Recipes

11/11/16 About Cooking Fresh Turkeys

About Cooking a Fresh Thanksgiving Turkey

We get questions every day about cooking a fresh turkey versus a frozen turkey. There is a huge difference between a frozen turkey and a fresh turkey, both in quality and in price, but there isn’t much difference in cooking a fresh turkey and a frozen (thawed before cooking) turkey. Following is an easy “recipe” for cooking a plain fresh turkey. We’ll leave the fixin’s to you.

Remove the giblet pack from the neck cavity. To add a lot of flavor to your gravy, add the giblets and cook thoroughly.
Wash the turkey cavity and the outside of the bird – pat dry.
Allow the turkey to get to room temperature.
If you are stuffing the turkey – always stuff it loosely – about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey in the cavity. Tie the drumsticks together if you are using stuffing.
Spread unmelted butter under the skin, next to the flesh of the turkey. Gently pull the skin away from the meat and find areas that you can get to the meat to spread the unmelted butter. (Best to use salted butter for this task.) You can add flavorings to the butter if you wish – mix the room temperature butter with your favorite spices or herbs before spreading under the skin. You can also add sliced mushrooms to the mixture.
Brush the skin with melted butter. If you use spices or herbs to the butter for under the skin, we suggest that you put the same herbs or spices in your melted butter.
Now is the time to make a decision on whether you want a beautiful turkey or a delicous, moist turkey. If you want a beautiful turkey, you will cook it breast up (whatever part is up will brown while cooking). If you want a delicious, moist turkey, you will cook it breast down (cooking with the breast down will allow the juices that naturally flow with gravity to flow into the breast, keeping it moist).
Preheat your oven no more than 300 to 325 degrees F. Remember that low and slow is the preferred method to cooking most meats in the oven.
Place the bird on a rack (you don’t want it resting in the liquid that it will create while cooking) in a roasting pan and into the preheated oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body and should not touch the bone.
Bake until the skin is a light golden color and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but helps promote even browning. Use melted butter if you want to baste.
All turkeys will cook much faster if you don’t stuff it. So if you have a deadline, then you can cook the stuffing in a casserole dish and that will speed up the process of cooking the bird.
The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thigh.
Most turkey labels have a cooking time chart. Mert’s suggests the following chart be considered, but always use a meat thermometer to determine whether your turkey is cooked sufficiently.
10 to 18 pounds unstuffed 3.5 to 4 hours stuffed 4.5 to 5 hours
18 to 22 pounds unstuffed 4 to 4.5 hours stuffed 5 to 5.5 hours
22 to 24 pounds unstuffed 4.5 to 5 hours stuffed 5.5 to 6 hours
24 to 29 pounds unstuffed 5.5 to 6 hours stuffed 6.25 to 6.75 hours
Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Thai Scallop Saute

Thai Scallop Saute
Ingredients:
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 ½ lbs large sea scallops
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 medium onions, halved & sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
4 small carrots, sliced
¼ cup Thai peanut sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
Hot cooked rice (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
Directions:
In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add half of the sea scallops; cook until firm and opaque, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove; repeat with an additional 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining scallops.
In the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.  Add vegetables; stir-fry until crisp-tender, 7-9 minutes.  Stir in peanut sauce and the salt.  Return scallops to the pan; heat through.
Serve with rice, and if desired, lime wedges.
Serves 4
From prep to table 40 minutes

Nancy’s Poor Man’s Beef Stroganoff

Nancy’s Poor Man’s Beef Stroganoff
Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can (10.75 oz) cream mushroom soup
1 bar (3 oz) softened Philadelphia cream cheese
Sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tube Pillsbury biscuits from dairy case
Directions:
Mix mushroom soup and cream cheese in a casserole dish.  Add cooked and drained ground beef and fresh mushrooms.  Mix well.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F. 20 to 25 minutes (sides will start bubbling).
Adjust oven temperature to biscuits baking temperature.  Place biscuits on top of the stroganoff and put back in the oven.  Finish cooking per biscuit instructions.
Recipe contributed by Nancy Crown

Trudy’s Sausage Quiche Recipe

Trudy’s Sausage Quiche
Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian or mild sausage
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup fresh chopped onions (optional)
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 deep dish unbaked pie shell
3 beaten eggs
1 small can Carnation evaporated milk
Directions:
Brown sausage and onions – break up well.  Drain fat well and pat with paper towel to remove any remaining fat.
Combine sausage, onions, cheese, and flour in pie shell.
Beat together eggs and milk – pour over sausage mixture.
Place on baking sheet to bake. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Trudy’s World’s Best Meatloaf

This is one of the best meatloaf recipes that we have ever made; in fact, Mert’s uses this recipe if we have somebody that wants us to make a ready-to-bake meatloaf for them.  Trudy is Nancy’s mom – Nancy gave us permission to use several of Trudy’s recipes – check them out at the recipe wall at the stores.

