Posts Tagged ‘food nation radio network’

Pumpkin risotto makes for a tasty change of season

Ingredients – risotto
1 sugar pumpkin (about 1 lb)
1 cup arborio rice (uncooked)
1/4 lb pancetta (in one piece)
1 small onion
splash of white wine
5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup parmesan
1 TB cold butter
1 tsp plus sea salt to taste
Method – risotto
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut top off of sugar pumpkin and cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds. Place on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray, cut side down. Roast until the skin becomes loose, but the pumpkin is not cooked through (about 20 minutes). Allow to cool.
In a medium saucepan heated to medium heat, dice and add the pancetta. Render it until crispy and then remove to a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan. Dice the onion in small dice and add to the pan. Dice the pumpkin the same way and add to the pan. Saute for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the arborio rice. Saute for a minute or so. Add the wine. Stir. When the wine evaporates, begin adding stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. Continue adding stock slowly and stirring for about 18 minutes, or until the risotto is al dente. Add salt to taste and allspice. Stir. Take off the heat. Add cheese and butter. Crumble pancetta over the top. Serve immediately.

Let’s talk turkey…

It’s Thanksgiving Day, and everyone gathers around the kitchen making small talk. This year everyone is talking politics, jobs and the economy. You’ll hear the occasional story about Aunt Bertha and her fibromyalgia. You pray you’ll temporarily lose your hearing…

What’s really happening though, is folks are waiting for that moment the golden-brown, succulent bird emerges from the oven. The house is already filled with the smell of slow roasting and it doesn’t make the wait any easier every time the oven opens for another brush of butter over that crispy, seasoned skin.

Cooks who are serious about Thanksgiving dinner start planning now. That means ordering a turkey or deciding you’ll go with what your grocer provides (there ARE some great choices in stores these days).

I’ve been down the path of turkey experimentation for several years now. Yes, it’s true. I can inhale a turkey with the best of them. Here are my impressions of some of the types available to make your decision a little easier.

If you want to be adventurous (short of going hunting yourself) you might consider a Heritage turkey. It’s the closest you’ll find to a wild turkey and you’ll notice a remarkably heavy game flavor. The breast is smaller and dark meat is predominant. You need to be aware that this type of turkey will cook faster and tend to dry out easier. Basting this turkey every 15-20 minutes is important.

Another type of turkey I’ve tried that I thought was succulent and moist is a brand from a California ranch called Willie Bird. These turkeys are in high demand and they tend to run out of them quickly. Again, the breast will be somewhat smaller than a conventional bird, and these are flavorful turkeys.

My all-time favorite turkey is still Bell & Evans, suppliers of the White House turkey each year and usually available at Whole Foods Market. These free-range birds are allowed to mature slowly and still have as much breast meat as any conventional brand. The meat has a slightly rich turkey flavor without crossing into game territory. Every Bell & Evans turkey I have roasted has been juicy on the inside and beautifully bronzed on the outside. They do tend to cook a little faster than conventional turkeys however, so be sure and keep your thermometer handy.

As I do every year, I’ll be writing/tweeting/posting some quick tips and tricks to get through the holidays in a stress-free and organized way. So, tell Aunt Bertha to settle down, you’ve got dinner handled.

 

 

 

Tarragon turkey basted with port butter

The biggest food-related holiday of the year deserves some real attention. This recipe keeps it simple and will impress even the most critical turkey connoisseur.

I was able to cut down the roasting time considerably and keep it moist and flavorful. Spend more time with friends and family while giving them something to remember.

This is one of our Thanksgiving Menus. Enjoy.

Right out of the oven...

Let’s start with a few more tips on buying and prepping the crown-jewel of the table.

1. Try to get a fresh turkey or defrost according to package directions. It’s important to keep the turkey refrigerated while it’s the defrosting. The days of Mom leaving it on the counter to defrost are over. It will take a day or two to thaw completely in the fridge.

