Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks for a barbecued turkey

For the first time, I decided to barbecue my turkey on the outdoor grill, and it turned so good that it may be an annual event. I was forced to the barbecue because my oven is just too small for a large bird. No problem, folks.

The backyard grill handled the turkey nicely, finishing a golden-brown bird in about 3 1/2 hours. It was moist and delicious, and my guests kept commenting on this being the best turkey they've ever eaten. That's high praise because they've wolfed down a bunch of turkeys in their time.

The prep was as simple as apple pie. After rinsing out the turkey cavities, I rubbed the inside and outside of the turkey with olive oil and Italian seasoning. I put the 17-pound turkey on a rack in a large disposable aluminum pan. I placed all of this on a cookie sheet in the middle of my gas grill.

I have a four burner grill, so I only lit the two outside burners so there would be no direct heat on the turkey. I closed the lid and checked on it every hour or so. My grill has a temperature gauge on it so it was easy to monitor the approximate heat. I kept the temperature around 325 degrees. Then, all I did was check the temperature from time to time. When the internal temperature reached 165 degrees I turned off the burners. I let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving it.

Next time I'm going to brine the turkey, and use a chipotle rub on it, but for now, I'm happy knowing I have found the solution to not having a big enough oven.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A glimpse of Eden in Capitola

We took a day trip to Capitola on the Central Coast and decided to have an early dinner at the Shadowbrook, the wonderful restaurant on Soquel Creek near Capitola Village. The menu offered many treats but I was pulled to the Pacific Rim King Salmon. The dish is featured in this photo.

This Shadowbrook recipe was featured in Bon Appetit magazine. Here's the description right off the menu: Certified sustainably raised and organically fed Sea greens, ginger-wasabi sauce, ponzu sauce, miso vinaigrette-julienne vegetables and sesame seeds.

My companion had the slow-roasted certified Angus prime rib. Here's the menu description: Buttermilk mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, Yorkshire pudding, horseradish cream and Cabernet jus.

The meal was excellent and we had time to walk the lush grounds of this multi-level restaurant. The Shadowbrook is one of our favorites. Check it out the next time you're in the Capitola/Santa Cruz area.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day dinner

The best part of Valentine's Day is being with the one you love, sharing treats and topping the evening off with a fabulous meal. We did Valentine's Day a day early (and may even do it a day late for those of you keeping score).

The dinner was simple elegance. Salmon steamed on the barbecue, right next to tiny lobster tails that also cooked on the grill. I put the salmon in aluminum foil, topped with three sprigs of rosemary, slices of yellow onion, olive oil and salt and pepper. Seal the foil and pop it on the grill for about 12 minutes. The lobster tails cooked for about 10 minutes on the grill.

I garnished the plate with sliced pears, and lemons. Then added a few heart-shaped raviolis, a few stocks of asparagus, and you have a Valentine's Day meal that is fit for a king.

It was yummy from start to finish.