Day and the Guinness Book of World's Records states that the largest pizza ever made and eaten was created in Havana, florida and was 100 feet and 1 inch across!
American & Canadian citizens will eat an average of 23 pounds of pizza per person per year. Pepperoni & cheese is the favorite combination especially with the younger set and is the second only to the hamburger as the continent's favorite food.
Today I made pizza for brunch, one of my favorite combos.
Pre-made pizza crust (I bought the focaccia crust from Central Market)
Dried mission figs
Vinaigrette (I used raspberry vinaigrette)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put rack in middle position in oven.
Reconstitute the figs by soaking them in warm water until they are soft. Trim the hard tip of the stem and slice them.
Rough chop spinach and basil, and then dress in a small bowl with vinaigrette; set aside. Rough chop the prosciutto and set aside.
Assemble the pizza. Layer the spinach/basil mix first, then the figs and prosciutto. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese next. Drizzle with honey and olive oil.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let pizza set for 3 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
You might also like: Fig and Sausage Pizza with Beer Pizza Dough
These cranberry pumpkin muffins take less than an hour to make and are great for breakfast, brunch or snacks. I frosted these with a cream cheese honey frosting and finished with finely chopped pistachios.
Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup 100% pumpkin puree
6 oz. dried cranberries
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or paper-line 12 muffin cups. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin, sweetened dried cranberries, vegetable oil, milk, molasses and egg in separate medium bowl. Add to flour mixture, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moist. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cup, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool slightly.
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz. light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla
Finely chopped nuts for garnish
Instructions: Beat cream cheese, honey, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Chill until stiff enough to spread. Ice cooled muffins and sprinkle with chopped nuts of your choice.
Happy birthday, Bill Murray! Bill was born September 21, 1950 in Illinois.
In Coffee And Cigarettes, the Wu-Tang Clan make a point of always calling Bill Murray by his full name. This is one of my favorite scenes. Here's a coffee recipe in honor of him.
Grilled Pork Chops with Coffee Barbecue Sauce
Plan in advance to brine pork chops basted with a coffee barbecue sauce in this recipe from a famous NYC chef.
1/4 cup fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning pork
2 pounds pork chops, preferably center-cut
Freshly ground pepper
Coffee Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)
Pour 1 quart of water into a deep container. Add the salt and stir until it is dissolved. Put the pork chops in the solution, submerging them completely and weighting them down with a plate if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 12 and no more than 24 hours.
Remove the chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Prepare an outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over high heat on the stovetop.
Season the chops with salt and pepper and put them on the grill over direct heat. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, or less if the chops are thinly cut. After turning the chops, baste them with coffee barbecue sauce, letting the sauce caramelize onto the pork. Serve from a platter with extra barbecue sauce alongside.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Coffee Barbeque Sauce
Use this coffee barbecue sauce as a marinade or finishing sauce for grilled or baked pork, beef, or chicken. The sauce may be covered and refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong, dark coffee
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 fresh hot chili peppers, or milder/hotter as desired, seeded
2 Tablespoons hot dry mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder
Put espresso or coffee, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, chile peppers, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, and chili powder in a small pot, stir them together, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so the mixture is just simmering and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, let the mixture cool, then puree it in a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade.
The barbecue sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
One of the most popular dishes on P. F. Chang's appetizer menu is the spare ribs that comes slathered with Asian-style barbecue sauce. The Asian flavors you pick up comes from the addition of sweet hoisin sauce to a fairly rudimentary barbecue sauce formula. Chang's menu says these ribs are spare ribs although they appear to be much smaller, more like baby backs. You can certainly use either for this recipe, just be sure to trim the ribs first, since the restaurant version is lean, clean ribs with no extra meat or fat hanging off.
1 cup ketchup
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (I make my own from a recipe found here.)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 rack pork spare ribs
4 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon diced green onion
1. Make the sauce by combining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until thick. Cool.
2. To cook the ribs the P. F. Chang's way, you will need to first boil them in water. Heat up 12 to 16 cups of water in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add a couple teaspoons of salt to the water. As water boils, trim the excess fat and meat off the ribs. Slice between the bones of each rib to separate the ribs. When the water is boiling, toss the ribs in, bring the water back to a boil and boil the ribs for 12 to 14 minutes. No pink will show when they are done. Remove ribs to a plate to cool.
3. When the ribs have cooled you can either store them in an airtight bag in the refrigerator until you are ready for the final cooking step, or you can move on to that step now by heating up 4 cups of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. The oil should be about 375 degrees. You can also use a deep fryer for this step, but your fryer will likely require more oil.
4. When the oil is hot, drop 4 to 6 ribs at a time into the oil. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until the meat browns. Drain off the ribs on a rack or paper towels. Fry all the ribs before moving on to the next step.
5. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, toss in all the ribs and coat with the sauce. Simmer the ribs in the sauce for about a minute while stirring and dump the ribs onto a serving plate when they are all well-coated with sauce.
6. Sprinkle the ribs with sesame seeds and about a tablespoon of diced green onion, and serve with a pile of napkins.
Makes an appetizer for 2 to 5.
Oh, it's so good to be home and baking again!
As a child, I loved Twix bars, and found this recipe to make my own version. I hope you enjoy!
Caution: EXTREMELY rich. Eat carrots all day so you can enjoy guilt-free!
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
kosher sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together 2/3 cup butter, white sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly. Press into a 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup,
and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust). Cool in fridge until it hardens.
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover
Cut into 1 inch squares. These need to be small because they are so rich.
Patsy Cline was born on September 8, and to celebrate her birthday, I'm posting an easy and yummo crockpot flank steak recipe.
Here's a link to remind you of this woman's gift to music -- a video of her singing "I Fall to Pieces."
2 lbs flank steak
2 T olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 sprigs thyme
In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the steak on all sides; remove from pan and place in the crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients to the oil, scraping the pan to gather all the juices. Scrape skillet ingredients over the steak, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until steak is tender.
WWP+: 10 pts