very juicy roast turkey cooked with herbs and rose

just out the oven

I tried this recipe on a chicken recently and it was so amazing — so figured I would adapt it and do a turkey this way. People are always saying they don’t really like turkey because it’s too dry so I wanted to make the juiciest possible bird.  I have never really understood all the fuss around cooking a turkey as it’s really as easy as a chicken it just takes a bit longer.

I looked at Nigella’s guidelines around cooking times in ‘How to eat’ and she recommends 2 hours @ 180 degrees for a 4.5kg Turkey.  Well I have to say that this is not accurate at all.  I cooked my 4kg Turkey for just over 3 hours at 200 degrees c. (cut the recipe in half if you are doing a chicken)

recipe:

  • 1 x turkey stuffed and trussed (ie legs tied together)
  • 2 cups (500ml rose / or white wine)
  • 4 cups /1 litre chicken stock (hot)
  • about 2 cups of herbs –then chop up finely (I used parsley, sage (small quantity as its very strong), rosemary, thyme and a little bit of basil)
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 4 Tbls of Dijon mustard.

how to make:

  • preheat oven to 200 degrees c
  • mix the garlic, mustard, wine and herbs in a bowl and then pour over the turkey
  • pour the chicken stock into the roasting pan (deep sided one works best)
  • cook uncovered for about 3 hours depending on the size of your bird
  • I cooked with the breast up for 30 minutes, then turned over so back up for about an hour then flipped and did the final hour and a half with breast up again.  If the top is getting a bit too brown, loosely cover the bird with a piece of foil. baste every half an hour or so.

There is a lot of liquid  so baste often.  As its being cooked open, a lot of the liquid will reduce to form a lovely saucy gravy.

I carved up the whole turkey and put the meat in a large serving platter. I don’t mind that it doesnt look very pretty at this stage and some of the pieces are more chunky than neatly sliced. I then poured over all the herby wine sauce so the meat just wallowed in this.  So succulent and delicious and got a generous quota of comments about it being the best turkey ever eaten.

I stuffed the turkey with my roasted cashew nut, sesame seed and dukkah stuffing.  I served with roasted potato wedges, roasted butternut slices and a big green salad with my best vinaigrette.

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crispy potato wedges with rosemary

I made these potato wedges for a xmas lunch party I went to yesterday.

Cut the spuds into wedges (quartered lengthways)……. I used medium in size mediterranean potatoes (WW). Put in a pot and just cover with water, add salt. Bring the pot to a boil and boil for about 8 – 10 minutes depending on how many spuds. drain and allow to ‘steam dry’ (they are almost done). Spread in a single layer on a baking tray, drizzle generously with olive oil and coat the spuds. Sprinkle salt and pepper and dried rosemary …I think dry is best here.  You could also sprinkle chilli flakes, egyptian dukha, cajun spices, mixed herbs, lemon zest and salt or anything that you desire.  Bake in a 200 degree oven until golden brown (about 45 minutes)

Crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.  They were delicious with the roast  stuffed turkey, glazed gammon and salads.

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peanut butter shortbread

blinged up for xmas

I have recently fallen in love with peanut butter, I was kind of neither here nor there about it, now its very much a part of my life.  I took this classic shortbread recipe and peanutbutterified it. 

recipe:

  • 200gms butter (original recipe is for  250 gms if you want to leave the peanut butter out and keep it classic)…..plus a bit for greasing
  • 50gms crunchy peanut butter (I used WW organic crunchy peanut butter because its awesome but any kind would work)
  • 125gms  caster sugar (plus a bit more for sprinkling)…I store vanilla pods in my caster sugar which imparts a lovely flavour
  • 250gms plain flour sifted
  • 125 gm corn flour

how to make:

  • preheat oven to 150 degrees c
  • butter a 20 – 24cm square tin
  • cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  • add the flour and corn flour and mix lightly with spatula or wooden spoon and then your hands until you have a smooth dough
  • roll your dough on a floured surface until about 2cm thick
  • press the rolled out dough into the tin getting it into the corners (I skipped the rolling out and just pressed it directly into the tin — a slightly less even surface which I quite like)
  • prick the dough all over with a fork
  • bake for around 50 minutes until a nice golden colour
  • while it’s still warm from the oven sprinkle over caster sugar
  • allow to cool slightly then cut into desired squares with a sharp knife

Perfect shortbread texture, subtle but yet distinctive peanut butter flavour, nicely blinged up with some edible glitter for christmas gifting. Such a winner!

just baked

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summer of elegance – house of krone

Rose cuvee brut

Feeling a bit tired and mildly hungover from the previous nights drinks gathering at Wafu, we headed out to Tulbach to the House of Krone summer of elegance event on Twee Jonge Gezellen wine farm (here)

Damn it was hot. It felt like 40 degrees.  We managed to prevent ourselves from wilting completely by sitting on the shady terrace with a breeze and smashed back a good few bottles of the very delicious Rose Cuvee Brut. The Krone Borealis Brut is among my favourite South African Cap Classique’s but wow pink bubbles are just that little bit yummier.

There was a fashion show (which we found terribly amusing by 3pm), an art exhibition, a display of vintage cars, Oysters, Sumo wraps (gobbled a very tasty smoked salmon, avo and cream cheese on arrival), chocolates, fudge, Olives and Oil from Groote Vallei (my aunt and uncles farm in the valley)…and some live music at sunset.

All round fabulous fun, great people …….probably a bit too hot but will definitely consider going back again next year.

the party planner, the stylist and the lawyer

well because I can, I live here and its how I chill

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white chocolate, cranberry and pecan nut cookies

a tin of delicious cookies

I had some dried cranberries lying around and always have white chocolate so thought these would be quite nice. The recipe was with macadamia nuts, but couldn’t find one mac nut in the Waterfront yesterday (dont get me started on this topic…)

I have however got tons of pecan nuts — so substituted.

I find American cookies completely irresistable and totally get the whole raw cookie dough eating thing. I had a good few picks at it while making these.

recipe:

  • 300gm white chocolate (cut up into chunks – big and small)
  • 100gm butter
  • 1 egg
  • 50gm muscovado / brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180gm (or 1 1/4 cup) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85gm caster sugar
  • 50gm dried cranberries
  • 50gm pecan nuts chopped (or macadamia nuts or others could work)

how to make:

  • oven on at 180 degrees c
  • melt 85gms of the choc in a double boiler, then cool a little
  • beat butter, egg, sugars and vanilla with an electric beater until creamy
  • beat in the melted choc
  • stir in the flour, baking powder, cranberries, nuts and remaining chocolate to make a stiff dough
  • using a tablespoon measure , drop small mounds well spaced on a lined baking sheet (silicone baking sheets work really well)
  • you could also reserve some of the nuts, berries and chocolate pieces and place these into the cookies after they are on the tray so they poke out (extra pretty)
  • bake for 12 minutes
  • allow to cool for 1 -2 minutes then put on a cooling rack (this is quite important as they carry over cooking quite a bit after baking and can go a bit too brown if left on the baking pan)
  • You could double up and freeze the already formed cookie discs for later use.

OMG they are so yummy! Slightly chewy which is the way I like them.

Sensational when slightly warm from the oven with the white chocolate still soft and gooey. The dried cranberries add so much value….now I need to give these away as soon as possible otherwise I am going to have to schedule an extra few sessions with my personal trainer.

baked

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