Cranberry-Sauce

This is a repost from November 21, 2012 featuring Michael’s Cranberry Sauce and Gravy from scratch. My dad made this cranberry sauce when my daughter was very young. He was mystified, as I recall, having never cooked cranberries before, always used the kind with can-ribs, sliceable. That his granddaughter loved it made it very special to him. He continued to make it. His granddaughter is no longer four but rather seventeen and she will be making it this year (and so did I, because I wanted to share it in this post and think of my dad while it cooked). It’s really simple, can be done today or the day of (or several days ahead, next year). Just throw everything in the pot, bring it to a simmer, and set a timer for 90 minutes. Read On »

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Turkey-Dressing2

The nice thing about blogging as opposed to newspapering is that I don’t feel the obligation to always come up with a new way of roasting turkey or a new stuffing or new cranberry sauce or a new kind of gravy. The classics are classics. So herewith, the way I make “stuffing,” just as good as last year’s. I stopped stuffing our Thanksgiving turkey reluctantly, as the stuffing was always my favorite part of the meal when Grandma Spamer made it. But my goal became a perfectly cooked bird, and you can’t cook a turkey perfectly if it’s stuffed. So now I make what we must refer to as dressing, no matter what Mario says (“That’s what you put on a salad.”). Dressing denotes that it’s stuffing cooked in a pan. And it can still Read On »

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Roast-Turkey-done10

It’s the annual nationwide freak-out. That damned turkey! So many questions, so much uncertainty! I hope this goes a little ways toward easing your mind if you are among the turkey afflicted. Of course, a detailed recipe and process shots are in my latest book, Ruhlman’s How to Roast. For the last couple of years I’ve recommended a roast-braise hybrid. This year a straightforward roast, from the book. Publishers Weekly published a full-on version (see below). Here I just want to go through the basics. You must have good turkey stock on hand, which is easy to do, but you can also buy low-sodium organic broth as well. Stuff the cavity full of onions and lemon and carrots and celery to keep hot air from circulating in the bird’s cavity and overcooking the breast. Truss Read On »

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Roasted-root-vegs

  Two reasons to celebrate today: the publication of the first in my series of technique books, How to Roast, and the end of the Hachette-Amazon book pricing war. Presumably Amazon will no longer hide my books, or those by other authors at Little, Brown or any of the six houses Hachette runs. (They’ve just placed an order, my publisher tells me, so they should have them next week; till then, if you want to purchase do so through indies or B&N links below.) And the way to celebrate is to give away signed copies of the book! I will be giving away FIVE copies to randomly chosen commenters. You must in the comments tell me either your favorite food to roast or, if it is chicken (my fave), what your favorite side dish is to Read On »

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Stock-Mise-en-place

I’ve posted this before and I’m posting it again earlier this year. Thanksgiving is two weeks from this Thursday so if you have time, make some fresh turkey stock now and freeze it, or make it up to five or six days before Thanksgiving. It may be the most critical element of the Thanksgiving meal—the basis for a great gravy, of course, but it can also moisten the dressing and be used to keep the quick-to-cool sliced breast hot and moist. To make the stock I roast drumsticks, wings, and necks. (I read in the Times that the venerable Jacques Pépin picks the meat off the neck of the turkey and adds it to the gravy. I might try that this year.) Roasting them will give your stock a nice flavor. All that golden-brown roasted skin Read On »

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