When it comes to Thanksgiving, turkey is often sacrosanct for many families, and roasting up a whole bird will always impress—as long as it doesn’t come out drier than the Sahara. But let’s be honest: it can be a pretty hefty kitchen project. By employing this fuss-free poaching method, you’ll free up oven space and have a better chance of serving up juicy meat. And because everyone around the table will be hunting for the gravy, here’s one that includes a surprising sweet-tart element, courtesy of those seasonal flushed berries.
Pay it forward Consider poaching liquid as the gift of free turkey stock. Remove solids and keep the liquid in the fridge in a covered container for up to 5 days or freeze for future use in recipes for soups and stews.
To poach turkey, in large saucepan, place breast, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, lemon, salt, and peppercorns. Add enough water to completely cover turkey by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring water to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 F (74 C). Adjust heat as needed during cooking to maintain the slight simmer (you donu2019t want to boil the meat), and skim off any foam that forms on the surface of the water.
To make gravy, in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and salt; cook until mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine, raise heat to medium-high, and boil until liquid has reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, into 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the broth. Add remaining broth, thyme, and pepper to gravy pan. Return to a boil and then stir in cornstarch-broth mixture and cranberries. Simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Slice turkey and place on serving platter. Serve with bowl of gravy alongside.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.