Posted by: timscooking | July 17, 2010

Garden Fresh Potato and Green Bean Salad

On our latest trip to the farmers’ market, we found some new red and white potatoes, green beans, and a variety of onions and herbs that looked great.  Normally I would use the potatoes and green beans separately, roasting the potatoes on the grill and blanching the beans for a few minutes in boiling water and dressing them with lemon juice and some of the chopped herbs, but then I thought, why not combine them into a salad we could use for the entire weekend.

Both the potatoes and green beans stand alone as great summer salad ingredients so I figured that if I put them together and made a dressing without sour cream or mayonnaise, the resulting salad would also be perfect for those summer picnics and outdoor get-togethers and no worries about the salad going bad in the heat.

While the potatoes and green beans are the main components, this recipe can easily be adapted according to your own taste or by what you may have in the fridge. Crumbled bacon would be a great addition (everything’s better with bacon!), as would chopped ham or hard-cooked eggs. In regards to the herbs, use whatever combination you like or, in a pinch you could just use flat leaf parsley if that’s all you have. Just remember to stay away from those items that need constant chilling if you are going to be leaving this out all day.

This recipe will serve 6 – 8 and can easily be doubled for a larger gathering. Just be sure not to overcook the potatoes or else you’ll end up with mashed potatoes and green beans!

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb. new potatoes, 1 inch dice

1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

4 tbsp. butter, divided

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 c. green onions, white and green parts chopped

1 c. finely minced herbs (parsley, dill, basil, tarragon, lemon thyme)

Zest of 1 lemon

2-3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

Start a large pot of water to boil for the green beans.

Place the potatoes in a large sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes for about 8 minutes until they are tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to the pan. Put 2 tbsp. butter in the pan and gently stir to coat. Cover.

When the large pot of water comes to a boil, add the green beans and boil for 3 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander, return to the pot and add the remaining 2 tbsp. butter. Stir to coat. Cover.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, green onion, herbs, lemon zest lemon juice and olive oil. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper. Let this sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour to let the flavors combine.

To assemble the salad, divide the dressing in half, add half to the potatoes and stir gently to coat. Add the remaining half to the green beans and stir to coat. Pour the potatoes in your serving bowl and add the beans. Stir gently so as not to break up the potatoes. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Let the salad sit until it reaches room temperature. This is best served at room temperature so, if you refrigerate it, take it out and let it come to room temperature before serving.

Posted by: timscooking | July 13, 2010

Confessions of an Asparagus Junkie

I love asparagus. There, I’ve said it. I love it because there are so many different ways it can be used. 

Funny thing is, as a kid, I never ate asparagus. My mom never cooked with it, I don’t think I would have recognized it if someone smacked me upside the head with a bunch. My wife and I still laugh about the time when we were first married and she sent me to the corner store to buy rhubarb for strawberry-rhubarb pie and I came home with asparagus.

Here in Michigan, locally grown asparagus is available from late May to early July and as part of my move to more farm to table recipes, I’ve been buying a lot of it at farmers’ markets in the area. In the past, I’ve written about roasted asparagus in risotto, in pasta, and as a pizza topping but how can you to prepare it without using the oven in the summer heat? Use your grill instead of the oven or make a versatile pesto sauce.

Grilling asparagus is just as easy as roasting it but only quicker. Toss with olive oil and season the trimmed asparagus with salt and pepper, place on a medium grill, turn every 1 -2 minutes depending on how thick it is, until charred on all sides and serve with lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Or, you can make a dinner salad using it as the base.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 small melon (about 12 ounces), peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella , cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 oz. chopped ham
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the melon and mozzarella cheese and toss until all ingredients are combined.

Arrange the grilled asparagus on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the melon and cheese on top of the asparagus. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle the ham and pine nuts on top and serve.

The asparagus pesto requires a little prep but is well worth the effort for its summer time versatility. It can be used as a pasta sauce, a topping for meat, poultry or fish, or a quick dip for raw vegetables and grilled pita bread. It’s pictured here as a sauce with frozen gnocchi prepared according to package instructions and sautéed mushrooms.

Ingredients

For the pesto:

  • 1 bunch asparagus , about 1 pound, trimmed and cooked for 5 minutes in boiling, salted water
  • 1/2 c. packed coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts , toasted
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • About 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Cut the cooked asparagus spears into thirds. Put in a food processor with the basil, pine nuts, and garlic.

