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TIP OF THE DAY: Top 10 Turkey Cooking Tips

Have you been blasted with turkey tips this season? If not, these tips, adapted from Whole Foods Market, will help you out:

1. PLAN FOR THAWING

If you purchase a frozen bird, plan ahead!

Depending on its size, the turkey could take half a day to defrost for small for small birds, or multiple days for large birds.

2. BASTE ONLY ONCE

Baste your bird only at the beginning of the roasting process. Basting later, or continuous basting, can make the skin soft instead of crispy. Similarly…

3. KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED

Resist the urge to frequently open the oven door and check on the turkey. It causes temperature fluctuations and lengthens the cooking time.

4. CHECK THE TEMPERATURE

Check the doneness with a meat thermometer, preferably an instant-read.

Test at the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. When the thermometer registers 165°F, it’s ready.

If you have stuffed the turkey cavity, plan for an extra 5-7 minutes cooking time per pound, and be sure that both the stuffing and the turkey each register 165°F.

5. CHECK THE TIME

At 350°F, the bird needs bout 13 minutes per pound.

When you plan the time for serving, don’t forget the extra 30 minutes of resting time required before the cooked bird is ready to carve.

6. TENT WITH FOIL

If the drumsticks begin to brown too quickly, cover them loosely with foil.

7. FLIP THE BIRD

Start roasting the bird with the breast side down. This protects the white meat from overcooking and helps absorb juices as they run downward.

Halfway through, flip the bird over with the breast side. This is so the skin crisps and gets golden brown.

Consider some turkey flipping tools.

8. REST BEFORE CARVING

Tom needs to rest for about 30 minutes before carving. This redistributes the juices; otherwise, they’ll spurt out at the first slice, taking the moisture with them.

If you want the skin to stay crisp, don’t cover the bird “to keep it warm” while it rests. That will hold in moisture and de-crisp the skin.

Redistribution of juices also makes for smoother carving.

9. PRESENTATION

If don’t want to carve at the table, present the beautiful bird to your guests; then return to the kitchen to carve.

10. PLATTER DECORATIONN

Whether you carve at the table or serve a platter of sliced meat, decorate your platter. We prefer fruits and herbs that are decorative—i.e., not the cooked sides like Brussels sprouts and onions. For color and neatness, we like:

  • Blood orange quarters
  • Currant clusters (often called champagne grapes)
  • Kumquats or halved clementines
  • Lady apples
  • Lemon halves or slices
  • Pomegranate quarters
  • Red grapes or Concord grapes
  • Rosemary sprigs (our favorite herb for platter decoration)
  •  
    Ready, set, roast!

     

    Roast Turkey Whole Foods
    [1] You can present the turkey to guests during its resting stage. You can set the platter on the table to rest, so people can enjoy looking at the bird until you’re ready to carve. Otherwise, after the “big reveal,” bring the platter back to the kitchen to rest (photo courtesy Whole Foods Market).

    Turkey On Carving Board
    [2] Tom needs a rest! Never carve until the bird has rested for 30 minutes (photo courtesy Sur La Table).

    Carving The Turkey
    [3] After 30 minutes of rest, you can start carving (photo courtesy Charlie Palmer Steak).

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pair Beer With Thanksgiving Dinner

    Turkey Drinking Beer
    [1] Beer goes great with turkey. This is an amusing optic from Joe Morette, a New Hampshire turkey farmer. Back in 1993, one of his birds accidentally knocked over a beer and started drinking it. Since then, Morette has been giving his turkeys beer which, he says, yields a more flavorful and juicy meat. Bonus: The extra carbs and calories make the birds plumper. His turkeys quickly sell out.

    Turkey With Beer
    [2] Different beers should be paired with the appetizers, mains and desserts (photo courtesy Thrillist). So, what could be better than a regular Thanksgiving dinner, than a beer tasting with the dinner?

    Turkey Mountain Brewhaus

    [3] If only we could buy good beers with a turkey on the label. Unlike Christmas brews with holiday labels, Thanksgiving options comprise pumpkin beers and ales. These beers are homebrews from Jason Drumheller, an artist in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Alas, his small production of Turkey Mountain Brewhaus beers are not commercially available, except to local friends.

