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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Roasted Whole Meats

Roasted Whole Meats

Starting with Chicken and Quail:
They are both light meats that need to be marinated and then foil wrapped to bake. 

Chicken done in 30-45 min
Quail done in 20-30 min
(under 10 lbs)

Marinades: Cranberry or orange sauces give a sweet and sour tang. Another simple option is italian dressing. The dressing keeps the meat tender and adds all the classic herbs for marination. The marinades' recipe links can be found in previous posts.

Foil wrapping the poultry, or the bake dish entirely, keeps in the moisture that poultry tends to lose while cooking. The meat will cook in its own juices and the marinade that was applied.

Turkey, is too large to foil wrap as it would take forever to cook all the way through. Instead, use a great marinade and baste the exposed meat regularly. Tip: Cut slits just under the skin and shove 
herbs inside. Rosemary, basil, garlic and onion slices are best. 

Stuff the turkey cavity from the rear. Store bought turkeys will come cleaned out and may have the neck, heart, liver and gizzard. Keep these for cooking the gravy later. Stuffing recipe is a previous post.

The turkey is done when the inside meat is over 180F and the skin is golden to amber brown.

Up to 10 lb, usually 2-3 hours at 300F
10-15 lbs, usually 3-4 hours at 300F
15+ lbs, usually 4-6 hours at 325F

Duck is in it's own category, although it is cooked similar to a whole chicken, because of it's fatty nature. Duck needs to be marinated (both fruit and savory flavors work well) and then cooked 
on a rack to allow the fat to run off.

Duck is a tricky meat because it can dry out and get tough if not monitored. Our recommendation? Cook on a rack in a baking dish with foil covering just the top. This will keep the juices in, but 
allow the extra fat to run into the dish.

Duck done in 40-50 min.  

Pork and whole hams:
Pork is best done in an oven or slow cooker. Since it is technically a light meat, but definitely not poultry, sugary marinades are best (i.e. honey ham, pineapple ham, pralined ham)

Rub the ham down with your chosen marinade and then set to cook in a bake dish or slow cooker. 1/3 of the way through the cook time, turn the ham over so that both sides are tender and juicy. Leave the ham on the same side for the remainder of the cook time to get a nice crispy crust on top.

Our favorite ham recipe is coke and mustard marinade cooked in a slow cooker for at least 45 min, best when left in for hours. Rub the ham with the mustard, place in the slow cooker and pour coke over the top. Simple. Full recipe can be found in a previous post.

Pork is generally done when the interior temperature reaches 180F. Additionally, a ham should be cooked until the top "crust" gets nice and crispy.

Whole hams done in 2-2.5 hours (10lb)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Coke and Mustard Marinade

Coke and Mustard Marinade

Very Easy Recipe

Prep Time: none
Cook Time: 45 min - several hours

This recipe is very delicious when used on a ham in a slow cooker or crock-pot, but has been successfully used on poultry and beef as well.

1-3 Tbl Mustard 
2-3 cans of Coke

Seriously, that's all!

Step 1:
Slather your selected cut of meat with mustard. Any mustard you like can be used. For example, instead of yellow mustard, cajun spicy mustard or dijon mustard can be employed. Most hams and beef roasts take 1-2 Tbl of mustard to cover, but a whole turkey can take up to 5 Tbl.

Step 2:
Pour in the first can of coke and set the meat to cook on high heat for several hours. The sugar in 
the coke will balance out the mustard flavor nicely, the acid content helps to tenderize the meat.

Check the meat repeatedly to make sure that the liquid still covers 3/4 of the meat. When the liquid level drops, pour in another coke. 

The meat is done when it starts to fall apart. 

Don't be alarmed by the dark color of the outside, the coke has changed its color. When you pull the meat apart the inside will be a beautiful pink. 

Just wait until you taste it!

If you are doing a turkey, or other meat cut that doesn't fit into a slow cooker you can use the oven and foil method. 

Smother with mustard, set in the baking tray, pour the coke in and cover with foil. Repeatedly baste 
with the coke mixture in the bottom of the pan. Only 1 can of coke is needed for this method.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sweet Orange and Spicy Cranberry Marinades

Watch the YouTube video!

Sweet Orange and Spicy Cranberry Marinades
for Poultry or Pork
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.

Cranberry Marinade Ingredients:
1/2 lb fresh Cranberries
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Molasses
2 Tbl butter
1 tsp each Cinnamon, Salt, Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp each Nutmeg, Cayenne Pepper

Orange Marinade Ingredients:
4 fresh Oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Orange Marmelade
3 Tbl Butter
1 tsp each Vanilla extract, Salt
1/4 tsp ground Cardamon

Kitchen Prep is quick and easy with these recipes:
Simply measure out your ingredients and get the stove top ready to cook with sauce pans.

The oranges need to be peeled and the cranberries inspected for stems, etc.

Spicy Cranberry Marinade, Step 1:
Cook the cranberries down in a sauce pan on medium heat in the butter, about 10 minutes. Don't allow them to burn. 

When the cranberries are soft, smash them up a bit with a fork and turn the stove down to low 

Step 2:
Add in the other ingredients, sugar, molasses and spices, stirring constantly. Once the sugar has dissolved completely your marinade is ready to be used or cooled for later. 

Note: The sugar in the ingredients will burn on the stove very quickly if left unattended. Keep your eyes on the marinade.

Sweet Orange Marinade:
Same as the cranberries, cook the orange slices on medium heat in the butter until soft. Mash them up with a fork. 

Turn the heat down and add in the other ingredients, stirring constantly to keep from burning. 

Once the sugar has dissolved the marinade is done. 

Once you have your marinades cooked, you can apply them to your meat. Cut slices into the top side so that the marinade can sink into the meat and under the skin. 

