Roast Mexican Turkey

I was able to get a half turkey from Edelen Farms, my local source for meats last week and was SO excited.  It’s so nice to change it up from the regular pork, chicken and steak routine.  I decided to gamble my cooking skills with the 14-lb. beauty.  There is no other recipe like this on the internet…believe me I looked!  This is good stuff…

Roast Turkey, Mexican-Style

(1) 13-14 lb. turkey or half turkey, rinsed and insides removed.

In a small blender, food processor or molcajete, add:

1/2 large head of garlic, peeled and crushed

1/4 c. c. chile ancho powder

6 mint leaves

4 tablespoons fresh thyme, stems removed

4 bay leaves

1/4 c. water

Juice and zest of 1 lime

3 tbsp. salt

Save for later:

1 liter or 1 mason jar full of chicken stock

1/2 stick of butter

more salt and pepper to taste.

Once rub mix is pureed, cut slits in the fat of the turkey and tuck half the mixture into those pockets.  Then, rub the rest on the outside skin of the bird.  Salt and pepper the turkey completely, then place small pats of butter all over bird.  Cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven.  Every 30 minutes, open up the oven and pour 1 c. chicken stock over bird.  When it runs out, use baster to pick up juices from bottom.  At the 2 1/2 hour mark, remove foil and let brown.  At the 3 hour mark, check the internal temperature inside the thigh.  Make sure it’s not touching the bone.  Let cook until thigh reaches 165 degrees.  If it browns too much, tent with foil again.  Remove from oven and let sit 20-30 minutes before carving.  Serve with tortillas or rolls and a green salad.

*To make gravy, take bird out of pan and reserve on platter tented with foil.  Add 2 tbsp. of arrowroot powder or cornstarch to 1/4 c. of water.  Whisk together.  Pour out 1/2 of drippings into a jar.  Heat 2 burners to med-high and place roasting pan with other half of drippings over stove.  Heat to a boil, then add in water/cornstarch mixture.  Whisk until combined, then boil until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Coconut, Banana or Berry Pancakes

Basic Recipe:

2 c. spelt, kamut, or whole wheat flour

2 c. kefir or yogurt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. melted butter

Fancy it up:

To batter, add 1 c. freeze-dried coconut and 2 tsp. cinnamon for Coconut Pancakes.  Or drop frozen/fresh blueberries or sliced strawberries onto cakes while in pan cooking for Berry Pancakes.  Mash 2 bananas and add mashed to batter with 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans for Banana Pancakes.  Drop 1/4 c. portions on hot buttered skillet and smooth out with a spoon if too thick.  Cook until golden on both sides, reserve to a rack until serving.  Serve with butter and grade B maple syrup, applesauce, or preserves.  Freeze extras on single sheets of wax paper or parchment in gallon bags.  Reheat in toaster.

Recipe adapted from book Eat Fat, Lose Fat.

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Coconut French Toast

The time has come for me to bite the bullet and surrender to that which every holistic practitioner has said – try cutting out dairy completely from your atopic (eczema) child’s diet  and watch the drastic improvement.  I did it – and it’s working.  Enter coconut milk.  Yummy for all.

Milk-free Favorite French Toast

Makes 4 slices.

1/2 c. whole coconut milk such as Thai Kitchen Brand

2-3 whole eggs depending on size…

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tbsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. local raw honey

4 slices of extra-thick, fluffy, 100% whole wheat bread

4 tbsp. coconut oil or butter

Grade B maple syrup and butter for serving

Shredded unsweetened coconut, no preservatives added such as Bob’s Red Mill brand, optional.

Mix with a whisk eggs, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla, honey.  Heat skillet to medium high and melt 1 tbsp. butter for each slice of bread.  Dip bread into mix and coat evenly on both sides.  For extra-coconutty flavor, then dip in unsweetened coconut.  Cook in butter until golden brown on both sides.  Reserve on a rack until ready to serve.  Great with fresh milk and fruit.

Cook’s notes:

-You may substitute regular milk if you don’t have coconut milk on hand.  Cream (not ultra-pasteurized!) is even better…remember it’s like you’re making a custard for the bread.

-I get Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk on amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save for a very competitive price.

-Cut each prepared slice into sticks for the kids to dip in syrup – they love this!

-If you’ve been making merengues or macaroons all day and have a ton of egg yolks, they work lovely in place of whole eggs – just double the amount of egg yolks (for this recipe 4-6).

