A couple of weeks ago it was Canadian Thanksgiving. We always cook up a turkey and all the fixin's on every holiday and Thanksgiving is no exception. That's changing as we are trying to keep it somewhat healthy. Now, I may have mentioned this before, but I love turkey. I love the fact it's low in fat, easy to cook and it takes on other flavors very well. But, every time I cook a turkey, no matter how small it is, there is so much left over. I love eating turkey as much as the next guy, but I can only take so much. We usually freeze some afterwards so we can eat more at a later date, but I would rather just downsize altogether. This time around, we went with a turkey roast. This is just a breast of turkey rolled up and put into a netting. Easy to cook, easy to serve.
I thought about which herbs and spices would pair up and go together with turkey. I wanted to have the turkey take on the flavors in the stuffing so we could still taste the meat without overpowering it. It's also nice to have a little smoky flavor in there too. After 2 days of pondering about what the hell I was going to do, I thought I would be a lot better off if I kept it simple. Here's what I came up with.
- 1 1.5-2 kg boneless turkey breast, taken out of it's netting and unraveled
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lemon. You could also use the zest if you like.
- a bunch of sage leaves
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1.5 cups of hot water
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towel. Place on a cutting board and cut it open, like a book, or you could call it butterflying. Season with the dried herbs, lemon juice and the salt and pepper and rub them in.
2) Sprinkle the garlic over the bird and then the parsley.
3) Roll the turkey up and tie it with twine. Tie it tight enough so the stuffing doesn't fall out. When finished tying, take the sage and dip it the EVOO. Brush it all over the turkey. This will add a nice background flavor and help it brown.
4) Use the sage leaves to brush the rack in a roasting pan and place the turkey breast on top of it and place it on the oven. Pour the hot water into the pan. This will help keep the turkey nice and moist. Some call it cheating. I call it juicy.
After placing it in the oven, turn the heat down to 350F. Start it out with the breast up. After 30 minutes turn it over and leave it until done. You want the temperature to read 165 F when it's time to take it out. It will rise to 170F as it keeps cooking after you take it out.
5) Tent it with aluminum foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Usually we serve the turkey with mashed or smashed potatoes, peas and carrots, all that stuff. This year I made my Cauliflower Gratin to go along side of the bird. Since there's only two (well, three sometimes...) of us eating, it worked out well and the cauliflower brightened up the dish, literally.
Turkey has many health benefits. It is one of the high-protein foods which help your insulin levels stay at at the levels they need to be after you finish eating. It's high in tryptophan, protein and selenium among other vitamins and minerals and is low in carbs. It's also low in fat and I sometimes add fat to it (EVOO or butter) to keep it from drying out and to add more flavor. Plus, eating foods with lemon in it is never a bad thing. Aside from the obvious health benefits, they add a nice citrus-y flavor and brighten up any dish they are involved in.
Little O's Menu
We have read that if you try to feed your toddler a certain food and they don't like it or won't eat it for some reason, the 3rd time's a charm. We have been trying this with all the foods we have been eating. We get better results when we all eat together, but it's still a challenge. She eats all kinds of fruit ,vegetables and everything else at daycare, but with us it's different. She gets quite finicky about her food intake, but mostly she eats big quantities of what's in front of her. Other times it's pick, pick, pick. I tried to feed her carrot sticks today, which she eats lots of at daycare, but no way was she having nay part of that. I will keep trying this, along with cucumber sticks and red pepper strips. Eventually she will break down and do the right thing. It may take two or three years, but I'm a patient guy.
Quote Of the Day:
"We recommend no one eat more than two tons of turkey - that's what it would take to poison someone."
~ Elizabeth Whalen - Not sure who she is, but she has a point.
Until next time, good eating everyone