Cover the rest liberally with the marinade. 

Because of the high sugar content of the marinades it is necessary to cover the meat in foil to cook. Take out 3-4 times during the cooking process and baste the meat in the juices at the bottom of the foil.

Open the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking to get a nice crispy skin on top.

The Cranberry Marinade has a nice sweet and sour kick to it which is great for poultry.

The Orange Marinade is tangy and smooth; also good for poultry, but also pork.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Green Bean Casserole

Check out the YouTube video!

Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Medium Difficulty
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 50 min.

Main Ingredients:
1/2 lb of fresh Green Beans, peeled
1 stalk Celery, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 red Bell Pepper, chopped
3 cloves of Garlic, diced

Cream Base Ingredients:
3 Tbl Butter
1/2 cup Flour
2 cups Milk
1/2 tsp each White Pepper, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt

Croutons Ingredients:
1/2 loaf of French Bread, chopped
2 Tbl of Oil
1 tsp each Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Garlic, Salt
1/2 tsp each Black Pepper, Rosemary

Kitchen Prep:
Chop all your vegetables, including the garlic, set them in a pan to cook with the green beans and 1 Tbl of oil.

Set your oven to heat to 325F.

Chop your bread for croutons.

Step 1:
Saute all your vegetables in a pan on the stove in about 1 Tbl of oil. I prefer to cook with olive oil, but vegetable oil will work just as well. Once the onions start to turn clear, take the vegetables off the stove and put aside in the casserole dish you will be using to bake the final product in.

Step 2:
While the vegetables are cooking season your croutons (for the top of the casserole) by placing the chopped bread in a large bowl and mixing in the oil and spices. Try to get an even coating on all the bread pieces.

Place the croutons on a baking sheet and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.

You can toast the croutons while the oven is heating.

Step 3:
Make the cream base for the casserole by adding the flour and butter to a sauce pan on the stove. Allow to cook on medium heat until the flour turns a dark cream color, stirring constantly.

Lower the heat as far as possible and add in your spices and milk, again stirring constantly.

Once all the ingredients are blended, pour the sauce over the vegetables in the casserole dish and stir well.

Step 4:
Add your croutons on top of the green beans, vegetable and cream sauce mix and cover with foil to bake.

After 30 minutes take the foil off the casserole and allow it to brown on top for another 15 minutes or so. Keep an eye on the top to make sure that the croutons don't burn.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Southern Style Pecan Pie

Check out the YouTube video!

Southern Style Pecan Pie
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min

1 9-in pie crust
1 1/2 cup pecans
3 lg eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar (dark is better)
1/2 cup corn syrup (dark is better)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Rough chop half the pecans, leave the other half to decorate the top.
Preheat the oven to 350F

Mix the Filler:
Mix the eggs, sugar, syrup and spices together. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Fill the Pie:
Once the pie mix is fully integrated you can spoon it into the pie shell and decorate the top with the full size pecans. The pecans will float to the top of the filler, so don't worry about getting them arranged perfectly.

Bake the pie at 350 (180 C) for 45 minutes. Check at the 30 minute mark; if the pecans are turning too brown you can cover the pie with aluminum foil for the rest of the bake time. The pie is done when a knife pressed into the center of the pie comes out clean. That is to say, that the pie filler doesn't stick to the knife or come out goopey.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Turkey Stuffing OR Stuffing Casserole

Check out the YouTube video!

How to Make Stuffing
for Stuffing a Turkey or for Stuffing Casserole
Medium Difficulty
Prep Time: 20 min * Cook Time: 45 min
15 cups chopped bread (about 1 loaf)
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup each, chopped: onions, celery, bell pepper
(red and green for color)
1/2 cup: corn and chopped carrots
2 cups: cheese cubes and sliced sausages
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp: salt and white pepper
1 bouillion cube OR 2 tsp chicken seasoning

Kitchen Prep:
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Chop all your vegetables.
Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
Add wet ingredients and spices in a large mixing bowl, stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
Place the vegetables in a stove pan for cooking.
Chop your bread and evenly distribute the pieces onto an ungreased baking pan.

Step 1:
Toast your chopped bread for about 10-15 min in the oven. You can add the bread to the oven while it is preheating; just keep an eye on the pieces. The toasting helps the bread keep its form when added to the wet ingredients, instead of turning to mush and then baking into a brick.

Step 2:
Saute the vegetebles in a Tbl of oil on the stove while the bread is toasting. Once the onions start to turn clear take them off the stove and put aside for later.

Step 3:
Once the vegetables are done cooking, put the sausages into the same pan and cook them through. Take them off the stove and allow them to cool to the touch so that you can slice them into pieces.
Remember to check your bread in the oven. You don't want it to burn!

Step 4:
Take your toasted bread out of the oven and stir it into the wet ingredients and spices.
Then add in the vegetables and the sausage.
Mix in the cheese cubes once the ingredients have cooled a bit. You want the cheese to melt in the oven or the turkey, not while assembling the stuffing.

Step 5:
Take half the mix and put aside for stuffing the turkey. Put aside only one third if you are stuffing chicken or other smaller poultry.
Bake the other half for about 30-45 min. to make the casserole. Cover the dish with foil for the first 20 min to keep the stuffing moist. The last 15 min or so take the foil off so that it can brown. If you want to be really decadent, add some grated cheese on top when you take the foil off so that the bread stuffing will brown and the grated cheese will get all crispy and crunchy.
The stuffing is done when you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out "clean". Meaning, that the knife will not come out coated in the liquid ingredients, just a few bread crumbs and moisture from the heat.
Allow the casserole to cool a bit before serving. You can precook the casserole the day before and leave it in the refrigerator until the day of the meal. Reheat for 20 min before serving.