|Yes, the turkey needed that bow.|
Why brine a turkey?
What is a brine?
And how do you make one?
Brining is a great way to infuse flavor into the turkey with a salty, herbed and spiced liquid that the turkey bathes gloriously in for at least 24 hours prior to cooking. It not only makes more flavorful bird, but you cuts will be more tender and juicier. I always hated a dry slice of turkey, and this is an almost error proof way to get the best out of the gobbler (unless you're like some people I know *coughmomcough* that can dry out the best of birds).
|My turkey this morning, just before the booze|
|Photo by WizardRecipes.com|
Now that we have come to a consensus as to why we should all practice brining, how do we do it? It really simple and for this I will defer to my go-to recipe and how-to from the Domestic Diva herself, Martha. Follow the link to learn how easily you could begin brining this morning and have an ah-MAZ-ing bird tomorrow.
Martha Stewart's Turkey Brining Method and Recipe
And now for my menu (so far) for Turkey Day:
Sage and Chive Stuffing with a caramelized onion francese bread.
Corn Casserole with prosciutto and panko crumb topping (ignore the croutons in the pic... I'll take a shot of mine and post it Friday).
Sweet Potato Casserole...Yes, it will have marshmallows. I will be guilted to no end if I omit the marshmallows.
Chive Studded Mashed 'Potatoes'. Why the quotes? They are cut with cauliflower to minimize the starch and caloric impact. I'm excited, these have gotten wild reviews online.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Made with skim milk and a sharp cheddar.
Asparagus Risotto featuring arborio rice and a touch of lemon.
Pumpkin Pie. No explanation needed.
Kara's Apple Crisp that I featured last month during my "I picked too many apples" craze. It was fantastic! But I like to make it a day ahead and let it rest so it isn't crispy anymore... Bizarre, I know. I like slightly soggy apple 'crisp.' Eh. What are gonna do?
Cranberry Ice. It's more like a sorbet, but it has been a staple on the post-turkey menu for my hubby's family since forever. So now I make it too : )
Bread. Biscuits. Rolls. Turkey. Gravy (can't do much about this one). Cranberry something for the table...
I'll post these recipes as I am going to make them later this evening, just in case you need any last minute, easy ideas to jazz up the dinner table tomorrow. Or just in case you have to bring something to cousin Rita's and and are too preoccupied with how to handle drunken Uncle Bill and his dancing with the dog to think for yourself. Hey, we all have our Ritas and Bills. You're not alone.