Tuesday, November 20, 2012

YOU Can Cook a Turkey!

Its true, you can cook a Turkey without much effort or know-how. I'll walk you through it in this video:

Roast Turkey - Simple, Quick, Delicious!

But here's the jist: Buy a frozen Turkey. Get the smallest one unless you're cooking for more than 4 people. If you buy a big one, make sure you have space in your fridge to store the leftovers.

Take the wrapper off the Turkey
Put it a Roasting Pan, something big enough that will contain the juices that come out of the Turkey while it cooks.
Cover the Turkey with Foil to hold in the steam and keep the Turkey from becoming dried out and flavorless
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.
Wait a few hours until your house is filled with the wonderful smell of Roasting Turkey.
Check to see if the Turkey is cooked, (see my video link above for detailed instructions)
Check this link to learn how to carve a Turkey

Now, people will tell you that you have to thaw a Turkey before you place it in the oven, and you cannot thaw it on the kitchen counter or in the sink because it can develop all kinds of nasty, nausea-inducing bacteria that won't be killed when you roast the Turkey, and that's possible. So we'll bypass thawing and make it really simple.

The reasons you might want to thaw a Turkey before cooking are:

1. To be able to remove the Turkey parts that are frozen solid inside the Turkey when you unwrap it, (liver, neck, gizzard). But unless you're excited about those parts and must have them to make homemade stuffing, which will not taste as good as a package of Stove Top, I guarantee, then you can leave them frozen inside the Turkey and yank them out when the Turkey is partially cooked. Dump them straight into the trash, or do what I like to do and take the neck, wrap it in foil, and put it on the oven rack next to the roasting Turkey. It will be done much quicker than the Turkey, and you get a taste of Turkey while you're waiting for the whole Turkey to finish cooking. Chomping on a roasted Turkey neck can become your Thanksgiving Tradition.

2. They imagine that cooking a frozen Turkey will take much longer than cooking a thawed Turkey. Let's do the math:

Frozen Turkey = 6 hours in the oven
Thawing a Turkey = 2 Days thawing in the fridge,  OR 6 hours thawing in the sink + 3 hours roasting in the oven.
Result: Cooking a frozen Turkey saves a minimum of 3 hours. Conventional Wisdom is often unwise.
You can be Rebel like me and buy a frozen Turkey at 10 am on Thanksgiving, roast it for 6 hours, and serve dinner at 4pm. Boo-Yah!

3. So that you can brine the Turkey, (soak it in salted water), to improve the flavor and texture. Although I could teach you to brine before roasting, I'd rather teach you to ignore Culinary processes that take time and skill and are unnecessary.

4. So you can season the Turkey by injecting it with a Marinade, or Butter, or your secret liquid seasoning. If you're reading my blog, you're not concocting secret liquid seasonings. If you're pumped to have Butter inside your Turkey Breast, get a Butterball Turkey. Or microwave a bowl of Butter and drizzle it over your Turkey once its sliced.

For the reasons listed above, you don't need to thaw your Turkey before roasting it.

What about those Turkey Fryers that were a fad a couple of years ago and can cook a Turkey in 20 minutes?
They'll burn your house down if you make a mistake. Stick to your oven. Also, you have to buy enough oil to fill the Turkey Fryer, and what other use do you have for a gallon or two of used oil? Skip the Fryer idea.

There are lots of simple ways to make delicious use of leftover Turkey, and I'll walk you through them in my upcoming videos. Meanwhile, you'll need to roast a Turkey. It only seems hard. Click on the link, watch the video, then go out and buy a Turkey, use what you learned to cook the Turkey, and you'll be a Thanksgiving Superhero!

Then you can check out my other Turkey Day Related Tutorials such as:

Dinner Rolls - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Pumpkin Pie - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
How to Carve a Turkey - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Stuffing - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Crescent Rolls - Simple, Quick, Delicious!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why Cook it Yourself?


My nephew Jeffery is a grown man now, and he recently gave me a great idea. He and many of his friends entered adulthood without simple cooking skills. He doesn't want to study at the Culinary Institute of America, he wants to learn how to cook a Grilled Cheese Sandwich without filling his kitchen with smoke. He knew I could help because I've been a Cook in some great restaurants and loved cooking all my life. I'm also able to get my point across quickly and clearly, in an entertaining way.
So I took out my GoPro HD Camera and started rolling.

Doug at the Stove
The first videos got a good response, so I fine-tuned my presentation style and tweeked a few things. Then I showed them to Jeffery and got constructive feedback, acted on it, picked the brains of his non-cooking peers to learn what they would like to learn to cook, and made more videos. It's been great fun!

As a kid, I spent time in the kitchen with my Mom, (I call her Mumsy sometimes as if we're aristocrats), who had been a Home Economics teacher when she was younger. She taught me the basics and gave me a love for all things Culinary. She introduced me to The Joy of Cooking. (My favorite passage: a little boy at Thanksgiving Dinner politely explaining, "No more turkey for me, but I'll have some more of that bread he ate.") She gifted me with a KitchenAid Mixer. She taught me her recipes and we shared many a magic moment.

When I became a professional Cook in my late teens, I would use her subscription to Gourmet Magazine to find unique recipes, upscale them and make them part of the Lunch Buffet at The Flaming Pit, an Ann Arbor restaurant that was near Arborland. I remember the Buffet became quite popular under my reign, using recipes like "Nevada Annie's Cowboy Chili" and "Mumsy's Beef Pinwheels with Mushroom Sauce".

I never went to the CIA, and never made Cooking my career, (I worked on the assembly line at Ford, then started my own business serving the automakers, then had to close it when the automakers hit hard times). I fell back on Cooking for a job and remembered how much I knew about it, and how much I loved making people happy by making something delicious.

My unique experiences resulted in my love of cooking, and when you love something, you give it your full attention. I don't expect you've had similar experiences or you'd know a lot about cooking and wouldn't be interested in Simple, Quick, Delicious tutorials. You'd be following blogs about exotic recipes. A Grilled Cheese Sandwich is delicious, the most over-paid food snob would have to concede, but it has no Culinary status. You just want dinner, not to qualify for the Food Snobbery Guild. I call bullshit. (I can teach you to induce "Foodgasms" that have the same intensity as Rachael Ray's.) We're going to teach you to feed yourself, to fend for yourself when the spouse is awol, to stand on your own two feet and man up and surprise everyone, most of all yourself, by learning to cook simple, quick and delicious food, and we'll have fun doing it!

Psst! (We already are...) Choose a link below to get started.

Roast Turkey  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
How to Carve a Turkey - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Dinner Rolls  – Simple,Quick, Delicious!
Pumpkin Pie - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Stove Top Stuffing - Simple, Quick, Delicious!

Grilled Cheese - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Chicken Breast - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Tuna Sandwich  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Hamburger  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Making Coffee  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Baking Cookies  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!

Spaghetti  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
French Toast  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Bacon  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
 BLT - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Eggs  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Brown-Baggin' It – Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Grocery Shopping  – Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Nachos - Simple, Quick, Delicious!
Club Sandwich  - Simple, Quick, Delicious!