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Cardamon Bread Pudding with White Chocolate and Grand Marnier Sauce

Cardamon Bread Pudding with White Chocolate and Grand Marnier Sauce

Cardamon Bread Pudding came about this year because I was going to make Gingersnap Bread Pudding but the gingersnaps didn’t get made (2021 strikes again). We also had a bunch of whipping cream that need to be used up so I had to improvise. Ingredients 

Turkey Croquettes

Turkey Croquettes

Turkey croquettes are a great way to use up leftover turkey and mashed potatoes. This recipe is adapted (with thanks) from the Baked Turkey Croquettes recipe from Skinnytaste.com. Ingredients 2 cups cooked leftover turkey, minced fine 1 cup mashed potatoes – left overs or boil 

Dry brined Spatchcocked and Roasted Turkey

Dry brined Spatchcocked and Roasted Turkey

This is the dry brined (spatchcocked) turkey we made during the surreal and disasterous Christmas of 2021. It looks burnt, but trust me it was moist and delicious. And, it only took an hour and 45 minutes to cook at 12lb bird!

ALERT: This is not a “same day” recipe. You need 1-3 days depending on your ingredients and how long you want to brine the bird so read the order of operations and decide whether this recipe is for you. Personally, it’s my favourite way to roast a turkey.

You need to start 24-72 hours ahead to dry brine. 24 hours is the minimum. Prepping to dry brine the bird takes about an hour and then you need to pop it in the fridge uncovered to let the brine do its thing.

Order of operations – Read this first!

  1. Get a fresh 12-18 lbs turkey or make sure that your turkey has been thawed overnight in the fridge. Note: make sure your turkey is not kosher, saline injected or otherwise pre-salted. If it is, pick another recipe.
  2. Spatchcock the Turkey and flatten it out on a tray, set aside while you prepare the turkey stock. Spatchcocking a turkey or chicken means you take the neck and back bone out with kitchen schears and reserve. Need instructions on how to spatchcock? Check out the video from Serious Eats, Knife Skills: How to Spatchcock a Turkey
  3. Prep Turkey stock and get it to the point where you have reduced it to a simmer. Now move to brining theĀ  bird.
  4. Mix up dry brine ingredients.
  5. Pat the turkey dry, loosen the skin over the breast and legs, and push the dry brine underneath, massage in.
  6. Sprinkle turkey with the salt and baking powder mixture and put in on rimmed baking sheet. Pop it into the fridge uncovered and let it brine at least 24 hours (up to 72 is ok). Leaving it uncovered lets the salt do it’s work on skin to produce a more crispy result.
  7. Then you’ll roast the bird for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 F.

Dry Brine

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced parsley (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Morton’s Kosher Salt (add 1 1/2 tsp if you are using Diamond Crystal). Note: the type of salt matters. DO NOT use regular table salt.
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil

For outside of the turkey:

  • 6 Tbsp Morton’s kosher salt (or 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder

Turkey stock

  • Turkey neck, back and giblets
  • 1 onion cut in half and studded with 4 whole cloves
  • 1 allspice ball
  • 10 black pepper balls
  • 1 Tbsp rock salt
  • 1 large carrot cut in quarters and then lengthwise
  • 2 sticks celery with leaves chopped in quarters
  • 8 cardamon pods
  • 6 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10-12 cups water

Method – Stock

Put all the ingredients into a large pot and add the water – ingredients should be covered by a couple inches of water (at least). Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and let it simmer for 1 hour. Let cool, strain and store in the fridge. You’ll use it later for making stuffing, the gravy and basting the bird (if needed).

Method – Roasting the Turkey

  1. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Dust off excess baking power and salt. Transfer bird to a clean rimmed backing sheet with a rake inserted.
  3. Tuck wings under the back of the turkey.
  4. Roast at 425 F until the skin starts to brown in spots, about 20 minutes.
  5. Baste the turkey with pan juices (or warm turkey stock if you don’t get enough juices). Rotate the roasting pan, tent the breast with foil to prevent it from overcooking.
  6. Continue roasting and basting every 15 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching registered 160 F. This should take an additional 30 to 45 minutes, check the temperature and keep basting and rotating until you get to 160 F.
  7. Remove turkey from oven and tent with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Carve and serve.

Gravy

Make a roux with 1/4 butter (or pan drippings if you have enough), and 3 Tbsp flour. Melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour stirring with the back of a spoon. Cook out the roux until nice and brown. Slowly add 2 cups of cold turkey stock to the roux, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until the gravy starts to thicken.

Nordic Accord Meatballs

Nordic Accord Meatballs

Nordic accord meatballs are a mash up of Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian meatballs. My mom couldn’t decide which recipe to follow so she took the best bits from each and put them altogether in one. We serve our meatballs with my Mummu’s onion and mushroom 

Warmed Spiced Olives

Warmed Spiced Olives

It takes all of ten minutes to make warm spiced olives that will elevate the flavour of plain olives to something special for your charcuterie board. Ingredients 1 cup olives (any kind) 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 dried red chili 1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped 

Quick Pickled Red Onion

Quick Pickled Red Onion

There’s a Gastown restaurant called Birds & Beets that serves their breakfast sandwiches with pickled red onion on top. They are oh so delicious so I decided to make some at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper balls
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp corriander balls
  • 1 whole clove

Method

  1. Combine vinegar, water salt and sugar in a small pot bring to a simmer over medium heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved into a pickling liquid.
  2. Put the pepper, bay leaf, coriander and cloves in the bottom of a 1 quart jar and place the sliced onions on top.
  3. Pour the pickling liquid over top and press the onions down so that they are covered.
  4. Place the lid on the jar and leave to steep for at least 30 minutes (longer is better).
  5. If you are not going to use them straight away, pop the jar in the fridge. They will keep for 2 weeks (if they last that long).
Mom’s Bread Stuffing

Mom’s Bread Stuffing

Every family has their favourite holiday stuffing and ours is bread stuffing. At Christmas time we make it using the broth from turkey giblets but at Thanksgiving we don’t do turkey…we do meatloaf. Long story but it’s how we roll. Since we don’t have giblets 

Coconut Banana Mango Smoothie

Coconut Banana Mango Smoothie

I bought some frozen coconut chunks and mango while on a frozen fruit shopping spree so I added a banana and thought I’d try them out in the Nutribullet to make this delicious coconut banana mango smoothie. Load the following ingredients in the order give 

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

I treated myself to a Nutribullet recently and have been playing around with smoothie recipes to get more fruit and veg into my diet. This is quick, easy, light and refreshing.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana broken into chunks
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 ice cube

Load your Nutribullet in the order given and top up with water to the Max line. Whiz it up. Makes two 10 oz glasses of yum.

Note: If you want a refreshing boozy treat leave out the yogurt and add 2 oz of Grand Marnier.

 

Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit Medley (Peach, Mango, Pineapple and Strawberry)

Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit Medley (Peach, Mango, Pineapple and Strawberry)

Like many people I’ve been tackling the “COVID 10” weight gain. Instead of investing in a whole new wardrobe, I decided to try Noom to see whether it might help me drop the extra weight. Part of the challenge is finding stuff I like to