With the machine running, slowly add the cup of olive oil. When the sauce is about the consistency of mayonnaise, it has enough oil. Pulse in the Parmesan. Add salt and pepper, to taste and thin with water, if necessary, to achieve a slick, saucy pesto.

Scrape into a bowl or jar, cover with a thin layer of olive oil, and refrigerate until needed. You should have about 3 cups. (Keeps about 2 to 3 days, refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Posted by: timscooking | June 29, 2010

Farmers’ Market – Day Five Fried Corn and Peppers

The Sunday after our return home from Atlanta,  I still had some sweet peppers from our Eastern Market trip the weekend before and needed to use them or freeze them before they went south. Fried peppers and onions with grilled Italian sausage was one option, but after wandering through the aisles at our local green grocer, I picked up some good-looking California corn and decided on a fried corn and pepper dish that I could use as a side and as a quick relish for another meal.

I have found that unless I’m actually grilling the corn on the cob, the easiest way to prepare fresh corn is off the cob. Just stand the ear on its flat end in a large bowl and run your knife down the sides to remove all of the kernels. I used four ears for this recipe but you can adjust the amount according to your needs.

This dish was used as a side but you can make it into a quick corn relish with the addition of some white wine vinegar and sugar to the pan as you fry the corn and peppers, let it cool and use as a condiment with a pork tenderloin, or add a diced jalapeno pepper and some chopped tomatoes to your leftovers for a corn salsa to use with tacos.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced

1 c. sweet peppers (mixed red, orange, yellow, green), small dice

4 ears corn, kernels removed

Salt and pepper

Directions

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until the onions are clear.

Add the peppers and saute for 2 minutes. Add the corn and stir to combine all the vegetables. Fry the corn, stirring occasionally until the it begins to brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Posted by: timscooking | June 23, 2010

Farmers’ Market – Day Four Tomato Bread Soup

This soup is a staple throughout Tuscany in Italy, where it is known as pappa al pomadoro. The Tuscans believe theirs to be the best bread in all of Italy, known for its golden crust and dense, chewy center. Since most households either bake or buy fresh bread every day, this is an excellent way to use the day old bread that is in the pantry. And, because it takes only about 25 minutes to prepare, It could be a quick lunch or a tasty first course for dinner. We like soup, so many times this is dinner. No leftovers!

I still had some of the rosemary olive oil bread and tomatoes we had purchased at Eastern Market the previous Saturday and I was determined to use every bit of what we had in one week’s time. You could use day old Italian or French bread with excellent results.

Since I was using fresh tomatoes, it was necessary to peel them before adding to the soup. You can do this easily. Just score the bottom of the tomato with a paring knife. Drop in boiling water for 1 minute and then plunge into an ice water bath.  Shocking the tomatoes this way makes peeling them a snap. If you are using canned, look for whole peeled tomatoes and crush them by hand.

Also, there is no salt added in this recipe due to the fact that the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano is quite salty on its own.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 lb. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped or 32 oz. canned, peeled tomatoes, seeded and hand- crushed
  • 12 oz. day-old Italian bread, large cubed 
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 c. fresh torn basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over a medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 5 minutes.

Add the bread cubes and water. Continue simmering until the bread has absorbed as much liquid as possible. Stir in the basil. Season, to taste, with pepper. Let the soup continue simmering for 10 more minutes, then serve immediately in warmed soup bowls. Garnish, to taste, with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

One of the upsides of buying fresh is that the less you do to the vegetables, the better. This pasta dish is another simple and quick meal that is done in the time it takes to boil the pasta. I used penne rigate, penne with ridges, but any small pasta would do. Also, you could easily add some diced chicken, bacon or even grilled tuna to this dish if you are so inclined. I went with the vegetarian version. This recipe made enough for two with leftover for lunch. It could easily be doubled for 4 – 6 dinner servings.

Ingredients

8 oz. small pasta such as penne or farfalle

1/2 c. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 large yellow onion, small dice

8 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces

1 c. sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, green), small dice

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus 2 tbsp. for garnish

2 tbsp. dill, chopped

Directions

Prepare pasta according to package instructions.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Saute for 2 minutes or until onion begins to soften.

