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Garam Masala and Cilantro Roast Turkey Breast

November 20, 2019

This was voted the best turkey we have ever made. I cooked this delicious turkey breast the same way I have been for the last few years. I like to make a compound butter for under the skin; I like to add bacon on top and I like to stuff the cavity with some citrus. I made the compound butter with garlic, lemon zest, garam masala and cilantro to keep with the Indian theme. It made the turkey super flavorful and delicious!

  • 1 8-9 pound turkey breast
  • ½ stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • Zest of two lemons, save the lemons for the cavity
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 to 4 bacon strips
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, skins on
  • 1 to 2 cups homemade turkey stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (preferably convection)

Mix the butter with the garlic, lemon zest, salt, garam masala and cilantro. Loosen the skin of the turkey breast and carefully spread the butter under the skin. Salt and pepper inside and outside of the turkey breast. Stuff the cavity with the lemon pieces. Place the bacon strips on top of the turkey breast and place on the stand.
Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the stock. Place the stand into the roasting pan. Let turkey sit for 2 to 3 hours before roasting in oven.
Roast in the oven till the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. Half way through the roasting process, take the bacon (when bacon is well done) off and continue cooking. Take out of oven onto a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. In the meantime strain the juices out of the roasting pan. Separate the fat and add the juices to the gravy pan.
Slice the turkey and serve with hot gravy.

Apple Cardamom Trifle

December 18, 2017

I thought I would do a bunch of desserts for the upcoming holidays.. this is one of my favorites…

Apple Filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large apples, Pink Lady and Honey Crisp, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods, seeds taken out and crushed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • Juice of half a lemon

Place the butter in a large frying pan. Add the apple pieces, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds and sugar. Stir constantly until the butter melts on a medium heat. Add the cider and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with lid for ten minutes or till the apple pieces are soft but not mushy. Bring to room temperature and refrigerate. Take out of fridge a few hours before assembling. Divide into two portions.

Vanilla Custard (Gale Gand Recipe)

  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.
Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Removed from and heat and stir in butter. Transfer to a storage bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to eliminate skin forming. Refrigerate overnight. Divide into two portions.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon

Whip the mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, sugar and cinnamon till stiff peaks form.

One pound cake, sliced, divided into two layers
One trifle bowl

Assemble the trifle by starting with a layer of pound cake at the bottom. Cover with one portion of the apples and then the custard. Repeat the process one more time and top with cinnamon whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Spiced Fig Compote

November 21, 2016

This is a great appetizer for the big dinner… I always start with a simple cheese plate with a bowl of fig compote. I made this one with a bit of ground coriander and cayenne pepper. It gave it great flavor. I served it with a log of goat cheese and some delicious crackers. I also served a side of sweet spicy nuts.

  • 1 cup dried figs, sliced
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Transfer the figs, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, coriander and cayenne pepper into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low heat for about 20 minutes till the figs are cooked down and the moisture has cooked away. Serve with cheese and crackers.

Roasted Garlic and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes

November 15, 2016

This was a big hit! I added delicious roasted garlic, cilantro and green onions. I blended the aromatics with half and half and milk. I then added this delicious green sauce to the cooked potatoes. To make it even yummier, I added some grated cheese inside and on top. Everyone loved it!

1 large head of garlic, top trimmed, wrapped in aluminum foil, drizzled with olive oil

Roast the garlic in a 400 degrees F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Let it cool and squeeze the soft garlic out and keep aside.

  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 to 5 green onions, chopped
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Soft roasted garlic

Place the cilantro, green onions, half and half, olive oil, milk, salt and garlic in a blender. Blend till smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • 3 pounds baby yellow potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup plus ½ cup shredded pepper cheese

Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer till soft. Drain and put through a food mill or potato ricer. Transfer the mashed potatoes back to the saucepan. Add the cilantro sauce and mix well. Add one cup shredded cheese and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with ½ cup cheese. Bake in oven covered for 30 minutes, take the aluminum foil off and bake for another 15 minutes or till the top is golden brown. Serve hot.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garam Masala and Cilantro

November 14, 2016

These Brussels sprouts are very similar to the ones I have made in the past. I just changed up the spices a bit. I added garam masala to the mix. Cilantro finished the process and made this dish absolutely delicious!

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the sprouts onto a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, till the sprouts are golden brown. Take out and keep aside.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pancetta, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Salt
  • ½ cup cilantro

Heat a pan with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook on medium heat till the fat is rendered. Add the walnuts and garam masala. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Add half and half and the roasted sprouts. Mix well and add salt if necessary. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Roast Lamb

June 13, 2014

This is an amazing roast to make for the holidays. We originally had it in Spello, Umbria. A friendly woman named Paula made it for us. I watched her make it step by step and replicated it at home.

I realized the ingredients make an amazing difference. The Italian vegetables and meats are amazingly fresh and taste so different. I tried my best to buy the most local and fresh ingredients I could find including using herbs from my garden.

The key is to use a lamb shoulder which can be roasted several hours in the oven. If you prefer a lamb leg, make sure you don’t over cook it.

It is perfect for Christmas. I made it with a white bean ragu, a big green salad and a huge tray of tiramisu. How can you go wrong with that??

  • One 5 pound lamb shoulder roast
  • ¼ cup chopped pancetta
  • ¼ cup chopped pork fat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • ¼ cup fennel frawns
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Process the pancetta, pork fat, rosemary, thyme, sage, fennel frawns and garlic cloves in a food processor until smooth. Keep aside.

Place the roast in a roasting pan and spread the pancetta mixture on the lamb roast- you can use all of it or save some for roast vegetables to be served on the side. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups chicken broth at the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Bring the heat down to 350 degrees and roast for another 45 minutes- till the meat is tender and soft.