When Murphy meets Tom in the Thanksgiving kitchen

Catharine L. Kaufman

“My wife dresses to kill. She cooks the same way.” — Henny Youngman

Thanksgiving is, hands down, the holiday when both seasoned and rookie cooks create unprecedented (and quite humorous) gustatory gaffes. Here’s some humdingers that’ll provide both teachable culinary moments along with a few chuckles. Gobble, gobble!

All thawed out

The Thanksgiving bird must be completely defrosted before it enters the oven. If a frozen bird is roasted, you can expect to start carving it by Christmas Day.

The neophyte doesn’t realize that a an unstuffed bird takes 20 minutes per pound, and a stuffed one 30 minutes per pound — once it is unthawed! Cook’s tip: Best way to defrost the holiday bird is in the refrigerator, breast side up in the original wrapping, allowing 24 hours for each 4 pounds. A turkey weighing 15 pounds would take about 4 days to un-thaw.

Well done

Courtesy of National Turkey Federation

It’s a slippery slope cooking turkey just right like Baby Bear’s porridge. The bird must be cooked through to avoid salmonella, while if over-cooked, it resembles the texture of a pigskin football.

A meat thermometer is an ideal way to check for doneness, however, many folks have had the misfortune of improperly using the thermometer with the results of having it snap in half with the red fluid (colored alcohol) leaking into the meat.  Although the old thermometers contained highly toxic mercury, you still don’t want a foreign substance in your food. So stick it to the bird with caution in the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone.

When the temperature reaches 180 degrees, the bird is done. Also the stuffing temperature should reach 165 degrees to indicate doneness.

Cavity fillings

Popcorn belongs in a movie theater not in a turkey’s cavity. Other cavity no-nos: raw oysters, eggs and wild rice. Standing advice? Raw in, raw out, so sauté or par cook grains, potatoes, sausages and other perishables to avoid food kooties and broken teeth. And please, don’t forget to remove the plastic giblet bag from the cavity before roasting.

Relish the thought

Super tart cranberries require a large amount of sweetener to counter the lip-puckering sourness. But when one novice cook mistakenly used salt instead of sugar, dinner guests had a sodium shock.

Monster mash

Many things can go awry with mashed potatoes, a quintessential fave at Thanksgiving tables. While russets are the best candidates creating the fluffiest, creamiest mashed spuds, some folks use redskins or Yukon Golds, making them grainy and chunky.

Another common culinary faux pas occurs when the potatoes are whipped up in a blender or food processor yielding edible Epoxy.

Burn, baby, burn

Barbecue gurus are obsessed with doing the turkey in a deep-fryer. If you must, take the whole mess outside.

For more recipes, email kitchenshrink@san.rr.com or check out www.FreeRangeClub.com.

Related posts:

  1. Some fowl Thanksgiving gaffes … and how to avoid them!
  2. Carmel Creek students explain the art of turkey making
  3. Fowl play: stuffing the bird
  4. Rancho Santa Fe Students explain the art of turkey making
  5. Turkey post mortem: Polish off leftovers in style

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=42485

Posted by Staff on Nov 15, 2012. Filed under Kitchen Shrink. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • County Board of Supervisors honors longtime former Rancho Santa Fe Association Manager
    The County Board of Supervisors recently honored former longtime Rancho Santa Fe Association Manager Pete Smith for “his outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to area residents.” Supervisor Bill Horn presented a proclamation to Smith on July 8 and the county board declared July 8 to be “Pete Smith Day” throughout the County of San Diego. Smith reti […]
  • Is Impact Investing the Way of the Future?
    By Chris L. Meacham, CPA, Cornerstone Wealth Management The next generation of investors is estimated to inherit $41 trillion from the baby boomers, and trends are revealing that impact investing will not only be part of mainstream wealth management, but it may become the core-portfolio. With that in mind, some of the biggest names in […]
  • Jerome Strack named General Manager of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
    Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Jerome Strack general manager for The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, the historic hotel located near San Diego. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is part of Benchmark Hospitality’s Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels brand collection. Greg Champion, executive vice presiden […]