Trudy’s World’s Best Meatloaf
Ingredients:
Meatloaf ingredients:
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1.5 pounds lean ground beef
2 slightly beaten eggs
¼ cup fresh chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon ground sage
Topping ingredients:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
Ingredients:
Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients.  Mix well, but not excessively (over handling the ground beef makes it tough.)  Put the meatloaf mixture in a greased or lightly sprayed loaf pan.
Mix all of the topping ingredients.  Spread on the top of the meatloaf mixture before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees until center of meatloaf is done – approximately one hour.  To test for doneness, cut into the center of the meatloaf
Remove the meatloaf from the loaf pan immediately and place on a plate or serving platter.  Allow to rest for about 5 minutes.  Leaving the meatloaf in the loaf pan will allow it to absorb the grease from the baking process.
Optional ingredient – pre-cooked bacon on top of the meatloaf mixture before the topping is applied.
Optional ingredient – fold into meatloaf mixture chunks of sharp cheddar cheese.
Serve with fresh salad and baked potato.

Slow Cooker Pork Country Style Ribs

Slow Cooker Pork Country Style Ribs
Ingredients:
2 to 3 pounds boneless country style ribs
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz thickly sliced fresh white mushrooms
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
1 envelope (approx .88 oz) mushroom gravy mix
1 heaping tablespoon flour
Directions:
Place the boneless ribs in the slow cooker.
In a bowl, combine the soup, sliced mushrooms, gravy mix, and paprika. Pour onto the ribs in the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for about 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the chops to a warm platter and keep warm.
Make a smooth paste with 1 heaping tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of cold water. Add the flour and water mixture to the broth and stir to blend.
Turn to high and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve the ribs and gravy with mashed potatoes with your family’s favorite steamed or fresh vegetables. Also great with noodles instead of the potatoes.
Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Time 7 hours on low or 3.75 hours on high

Curried Chicken and Orange Kabobs

Curried Chicken And Orange Kabobs
Ingredients:
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ pounds chicken breast
1 large sweet red pepper
1 large sweet yellow or orange pepper
1 small onion
1 large unpeeled navel orange
Directions:
In a small bowl, mix oil, minced onion, garlic & spices; reserve half of mixture for basting kabobs while cooking.
Cut chicken, peppers, onion & unpeeled orange into 1 inch pieces. On four metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread pork, vegetables and orange; brush with remaining curry mixture. Save a couple orange slices to squeeze over the meat as you eat it.
Lightly oil grill grates. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill kabobs, covered, 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables and chicken are tender, turning occasionally. Chicken internal temperature should be 165 degrees F and juices should run clear. Baste frequently with reserved curry mixture during the last 4 minutes of cooking.
Serves 4
From Prep to Table 30 minutes

Grilled Bratwurst Meal-In-One

Grilled Bratwurst Meal-In-One
This recipe serves 12 – divide ingredients for smaller number of dinner attendees
Ingredients:
3 lb uncooked bratwurst links
3 lb small red potatoes, cut into wedges
1 lb baby carrots
1 large red onion, sliced & separated into rings
8 oz whole white mushrooms, washed & dried
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions:
This meal-in-one can be grilled in foil packets, or baked in a baking dish in the oven, or baked in the oven in foil packets.
For each of two foil packets, arrange a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 17”x15”) on a flat surface.
Preheat grill medium heat.
Cut brats into thirds.  Divide the brats, potatoes, carrots, onion & mushrooms evenly between the two double-layer foil pieces.  Dot with butter.  Sprinkle with soup mix, soy sauce and black pepper.
Bring edges of foil together; crimp to seal, forming two large packets.  Seal tightly- turn to coat.
Grill, covered, for 23-28 minutes on each side or until vegetables are tender & sausage is no longer pink.
Serves 12
Prep time 10 minutes
Grill time 45 minutes

Thai-Style Sea Bass

Thai-Style Sea Bass
Ingredients:
4 (5-6 oz) skinless sea bass fillets
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups hot cooked rice noodles or rice
Directions:
Rinse fish and pat dry. Measure thickness of fish; sprinkle with salt. Place in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish.
For marinade, in a small bowl combine lime juice, fish sauce/soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, ginger, red pepper. Pour half of the marinade over fish. Seal bag; turn to coat fish. Marinade refrigerated for 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. Cover and chill remaining marinade.
Drain fish, discarding marinade in bag. Lightly oil grill grate. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill fish, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes per ½ inch thickness or just until fish flakes, turning once.
To serve, drizzle remaining marinade over fish and rice noodles and, if desired, sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Serves 4
Prep time 25 minutes
Marinade time 1 hour
Grill time 4-6 minutes per ½ inch thickness

Apple & Pork Burgers

Ingredients:
½ cup shredded peeled apple
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup drained unsweetened crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
½ lb ground pork
2 slices Swiss cheese
2 hamburger buns, split
Optional toppings like lettuce, tomato, avocado, mustard, mayo
Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Crumble pork over mixture and mix well.  Shape into two patties.   Allow to come to room temperature.
Lightly oil grill grate.  Preheat grill to medium heat.  Grill, covered, 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F.  Top with cheese.  Grill 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Serve on buns with optional toppings.
Serves 2
Start to finish 30 minutes

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