Every Thanksgiving, I like to try something different with my Turkey. Jerk is so popular on my channel, that I don’t know why I never tried this before. I wondered whether to go with a dry or wet rub, but after much consideration, I decided that my original Jerk marinade recipe that was shared with me by my good friend Mary Rocto was best.
I made up a batch and although you don’t need all of it for the bird, I used it in everything, the brine, the stuffing, roasted veg, gravy and I even marinated a cauliflower to make a Jerk Vegetarian Turkey for my vegetarian guests that was a big hit!
I followed the same principals of Turkey awesomeness that I do every year – try to use fresh, brine, dry the bird, apply an amazing marinade and cook for the appropriate time using a Turkey calculator.
Years ago I spatchcocked my Turkey, this is great if you are in a rush as it reduces the cooking time considerably.
Some of my viewers have shared that they think cooking a turkey is a daunting task, if that is the case with you, start with a Chicken and work your way up.
Every year come Thanksgiving or Christmas, I plan on making a bird with a different flavor twist – I’ve done Spiced, Tandoori & Middle Eastern and this year I decided to give into one of my favorite things … good ol’ Mustard. Whether I use fresh or frozen Turkey, I have always brined my bird in 4 liters of a simple brining liquid and the result is a delicious and moist bird.
If you’ve never brined a bird, I highly recommend you try it. Without trying to get too scientific, the flavored brine a combination of salt, sugar and spices penetrates through the otherwise bland flesh through the process of Osmosis.
This year I decided to soak my 16 lb bird in a lighly spiced Buttermilk. Bay leaves, powdered Mustard & Paprika will spice the delicate Buttermilk and marinate the bird for 24 hours. The next day I slather it with Mustard and bake it in my hot oven.
As most YouTube creators and Bloggers do, I had to tape and photograph this Turkey way before Thanksgiving. I couldn’t get a frozen bird as there wasn’t enough time to defrost it before I had to shoot. After calling several stores including all the major players Garden Basket in Markham were the only store that was able to rustle up a Turkey for me. Special thanks to Daniel from the meat department for making this happen.
Last year I was obsessed with buying a waffle iron, and like my brand new ice cream maker, it sat in my basement for months till I started making waffles and literally wanted to throw everything into my waffle iron. When I was thinking of new recipe ideas for my Easy Weeknight Meals and Back to School episodes I came up with this idea of turning a savory waffle into a grilled cheese sandwich called the Waffwich. Turns out, this wasn’t such a unique idea, but it’s still pretty damn good.
This is a great quick dinner served with ketchup and a side salad but is also perfect for those school lunch boxes. I added Turkey to my Waffwich’s because of my carnivore high schooler but it’s just as delicious with plain cheese. I chose to make my Waffwich straight in my waffle iron, but if you’d like to pile it up higher with fillings, you could just make the savoury waffles and stack them in the oven to allow the cheese to melt.
My waffle iron is round and you can break the waffle into easy quarters, this recipe also would be great as a snack for a kids’s party and a little quarter open face with filling and a dollop of mustard would make a very sophisticated canape. Enjoy
Gobble Gobble! Cooking a Turkey is synonymous with feeding people you love. I always like to try something different each Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday and this year I made a Middle Eastern inspired Turkey. The bird is the star of the show and done right, it can be juicy and flavourful I love Turkey but I’m not crazy about the long cooking time, so this year I decided to drastically cut down the cooking time by Spatchcocking the Turkey. This means I will remove the spine so the Turkey can lay flat and cook in less time than it usually does.
If you’re never cooked a Turkey before, be sure to check the cavity of the bird. This is usually where they stash the neck and other parts of the Turkey. Store this in your fridge. I always like to use a fresh bird and I always brine my Turkey for 24 hrs. Brining ensures that the Turkey is flavourful and moist. This is a simple mixture of salt and sugar in 4 litres of water. I like to throw in some lemon slices before I immerse my bird in a bucket or container large enough to hold the bird. If you don’t have enough room in your fridge to hold this large container, you can sit this on your kitchen counter in cold water for two hours, or just skip this step. After the brining process you need to dry the bird out really well, I like to leave it in a colander to drain and I will follow that with a tea towel and wipe all the excess moisture. It’s important that your bird is dry, otherwise it will steam in the oven.
Spatchcocking the Turkey was a bit harder than I imagined, I have spatchcocked many a Chicken, but the Turkey bones are much tougher. To watch this video make sure to click the link in this post.
Once the Turkey was ready I prepared a wonderful spice blend with the best of Middle Eastern flavours. My bird is about 12 lbs so I should be cooking this for about 3 hrs and 45 mins, but because it’s spatchcocked, it’s only going to take 1.5 to 2 hrs. I’m going to start at 350 and increase the heat to 450 when I take the lid off. If you find it’s browning too quickly in your oven, cut the heat back.
Every year I like to try something different with my Turkey. This year we’re making a Tandoori Turkey. As usual I’m going to brine the bird and then slather it in Tandoori masala for a day before I roast it.
The best part of this bird is the homemade Tandoori masala that is slathered all over this.
Defrost the bird. If you're using a fresh bird, skip this step
Prepare the brine
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 liters water
slices of lime and some bay leaves
Immerse the bird(remove everything from the cavity) for 24 hours in the brine in the fridge.
Dry the bird. Add butter under the skin and slather the turkey with a double batch of Tandoori marinade or about 2 - 3 cups of the marinade leaving half a cup aside for touch ups. Cover and marinate for 24 hours
Preheat your oven. Add more Tandoori Masala to the bird so it's evenly coated. In the bottom of a roasting pan add some green peppers and place the turkey over it. Add an onion and some Portabello mushrooms. Cover and cook and open to roast in the last hour. Baste every 45 minutes.
This meatball encompasses all the flavors of a stereotypical Christmas or Thanksgiving meal all in one bite. Ground Turkey is mixed together with spices, herbs, rice, nuts, rice and cheese and rolled in fresh breadcrumbs before it’s baked to a crispy finish. It’s the magic of the holidays all in one bite.
In this recipe I’m using lean Turkey because this is the only kind that was available, but dark meat would work well too. I’ve got one pound of minced Turkey and I’m going to be adding some crazy favours of Christmas to the mixture before I shape them into meatballs. I’m also adding small cubes of Asiago that will form pockets of melty cheese. These meatballs are rolled in a breadcrumb, herbs and grated cheese mixture before baking in a hot oven. If you use a mini ice cream scoop, you can make an appetizer size or a regular ice cream scoop size would make a great side to a creamy pasta.
I wasn’t intending to post this at all. There I was minding my own business resurrecting an old recipe I used to make for the kids when they were little, when like second nature, I leaned over to picture it. Instagram & Facebook later, the responses for the recipe were astounding.
So here I am putting down what I don’t even consider a recipe really, just something I’ve made a million times with interchangeable ingredients. Just for you. Enjoy.
Barley is one of my favorite things to make. I love it in a soup but I adore it cooked and sautéed in a stir fry instead of rice. It’s crispy exterior when it’s fried in contrast to the soft interior is spectacular. I’m going to share below the ingredients and the process, but remember this is very forgiving so you can certainly add and subtract as you like. Just remember to cut everything the same size.