Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hey There Lil' Birdie

Well, it's 2 days before T-Day and I just got my shopping done, my menu is planned, and my 17 pound pavo sits in the fridge awaiting the brine spa treatment I have planned for it.

Couple of years ago my bro in law made a brined turkey which is basically a turkey that soaked in salt water overnight. Juicy, tasty, and seasoned to the bone, it is now my fave way of preparing el guajolote.

Click here for the recipe for best brined turkey. Trust me, it will rock your world.

One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving is that I get to make my grandmother Mama Keke's dressing. I channel her when I make it and it has never let me (or anyone else) down. This also is great in a chicken or with a pork roast. It is sweet and savory and vegetarian friendly.

This dish always turns out better if you talk to the ingredients. You can tell them stories, family gossip, the plot line of your favorite telenovela, or some sports scores.

Mama Keke's Fruit Stuffing
For every 10 pounds or so of birdie you'll need:
Unseasoned bread cubes (I make my own or buy the bag)
1 green apple, chopped
1 banana
handful of raisins
6-8 chopped Spanish olives
1 bell pepper
1 onion
salt and pepper
*turkey stock

Saute the onion and bell pepper in butter til tender but not overcooked. Remove from heat and add bread cubes, apple, banana, raisins, olives, salt and pepper to taste. Taste it and add more fruit or olives if you think it needs it.

**If you are cooking it inside the bird, rub the cavity of the bird with sage before you put the stuffing in.
*If you're cooking it in a casserole dish, moisten it up with some turkey stock. Don't overdo it or it will be soggy. Be sure to butter the dish and add lots of butter dollops to the top. When you cook stuffing in the pan you need to recreate greasy bird drippings, so don't skimp on the mantequilla.

Stuff into the bird and cook til done, or in the casserole cook at 350 til stock absorbs and fruits soften. Maybe 45 minutes?

I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving. Whether you're with your family of origin or family of choice, I send you big abrazos and lots of gratitude.


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