22 Nov Thanksgiving Made Easy
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Sips of the Week
Tim Riley, Beverage Director at Fleet Street Kitchen, joined us to talk about three of his wine picks that need to be on your Thanksgiving table! Baltimore native, Tim brings an intense passion for beverage service and an extensive knowledge of wine, beer, and spirits to his position at Fleet Street Kitchen. An honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Tim has worked all over the East Coast.
Sparkling – Andre et Mireille Tissot Cremant du Jura, France $24.99 Winemakers Notes: Biodynamic viticulture – think organic on steroids…Made with 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 10% from a combination of Poulsard and Trousseau; two local red varieties. This “Extra Brut” is a seriously good Crémant du Jura with excellent juicy fruitiness and length of flavour.
White – Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2011, Finger Lakes, NY $14.99 Winery Notes: Riesling is the flagship wine grape variety of the Finger Lakes, and truly shines when balanced with a touch of sweetness. Crisp and aromatic in the glass, Red Newt Semi-Dry is the ultimate expression of the Finger Lakes style. Bursting with layers of ripe pineapple, starfruit, kiwi, and mango, the palate is an expression of the perfect climate for Riesling. Subtle sweetness up front is delicately balanced for a clean, fresh finish, and is ideal for flavorful, spicy cuisine.
Red – Potel-Aivron Julienas ’10 $19.99 Winemakers Notes: Once again, Stephan Aviron is sourcing his Julienas from two well established growers in the appellation of Julienas. In both plots vines average over 50 years. Soils are also consistent and are made up primarily of granite stones, sand and chalk. Grapes are vinified separately until time for the final blending and bottling. The must is macerated in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 12-15 days and then aged for 12-14 months in a combination of new and used oak casks.
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Chef Michael Forster joined us to answer your Turkey cooking questions! Laurie’s better half Chef Michael studied at The Culinary Institute of America and apprenticed at Le Cirque, in New York City where he learned traditional French cooking from basic sauces to intricate plate presentation. Over the last decade, Chef Forster has held positions in some of the country’s top restaurants including Osteria del Circo in New York City, Hampton’s at Baltimore’s Harbor Court Hotel and, now, as full time private chef. Check out Chef Forster’s Stuffing Muffin Recipe and his video on How to Carve a Turkey.
Laurie also talked to Peggy Woodward, food editor at Taste of Home magazine to get some great tips below on reducing your work in the kitchen and adding a little more spice to this year’s Thanksgiving feast.
Crank up the Cranberry: Make whole berry cranberry sauce according to the directions on the bag of fresh cranberries—it’s just berries, sugar and water. Whomp up the flavor when you take it off heat by stirring in a little orange marmalade or jalapeño jelly.
Make the Fluffiest Potatoes: The key to super-fluffy mashed potatoes is to make sure they’re dry before mashing. Once the potatoes are cooked and drained, put them back in the pot, cover it up, and let them dry for 1 to 2 minutes. The drier the potato, the fluffier the mash.
Spice it Up: Make a homemade spice bag with cloves, cinnamon sticks and citrus peel for mulling cider or wine. Wrap double thickness of cheesecloth around your spices; bring up the edges and tie with kitchen string. A loose leaf tea filter, or even a coffee filter, works in a pinch. You can also try recipes for Hot Mulled Wine and Warm Pomegranate Punch (which is slow-cooker friendly too!).
Put your Slow Cooker to Work: As soon as sides like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or stuffing are hot, plunk them in a slow cooker on the lowest setting while you finish up the rest of the meal. This frees up space galore! You can even put gravy in a smaller, 2-quart slow cooker. It holds beautifully for up to an hour on the warm setting.
No Shame in Shortcuts: Who says Thanksgiving dessert has to be totally from scratch? There’s plenty of modern twists on traditional family recipes, take this Caramel Apple Strudel as an example – puff pastry can replace getting dough all over the kitchen counters!
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