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Mexican Pot Roast – Crock Pot

2 lbs. lean grass-fed steak (economy cut) brought to room temperature

2 bakers potatoes, peeled and cut in large pieces

6-8 carrots, thick chop

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbsp. chilli ancho powder (this barely spicy, don’t worry)

(1) 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes and juice, pureed

1 tbsp. salt

4 c. homemade beef broth (or combination broth and water)

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 white onion, chopped in slices

4 cloves of garlic, diced

4 tbsp. butter

1.  Salt and pepper both sides of steak.  Preheat skillet to high and melt butter.

2.  Place steak in hot skillet and turn heat to medium.  Sear until brown, about 4 minutes, flip and repeat.  Leave skillet on medium heat.  Place steak at bottom of crock pot.

3.  Sautee onion to a golden brown, about 8 minutes.  At 8 minutes, add garlic.  Cook 2-3 minutes, add to pot.

4.  Add to crock pot potatoes, carrots, thyme, tomatoes, ancho powder, salt and pepper.  Last add the broth and/or water.  Add only enough to reach the level of the veggies.  If you add more, it will yield more soupy results than stew.

5.  Cover and cook on high 1 hour, then cook 4-6 on low.  Really you can leave it up to 8 hours on low.  That’s the beauty of the crock pot!

Enjoy with fresh bread or rolls, or serve with tortillas and roasted salsa.

Cook’s Notes:

Grass-fed beef, all though superior in taste, is a bit tougher than factory meat.  For this reason it is important to cook it only when it’s come to room temperature, as not to shock it in a hot pan and make it tougher.  Also low and slow is perfect for grass-fed.  The stronger flavors (tomato, onion, chile) are a great combo for first-time grass-fed eaters.

Fire-roasted tomatoes add a wonderful flavor to any dish and are very affordable on amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save.

Store leftovers in fridge or freeze 1 c. portions for quick lunches.

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Soaked Bread Success!

I have been looking for a 100% whole wheat, soaked, non-sourdough recipe for several months now.  Months ago I found a sourdough recipe that worked good for my sourdough starter.  Using a natural yeast was important to me and I will use that recipe again.  But more important to me was getting the grains soaked and very easy to digest so I didn’t have to eat the whole loaf myself while my kids drooled!  I stumbled across this recipe while browsing some of my favorite blogs.  Besides the soaking, it appealed to me because of the honey and oats she includes in the ingredients.  Included are detailed instructions and notes.  It took 2 tries, but the results were both delicious.  (The first loaves didn’t rise very tall because of some yeast proofing, oven-opening, and a typo.)  If you are looking for a great soaked recipe like I was, look no more!

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Easy Queso Fresco

Ingredients:

1 gallon raw milk, skimmed or whole

1 c. whole milk yogurt

1/4 c. vinegar

salt to taste (probably about 2 tsp.)

Equipment:

Stainless steel pot with lid.

Thermometer

Colander or sieve

2 Cotton porous towels

Steel stirring spoon

Directions

1. Bring 1 gal. whole raw milk to 90F, add 1 c. whole milk yogurt, cover, and let sit 4 hours.
2. Raise temp of milk slowly to 100-ish so that it doesn’t pass 104F (that’s the definition of raw milk cheese, below 104.)
3. Add 1/4 vinegar, let sit about 30 min. for curd to form.
4. Strain into colander lined with porous towel, not cheesecloth. (Mix in salt, if you want it.) Hang and let drain, then squeeze dry.
5. Store wrapped in a towel in fridge overnight and that will dry it more. After I did this, it was crumbly just like the queso fresco at the store. I made chiliquiles (fried tortillas, salsa, eggs) for breakfast with it and it was awesome.

Made this way, your cheese is both RAW (unpasteurized) AND cultured!

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Kerrygold Irish Butter

Kerrygold Irish Butter is the best butter you can find, unless you make it, in most commercial grocery stores including HEB and Whole Foods in San Antonio.  It is usually sold among the fine cheeses for around $5 a package.  In this package, as you can see by its label, there are 2 conventional butter sticks – 1 cup or 8 oz. total.  Kerrygold is pasteurized, but from grass-fed cows, which you will automatically see because of its rich yellow color.  The taste will sell the product by itself.  The reason I am posting on St. Patrick’s Day is because they are selling it at Costco right now – for the month of March ONLY for $7 and change for THREE of these 8oz. packages.  That’s almost half price and makes it just as affordable as conventional butter, and more affordable than organic butter.  If you’ve never tried it – now is the time!  Get yourself to Costco and get your vitamins from your food instead of from synthetic pills!!

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