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Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

Once up on a time, there was a split turkey breast (i.e. half a turkey breast with the bones and skin included). And there were people who were afraid of the dreaded dry turkey.

These same people, however, had not planned ahead to brine the turkey breast. And so they hatched a plan to wrap it in bacon. This was, however, one of the last things we cooked in a day of cooking tasty things, so your protagonist was the one with energy left to tackle the physics of getting the bacon to stay around the turkey without the use of butchers’ twine.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

First, make sure you have thoroughly thawed a pound of bacon.

You can just assemble the on top of your roasting pan or on some surface that is easily moved and cleaned. Lay out slightly less than half of the pound of bacon to roughly the width of the breast.

Put the turkey on top of the bacon.

Decide whether or not you want to play with the seasonings. The woman who brought the meat would probably have gone with a lemon/citrus/salt/thingy seasoning schema. I was thinking along the lines of barbecue sauce only with a much more subtle flavor and no sauce, no not much like barbecue sauce at all, really. So I made a paste with:

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch dried (and crumbled) rosemary
  • pinch dried (and then crumbed) thyme
  • 3 black peppercorns (ground in mortal & pestle)
  • 5 white peppercorns (ground in mortal & pestle)
  • 2 black cardamom seeds (not pods!) (ground in mortal & pestle)
  • pinch fennel seeds (ground in mortal & pestle)
  • 2/3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp orange marmalade

And I rubbed this paste over and under the skin.

Now, lay most of the rest of the bacon over the width of the top side of the turkey. As you fold the top bacon over the side, tuck up the bottom strips of bacon and secure each one with a toothpick (they didn’t burn much even though we didn’t bother with soaking them, but they were the thicker round tooled ones you get at an asian grocery, instead of the flimsy flat ones you get at a regular grocery). If you have just a little bacon left to use up, you can drape it lengthwise over the top, but that’s not necessary.

And then I sprinkled the top of the bacon with garlic salt for extra deliciousness.

Cook as you would a turkey breast.

food list – Cheddar Lime Chipotle Popcorn, Caramelized Brussel Sprouts

So I went to the new (to me) farmers’ market, and now I have even more food.

This market had parsnips, which I recently noticed had been sadly lacking from my local sources. And there was a guy with a huge pile of purple cauliflower and romanesco. But I think I’ll be sticking to my regular market, since this one was clearly catering to a more affluent crowd – so I bought brandied duck sausage from Talula’s Table.

And I have just now for the first time discovered the amazingness of home popped popcorn. And my first recipe was brilliant (grate lime zest and cheddar cheese (finely) into the bowl. Sprinkle in chipotle. Pop popcorn. Immediately after, dump into bowl and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt. Now I want to eat that all the time and ignore the vegetables.

Food I have
3 butternut squash (the largest one might be mature enough to crack open in a week)
1 delicata squash
2 apples 1 apple
red & green tomatoes
lots of hot peppers
6 carrots with their greens
12 radishes with their greens
salad greens
chinese broccoli
snow peas
2 leeks 1 leek
fennel greens
jar of coconut milk
1 lemon
3.5 limes
4 2 chinese eggplants
1 zucchini
2 parsnips
brussel sprouts
1 red bell pepper
no onions! plenty of onions
5 qts of vegetarian stock

1/4c cooked brown rice

small jar condensed chicken stock
2 duck sausages
lots in freezer

Meal planning
Sunday, November 2
Microwave brussel sprouts and then roast them with bacon and an apple. Grill up sausage on the side.

ETA: So lots of people are RIGHT on the internet. Roasted brussel sprouts do turn out much better, if you microwave them first. That was a complete success.

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

Cut the bases off the sprouts so that you can pull off the outermost leaves and get down to the tightly packed, clean leaves. Then cut each on in half, bisecting the base. Dump them all in a container and microwave (1 pt was quite happy with 3 minutes).

Cut two slices of bacon into 1cm strips. Put them in a skillet (not a roasting pan for the oven because I like being able to watch my food cook) on medium-high heat. When the bacon is thoroughly limp and just going opaque again, add the brussel sprouts.

Once the sprouts are brighter green, add half of a crisp, tart apple, medium-small dice. I left the peel on (and just ate the other half).

Mix together: 1 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, and 2 tsp maple syrup.

Once the apples start to get some nice brown color, drizzle the sauce on top by spoon until it sizzles and softens and just looks right without having any liquid that isn’t absorbed by the food.

