We had a diverse selection of blog posts this week on CHEFS Mix, but each of them (well, not the Rachael Ray contest post) were connected to Thanksgiving in some way--mostly in preparing your turkey. Next week we'll look at side dishes and some new experiments you may want to try.
But our gift guide this week focuses on gifts for Thanksgiving (or Christmas). What? Of course you can give gifts for Thanksgiving! (Even if you're only giving them to yourself to make your Thanksgiving dinner prep easier.)
Our friend and partner, David Leite, of Leite's Culinaria, shared from his Portuguese heritage with a recipe for Turkey and Two Stuffings. Though they don't actually celebrate the holiday in Portugal, David shared how his family's Thanksgiving dinners were "part holiday, part carnival." In his post, and in many others this week, we talked about CHEFS Hard Anodized Roasting Set--and that's because we think this is one of the best roasters ever! And it comes with a rack, an injector/baster, and turkey lifters--everything you need to roast and serve your turkey with style. (See more on David's blog.)
After learning that the historic Thanksgiving dinner was likely more vegetable oriented than today's feast is, we explored what a vegetarian holiday feast might look like. It could even include a tasty Vegetable Lasagna! While turkey has been widely associated with Thanksgiving since it was proclaimed a holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 (the original Pilgrim dinner more likely featured goose or duck), but vegetables would also have been prominent at that early gathering. In fact, when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians sat down for supper back in 1621, their table was probably filled with the kind of vegetable side dishes that have become common on today’s Thanksgiving menu. (See more on A Vegetarian Thanksgiving.)
Then our guest blogger, Julie Haan, began a series of blogs on different ways to prepare a turkey, opening with her attempt at brining. After creating her own brining recipe for her bird, Julie roasted her turkey to perfection in her Nesco Electric Roaster. But, critical to her success, was a meat thermometer (which no chef should be without) that gave her an instant read on whether her turkey was actually done or not. Our Professional Thermometer is one great example of these thermometers. (See more on brining.)
A heavy duty, high quality roasting pan is an essential piece of cookware especially around the holidays. Add a roasting rack and you’re ready to roast turkey, goose, beef roast or ham for a holiday buffet and chicken for a weekday dinner. If you’re shopping for a new roasting pan or roasting rack, look at size (of your oven and your pan), weight (heavy duty is best, but don't get one you can't lift), and construction/material (hard anodized, nonstick, stainless steel, etc.). Our Holiday Roasting and Serving Set includes a pan, rack, turkey lifters, and our unique divided serving plate. (See more on roasting pans.)
Next in Julie Haan's series was her attempt to fry a turkey indoors. She wrote, "Today, I try frying a turkey. I have watched Kevin (my boyfriend and an amazing chef) deep fry a turkey outside in a giant pot with five gallons of oil and a propane burner. Scariest cooking event of my life." But, with her Waring Pro Rotisserie Turkey Fryer/Steamer she produced what she declared "The Best Tasting Turkey of All Time" and she did it without fear. Next week, Julie will look at smoking a turkey. And, after cooking three turkeys, she'll also share what she's going to do with all those leftovers. (See more on frying a turkey.)
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