Downsize the Thanksgiving feast. You don’t need a 24-pound bird for two people. A stuffed turkey breast works just fine. Especially when served with sautéed sugar snap peas, roasted potatoes, chipotle gravy and cranberry-horseradish relish. This is the first in my recipe trilogy for a great scaled-down turkey day. Check back on Burn! Blog for the next two installments.
“It’s the mooost wonderful tiiime of the yeeeear…” That’s what plays in my head when the first sugar pumpkins land in stores each Fall. Not because retailers drop the Christmas hammer too early. No, my mood turns to thoughts of those pumpkins heating low and slow inside my smoker.
For the second part of my pork bribe to Santa, I ground up Christmas breakfast sausage. Not just any sausage, though. I used the pork belly trimmings left over from the slabs of bacon I cut up for curing last week.
Apparently, two dozen gingerbread strippers and a bottle of cheap scotch wasn’t enough to buy Santa’s forgiveness last year. He did not provide the Big Green Egg I’d requested despite my generous bribe. I found plenty of fuel for an Egg in my stocking, though. This year I’m upping the ante. No jolly old elf can resist three different types of Christmas pork waiting on a plate. While I’m at it, I’ll share the recipes as I go along. If it works, maybe you can buy your naughty self into his good graces too. Christmas bacon seems like a good lead-in. Here’s how I’m going about it.
Most of you probably know what it is, but for those who don’t, it’s a chicken, stuffed into a duck, stuffed into a turkey. The chicken usually has Cajun stuffing in it and other types of stuffing are often used as mortar between the building blocks, as well. If you want to build one, you have to de-bone all three birds first, making sure not to cut the skin on the turkey while doing so. Once that’s done, you stuff them together, then use cooking twine to hold it all together as a cohesive unit, coat it with seasoning, and you’re ready to cook. Or you can do what I did.
Three years ago, I started turning monster pumpkins into smokers for Halloween. Not only was it a good excuse to play with freakishly large vegetables, it was an even better excuse to put an attractive woman into a devil outfit and take pictures for the blog. I also like the idea of food that smokes itself. The basic idea was simple. Clean out the pumpkin, cut holes in the top and bottom, and place it over a small electric hot plate as the basis for the smoker.
Here’s a recipe for classic Mole Poblano, which features guajillo and pasilla chiles. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is a fantastic sauce for turkey.