Fall in the kitchen: part three of three

October 8, 2008 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

Oh, fall. The season of apple pie, of soup, of bread — of turkey and stuffing. I couldn’t resist; the air was cool, the vegetables were in-hand, the cranberries were in the freezer, the turkey cutlets were staring me in the face, begging to be turned into something delicious, like a 60-minute mini-Thanksgiving dinner.

That’s right, I cook because the food begs me to. It speaks to me. Gobble, gobble.

Half of what I love about stuffing is the mirepoix (say it: meer-pwah), the holy trinity of aromatics sauteed with salt and pepper in lovely golden butter. Mmmm! You light up my life!

The other half of what I love about stuffing is the bread — pure and simple. It always seems such a shame to let it go stale, but then I do this:

And all the shame goes away.

And THEN I take that over to my (4) seasoned turkey cutlets. I spoon stuffing onto two of the cutlets, then put the un-stuffinged cutlets on top, like a sandwich. I drizzle some olive oil on top because it makes me feel good, and I bake it in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. And I serve it up with homemade cranberry sauce, which is just as easy as opening a can and tastes a whole lot better. Num num num.

I have to stop writing about cooking now, because it’s been making me insatiably hungry for the last three days. Only there’s a box of 20 fresh, delicious, juicy, sweet Mutsu apples on my kitchen counter — some of which only want to be eaten as they are, but the others, oh the others, are just begging, DYING to become something more. Something like…pie.

Sarah E. Barrington’s Shameless Bread Stuffing
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup turkey gravy
8 cups dried/toasted/stale (but not moldy) bread cubes
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
2 celery stalks (with greens), diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1-2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a 5-quart pot, melt the butter with olive oil over medium heat. When butter is melted, add onion, celery and carrots — season with salt and pepper (le mirepoix!). Stir to coat vegetables with butter. Let cook until onions and celery are soft and semi-transparent — about 5 minutes. Add rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and bread cubes, tossing gently to mix it all up. Remove from heat. Add gravy and toss to coat.

Oh okay, one more…
Sarah E. Barrington’s Cranberrylicious Cranberry Sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
4 cups fresh cranberries (if you’ve kept them frozen, make sure to thaw them first)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, zest and juice of orange and ginger over medium heat. Stir and cook gently until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally until cranberries BEGIN to pop. When the first few cranberries pop, remove from heat and let stand. Add pecans and let sauce cool to room temperature (sauce will thicken and won’t be runny like they were in my photo. What can I say? We were hungry).

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Entry filed under: Food. Tags: , , , , , .

Fall in the kitchen: part two of three Thoughts as scattered as autumn leaves, photos as abundant

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