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Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

…is quite an ordeal, and we experienced our own first turkey-roasting this weekend.  We decided it would probably be a good idea to go ahead and have a faux thanksgiving dinner while it is just the two of us, so we could figure out the process with slightly less stress.  We stretched the meal over a couple of days to make plenty of sides, and our full menu included the turkey (of course), gravy, bacon green beans, rice and mushroom stuffing, scalloped potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.   I am not going to lie to you.  If you have never roasted a turkey, it is not as easy as your mother (who has most likely been doing this for years) makes it look.  However.  This recipe for lemony roasted turkey from Rachael Ray is probably as easy as it gets, with absolutely incredible results!!

For Rachael’s amazing turkey you need:

  • 1 14-16 lb. turkey, rinsed/patted dry–save the giblets and neck to make stock
  • 4 tbsp. butter, at room temp.
  • 1 lemon, zested and halved
  • 2 onions, roots chopped off and halved with skin on
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • salt and pepper

Here is where the fun begins…as turkey newbies, we fell into the typical trap of not allowing enough time for our very frozen bird to thaw.  Give it at least three days in the fridge!  We had to push our feast back a week, but it ended up working out.  On roasting day, cut off the first two joints of the wing, but leave the drumettes attached.  Keep the wings for your stock.  Let your turkey come up to room temperature in its roasting pan for about 2 hours.

When time gets close, aka 20 minutes out, start heating your oven to 400 with the bottom rack in the lowest position.  Meanwhile, mash together the butter and lemon zest.  Proceed to smear it all over your bird (we are talking Anne Burrell love-your-meat style), then squeeze all of the lemon juice over it.  Stuff 2 onion halves and the sliced lemon in the cavity, and the other 2 onion halves in the pan.  Sprinkle on the thyme and salt/pepper to taste.  Tie the legs of the turkey together, and pop the pan in the oven for an hour.

When the first hour is up, rotate the pan a half-turn, lower the heat to 350, and roast for another hour.  Then, after the second hour has passed, baste the turkey with the juices in the pan.  Continue to roast the turkey for another half hour or so, basting often, until a meat thermometer stuck into the inner thigh registers 150-155.  Once you reach the golden temperature, use tongs to pour any juices from the turkey cavity into the pan, and save all the drippings for some great gravy.  Let the bird rest at least 30 minutes before carving, and get to work on said gravy.

Well, before you make the gravy and while the turkey is a-roasting, make you own super-easy turkey stock.  Simply save the neck, wings, and giblets (not the liver), and toss them into a big pan along with a a quartered onion (skin on), one chopped celery rib, some parsley and thyme, 1/2 tsp. coarse salt,  1/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns, and 2 1/2 quarts water.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then knock the heat back to low, partially cover (pretty sure we forgot this step…), and simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours.  Strain off any solids and your stock is ready to go.

For the lemon cream gravy you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups pan drippings (if you don’t have enough, add some chicken stock)
  • zest of one lemon (use a vegetable peeler to peel into strips)
  • 4 cups of your homemade stock (or 2 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • salt and pepper

I won’t lie: Schatzi made the gravy.  And it is so fantastic–it’s one of those things you will want to swim in…anyway.  Remember those onion halves from the roasting pan?  Chuck their skins and pour all of the drippings and solids from the roasting pan into a measuring cup.  Let the liquid settle (you can toss in some ice cubes to speed up the process), then skim off/discard any fat.  Return your 2 1/2 cups of drippings and solids and the lemon strips (+premade  stock if you need) to the roasting pan.

Put the flour in a bowl and gradually stir in 1 cup stock.  Slowly mix in 1/2 cup more stock.  Then, place the roasting pan over two burners on the stove over medium-high (Rachael, you are a genius.  Thanks for sparing me an extra dirty pan!).  Bring the drippings to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits as you go, then whisk in the flour paste mixture and return to a simmer while whisking constantly.  Slowly whisk in the remaining 2 1/2 cups of stock and bring to a boil, still whisking constantly, until the gravy is nice and thickened.  Season with salt and pepper, then whisk in the cream and thyme.  Discard the lemon zest strips, and the gravy is complete!

The remaining sides will follow…but wow.  This turkey was incredible.  Juicy, and so full of flavor.  Don’t even get me started on that gravy!!!

*sc

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…gave us a break from the Winter blahs: lemon and walnut waffles.  Absolutely delicious–who doesn’t love waking up to a waffle?!

For Sunny Anderson’s citrusy waffles you need:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Oil, for waffle iron
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Start by sifting the flour, baking powder, 2 tbsp. sugar, and salt.  Make a well in the middle of the ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are smooth, then mix in the milk, oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Pour this mixture into the center of the dry ingredients and stir just until the two mixtures are combined.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until foamy.  Sprinkle in the rest of the sugar and beat until soft peaks begin to form.  Fold the whites into the batter.  Pour about 1/4-1/2 cup batter into your hot/greased waffle iron and sprinkle with walnuts, cooking until steam no longer escapes.  Keep the waffles warm in a 225 degree oven while you finish off the batter.

Pour about 1/4-1/2 cup batter into your hot/greased waffle iron and sprinkle with walnuts, cooking until steam no longer escapes.  Keep the waffles warm in a 225 degree oven while you finish off the batter, then serve a waffle topped with maple syrup.

In our house, if lemon zest is involved, you really can’t go wrong!   However, I do think I would substitute pecans for the walnuts on our next go-round.  Alas, these waffles are no exception to the rule of lemon zest, and made for a delicious breakfast.

*sc

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…is one of Schatzi’s absolute favorite breakfasts, no, favorite foods, on the planet.  I am a rather avid fan as well, so for today’s SMB we made Pillsbury’s lemon cheesecake coffee cake.  As we were eating it, we thought we had died and gone to heaven!

For this luscious twist on an old favorite you need:

  • 1 17.5 oz can of flaky cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a nine-inch cake pan.  Then, open the can of cinnamon rolls and unroll each one to make 5 long strips.  Wrap the strips around the cake pan, throwing in any extra cinnamon that falls off.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar,  sour cream, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla together until nice and smooth.  Note: do NOT skimp and just add some extra lemon juice from a bottle.  Nononono.  Go for the genuine lemon–the flavor its zest provides cannot be replaced and you will be one sad, disappointed panda indeed.

Then, pour the mixture into a piping bag or Ziploc with a tiny piece of a corner snipped out.  Pipe the icing onto the cinnamon rolls, squeezing it mostly between the strips of dough and smearing some on top.

Bake the “coffee cake” for about 30 minutes until the center is fully baked and the edges are golden brown.  Let the cake cool for 5 minutes and melt the other icing in the microwave.  When it is pourable, drizzle that icing over the top of the cake.  Absolutely delicious.

To serve the goodness, slice it into wedges and DIG IN!

Pillsbury has done it again!  This coffee cake is seriously to die for.  I can’t wait to make it for my mom–she has always had quite a love for lemon.  I really can’t express how delicious this is and it is perfect for Spring/Summer with the refreshing and bright hint of lemon.  Long live SMB!!

*sc

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