     

    Many people fuss over what wines to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. But what if your drink of choice is beer?

    If you’d rather have beer, we’ve adapted some suggestions from Orr Shtuhl, writing in The New York Times.

    There are numerous other articles that cover the same topic. We’ve included some of them at the end of this article.

    Before we begin, let us clarify:

    In this article, beer and turkey does not mean beer-can turkey: sticking a can of beer in the turkey’s cavity with the goal of a moister bird.

    Here, it means pairing beer to the course served; and might we add, drinking beer from the glass, not the can. After all, it is a holiday. Wine glasses are fine for serving beer.

    And a bonus: Beer has half the alcohol of wine. That means you can have twice as much as the wine drinkers, without getting inebriated.

     
     
    WHAT BEERS SHOULD YOU SERVE?

    This is not the time for a big, hoppy IPA, experts agree. Per Shtuhl:

    “Opt for bready flavors over hop bombs, as hoppy bitterness is better for spicy or sharply flavored foods. Rather than getting swept up by beers with kitschy additives like fruit or spice, stick to age-old standbys that harmonize with the food rather than upstage it.”

    Don’t hesitate to buy beer in cans over beer in bottles if you want those brands, notes Shtuhl. Many innovative breweries use cans, and they chill down more quickly than glass bottles.

    But if you can find large bottles (750 milliliters—the same size as wine bottles), select two different styles, and let guests pour for themselves.

    Here’s more on the different types of beer.
     
    BEERS WITH THANKSGIVING HORS D’OEUVRE & APPETIZERS

    Begin with a dry, lighter-body beer. They whet the appetite without starting the beginning of the meal with big flavors or big alcohol.

    Styles To Look For: dunkel lagers, helles golden lagers, light saisons, pilsner.
     
     
    BEERS WITH THE TURKEY & SIDES

    Here, you can choose a lighter or darker style.

  • Light beer: Saisons, also called farmhouse ales, have spice-like nuances (it’s from the yeasts used—no actual spices are added). They have more body than the beers recommended for the appetizers— body to stand up to gravy and sweet potatoes.
  • Dark beer: A beer like weizenbock is versatile and easily pairs with the turkey (or ham, or your protein of choice) and sides. Weizenbock is a cross between hefeweizen, a German wheat beer, and doppelbock, a strong brown lager. They have caramel undertones and a bit of carbonation (from the type of yeast) that says “celebrate!”
  •  
    Styles To Look For: Belgian dubbels, saisons and weizenbocks.
     
     
    BEERS WITH THANKSGIVING DESSERTS

    There is a growing number of “dessert” craft brews out there, but for classic Thanksgiving desserts, stick to the basics. Porters and stouts have enough sweetness to drink with pumpkin pie or pecan pie.

    Styles To Look For: chocolate stout, coffee stout, porter.

     
    SHOPPING TIP

    As with any beer, buy only at stores that keep their inventory refrigerated. The styles listed above are do not have the fastest turnover; so if the beer has been sitting around for a few months, make sure it’s been stored properly.
     
     
    ARTICLES ON THANKSGIVING BEER PAIRINGS

  • Beer And Brewing Magazine
  • Craft Beer (Craft Brewers Association)
  • Serious Eats
  • The Spruce
  • Thrillist
  •   

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    RECIPE: Fall Stuffed Potato

    One of our favorite comfort foods is a baked potato with standard garnish: a pat of butter, a dollop of sour cream, sliced scallions and a few grinds of pepper.

    Always welcome: crumbled bacon.

    Although that’s our favorite combination, our baked potato bar—which is popular at parties—has some 20 additional toppings.

    But we never thought to add grains and dried fruits to the list, as in this stuffed potato recipe from the Idaho Potato Commission.

    The seasonal flavors go from fall to winter.

  • If you happen to have some leftover winter squash, throw it in, cubed or puréed into a sauce.
  • Turn it into a first course or a vegetarian main by setting it atop a bed of sautéed or steamed greens: chard, collards, kale, etc.
  • RECIPE: FALL STUFFED POTATO

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 Idaho russet baking potatoes, washed
  • ¼ cup pearl barley
  • 4 ½ ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon raisins (substitute dried cherries or cranberries
  • ½ fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoon Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (substitute Gaeta or Picholine olives)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Prick the potatoes with a fork and place them directly on the rack and bake until tender, about 45-50 minutes. While potatoes are baking…

    2. BRING the water to a simmer in a pot and add the barley. Cover and cook at a gentle simmer until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

    3. CUT the baked potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving ¼ inch-thick shells. Set aside the scooped potato and the shells.