2. When it is defrosted, reserve the giblets and rinse the turkey completely.

3. Brine the turkey overnight. (Instructions on this are below.)

4. Use the giblets to make stock for the gravy.

5. Season the bird generously. (Instructions on this are below.)

6. Make sure you have a pot and roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey for brining, steaming and then roasting. Find a round rack the size of the bottom of the pot, or an oven-safe plate you can turn upside down for the turkey to sit on in the pot. (More instructions below.)

7. Baste every 15 minutes while it is roasting. No exceptions! Set the timer to make sure.

8. Make sure you have a festive platter to serve your size turkey and try to have some garnishes on hand, like fresh herbs or fruit to add around the platter. People eat with their eyes first.

9. Reserve the drippings in the roasting pan, because you are going to make the gravy right in the pan.

 

Ready for the table...

Ingredients

1 12-15 lb turkey (If it’s much bigger than that you will lose flavor. Get two if you need more meat than that)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of Kosher salt
1 bunch fresh tarragon
2 large onions, 1 small onion
1 orange
1 lemon
1 stick of butter, softened
sea salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of thyme
a few sprigs of parsley
3 or 4 black peppercorns
2 cloves
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup of ruby port

Method

Thaw the turkey (if frozen) according to package directions. Always do this in the fridge.
Rinse the turkey, reserving the giblets for stock. Fill a pot large enough to hold the turkey about 1/3 full of water. Add the Kosher salt and sugar. Stir. Add the turkey and enough water to just cover it. Put a lid or foil on it and refrigerate overnight. Sanitize any areas in the kitchen that came in contact with the turkey.

Remove the turkey to a large plate. Rinse the pot. Add the rack and about 2 inches of water. Make a slit between the leg and thigh to allow for quicker cooking. Remove the wishbone by making two knife cuts directly around the bone and pull out in two pieces. This will add several ounces of meat that would otherwise be wasted. Add the turkey and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Steam with the water slowly bubbling for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sanitize the kitchen areas that came into contact with the turkey.

While the turkey is steaming, heat a two quart saucepan to high. Cut the other large onion in half, leaving the skin on. Place each half in cut-side down in the saucepan. Chop the other carrot into large pieces and add it to the pot. Add the giblets. When the onion is browned very well, pour water up to almost the top of the pot. Add the thyme, parsley, peppercorns and cloves. Bring to a simmer, letting it slowly simmer while the turkey is steaming and roasting.

During the last 15 minutes, heat the oven to 450 degrees F, making sure your oven rack is low enough to allow room for basting.

Cut one large onion into chunks and place in the roasting pan. Chop one carrot into large pieces and add to the pan. Add the garlic cloves. Put several sprigs of tarragon in the pan, reserving the rest for the turkey. When the turkey is cool enough to handle after steaming. Tuck the wing tips underneath the turkey. Cut off any excess fat at the leg opening of the cavity. Rub the entire bird, inside and out with two thirds of the butter. Don’t touch the remaining one third of the butter with raw turkey hands! Try to get some under the skin, as well. The skin will have retracted somewhat in steaming, so make sure you rub those exposed areas well and baste those generously during cooking. Cut the small onion in half and put inside the cavity. Do the same with the orange and lemon. Generously salt and pepper with sea salt and black pepper. Tie the legs together, or use the plastic device that sometimes comes with the turkey. Tuck some of the tarragon into the cavity and try to get some of the tarragon under the skin of the bird. Put a couple of ladles of the stock into the bottom of the pan.

Place the turkey in the oven for 15 minutes. While you are waiting, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter and add 1/4 cup of the port. Baste the turkey with the port/butter mixture all over, paying more attention to any areas where the skin has retracted. Do this again at 15 minutes. Check the temperature of the turkey in the thickest part of the thigh (being careful not to hit bone). If it is not 165-170 degrees F, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and cover any areas of the turkey that are getting too brown with foil. Baste again and continue basting every 15 minutes until the proper temp is reached (baste under the foil, as well). If the pan dries out, add a little more stock. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove to a serving platter and cover.

