November, 2013 — The Thanksgiving Issue
It’s been a busy fall season at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. We just returned from a successful show at the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting. We also had a fantastic time serving lunch at the Robb Report Car of the Year events during the first week of November. Beautiful cars, fabulous wines and a great venue at the Napa Valley Reserve.
Now we turn our attention to my favorite cooking holiday of the year. Celebrate family, friends and everything we have to be thankful for with a succulent Apple-Brined Turkey smoke roasted on the grill. I’ve also put together a few more of my favorite holiday grill recipes to help make your table complete.
Free Gift with Purchase: $300 Value
Author: Lauren Jones, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
To celebrate the holiday season Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet will include a complimentary set of Pizza Master's Essential Accessories with every Artisan Fire Pizza Oven purchased from November 1st through December 18th. The set includes the hard-to-find, professional tools used by pizza masters around the world.
For more information contact our sales representatives at 800.868.1699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free gift is only available with purchase of the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven through Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet or an authorized dealer from November 1, 2013 to December 18, 2013. Free gift is the Pizza Master's Essential Accessories and may not be exchanged for any other product or cash/discounts. Free gift promotion is automatically added to each applicable Artisan Fire Pizza Oven order and requires no additional action to redeem.
Brining the turkey in apple cider adds moisture and a subtle apple flavor that really comes through in gravy made from the drippings. This is one of our favorite roast turkey recipes, and one that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
12 pound turkey, fresh or thawed
For the Brining Solution:
- 1 gallon unsweetened apple cider
- 1 cup sea salt or kosher salt
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons candied ginger pieces
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons allspice berries, cracked
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 1 gallon ice-cold water
- 1 orange, quartered
- 2 brining bags
For Roasting the Turkey:
- 1 sweet onion, quartered
- 1 baking apple, quartered
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Canola oil for brushing the turkey
- 4 cups apple wood chips, soaked
- Foil turkey pan and roasting rack
- Cotton string and 1 bamboo skewer
Preparing the Brine Combine 1/2 gallon of apple cider with all other brine ingredients except the water and oranges in a large stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring until all of the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining apple cider and the ice water. Place the brine in the refrigerator to cool if necessary.
Brining the Turkey Discard the giblets and neck from the turkey. Rinse and pat dry. Place the quartered orange in the cavity. Place one brining bag inside the other. Working in a large roasting pan or a clean sink, place the turkey inside the inner bag breast-side-down and then fill with the brining solution. Squeeze out all the air and seal the bags, one inside the other, ensuring the turkey is completely submerged. I place the bagged turkey inside a large stock pot to help keep the turkey fully submerged.Brine the turkey in the refrigerator overnight.
Setting Up the Grill for Indirect Cooking Soak 2 cups of Apple wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking between 275° and 325°F. For hybrid grills, light a charcoal fire on one half the grill and let it burn just until the coals are covered with gray ash and very hot. When the grill is ready, add some of the soaked wood chips to the grill. For a gas grill, place them in smoker drawer; for a hybrid grill, place them on the hot coals. If you have a side-mounted smoker box, you know what to do.
Preparing the Turkey for the Grill Remove the turkey from the brine and pat thoroughly dry with paper towel. Place the onion, apple and cinnamon stick inside the cavity, and then tie the legs together with a cotton string. Pull the skin over the neck opening and secure with a small skewer. Set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a heavy-gauge foil pan. Brush turkey lightly with oil.
Roasting the Turkey Set the turkey in the pan on the cooking grate in the indirect cooking zone. Pour 1 cup water into the pan. Close the grill and cook over medium heat. To maintain an even temperature with a charcoal grill, add more charcoal regularly (usually a few pieces every half hour or so). Continue adding wood chips as desired.
Check the turkey periodically, you may want to cover the wing tips and/or the whole turkey to prevent the skin from getting too brown. The turkey is done when its juices run clear and the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh is about 170°F, but you will want to remove it from the grill when the temperature reaches 160°. Estimate about 12 to 14 minutes per pound, typically 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover loosely with foil and let stand 15 minutes. (The temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees as the turkey rests.)
Carve the turkey and serve on a warm platter.
Try this recipe with sides of Sausage and Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
I recently had the pleasure of dining at The Tipsy Pig in San Francisco. Their Caramelized Brussels Sprouts appetizer was a real stand out. This dish, inspired by the original, makes a great side for a festive meal. My take emphasizes the crispy leaves from the original. Bacon, Romano cheese and Tuscan bread make it a hearty dish with a “gravitas” that is appropriate for the season.
- 2 pounds small Brussels sprouts, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked crisp and chopped coarse, drippings reserved
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 1 generous slice Tuscan bread from a day-old loaf
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Heavy aluminized steel sheet pan or other grill-safe pan. (Make sure pan does not have a non-stick coating.)
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 500ºF.
Remove and discard the base of each sprout. Quarter lengthwise and place in a large bowl. All loose leaves also go into the bowl. These will become the crispiest bits.
Use a fork to whisk together 2 tablespoons bacon fat with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil mixture to the Brussels sprouts and toss to thoroughly combine. Reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons.
Gently tear the bread into very small pieces, compressing it as little as possible, until you have 2 cups worth. Toss with the remaining oil mixture and season lightly with salt.
Spread the sprouts and leaves into a single layer on a heavy-duty aluminized steel sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, and place it in the indirect grilling zone. Roast, tossing the sprouts once, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges of the quartered sprouts are thoroughly browned. Mix in the bacon and bread and continue roasting until the bread is crisped and the sprouts are caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle on half of the Romano cheese and toss again. Remove from the grill, transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining cheese.
Apple Bake with Almonds and Dried Cherries
Casual, simple and delicious — baked apples come hot off the grill infused with a glorious apple wood smoke flavor. Baking and serving in individual dishes will delight your guests.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 Braeburn apples with the skins left on, cored and sliced in 16ths
- ¼ cup dried tart cherries
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 cups apple wood chips, soaked for at least 1 hour
- 6 small cast iron skillets, about 3-1/2” diameter
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg. Whisk in the cream and vanilla, and then the sugar, flour, nutmeg and cloves. Butter the individual skillets. Intermingle the apples, dried cherries and almonds into each skillet.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillets until each is about 2/3 full. Place the skillets in the indirect cooking zone and bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Rotate the skillets twice during this time. The grill hood should remain closed as much as possible and the skillets should remain uncovered, letting the apple wood smoke infuse itself into the ingredients.
Remove from the grill and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving in the individual skillets.
Note: This same recipe can be prepared in a single, medium-sized skillet if you do not have small ones available.
Robb Report 2014 Car of the Year Event
Author: Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Hundreds of sliders over six days in Napa. They may not have been large, but they made a big impression on guests at the Napa Valley Reserve. These sliders have become a go-to for Kalamazoo at events because the reaction is always so enthusiastic, like “these are the best burgers I have ever had!” We promise to share the secret recipe with you soon, but in the meantime, check out our Facebook gallery from the event. Beautiful cars, gourmet dinners at phenomenal wineries, and some action shots of the grill and pizza oven.