Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's Cooking, Good Looking?

(I wrote this on Saturday since we are doing Santa CAAWS today!  Come bring your babies to get photos with Santa at Harley Davidson on Coursey from 9 to 4 in Baton Rouge, LA.)

I am on a cooking rampage.  For four days I have been preparing this turkey breast.  Day One and Two for defrosting.  Why does it take so long to defrost a turkey breast?  This is one I purchased on a tip from Amber.  They were $.50 a pound and you could buy two max.  So I went in to get two along with groceries for the week.  When I got home, I glanced at the receipt and realize they were charging FIFTY CENTS for the whole breast!  LOL.  Either way, it was a cheap deal!

Day Three for brining.  This time I did a sweet brine.  Interesting.  I had thought about using something interesting in my salt brine and did some research.  I found that you could cut the amount of salt and insert other things like molasses or brown sugar.  So I experimented with some Thanksgiving tastes like cinnamon and allspices as well.  I tasted the brine and it was really nasty and I figured I had only ruined FIFTY CENTS worth of bird anyway.  So I plunged in.

So after brining I roasted in my convection oven to a beautiful golden brown with crispy skin and juicy juices flowing.  The house smelled wonderful, evidenced by DiNozzo drooling in the kitchen for three solid hours.  I took the breast and popped it into the fridge.  But not before tasting.  Well, there is always turkey gumbo and turkey soup.

Day Four - today - I sliced cold turkey breast.  What a marvelous thing that was to do.  I have always taken the bird from the oven on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day and sliced it up.  But this was the way to go, I decided.  The day before. 
For the carcass, I popped it into a freezer bag, rescuing it from the Jaws of Demolition.  Future Gumbo.  Then the nice large and even slices lined up in the pan so beautifully.  The hunks and chunks combined to make a beautiful Turkey Barley Soup.  I used black salt from Cyprus and olive oil from Greece, both recent additions from the Europe trip.

The spices were amazing.  I am in total favor of the Sweet Brine.  Thinking of sweet I wanted Sweet Potatoes and Apples so I combined some pumpkin pie spices with brown sugar and butter and cut up some apples and added cooked sweet potatoes to it.  They cooked for about 15 minutes giving me time to set up the barley for the soup.  Isn't that amazing?  And my house smells like the potpourri counter at the fussy stuff store.

As the Turkey Barley Soup was cooking I remembered a bit of the Stone Cellars I scored from the last time I saw the Great Chef Enzo at Fresinas.

Anything is better with a bit of wine in it, so I splashed it in.

I know there are really nice quilter cooker people who send you to the posted recipes.......and darlings, I know I didn't do it. 

But I was sort of making it up as I went!  LOL.

Doesn't it make you just ravenous for Sweet Brined Turkey and Turkey Barley AND Merlot Soup?

glen:  oh.....Mamma Mia!

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