Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner Prep 4 Days to Go

I completed all my shopping Saturday except for some produce I'll buy later this week. I have a 20 pound turkey thawing in the refrigerator. It should be ready to brine Tuesday night.

What did I do today? I prepared a cooked cranberry relish and I mixed the dry ingredients for my turkey brine.

Basic brine is 1 cup of table salt or 2 cups kosher salt per 1 gallon of water. You can add other ingredients based on the the taste you want to convey to the turkey. I am adding 1 cup brown sugar, 2 T dry Maple syrup powder,plus an array of dry herbs, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The dry herbs include thyme, rosemary and coriander seeds. I measured the brine ingredients today so that I can just add to a gallon of water, simmer to dissolve the salt and sugar, then cool in the refrigerator Monday night, then add the Turkey Tuesday night for a 24 hour brine chilled to less than 40 degrees in a large igloo cooler.

My cooked cranberry relish includes 12 oz fresh cranberries, 2 oranges which I zest for 2 T peel, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 2 T Grand Marnier, orange supremes from the two oranges, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1/4tsp salt.

I added the salt,sugar and water plus orange zest in a sauce pan. This is cooked over moderate heat to dissolve the sugar. The cranberries are washed and then added to the sugar mixture. This is cooked til the cranberries pop- about 10 minutes. I add the orange supremes and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and simmer for an additional 5 mninutes. The Grand Marnier is added after the sauce cools.

The cranberry relish is allowed to cool and then refigerated. This will keep for about a week refrigerated.

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