Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday Night, Cider Glazed Turkey Breast with Lager Gravy

The best part about Friday Night Dinner is Saturday Afternoon Lunch!  You get a fantastic lunch and you are revived from a good night sleep, and sometimes I even think things taste better after sitting in the refrigerator over night.  This week I ended up doing a Thanksgiving feast (basically).  I received the new Food and Wine magazine in the mail and there was a section of recipes by Michael Symon and it turns out I made all his recipes except for the appetizer, which I found in the same magazine.  I didn't make a whole Turkey, I just made the turkey breast so I had to modify the recipe a little bit.

Whipped Feta with Cucumbers

There is more to this than it sounds.  It's got feta, cream cheese, heavy cream, olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings.  I liked the cucumbers marinated in lemon and oregano too.  I had the option of serving this combination on French Baguette slices or pita tri-angles, since I tend to use the baguette I went with the pita, which was very good.  I liked this appetizer because the cucumbers kept it light, I didn't feel like I was over eating before the big dinner I was about to eat.  Here is the recipe.

Cider Glazed Turkey Breast with Lager Gravy

I kind-of, sort-of followed Michael Symon's turkey recipe.  I couldn't completely follow it because he was using the whole bird and I had just the breast.  The cooking time was much less and I didn't have the giblets, neck and wing tips he uses to make the gravy.  He salts his bird the night before and wraps it with plastic wrap.  He lets it sit overnight then makes a butter, sage and cider mixture and soaks cheese cloth in it then covers the breast meat with it.  I did that and it looks beautiful with the cheese cloth on and I put some pretty sage leaves under it, it looked nice and brown...but the skin was flabby and not at all something I wanted to eat (Tony had no problem though).  I can only assume that the longer cooking time a whole bird takes would give better results.  I cooked my breast at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.  After 45 minutes I added a splash of water to the bottom of the pan.  For the gravy I reduced about a cup of (low sodium always)chicken stock to about 1/4 cup, just to help with flavor and to kind-of make up for the absent turkey neck, giblets and wing tips (I think it helped).  I followed Micheal Symon's recipe but only did about half of the recipe and I let it simmer for an hour and a half like he suggests.

Butternut Squash and Corn Bread Stuffing Muffins

We loved this recipe and loved the idea of putting it in muffin tins, we will be doing this for Thanksgiving this year for our family.  The butternut squash is roasted until soft then added to a food processor with eggs, a little sugar, chicken stock, salt and pepper and processed until smooth.  This is combined with some cubed and lightly toasted corn bread and a mixture of other flavors; onion, celery, garlic, sage and bacon.  Here is the recipe.

Swiss Chard and Leek Gratin

This was also very delicious.  Any time you add bechemel cream sauce to anything it automatically tastes sinful, and basically that's what you make for this dish.  It's Swiss chard that's pre cooked and squeezed dry and chopped.  In a skillet you cook some leeks and seasonings.  In another pan you make the cream sauce and then combine them all together in a baking dish.  I put mine in the refrigerator for a few hours then baked it just before dinner.  This was so good and very rich.  Here is how you make it!!

Apple Brown Betty

I saw this and said "what is an apple brown betty"??  I had no idea so without even thinking about it I decided to make this.  It turns out, in case you didn't know either, that it's a combination of a bread pudding (without the milk-ey custard), and an apple crisp.  You get brioche or challah bread and toast cubes of it in the oven then pulse in a food processor.  You combine sugar with orange and lemon zests, cinnamon and nutmeg.  You slice Granny Smith apples thinly ( I used my Japanese mandalyne).   Combine some apple cider with lemon and orange juices.  You layer the bread crumbs, the apples and the sugar and drizzle on the cider mixture.  Then more bread crumbs, apples sugar and apples and breadcrumbs, like a lasagna.  It's very flavorful with the zest and quite good with homemade vanilla ice cream.  Here is the Apple Brown Betty recipe.

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