When your turkey is done, your vegetables should be well cooked and soft. While you set it aside to cool, use a slotted spoon to put the vegetables, garlic and herbs in a food processor or blender. Puree them well. Place the roasting pan on the stove over high heat, add a half cup of port to the pan and scrape the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan. Add two cups of the stock, or a little more, if desired. Put puree back in roasting pan, and over high heat, reduce the gravy by half. Check for seasoning. At this point you can strain it or serve it as-is. I like it as-is. If it is still not thick enough for you, you can continue to reduce or cheat and sprinkle some Wondra on it while it is boiling and stir with a whisk. Chop up the giblets and add to the gravy, if desired.

Decorate your platter with fruit and/or fresh herbs and bring it to the table with the gravy on the side.

St. Patrick’s Day Myths And Tasty Recipes

(Photo/Elizabeth Dougherty)

St. Patrick’s Day is coming and the Leprechauns are feeling frisky!

A cozy Irish meal, a pint of Guinness (or a nice cabernet for the less brave), and a heavenly dessert will lead you over the rainbow to a romantic Irish evening.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish (and Irish-for-a-day) all around the world. There is even a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Moscow. Being Irish-Italian, St. Paddy’s Day is cause for celebration at our house. We never let the day escape without some hearty Irish fare and great conversation. One of the more controversial subjects surrounding this day is about the origin of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was born of Roman parents who were living in Scotland or Wales during that time period. He was kidnapped and made an Irish slave as a child. His visions and his teachings made him famous throughout Ireland and he is widely credited with ending slavery in that country. Although the shamrock was his trademark, he typically wore blue garb as he witnessed to people in Ireland. The Ulstermen and other groups who opposed St. Patrick and his teachings wore orange in protest. He is also applauded for removing the serpents from the countryside, however many historians say Ireland never had snakes prior to that time period anyway. He is the patron saint of the downtrodden and gave hope to many of the poor and enslaved. It is said he died on March 17th, hence the celebration of his life and accomplishments on that day each year.
With his Roman parents, one might think we would eat Italian food on St. Patrick’s Day, but he lived in Ireland for most of his life. And don’t worry about trying to cook the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage. That is just what Americans think the Irish eat, but it was more of a British dish. Irish stew, (ballymaloe or stobhach in Gaelic) is as Irish as food can get. Traditionally cooked with inexpensive cuts of mutton, the Irish now have as many recipes for Irish stew as Macy’s has paraders!
The following recipe is one I have used for years to throw together an Irish stew. This delectable dish practically cooks itself as it simmers to mouth-watering tenderness. The meat is so tender, the flavors so succulent, any Irishman will think you spent days preparing it. Put it on some rice, pasta (or egg noodles, as the Irish say) and this is a one-dish meal that is easy to prepare and even easier to clean up. Along with that, try the recipe below for a quick Irish Cheddar Soda Bread. No rising necessary.
For dessert, macerate some fresh berries with a little port and sugar and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. (One needs this lighter dessert after such a hearty meal!) A good cup of joe with a little Bailey’s Irish Cream would end this meal appropriately.
Well, if your Irish eyes are not smiling by now, raise your glass and give your friends this Irish toast:  May the Leprechauns be near you to spread luck along your way, and may all the Irish angels smile upon you St. Patrick’s Day. Have a happy (and safe) St. Patrick’s Day!
Irish Stew
Ingredients
2 1/2 lbs. of lamb stew meat, cut into 2 inch squares
4 carrots, diced to 1/4 inch
4 stalks of celery, diced to 1/4 inch
1 large onion, diced to 1/4 inch
4 ounces of salt pork, also diced to 1/4 inch
1/2 cup of Marsala wine (he was Roman, after all)
28 ounces of beef stock (in the carton)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 TB organic cornstarch for thickening
1 lb of egg noodles
1 TB butter
Method
In a large pot heated to medium heat, add the salt pork. When it begins to render fat, add the vegetables. Saute until they are tender and the onion is translucent. Remove the vegetables to a bowl (leaving the fat in the pot). Heat the pot up to medium high and add the lamb (don’t overcrowd the pot) to brown it on both sides. This may take two batches. Add vegetables and all meat back to the pot. When it begins to sizzle again, add the Marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock, just enough to come about an inch above the meat, and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check the stew, and if not sufficiently thick, make a slurry with organic cornstarch and water. With the stew simmering well, add the slurry and stir rapidly to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and mix with butter. Serve stew over the noodles.
Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 cup of Irish cheddar, grated
2 TB butter, softened
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
(6 sundried tomatoes, chopped, optional)
Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or spray with cooking spray. Sift together dry ingredients. Making a well in the center, add all other ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form. With clean hands, knead the dough for about 5 minutes and shape into a round. Place on baking sheet and cut an “x” into the center about 1/4 inch into the dough. Dust the top with a little flour. Bake until browned 45 – 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with Irish butter!
Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 200 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday afternoon at 4 on WWBA AM820 News and  other stations. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.

