Sunday, November 15, 2015

Smoked Turkey Breast

If you read the blog regular-like, you'll remember we covered smoking a whole turkey a couple years back, and it came out great.  I now do one every year--come Thanksgiving and Christmas (and sometimes, a few other times as well)--in addition to my roasted and my fried turkeys.  Yes, we like our turkeys here at An Eat'n Man, but we also like turkey leftovers, and with the size of the Eat'n Man's extended family, one turkey just won't cut it.

Now, at the other end of the spectrum, what if you just don't need that much turkey, or just don't care for the dark meat.  Well, perhaps this is your answer--a single turkey breast.  Just enough for a meal for say four to six, with maybe a smidge left over for a sandwich the next day.  The folks at Butterball hawk a nice pre-cut, pre-packaged turkey breast that is basically ready to go in the smoker.

Looks like this when you get it out of the bag.

Note, it'll be a little smaller than you thought it was--they usually include a bag of gravy mix inside there with the breast, so your eyes will deceive you from when you first heft the package.

Anyway, fire up your smoker with a nice light wood like apple or peach--poultry meat readily absorbs smoke flavor, which is good, but this means more pungent woods like hickory and definitely mesquite are out.  Set your temperature to 300-325˚F.

Oh, before we begin smoking, you might want to remove the stretchy webbing that surrounds the breast.

I didn't, and I found it sort of cooked into the turkey meat, and was a bitch to remove.  The only problem is, if you do remove it, the breast may sort of droop or fall apart.  Solution:  Take it off and then tie the breast up with a few loops of kitchen twine.  Problem solved.

Smoke for 30 minutes.  Breast should now look like this.

Rotate breast around 180˚ and smoke for another 30 minutes.  Check the temp with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast.  It should be getting close now.  Continue smoking until the internal temp hits 160˚F.

Take out and let rest in a warm spot in your kitchen.  Internal temp will continue to climb to 165˚F, which is just right for turkey breast.

Slice and serve--it's just that easy.

Until next time--no reason to go cold turkey with this recipe!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

November's at hand, which brings with it my absolute fav holiday--Thanksgiving.  Yes, I like Christmas, and New Years, and Saint Patrick's Day, and so on and so on...but I just love love love Thanksgiving.  It's one of the few holidays that hasn't really 'gone off on itself,' or gone commercial,  It's still a simple holiday that's all about family, food (and, for those of us in Dallas and Detroit, Football)

We're pretty trad, dad, here in the Eat'n Man's extended family fests, so Thanksgiving is all about turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and the like.  But I think from time to time it's fun to inject a new or different dish or two into the line up, just for variety's sake.  Here's one we did this year, a nice spread of roasted veggies with a fab apple cider vinaigrette dressing.

Other than chopping up lots of veg, this dish is quite simple, and you can make it ahead of time (even a day or so) and chill in the fridge.

1 Pound Carrots
1 Pound Parsnips
1 Pound Red Beets, Peeled
10-12 Garlic Cloves
1 Cup Frozen Pearl Onions, Thawed
1 Pound Brussels Sprouts
Several Rosemary Sprigs
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Cracked Fresh Pepper to Taste
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing (Recipe to Follow)
1 Head Radicchio
1 Head Savoy Cabbage

Preheat oven to 425˚F

Chop Your veggies.

Cut the carrots and parsnips into 3 inch long segments about a half inch or so in width.  Cut the beets into disks and then half these if they are large.  I left my Brussels sprouts whole here since they were small, but I think next time I'll halve them--they'll get more roasty and lose more of that, ahem, pungent aroma and flavor they are infamous for.

Place the veggies in a plastic bag.

You'll have quite a bit of veg, so you'll probably have to do this in batches.  Then add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, seal bag, then shake your moneymaker til the veggies are all well-coated with oil.  I make sure to do the red beets separate from the other veggies so they don't turn the others all reddish in color.

Spread your veg out on a couple of trays, leaving some room between the individual veggies to they roast evenly.  Season with salt and pepper, then go get your rosemary.

Here's the rosemary bush in our back yard.  It's absolutely out of control, but we never want for rosemary, that's for sure.

Cut some sprigs and then place three or so on the trays with the veg.

Toss half the garlic cloves on each tray, then roast at 425˚F for 20 minutes or so, then rotate the trays to opposite shelves in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes or so, until the veg are nice, soft and golden around the edges.

Let the veggies cool to room temperature and then toss with the apple cider vinaigrette dressing. Separate several leaves from the Radicchio and Cabbage, place them on a platter, alternating each type of leaf.  Place the veggies on the platter in a pleasing arrangement.

Serve with a little extra vinaigrette on the side.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1  teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a carafe or large jar and shake well.  Place in fridge for an hour or so for flavors to meld.  Shake again just before serving.

Until next time,

Eat your veggies!