Friday, October 7, 2011

Being busy does not always mean real work…

I don’t know if it’s age, menopause (although, I do like to blame most things on that little bit of evil) or the change of seasons, but I seem to be going through fits and starts these days. Do you remember that saying? Then you’re old like me, because I don’t think anybody says that anymore.

What I mean is, one week, I am filled with all kinds of stories and information that needs to be shared with you, my faithful readers. The next week, there is an empty space between my ears that is filled only with thoughts of grandbabies, cookie recipes and diets (not actually doing a diet, just thinking about it, and that? makes my head numb)

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and you know what that means! Christmas decorations! Ooh, just think of my new palette this year. Where will I put all my pretty things? Hee! But that is not what I was going to say. I was going to tell you how blessed we are, to have a full table for Thanksgiving. CGMan’s folks and brother are coming, as well as CGBro and his little family. That means this little punkin is coming!

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I’ve already started thinking about what to make and how to make it. Turkey is a given, because these are some turkey lovin’ men around here. My brother has been known to make a turkey every a month or so.

Last year for Christmas, Skater gave us a turkey fryer. Between the move and everything (like the fricken heat) I haven’t been able to try it out. Until last week. Sorry CGBro, I made it without you. We had our chefs, Craig and Sue over for the initiation.

I have never cooked a turkey in the fryer, but I have had in in-service at my dad’s house. With my usual bravado, I said to myself, how hard can it be? Turns out, not that hard! I read the instruction booklet with all the hints and tips (don’t cook it on your deck because oil does NOT wash off).

There are so many ways to season a deep fried turkey. Daddy likes to brine his overnight, then rub a small amount of Cajun seasoning on it right before it goes in the fryer. I thought about a brine, but as I read more about deep fried turkeys, injection sounded the way to go. Deep fried turkey actually has Cajun roots, so I decided to go all Cajun, all the way.

Another important thing about deep frying a turkey is to make sure it is completely dry and room temperature before you put it in the fryer. For any of you with kids older than 20, you know what I’m talking about when I say, it was like washing a 15 pound baby in the sink. Then having to dry off said baby on the kitchen counter, only without the wiggly-ness going on. Can I just say, even with gloves on, drying a turkey is just EEW!

I injected the turkey with Tony Chachere’s Butter Cajun style injection sauce. Then I rubbed some Creole seasoning all over his body (again with the eew!) before dropping him into the bubbling oil. Let me tell you good friends, it was deee-licious!

I also thought it would be a novel idea to make Cajun type side dishes to accompany our deep fried turkey. One was a Truffled Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes that didn’t really turn out as good as its name implies, so we’ll just skip right to the darling of the evening.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice

Shrimp and Andouille Stuffing

My friends, you just don’t even know the meaning of incredible until you try this dish. It outshined the turkey, if you can believe that. Yes, CGBro, sometimes the turkey is not the star. I’ll be sharing that recipe with you next week, if you’re interested.

To make a short story really long, I now have the dilemma of what to cook for Thanksgiving. The stuffing is a given. I think it will make a nice change from my tried and true dry stuffing recipe. My fryer will only hold a 15 pound turkey and as I’ve stated before, it is sacrilege in this family to cook anything less than a 20 pound bird on Thanksgiving Day. I do however, make an awesome brined and roasted bird following the instructions of my boyfriend, Alton Brown. It is a favorite of mine and I’m quite looking forward to making another one.

I think I’ll combine the best of both, the Cajun stuffing and the roasted turkey, along with other family favorites, like green bean casserole (only ever made on this one day a year) mashed potatoes and my killer deviled eggs.

Here’s a thought…I could fry two small turkeys.

Just not on the deck.

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Wordless Wednesday…with some words…

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