Kitchen, Tools & Tips

Garlic Butter
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, September 13, 2010
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garlic herb butter

A quick, delicious, and useful recipe. With this recipe you can quickly make seared shrimp, scallops, or just toss with pieces of chicken breast and voilà! A beautiful dish!

Buon appetito!

Ingredients
2 sticks of unsalted butter
Garlic
Shallots
Extra virgin olive oil
White wine
Fresh parsley
Lemon juice

Directions
To make garlic butter simply heat some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, add a little finely chopped garlic, and a few chopped shallots. Cook these together over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in some white wine, a little lemon juice, and bring all ingredients to a boil until almost evaporated.

Let this cool completely while the sticks of unsalted butter are softening, then blend it all together with some chopped parsley.

The flavored butter will keep in the refirdgerator for a week or more. Just roll or cover it tightly in cellophane wrap.
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lidia bastianichLidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia's Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

Michael Pollan: Food Rules

By WGBH News   |   Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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foodrules

Cover of the newly illustrated version of Pollan's book, Food Rules.

Jan. 25, 2012

 


BOSTON — Michael Pollan is an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Author of the “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” a 2006 New York Times book review describes Pollan as a "liberal foodie intellectual."

Polan will present an illustrated version of his book, "Food Rules," during the Boston Speakers Series this week at Symphony Hall. WGBH News' Bob Seay had a chance to speak with Pollan about his book and his views on food.

The book itself is a "20-minute read," according to Pollan; however, its life changing message is simple: Don't eat what's not good for you.

At the Speakers Series, Pollan will discuss our society's confusion over what's right to eat, as well as what influences our knowledge and informs our choices. He offers up some simple solutions, such as "Don't shop in the center aisles of your grocery store, where the most immortal foods live," explaining that the most processed foods exist there.

Visit Pollan's website for a complete list of his books, articles and a collection of food information resources.

Deep Fried Turkey

Monday, November 22, 2010
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fried turkey on thanksgiving table
Perhaps you've heard about a growing trend in turkey cooking—I'm talking about the deep-fried turkey. Sound weird? Well it isn't and it's delicious and easier than you might think.

I'd eat a deep fried sneaker if I could, I love fried food, but somehow a deep-fried turkey didn't sound so good. Well, I have tried them and you won't believe how delicious they come out—crispy on the outside and super-moist inside, and surprisingly NOT greasy.

There are a few tips and precautions you'll want to take. First, I recommend buying a kit—it comes with the heat source, the right sized pot, AND a metal basket to lower the bird in and out of the pot. Make sure you choose a level spot outside in a place that is not windy.

Bring your oil to temperature. Thoroughly, I mean thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out—any water will make the oil splatter and pops and you do not want that. Lower the bird into the hot oil and let it go for 40 minute—yes… 1/3 of the time it takes to roast a whole turkey. Let rest and dig in… you'll have to cook the stuffing separately and I recommend you not fry that part of your Thanksgiving meal.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1 hours
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients
1 12- to 14-pound turkey, neck and giblets removed
4 gallons vegetable oil

Directions
Thoroughly dry bird inside and out.

Pour oil into a 7- to 8-gallon frying pot. Place pot on burner and heat oil to 375° over medium-low heat according to the manufacturer's instructions. Mount turkey onto frying base and, using oven mitts and a sturdy hook, carefully lower turkey into hot oil.

Check the thermometer often during frying and keep oil at 350°. Fry 40 minutes.

Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 170°.

Remove turkey from oil using oven mitts and hook; drain and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Grilled Turkey

Monday, November 22, 2010
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grilled turkey

Want to add some fun and flavor to the cooking of your holiday turkey? How about cooking it on the grill?

Not only is grilling a turkey fun, but cooking it over live wood adds a ton of flavor and frees up your oven for roasted vegetables and more pies.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 27 hours
Yield: 10 servings

Directions
Start the day before by brining your bird in a herb and salt solution which helps tenderize the meat, you'll grill it unstuffed, which shortens the cooking time and allows the smoke to move through the cavity and permeate the turkey.

