Archive for November, 2009

Not Every Turkey Sandwich is the Same

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I don’t like The Family Circus.  Most of the time, I’m content to mutter under my breath about its stupidity or to mock it in the comfort of my own home.  Most of the time, though, its vapidity doesn’t deal with culinary matters.

Today, for anyone who is clever enough to skip over its single pane of vacuousness, Billy is returning his lunchbox to the counter as he tells his mother that nobody at school traded lunches because EVERYBODY (sic) had turkey sandwiches.  I suppose in Bill (and Jeff) Keane-Land, every turkey sandwich is the same: made with only breast meat, on Wonder Bread, with mayonnaise and iceberg lettuce. But, then again, in their world, Eisenhower is still the president.

In the real world, though, there are myriad options for how that turkey sandwich can stand out from the crowd.

Bread choice plays a key role.  Leftover dinner rolls make a great base for a post-Thanksgiving sandwich.  Or, if those are all gone, I like to go for a nice, hearty multi-grain bread that can stand up to the many fillings that might go inside.  Next choice: to toast or not to toast.  I tend to toast.

Condiments?  Yes, please.  Mayo and mustard are okay, and will make a serviceable sandwich… but for a truly remarkable sandwich, I have taken to spreading the bread with cold gravy and cranberry jelly.

Who needs to limit a sammich to breast meat?  Go ahead and use some thigh meat in there.  It’s moister and more flavorful.

But where the opportunity for sandwich creativity really presents itself is in what else goes on it with the turkey.  A variety of lettuces makes a nice touch, of course; but why stop there?  I have been known to put mashed potatoes (irish or sweet); olives; stuffing; cheese; shredded Brussels sprouts; roasted broccoli and cauliflower; and more on my turkey sandwiches.

Of course, once I go through that sort of effort, you can be sure I wouldn’t trade it to some punk kid like Billy Keane.

What sorts of delicacies do you add between your bread to make your turkey sandwiches stand out from the crowd?

Turkey Question

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I have a competition BBQ team and would like to come up with a really good smoked turkey recipe. I am going to brine my fresh natural turkey for about 12-16 hours with basic brine (no flavoring, just salt and sugar). I found your garlic hot sauce injection recipe which is similar to what I pull off with my Frank’s Hot Sauce Garlic Chicken.  Do you think if I use Frank’s for the sauce in your garlic injection recipe it will be good? 

 Lance

I imagine Frank’s will do fine—I’ve used a variety of hot sauces for this recipe through the years, and I think Frank’s may have been in the rotation at some point in time.  my personal preference for hot sauces seems to be a cayenne pepper sauce, which, if I’m not mistaken, Frank’s is. 

Just be sure to strain the garlic out of the sauce after you’ve simmered its flavor into the Franks if you’ll be injecting it into the poultry—I remember one time when I was doing a fried turkey on-site for a private party and I’d forgotten to strain the sauce.  The garlic clogged the injection needle and nothing would go through.  I wasn’t in a  well-equipped kitchen, and I didn’t have my strainer with me.  I couldn’t even find any aluminum foil.  Eventually, I discovered an unopened jar of coffee that had a foil seal on it.  I poked holes in that foil and fitted it into a styrofoam cup that I tore the bottom out of, used that as a makeshift strainer, and got the garlic out of the garlic-flavored sauce. The fried turkey was saved and they lived happily ever after.

Best of luck with your competition, and please let me know how the smoked turkey turns out.

Another Reason Not to Eat TV Dinners

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I was reading about the most recent ground beef recall, and the article made mention of an industry practice I hadn’t realized existed:

“Companies subject to such recalls are allowed to cook tainted meat to kill the bacteria and then use it in other products, a common practice in the food industry.”

Basically, the beef that shows up in the news for having killed people or caused kidney failure or whatever else can be cooked and re-packaged as your salisbury steak or swedish meatballs or any other pre-cooked beef product that might jump into your grocery cart.

Appetizing, huh?

Brunch in the Key of Corduroy Orange

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I love brunch.  It’s one of my favorite meals not only to eat, but also to cook.  That’s why I’m pleased to announce that Hough’s Bar and Grill, 563 Greenfield Avenue, is starting to serve brunch on Sundays from 10 am - 2 pm, and that I am helping them to originate the menu.  For the next four weeks, I will be in the kitchen cooking and training their cooks to prepare many of the brunch items I love: homemade pork sausage (mild or hot), home fries, pancakes, breakfast burritos, frico envelopes, specialty sandwiches, New Orleans-style dirty rice, and more!

So, please, come out to Hough’s from 10 am- 2 pm this Sunday, November 8, and every Sunday thereafter to enjoy a leisurely and scrumptious mid-day meal.  Mention Corduroy Orange and get a free coffee with the purchase of your meal.