 

Slainte! St. Patrick’s Day Myths And Tasty Recipes

(Photo/Elizabeth Dougherty)

St. Patrick’s Day is coming and the Leprechauns are feeling frisky!

A cozy Irish meal, a pint of Guinness (or a nice cabernet for the less brave), and a heavenly dessert will lead you over the rainbow to a romantic Irish evening.

My Sweet Son Speaks On GMOs

Last week on Food Nation Radio Network, my nine-year-old son Jonathan, decided to record an open for the program to talk about genetically modified foods.

Here’s what he had to say: LISTEN

Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 250 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday morning at 8 on the Business Talk Radio Network nationwide, Saturday afternoons at 4 on flagship WWBA AM820 News, and Sunday mornings at 8 on the Space Coast on WIXC AM1060 News, respectively. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.


 

NY & Colorado Poised to Label GMOs – Audio

From the Food Nation Radio News Desk

For the past 18 months, Food Nation Radio has followed the efforts to label genetically modified foods in Washington State.  While the ballots have been counted and the results were not what we had hoped for, in our opinion the final outcome of I-522 is still unknown.  An activist group known as Moms For Labeling helped raise awareness of the actions of the Grocery Manufacturers Association that were alleged to be unlawful. The Attorney General may yet take action against the GMA for their illegal campaign contributions that may have influenced I-522 voters.

In the meantime, the battle to label GMOs continues on a state by state basis and two new battleground states are moving to the forefront.  Grass root efforts are underway to inform consumers in both New York and Colorado and volunteers in those states are taking two very different routes.

Elizabeth Dougherty spoke with Stacie Orell of GMO Free New York and Larry Cooper of Right to Know Colorado about their individual state efforts and their very different routes to ensure their residents know what is in the foods they feed their families.

Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 250 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday morning at 8 on the Business Talk Radio Network nationwide, Saturday afternoons at 4 on flagship WWBA AM820 News, and Sunday mornings at 8 on the Space Coast on WIXC AM1060 News, respectively. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.


 

Dougherty Rails on Time Mag for GMO “Conspiracy Theory”

Photo property of Time Magazine

From the Food Nation Radio News Desk

This week on the Food Nation Radio Network, did Time Magazine® go too far? In its November 25, 2013 edition marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of  President John F. Kennedy, the author compares the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s death with the controversies associated with genetically modified foods.

The Food Nation Radio Network™ with Elizabeth Dougherty was incensed and as you’ll hear, opened the show with a fiery monologue.

CLICK HERE to listen.

Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 250 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday morning at 8 on the Business Talk Radio Network nationwide, Saturday afternoons at 4 on flagship WWBA AM820 News, and Sunday mornings at 8 on the Space Coast on  WIXC AM1060 News, respectively. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.

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