You want me to cook a Thanksgiving turkey?! Part 1

I’m going to try something new this week. Think of this like a live foodblog event. And round 1 begins tonight.

Last week, my wife realized we could simplify Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family if, instead of using the oven for the turkey, I could cook a bird on the Big Green Egg. So, we talked about who all is coming for dinner and then went back and forth on whether we should do a couple of turkey breasts or a whole turkey. Since we’re feeding 10+, we decided to go with a smallish whole turkey, about 13 lbs. But since I’ve never cooked a turkey at all, we picked up a 10 lb bird too. For practice. The 10 lb turkey has been thawing in the refrigerator for about 70 hours and the action is about to get started.

Tonight, I’m tackling a few things.

1. Clean out the grill. Take pictures.
2. Setup the Egg for indirect cooking.
3. Select a recipe.
4. Brine the turkey. Take some more pictures.

The practice cook will happen tomorrow night. And we’ll eat some and I’ll take a some samples to my office on Tuesday to get some coworker feedback.

Oh yeah.. Roll Tide!!

So you want me to cook a Thanksgiving turkey?! Part 2

Bacon wrapped filet mignon – Reverse Sear

So I’ve been quiet for a while. Not for lack of cooking. Not for lack of taking photos of food. Just, not posting in a timely manner. Thanks to eatdrinkandbemanly.com for reminding me of my social responsibility. I also have numerous pics of his fajita recipes, which are excellent.

A couple weeks ago, we picked up some pretty thick (1.5+” thick) bacon wrapped filets at the grocery store. Given that I hadn’t cooked a thick steak in a while, I decided to go with a “less is more” recipe. This technique isn’t fast, but it does produce an excellent brown crust on the meat that you aren’t generally going to get outside of some pretty pricy steakhouses.

Ingredients:

  • Filet mignon, the best cut you can comfortably spend, at least USDA Choice
  • Bacon, whatever floats your boat (ours came pre-assembled)
  • Salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Two cast iron grill plates
  • Butter
Dry brine the steaks:
1. Remove the steaks from the fridge.
2. Blot dry with a paper towel.
3. Sprinkle salt liberally over the steaks.
4. Cover with another paper towel and let come to room temperature for an hour or so.
While you wait on the steaks to reach room temperature, go ahead and prepare the Big Green Egg:
1. Setup the Egg for direct heat.
2. Start fire and preheat grill to a dome temperature of about 300F.
Once the grill is ready, add the steaks:
1. Add the steaks in the reverse order you want to pull them off. For medium rare, you’re looking to leave the meat on at this temperature for about half an hour. My wife likes her steaks closer to medium well, so hers was on for about an hour.
2. Remove steaks. Note the relative lack of grill marks. Sprinkle with some more salt. Crack fresh peppercorns over the surface of the meat. Place on a warm plate and wrap in foil.
3. Open up the vents on the grill and let it get hot. Like 600F+.
Grease two grill plates:
1. We have these amazing little cast iron grill plates that I received from the “Hall of Fame” in laws. I don’t know where they found them, but if you don’t have one, a small cast iron skillet is your best bet.
2. Cut up a couple Tbsp of regular, salted butter.
3. Put the plates on the grill and let the butter get hot and melty-sizzly.
Sear:
1. Once the butter is melted and sizzling, put each filet down. Close the grill.
2. Wait 2 minutes and flip. Close grill again.
3. Wait two more minutes and remove from the grill.
4. Put them on a second, clean warm plate. Wrap in foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy:
We ate these with a simple green salad and some organic brown rice pilaf from the rice cooker.