Sunday, November 14, 2010


I love coming across something I have never cooked before. The other day, I was at the Butcher's shop and they had turkey thighs on special. I bought a pair of them and brought them home. I have of course cooked thighs before, but they are generally attached to the rest of the bird.

I figured I knew what paired well with turkey, so I would adapt that into my dish. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you...

Braised turkey thighs with cranberries and yams.

This was very simple to make- I hope you will give it a try!
Olive oil
turkey thighs
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 onion diced
1 yam, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes.
4 strips of bacon- roughly chopped.
some red wine.

Heat oven to 375

Heat a few T's of olive oil in a pan.

While the oil is heating, rinse your thighs and pat then dry with a paper towel. ( I mean the turkey, If youre headed for the shower right now, you may have misunderstood).

Sear both sides of the thighs. I know this is a method usually employed for osso buco. roasts, and other meats without skin. but I find that browning the skin a bit at the beginning really works well, so please indulge me.

Remove the thighs from the pan (I usually put them in the overturned lid of my pan. so I can just tip them in afterwards) and add the bacon and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the yams. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Add your red wine to deglaze, and then toss in those cranberries. Put the turkey thighs back into the pan, and put on the lid.

Put it in the oven and let cook for about 1.5 hours.

Take out and enjoy!

Not an hour and a half is a long time to wait for some people between prep and eating, especially with the heavenly smells emanating from the oven.

So I whipped up some of these beauties. I am basically trying to copt the wontons I used to Love at Azia on Nicollet Ave,

Cranberry cream cheese wontons.

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened.
2t thinly sliced green onions.
1/4 cup dried cranberries
wonton wrappers (find them in the produce section. or make your own, whatevs. I don't care)

Put the cranberries in a bowl and cover them with boiling water- wait 5 minutes
Drain the cranberries and chop them
Mix with the cream cheese and onions.

put 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into a wonton wrapper, just off center. Wet your finger with the water to moisten the edge of the wonton wrapper, and fold into a large triangle. Fold the points in across so they overlap.

There are lots of ways to fold wontons , This is just one. Find a way that you like, and do that if you want. I think that this is the best way to fold cheese wontons, but not meat wontons. We'll go there some other time.

Heat your oil in a wok. To find out if the oil is hot enough, put the handle end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If there are bubbles, then your oil is hot enough.

Fry them in batches. let drain on a cooling rack- NOT on paper towels.

These will not last long

Alternately. Omit the onions, and add a dash of cinnamon for a christmassy cocktail party treat!

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bacon Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels sprouts are good for you. But, not the way I make them.

I have never really loved brussels sprouts. They have the potential to smell like cauliflower with a little "number one." thrown in for some extra nastiness. But, I cannot deny that they are good for me. They are full of wonderful vitamins and minerals! Yum.

Lochlan basically gagged when he ate one of these...a child who hates brussels sprouts?! How novel! I used to hate them as well, but enjoy them on occasion now.

This is a pretty simple recipe, and the best part is that there is bacon! You will only use a few strips so you will have to find a way to use the rest of the package. I made BLT's to go along with the Bacon Brussels Sprouts. It was Bacon-palooza over here!

Bacon Brussels Sprouts

5 strips of bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 onion ( red, white, or yellow) sliced thinly
Red wine
Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of water
2 handfulls of brussels sprouts

...and yes, that is a baby photobomb

Heat a dutch oven or another pot( that has a lid) on the stove.

Put the bacon and the onion in the pan and cool until the bacon is crispy and the onions are nice and translucent and beginning to caramelize (about 10 minutes.) Pour in about 1/2 cup of wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned buts off of the bottom of the pan. Throw in a splash of balsamic vinegar, and put in some salt and pepper. Stir. Add the Brussels sprouts and the water. Put the lid on and let everything cook for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, and be sure to test some of the bacon...quality control purposes of course. When the brussels sprouts are tender open the lid and let any extra juices reduce.

Put them on your plate and eat them now.