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Veritek83
Jul 7, 2008

The Irish can't drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I've known gets mean when he drinks.


Okay, cutting it close here, but I did this and it was good.

Obviously last week was Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and Thanksgiving is objectively the greatest holiday. The past few years I've taken over the kitchen at my parents' home and the cooking duties, because while I love my family, I'm a much better cook than any of them. I do the turkey, the stuffing/dressing, the potatoes, etc. etc. etc. The one thing I always leave to my parents is the cranberry compote they make every year. It's tasty, but it's never a highlight of the meal for me. This year was no different, but in thinking about this NICSA and looking at what I had in my fridge, certain things just made sense. So, without further ado,

Cran-rasp-orange punch
Cranberry juice is obviously a pretty common cocktail ingredient, but as a manly sort of man, ordering it in a bar can cause trouble. Initially I thought about doing a variation of a zombie, but frankly I don't like the idea of having that many variations of rum in my house.

This really reminded me of the weird ginger ale punch stuff that got served at every church function I got dragged to as a youth. That said, it was pretty good- I cut back on the sugar a bit and added some vodka, but I think tequila or a really good smoky mezcal would be better than the non-flavor of vodka here. The balance of the raspberry vs. the cranberry was pretty good and you could taste both. The orange juice was less distinguishable.

Turkey "carnitas" with cranberry-jalapeno salsa
Okay, so I roasted the turkey last week and it was delightful. I failed to get a picture of the bird whole, but at 15 pounds for 6 people, there were a lot of leftovers. After turkey noodle soup earlier this week, I was down to the last of it- a bunch of dark meat.

I saw the "carnitas" suggestion on Serious Eats and it sounded great. Particularly as I'd need some sort of spicy salsa to go with the turkey.

It's really pretty amazing how similarly it was to pork- I probably should have simmered the meat a bit more earlier in the week so that it'd be more shreddable, but it was great nonetheless.

Turns out that frying turkey makes a pretty great smell, which can attract stray dogs who happen to live in your apartment. He can have some turkey, but cranberry-jalapeno salsa would probably make for a miserable walk at some point later in the night.

I added a jalapeno beyond what the recipe I was using called for and went with red onion rather than green. I was kinda worried about how the cilantro would work with the cranberry, but it turned out nicely, adding a brightness that complimented the heat of the jalapenos and the tang of the cranberries. This stuff is really great. I made way more than I needed to for this, but happily I've got a pork shoulder and a bunch of corn tortillas so it won't go to waste.

And finally everything on the plate, with some punch to wash it all down. Again, I'm really surprised at how much like pork the dark meat turkey performed- but with a distinct turkey flavor. It was great.

Rustic apple-cranberry galette

Okay, I'll be the first to admit this isn't a particularly original dessert idea. But why mess with what works? Galettes are awesome, since they're basically lazy pie. The problem this time around was that I'd had...several...glasses of the punch. I definitely added too much water to the pie dough. Not that whole measuring thing, but really, a lot of this would be resolved by getting a food processor and doing my dough that way. Perhaps a Christmas gift for myself. One thing that I really like to do when baking with apples is soak them in hot or boiling water or juice beforehand. Per Kenji, this helps the apples retain their shape, rather than collapsing in the pie. In this case I used a mix of water and cranberry juice. I also had a lot more filling than I needed, so looks like I'm going to be making another pie later this week.

It's a little tough to see in the picture, but about half of the crust was way too wet, resulting in some spillage of the filling. That's what parchment and cookie sheets are for.

See? Rustic as hell. The only problem was that it was midnight or so at the point and I didn't feel like staying up later to let it cool.

Luckily it makes for a fantastic breakfast pastry.

So I had a lot of fun with this. Makes me appreciate cranberries quite a bit more and I think the cranberry/jalapeno salsa may become a standard in my repertoire. I'm really looking forward to trying it with the pork shoulder I'm making next week. The punch was okay- but I think if I were to try it again, I'd use mezcal, and try to make it a bit more savory, a little less sweet. Time to go eat more of the galette. Thanks for "lingering"I am horrible and reading all the way to the end.

Veritek83 fucked around with this message at Dec 8, 2015 around 00:00

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psychokitty
Jun 29, 2010

=9.9=
MEOW
BITCHES



Yummy entry! Thanks for thinking of playing along with my 90's alternateen music trivia with your drink choice, even though it didn't actually happen. Would eat all, and will definitely have to try cranberries and cilantro together sometime.

rysfade
Mar 31, 2009


What's up, Apple cranberry buddy? I really like the galette idea because I wouldn't have had to try and roll pie dough into a rectangle, which I am terrible at. Definitely going to try the salsa, too!

Veritek83
Jul 7, 2008

The Irish can't drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I've known gets mean when he drinks.


rysfade posted:

What's up, Apple cranberry buddy? I really like the galette idea because I wouldn't have had to try and roll pie dough into a rectangle, which I am terrible at. Definitely going to try the salsa, too!

Yeah, "rustic" is a pretty great catch-all for "didn't feel like doing this the hard way."

I highly recommend the salsa- this is what I started from- http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cra...-jalapeno-salsa

Guildenstern Mother
Mar 31, 2010

Why walk when you can ride?

I was going to vote for you just for the thread title, but the cranberry salsa looks amazing, so I'm going say its because of the carnitas, those look incredible.

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Yeah, absolutely love the cranberry salsa. That seems like it could go in a lot of places.

Brawnfire
Jul 13, 2004

Come play my CYOA!

Save your reality from the Constructors... then save all the rest of them.


Ben Nevis posted:

Yeah, absolutely love the cranberry salsa. That seems like it could go in a lot of places.

One of the things I was thinking of doing, I think I will just because it looks so good here! Great job!

Veritek83
Jul 7, 2008

The Irish can't drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I've known gets mean when he drinks.


Everyone really should make the salsa. It's been fantastic on scrambled eggs, beans, tortilla chips and even just as a sandwich spread. Pretty much in any situation where you'd use salsa normally.

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psychokitty
Jun 29, 2010

=9.9=
MEOW
BITCHES



Veritek83 posted:

Everyone really should make the salsa. It's been fantastic on scrambled eggs, beans, tortilla chips and even just as a sandwich spread. Pretty much in any situation where you'd use salsa normally.

Imagining it on a turkey sammich with caramelized onion cheddar and arugula. /drool

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