    4. ADD the olive oil, then the raisins, jalapeños and olives, in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the potato flesh and cooked barley; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot.

    5. STUFF each potato shell half with ½ cup of the stuffing. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
     
     
    HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF POTATOES HAVE YOU HAD?

     

    Fall - Autumn Stuffed Potato Recipe
    [1] Potato rellena: a stuffed potato with fall flavors (photo courtesy Idaho Potato)

    Dried Cherries
    [2] Substitute dried cranberries for more fall flavor. These homemade dried cranberries are made without sugar. Here’s the recipe from The Happy Health Freak.

    Pearled Barley

    [3] Pearl barley (photo courtesy BBC Good Food).

     

    Check out our Potato Glossary for the different types of potatoes. And while you’re at it:

    The different types of olives.

    The different types of grains.
      

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    RECIPE: Clear Pumpkin Pie

    Alinea Clear Pumpkin Pie
    [1] Alinea’s clear pumpkin pie (photo Alinea | Chicago).

    Semi-Clear Pumpkin Pie
    [2] Hannah Kaminsky’s version, recipe below (photo Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).

     

    Perhaps the most innovative restaurant in the country, Chicago’s Alinea set the internet on fire once again with another avant-garde culinary masterpiece, propelling pumpkin pie it into a viral video hit.

    It’s a perfectly clear pumpkin pie, glossy and ethereal, served in a tiny wedge. It looks like clear gelatin, but has the consistency of pumpkin pie—as well as all the flavor.

    “Curiosity got the best of me,” says our colleague Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog. “My copycat rendition would never be able to stand up to original for lack of fancy equipment. I don’t happen to have a centrifuge and rotary-evaporator lying around to extract clear, condensed liquid from pumpkin purée, but that doesn’t mean I can’t play with the concept.

    “My take is admittedly more translucent than transparent, but nonetheless a whimsical departure from the expected slice of pumpkin pie.”

    Plus, while Alinea customers got only a bit of pie, Hannah’s recipe gives you a conventional slice.

    RECIPE: TRANSLUCENT PUMPKIN SPICE PIE

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1 eight-inch graham cracker crust, baked
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons pumpkin spice extract
  • 1 tablespoon agar powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the water, sugar, pumpkin spice extract, agar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk periodically until the sugar has fully dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 2 more minutes.

    2. GENTLY POUR the mixture into the baked crust so as not to kick up lots of loose crumbs. Let the pie cool to room temperature before moving it into the fridge to chill. Once fully set (about 1 to 2 hours), slice and serve.


      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: 35+ Food & Beverage Pairings

    We love pairing flavors to their best advantage. Here are our previous pairing recommendations, with a new one below for potato chip lovers:

  • Beer & Summer Food Pairings
  • Breads & Spreads Pairings
  • Cake & Wine Pairings
  • Cheese & Beer
  • Cheese & Bread Pairings
  • Cheese & Cheese Condiments Pairings
  • Cheese & Chocolate Pairings
  • Cheese & Wine Pairings
  • Chocolate & Scotch Pairings
  • Chocolate & Tea Pairings
  • Chocolate, Wine & Spirits
  • Coffee & Cheese Pairings
  • Gouda Pairings With Food & Beverages
  • Ice Cream & Beer Pairings
  • Ice Cream, Wine & Spirits Pairings
  • Indian Food & Wine Pairings
  • Malbec & Food Pairings
  • Moscato & Food Pairings
  • Oloroso Sherry Pairings
  • Oysters & Wine Pairings
  • Pasta & Sauce Pairings
  • Peanut, Beer & Wine Pairings
  • Pizza & Beer Pairings
  • Popcorn & Wine Pairings
  • Sake & Food Pairings
  • Sausage & Beer Pairings
  • Sauvignon Blanc & Food Pairings
  • Single Malt Scotch With Food Pairings
  • Sorbet & Wine Pairings For Cocktails
  • Tequila, Cheese & Chocolate Pairings
  • Thanksgiving Food & Wine Pairings
  • Turkey & Water Pairings
  • Teas & Foods Pairings
  • Varietal Honeys Pairing With Foods & Beverages
  • Varietal Honeys Pairing #2
  • Water & Chocolate Pairings
  • Wine & Desserts Pairings
  •  
     
    POTATO CHIP PAIRINGS

    When you reach for a bag of chips to go with your sandwich, did you ever wonder which flavor of potato chips pairs best with your BLT or your ham sandwich?