Add the asparagus, peppers and salt to the pan, saute until the pasta is done. Reserve 1 c. pasta cooking liquid.

Add the pasta to the saute pan, toss to combine. Add the 1/2 c. parmesan to the pan and stir. Add a 1/2 c. of cooking liquid to the pan to make a sauce. Add more liquid as needed.

Spoon into bowls, garish with chopped dill and reserved parmesan.

Posted by: timscooking | June 17, 2010

Farmers’ Market – Day Two Panzanella

Day Two of my farmers’ market challenge and I’m thinking about making something light for dinner after the leftover eggplant parmigiana for lunch. Panzanella or bread salad is just the ticket. Panzanella is about as simple a recipe as anyone can make, so all you cooking novices had better take notes.

No one knows the exact origin of panzanella, although it is probably a rustic dish that was first made in the region of Tuscany in Italy. The basic ingredients are day old bread, tomatoes, red onion and a simple dressing of red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. You will want to use bread that has some substance to it, like a French or Italian loaf. I had the rosemary olive oil bread I had purchased at the market. I also had the sweet peppers and dill that I could use.

This is one of those salads that you can improvise depending on what you have in the fridge or the pantry. Some recipes call for bacon, canned tuna in oil, or salami, assorted herbs such as basil, parsley or rosemary and a variety of vinegars, but again, this originated as a simple rustic dish, so the above ingredients I listed were probably all the early cook had to work with. The recipe I have here is based on the produce and bread I purchased at the market on Saturday.

Serve with a glass of Pinot Grigio or some sparkling mineral water with lemon for a light and refreshing summer meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. Rosemary olive oil bread cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 c. yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 red onion, small dice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber,  yellow pepper, and red onion. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with the chopped dill. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend. The longer it sits, the tomatoes will start to break down and the bread will absorb more of the flavor.

Posted by: timscooking | June 16, 2010

Farmers’ Market – Day One Eggplant Parmigiana

It’s Sunday and I’ve got a whole crisper stuffed with vegetables from our Eastern Market trip. Since I”ve got the time, I thought that I would try one of the eggplant parmigiana recipes I’ve used in the past to work with the small eggplants I bought. This dish requires a bit of time and prep but the payoff is delicious. Usually the dish requires 2 large eggplants but I had purchased 3 baby eggplants so I decided to turn each into its own eggplant stack. Also breaking with tradition, fresh mozzarella is called for in any recipe I’ve ever read but since I had some smoked provolone in the fridge, that’s what I used. The play of the smoky cheese off the buttery eggplant and sweet tomato sauce gave it an interesting twist. I used some leftover tomato sauce I had made for pizza, you can make your own or use a jar of good commercial sauce instead.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the baking sheet
  • 3 baby eggplants, not Japanese eggplants which are long and thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 c. basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, rolled into a cigar shape and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
  • 1/2 lb. smoked provolone, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 c. fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted under broiler

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Using some extra-virgin olive oil, oil a baking sheet.

Slice each eggplant into 4 pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly season each disk with salt and pepper and place on the oiled sheet. Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees F until the slices begin turning deep brown on top, about 10 -12 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and place them on a plate to cool.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In an 8 by 12-inch pan or casserole, place the 3 largest eggplant slices evenly spaced apart. Over each slice, spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a 1 tsp. of basil. Place one slice of provolone over each and sprinkle with 1 tsp. grated Parmigiano. Place the smaller slices of eggplant over each of the disks and repeat with tomato sauce, basil, and the 2 cheeses. Repeat the layering again until all the ingredients are used.

Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant dish, and bake uncovered until the cheese is melts and the tops turn light brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

We each had one of the stacks along with a small salad. The third was Monday’s lunch.

 Basic tomato sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, 1/4-inch dice

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried

1 tsp. sugar

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

Salt

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and cook 5 minutes more. Add the sugar, tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator.

Posted by: timscooking | June 15, 2010

It’s Farmers’ Market Time!

The past week was pretty busy, starting a week ago with a weekend trip to Detroit’s farmers’ market and ending this past weekend with a quick trip to Atlanta to attend our niece’s graduation ceremonies from Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta where she received a diploma in patisserie and baking. In between, I tried to come up with as many recipes as possible to use all of the fresh vegetables we found at the market.

