Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup

We made roasted heirloom tomato soup for the first time this August (when we were inundated with lovely, garden-fresh tomatoes) -- and it blew our socks off.

Lucky for us, I made an entire batch in September to stow away in the freezer for later... and what a great idea that was! This delicious soup saved our anniversary!

Soup shown here with a delightful brie, tomato, and avocado sandwich on kalamata olive ciabatta bread.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Maple Brine for Turkey

Since the maple brined turkey is always the highlight of Thanksgiving dinners at our house, I thought I'd share.

Maple Brined Turkey

4 quarts water
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup kosher salt
3 heads garlic cloves, unpeeled
6-8 bay leaves
1 cup soy sauce
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups fresh ginger, unpeeled, chopped
2 teaspoons dried chili flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Refrigerate until cold.

To prepare turkey, remove and reserve giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat.

Place turkey in large stockpot. Pour cooled brine over the top. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours, turning bird occasionally.

For a crisp skin, remove bird from brine, pat dry, and place in a roasting pan overnight (uncovered). Roast as usual.

We like Alton Brown's roasting technique (30-40 minutes at 500ºF; then 350º for remaining time).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Day Menu

We've decided to keep Thanksgiving fairly simple this year. But, that won't stop us from doing some of our favorites -- like Lo's spinach gratin. If you're curious, here's a sneak peek at our menu (which, if you know Lo, is never REALLY set in stone). We'll be back with pictures, if we can manage that amid all the merriment.

Maple brined turkey
bacon, apple, and caramelized onion stuffing... er, dressing
roasted winter squash halves
spinach gratin
brussels sprouts & pearl onions in horseradish cream
mashed potatoes with garlic & buttermilk
Paul's dad's "famous" cranberry relish (this is the recipe with the whole oranges, if I'm not mistaken)

There will also be pumpkin praline pie, supplied by Peef's mom.
And Kris & Kris will make the event more merry by bringing the wine!

What?! Not adventurous enough for you?
Well... just stay tuned. Maybe our Christmas menu will whet your whistle!

Friday, November 2, 2007

REJECTED: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

We have standards here at BURP!
What that means is that we only share recipes with you that we've actually tried. It also means that we only publish recipes here on our blog that meet the BURP! stamp of approval. If we wouldn't feed it to guests at our home, we don't share it with you.

But, sometimes it's amusing to share with you some of the stories of the items that will NEVER make the BURP! menu.

Our latest attempt at Crockpot Cacciatore is one such story.