Monday, November 3
pilates 9am
buy onions
Make Spicy Parsnip Soup
breakfast – saffron coconut sticky rice *done*
Dinner: Spicy Parsnip Soup (ETA: The only changes I made were adding a little bit of buckwheat honey to bring out the sweetness of the parsnips and I used nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream because that was what I had – very delicious)

Tuesday, November 4
breakfast: Pesto Carrot Egg breakfast (uses carrots, red bell pepper, spinach chinese broccoli, and eggs)
dinner – salad with radishes, carrots, and a steamed chinese eggplant in oyster sauce

Wednesday, November 5
breakfast: bagel (mix cream cheese with thai green curry paste and see if that’s any good)
9:30 gym
dinner: Boil stock and make a soup with fish sauce, soy sauce, soba noodles, frozen roast pork leftovers, the rest of the chinese broccoli, 2 radishes, and the carrot greens. Top with toasted garlic and hot pepper (and snow peas)

Thursday, November 6
working 9-5
grab free breakfast @ Faculty Club
5:45 pilates
dinner: tofu hoagie (ask for half tofu and more filling)
7:30 belly dancing class

Experimental risotto – Mushroom, bacon, and maple syrup

I think I’ll make mushroom risotto for dinner tonight – so the big question is whether I want to stick with what I know’ll be tasty or whether I want to try to add bacon and a tiny bit of maple syrup to change things up a bit.

I’m not usually a fan of maple syrup, but I think the bacon I usually use (for breakfast and stuff, I haven’t tried it in risotto yet) will taste… classier… with a bit of syrup drizzled about.

ETA: a drizzle of maple syrup worked even better than I expected.

Bridge Snacks – Sleazy Cheesy Dip, Bacon & Horseradish Dip

So I had an absolutely lovely weekend of lounging on my porch and socializing with lovely people which was marred by itching from poison icvy.

So I had people over to play bridge, and one of the necessary components is snack food. Last time I had bridge, I baked a whole bunch of random frozen things I had bought at the Indian grocer and just made dippings sauces – everyone left stuffed, but it did heat up my apartment a good bit to have the oven running constantly.

So this time, I roasted some veggies beforehand and had one thing that got made in the microwave, and it was all pretty much dips’n’chips:

Sleazy Cheesy Dip

1 stick velveeta
1 package cream cheese
1 jar salsa

all microwaved together and served with toasted pumpernickel bread (it would have been served inside the bread, but it was too soft and didn’t hollow well) and Fritos.

[redacted]’s Bacon & Horseradish Dip (which I was sure my father would *love*, but he ended up saying, “I am not a fan of cream cheese – I like sour cream based dips. Never mind, I think it is the tastiest thing ever)
bunch of real bacon bits (I made bacon and crumbled it)
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 pgk cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

served with Wheat Thins and Rosemary Triscuits

Chopped Liver
recipe here

Roasted Veggies
1 yellow squash
1 long, thin eggplant
3 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers

Tossed and “marinated” for a minute or less in: a dash of soy sauce, white balsamic vinegar, pasta sprinkle, and olivey and peppery olive oil (note: the olive oil people are having free shipping on 500ml bottles for mothers’ day), and then roasted – as you do.

So. There was a lot of food.

And then about 4 hours in, I do a hostess round going, “So is there anything else I could feed you?” And I am well-stocked to make a wide variety of foodstuffs appear on very little notice…

and someone pops up with, “Could we order pizza?”


So, um. We did.

Miscellany – Pot Roast

Who recommended Garth Nix to me? Who ever you were – brilliant suggestion. I bought the first book, read it through, was excited and interested the whole way through, and am now going to buy the next book. By the time I finish the fourth book, I shall be cursing your name because the series isn’t finished.

The weather could be like this all the time, and I could be happy.

I have a pot roast on the stove waiting for me to eat it for dinner tonight.

How I made it:
I cut up 3 slices of bacon and cooked them in a soup pot.

In a bowl, I mixed black pepper, paprika, a little bit of cinnamon, and ground thyme with 2-3 tablespoons of flour. I put a small london broil in the flour, flipped it, and then jabbed it repeatedly with a fork. Then I turned it over and jabbed it some more. Repeat – until it dangled limply and was fully floured.

Then I put the floured meat into the soup pot to brown in the bacon fat.

I cut up a bunch of onions, and added them to the pot as well. Oooo, and garlic, too. And I threw in a few baby carrots.

Then it was time for some liquid. I started with three capfulls of Manischewitz wine. You know that whole thing about not cooking with wine you wouldn’t drink? Forget it – this wine is the best cooking wine ever! Food just tastes incredibly rich, if you add Manischewitz. Then I dumped in the chicken stock I had hanging out in my refrigerator.

Then I browned the rest of the flour in the bowl and made a roux – and then pulled some of the liquid from the pot until is was thin enough to pour into the pot without making lumps. I probably should have just put the flour in right after I added the meat, but I forgot.

And it should be tender and ready to eat my tonight. I’ll put it over rice and maybe cooks some greens on the side.

I joined a gym. It’s right on my way home from work. There’s a gym bag under my desk at work with shoes and socks and pants and everything – And now I have no idea how to schedule time to go. For example, tonight I need to leave right after work to get to the farmers’ market in time to get veggies. There is no excuse for it being way early september and me only having winter vegetables in the house.