Started out early and travelled to Detroit’s own Eastern Market  a week ago Saturday. Eastern Market is the only farmers’ market in southeast Michigan that runs year round and has done so since 1891. Farmers from local community gardens in Detroit and from farms located throughout Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada set up each Saturday in anticipation of the approximately 40,000 shoppers who visit the six blocks that make up the market.

The first decision of the day was where to have breakfast. There are a number of restaurants in the area, most of which were opened to accommodate the workers in the wholesale warehouses and the meatpacking plants in the area. Check your healthy diet at the door at most of these. Servings are large and pork and beef are a prominent part of the menu.

After breakfast, we set out to do some serious shopping. Got some baby eggplants, sweet peppers and tomatoes from some Ontario farmers, asparagus, romaine and dill from the city community gardens tended by Detroit school students, some smooth and creamy Asiago Bleu cheese from the Midtown Dairy here in Detroit and a loaf of just baked rosemary olive oil bread from a group that donates all proceeds to Gleaners Food Bank to help feed the hungry. Total of all our purchases – $20. Half being the cheese and bread.

When we got home, I cleaned and prepped the day’s purchases. Since we were still feeling the effects of the huge breakfast, we opted for a simple dinner of warm rosemary-olive oil bread, the Asiago Bleu cheese and sliced summer sausage.

The rest of the week went like this:

Sunday – Eggplant Parmigiano

Monday – Panzanella

Tuesday – Pasta with Asparagus and Peppers

Wednesday – Bread Soup

Thursday – Pizza with Ham and Asparagus

Friday & Saturday – Atlanta

Sunday – Fried Corn Relish and Smoked Kielbasa

All of our vegetables and other purchases were used. The rest of the ingredients came from the pantry. I’ll start with the recipes tomorrow.

Posted by: timscooking | June 1, 2010

Bring On the Ribs!

Memorial Day marks the official starting date for outdoor grilling here in Michigan. And while Detroit may not seem like the most likely destination for good barbeque, we have a long tradition of outdoor cooking that goes back as far as I can remember. All you need do is drive down the streets of the lower east side on any day of the week  to see a group of men sitting around a large converted 55 gallon oil drum with sweet wood smoke pouring out the stack to know that something good is happening and if you pull up to the curb, they’ll probably sell you a half slab of ribs or a half  chicken with some white bread for $5. When I was a teenager, working summers in a factory, the older guys would argue for hours about which bar had the best “Q”. The holy grail back then was the Tunnel Bar-B-Q across the river in Windsor, Ontario. More recently, Slows Bar-B-Q on this side of the river has built quite a reputation for itself. It has been featured in a number of publications and on the Travel Channel.

There are three key components to any good barbeque rib recipe, the rub, the grill, and the sauce. Most restaurants worthy of praise use a dry rub to season the meat before cooking. Again, there is much debate about this, but I’ve found that, unlike the brining method I use for poultry, ribs like dry best. Secondly, I use a gas grill. Unless you have an elaborate smoker type grill that cooks the ribs using hot smoke and indirect heat or, like those guys with the converted oil drum, you can sit and watch the ribs all day, it is much easier to regulate the temperature over a long period of time (usually 5-6 hours) needed to make ribs properly. Finally, the sauce should be applied with a light touch, almost like painting a wall rather than just slopping it on.

The Rub

There are plenty of commercial varieties available but I’ve been trying to get away from prepared foods because, if you read the ingredient list, a disproportionate amount of salt is in most of these pre-packaged spice mixes. I used a rub recipe from Alton Brown.

1 part each:

     ground coriander, cumin, chile powder, garlic powder

1/2 part each:

     toasted and ground celery seed, onion powder, dried rubbed sage, confectioners’ sugar, file’ powder

1/4 part each:

     Toasted and ground white pepper corns, toasted and ground black pepper corns, toasted and ground red pepper flakes

You can make as much or as little as you want, just keep the proportions the same. Combine all of the ingredients, store in a container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in a cool, dark place. This will last the whole summer season.

The Sauce

Again, store-bought is okay, homemade is better because you control the final product. Here’s one from Pat and Gina Neely. You can find hundreds on the internet.