    Probably not. But get ready for a consciousness-raising:

    The Herr’s flavor development team created these potato chip pairing guidelines for a variety of popular sandwiches.

    “You’ve got a sandwich, and you’re staring at a rack of chip flavors, but which one do you choose?” said Pete Graziano, Herr’s Research & Development Manager and Corporate Chef. “It’s not always an easy decision.”

    Some pairings, like a ham sandwich and salt and vinegar chips, are all about contrast, while others, like tuna fish and Old Bay chips, are more complementary.

    Despite the pressure of picking the right crunchy snack, there are no wrong choices.

    “In the end, just like wine-and-food pairings, it’s really all about your personal preference,” said Graziano. “But the right combination, with similar tastes and perfectly balanced flavor profiles, can make the difference between a good lunch and a great one.”

    Herr’s makes some 30 varieties of potato chips and kettle-cooked potato chips. Check out the flavors. Party idea: Order a selection of Herr’s chips online for a tasting event.

    PICK YOUR SANDWICH, PICK YOUR CHIPS

    SANDWICH: BLT
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ
    WHY: The smoky combo of the mesquite barbeque sauce in the chips and bacon go together like, well, two delicious smoky things.

       

    Beer & Cheese Pairings
    [1] Which cheeses pair best with beer (photo courtesy Cabot Creamery)?

    Chocolate & Scotch Pairings
    [2] How do you pair Scotch with chocolate (photo gy Laszlo Raksorkerti | IST)?

    Oysters & Wine Pairings
    [3] Are there different wine pairings for oysters? Yes indeed (photo courtesy Champagne Bureau).

    Beer & Pizza

    [4] How do you pair beer styles with pizza toppings (photo courtesy Bowery Street).

     

    Cheesesteak & Chips
    [5] Cheesesteak with jalapeño chips (photo courtesy Herr’s).

    Turkey Sandwich & Chips
    [6] Turkey sandwich with sour cream and onion chips (photo courtesy Herr’s).

     

    SANDWICH: Bologna & Cheese
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Original
    WHY: Simple, tried-and-true and reliable, Kettle Cooked Original is a classic, no-nonsense chip for a classic, no-nonsense sandwich.

    SANDWICH: Cheesesteak
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Jalapeño
    WHY: The hearty combo of meat and cheese blends seamlessly with bites of the spicy jalapeño-flavored snack.

    SANDWICH: Ham
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Boardwalk Salt & Vinegar
    WHY: Contrast is the name of the game in this battle between a powerful, salty-snack flavor and a lighter, classic sandwich staple.

    Italian Sandwich (Hero, Sub, Etc.)
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt
    WHY: In Italy, salt and pepper are often the only addition to meats and cheeses. This chip-and-sandwich combo pays homage to that tradition.

    SANDWICH: Meatball
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Ripple Chips
    WHY: The extreme crunch of the Ripple Chip is the perfect textural contrast to the meat, cheese and sauce of a meatball sub.

    SANDWICH: Roast Beef
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Cheddar Horseradish
    WHY: Roast beef plus cheddar, or roast beef plus horseradish? Both are perfect pairings, but why choose, when there’s a combo flavor of both?

    SANDWICH: Tuna
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Old Bay
    WHY: The aromatic and flavorful punch of Old Bay is the ideal partner for a sandwich packed with flavors of the sea.

    SANDWICH: Turkey
    CHIP PAIRING: Kettle Cooked Sour Cream & Onion
    WHY: One of the most popular sandwiches pairs perfectly with one of the most popular chip flavors.
     
     
    ALONG WITH YOUR SANDWICH & CHIPS, CHECK OUT:
    The History Of Potato Chips.

     

      

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