Place turkey breast side up in a large disposable aluminum baking pan and place on the grill. If using charcoal, place pan on opposite side of the fire for full circulation of heat. Cover grill tightly. Check turkey every 30 minutes and baste with any pan juices. Charcoal grills may need to have extra charcoal added to maintain heat. Grill turkey about 2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 170.°

Heat grill to medium (about 375° to 400°). If using charcoal, build fire on one side of grill. Remove turkey from brine and discard brine. Rinse and pat turkey dry, then place fresh herbs and bay leaves inside cavity. Place turkey breast side up in a large disposable aluminum baking pan and place on grill. If using charcoal, place pan on opposite side of fire for full circulation of heat. Cover grill tightly.

Check turkey every 30 minutes and baste with any pan juices. Charcoal grills may need to have extra charcoal added to maintain heat. Be careful not to let grill flare up (the pan ought to catch any drippings). Grill turkey about 2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 170.°

Let turkey rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

Brining Your Turkey

Monday, November 22, 2010
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turkey marinating in brine

Do you suffer from overcooked dry turkey syndrome? You know, the legs are just cooked through, but the breast meat resembles cardboard?

I have an easy way to remove some of your holiday stress with an idea for cooking your turkey—try brining it first. What brining your bird in a salt and herb packed brine does is first draws all the moisture out of the turkey, then the bird reabsorbs the salt and flavorings for guaranteed juicy and delicious roasted turkey.

Don't worry about the science of it. Here's what you do: In a large stock pot, bring to a boil equal parts salt and sugar (you could even use honey or maple syrup if you like).

Add some herbs such as thyme and rosemary, as well as few cloves of garlic. Let it come to room temperature, then in large stock pot (or you could use a pristinely clean cooler) and put your turkey in it. Add the brine and cover for 24 hours. Rinse the turkey well and roast as usual.

Ingredients
2 cups kosher or sea salt
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
6 cloves of garlic
Ice
1 12- to 14-pound turkey, neck and giblets removed
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh rosemary
5 bay leaves

Directions
In a large stockpot (one that can hold the turkey and brining liquid), combine 2 gallons water, salt, sugar, dried thyme, dried rosemary, peppercorns, and garlic.

Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve salt; remove from heat.

Fill sink with ice water, then lower pot into sink to cool brine. When brine is cooled, submerge turkey in the brine.

Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.

Thanksgiving Holiday Tips Part Two
By Annie Copps

Thursday, November 18, 2010
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thansgiving turkey

Feeling a little antsy about the holidays? I have a few ideas that might help you relax and enjoy the spirit of all these celebrations. And if you missed it, see part one of my holiday tips.

11. Pick up a few extra bags of cranberries and pop them in the freezer—after the holidays, they'll be scarce.

12. It's the one day of the year to eat with no restraint. This is not the day for diets. Be full—unbutton your pants if you have to.

13. Invite guests to your home and don't get hung up on the table being too crowded or things not being perfect—it's better to invite a neighbor, friend, or relative who would have been alone otherwise, rather than to fret that someone is sitting in a folded metal chair or eating off a plate that doesn't match your pattern.

14. If a guest brings a surprise dish that doesn't go with your menu, serve it anyway. So much of Thanksgiving is about tradition and memories—if Aunt Sarah needs to make chocolate cranberry turnip salad as part of her tradition, let it slide.

15. Thanksgiving is not the day to try out a new recipe. Stick with what you are comfortable with and that you know will work.

16. Instead of one GIANT turkey, consider two or three smaller ones. Everything will cook faster (consider cooking one the day before and one the day of, so that you can present one beautiful browned bird tableside), smaller birds will be more tender and juicy, and if you have a large crowd, you'll have more drumsticks.

17. Turkeys are notorious for being finicky to cook, because the white breast meat cooks more quickly than the darker meat of the drumsticks. There are several ways to even the playing field: brine your turkey, butterfly your turkey, remove the legs and cook separately, and/or cover the breast with foil (remove the last 45 minutes to brown the skin).

18. Baste or not to baste? Basting does very little to add to the flavor of your turkey (not much of that flavor actually gets absorbed), BUT basting the breast does cool it down (by evaporation) and slows down the cooking time of the breast meat which lets the legs catch up a little.

About the Author
WGBH News
The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black. 

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