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

1. Soak 4 cups of wood chips of your choice in water for 1/2 hour. Make four 12-inch square pieces of foil. Drain the chips and distribute evenly among the four foil squares. Bring two sides together and seal tightly, fold up the opposite sides to make small packets of chips. Poke 5 – 6 holes in the top of each packet to allow for the smoke to escape.

2. Preheat a grill to 250 degrees F. Use an oven thermometer to regulate your temp. Don’t rely on the grill thermometer, they are notoriously inaccurate. prepare the grill for indirect cooking. Turn off the burner on one side or if you have a warming rack, just turn both burners down low.

3. Spread 1 tsp. kosher salt even over a 3 lb. slab of baby back ribs. Coat the surface with a 1/2 cup of the rub. Spread evenly with your hands.

4. Place a wood chip packet on the hot side of the grill, place the ribs on the cool side or on the warming rack. Close the lid. Check the ribs every hour to see that they are not getting too well done. Add a new packet of wood chips to maintain the smoke.

5. After approximately three hours, remove the ribs and wrap tightly in foil. Return to the grill. In one hour, open the foil, check the rib meat. It should spring back when you push on it. Use a brush to baste the sauce on the ribs, close the lid.

6. In 1/2 hour, remove the ribs from the grill, let rest for 15 minutes and cut 2-3 rib portions for each person.

Posted by: timscooking | May 25, 2010

Brining and Grilling Turkey Breast

Grilling season is upon us once again and we’ll be out grilling everything from hot dogs to whole sides of hogs. If you’re like me, learning to grill something right has taken years of practice and unfortunately lots of dry, overcooked food in order to do it properly. Today, I’m going to share some of what I’ve learned in order to make a turkey breast worthy of any occasion.

First, always brine your bird, or in this case, whole bone on turkey breast. What is brining? Nothing more that a long soak in a salt water solution. Brining can take as little as 6 hours or as long as 24, depending on what you’re working with. I usually brine turkey breasts in the 6 – 8 hour range, but have also done it overnight with little noticable difference in flavor or texture of the finished product. My brine recipe usually consists of 1 gallon of water, one cup of kosher or pickling salt, and whatever spices or flavors I wish to impart to the bird. It could be brown sugar, some type of citrus juice, herbs (dried work best for this process), I’ve even used Old Bay Seasoning. Whatever you use in addition to the salt and water, remember that it is going into a gallon of water so a quarter to a half cup would not be too much in most cases.

Heat the water on medium in a large stock pot and add the salt and other seasonings. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool for approximately 1/2 hour. Add 4-6 cups of ice cubes to cool the water completely (you don’t want to poach the bird) and place the turkey breast in the pot. Put a plate on top of the turkey breast to keep it submerged. Cover the pot and store in the refrigerator for 6 – 8 hours or place in an ice chest and fill in around the pot with ice.

When you are ready to grill the turkey breast, prepare your grill for indirect cooking. A charcoal grill needs enough coals to maintain temperature for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Once the coals are white-hot, push them to one side of the grill and place a pan under your cooking grate. For a gas grill, get temp up and turn one burn to low, place a pan over the low burner. Take the turkey out of the brine, making sure that you drain all excess water from the turkey cavity, pat the skin dry with paper towel, brush the skin with olive oil. which will promote browning and season with salt and pepper.

In addition to brining, I’ve found that cooking by temperature rather than time produces a juicier bird. The recommended times on the label don’t always correlate with the size of the bird or the temperature of your grill. All grills, whether charcoal or gas, have famously inaccurate temperature gauges, so to rely on them is asking for disastrous results. My solution, a digital thermometer. These use a probe inserted into the thickest part of the breast to record the internal temperature of the bird while it is roasting. Many have a portable monitor, like the one shown, so that you don’t even have to return to the grill until the preselected temperature has been reached. In the case of a turkey breast that should be between 160 and 165 degrees F. If you are using a handheld probe or meat thermometer, begin checking temps after about 90 minutes and every 15 – 20 minutes thereafter.

Place the turkey breast on the cool side of the grill over the pan and close the lid. When the meat thermometer indicates the target temp, remove from the grill and cover with foil. The internal temp will continue to rise 5 – 10 degrees F. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before carving. 

Perfect turkey every time.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories