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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

I've been really bad at updating this blog...then again, I haven't been cooking much lately so please bear with me :(
It's Christmas Day and since I'm now on winter break from school and on holiday from work, I have enough time to concur up some deliciousness!
In the late morning and early afternoon, I made a simple Eggs Benedict Brunch for the family to enjoy before we opened up our gifts.
Like so many times before, I did not have English Muffins or crumpets on hand so I cut circles out of thick, Texas Toast bread slices. The rest is self explanatory, shaved ham, poached eggs, homemade Hollandaise and a pinch of cayenne.

 
 The Fam and I settled down to open gifts with hot cups of Bailey's Coffee topped with a unhealthy delicious dollop of homemade whipped cream. My lil' brother had a nice hot mug of hot chocolate since he doesn't like alcohol. 

After wrecking mayhem on the wrapping paper and boxes, I hit the kitchen to prep and make our Christmas dinner. Our turkey was very small, weighing less than 5kg. I buttered the bird up real good with garlic butter, making sure to spread the fat under the skin to lock in as much moistness as I can during roasting. Since I was not cooking for a crowd, I had enough time to experiment with heat settings, basting and glazing. The bird was small, so cooking time was around 2 hours and 40 minutes and a resting time of at least 50 minutes. I used a Mustard glaze with hints of maple and orange to add extra flavor and color to the bird. I found that by cooking the bird covered with a lid (or a roomy tin foil tent) for 40 minutes at 220C/425F will help keep the moister from being lost and also accumulates more juices to flow back into the pan for gravy. After 40 minutes, I turned the oven down to 180C/350F and roasted the bird for 2 hours, making sure to baste the bird every 10-15 minutes. For the last 20 minutes, I glazed the the bird twice with my Mustard Glaze (in 10 minute intrevals). After that, let the bird rest for at least 50 minutes (if you have extra time, rest for the amount of time you cooked the bird). The turkey turned out amazingly moist, the most moist I've ever cooked a turkey!

 

The stuffing was made of a gourmet mix of wild rice and a variety of other rice types (red, brown, long grain etc.) As I cooked the rice with vegetable broth in my handy-dandy rice cooker, I sauteed together white onions, garlic, grated carrots and grated apples then celery. After the rice was cooked, I added it to the vegetables, seasoned and stirred in a small cube of butter (around 1/4).
I roasted some family-favourite veggies like Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. A new addition was parsnips, which my family went crazy for a month or so before, when I made soup with it. There were also dirty, roasted garlic mashed red-potatoes
I used a recipe for Ginger-Roasted Parsnips and Jerk-Spiced Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Chickpeas from the magazine (and website) of Food & Wine to bring the faves to light. As for the broccoli, I roasted them and simply toss them in some lemon juice, lemon zest and a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
I also made the cranberry salsa that I served for my Thanksgiving dinner because the leftovers that I stored in October is all gone (my brother ate it all). The salsa keeps for a very long time in an airtight container, stored in the fridge. I'm never going to make traditional cranberry sauce anymore because the cranberry salsa is both exciting and different to the palette (plus I love the spicy kick I get from the jalapenos and spices).