Thursday, April 14, 2011

Roasted Turkey with Matzoh Suffing and Potatoes

Not my Turkey...
When writing this week's blog I thought it might be fun to just post my to-do list, the pages and pages of things to do before Pesach.  HA!  Everyone has that list!  I do want to tell you about the program that saves what’s left of my sanity this time of year - Mastercook (and no I don’t get a cut from the company!).  I have a pretty old version of this software, and I have to assume that the new version is way better, but I love this program!  What’s so great about this program is that you can enter all your recipes, categorize them, save them on your computer, and then print them (or not) whenever you need them.  They are all in a database so you don’t have to go searching for them, every Pesach for example.  I add new recipes that I find every year, and make sure that I mark them as “Passover” recipes.  It’s so easy!  That is only the start. The absolute best part of this program is that you can actually make Meal Plans using the actual recipes that you entered in the database, and then with a click of a button can generate a shopping list from that Meal Plan!  You can copy from Meal Plans that you generated the previous years as well – they are all saved in your handy Mastercook database.  Printing the Meal Plan will print:
  • The Shopping List (of everything that you need to make the Meal Plan)
  • The Meal Plan
  • All the recipes used in the Meal Plan!
 It’s unbelievable!!  It is the key to organization for crazy Pesach preparations.  I am the person that people envy when they see me actually shopping with a list!!  Mind you the list looks like a book, but I don’t care – it’s pretty hard to forget to purchase anything with that comprehensive Mastercook list!

For the Pesach Blog, I wanted to come up with a recipe that everyone could enjoy, that wouldn’t take much time to prepare, and wouldn’t take me too much time to write up…LOL!  I could have given you my famous Matzoh Ball Recipe (go to the store, buy a box of Matzoh Ball mix, follow the instructions on the box, serve with soup), but I thought that would be kind of a cop out.  The recipe I came up with is always my go-to recipe when I’m having a lot of people and want to maximize the quantity of dishes generated and the total amount of food produced. I also want to minimize the prep time.  Roasted Turkey with Matzoh Stuffing and Potatoes.  Yes, I’m blogging about making a Turkey!  I always make Turkey for the first night of a major Chag – especially when having the bracha of a big crowd.  My Dad (KIH) is the one that originally taught me to make Turkey.  He has his very precise recipe and is very exacting with his measurements.  Me, not so exact, and I add a few more ingredients to my stuffing.  The principles are still the same though. First I slice potatoes into 1 ½ inch wide slices and place them on the bottom of the pan.  They are amazing – all the flavor from the Turkey is infused into those potatoes!  YUM!  Not so healthy, but YUM!    The stuffing is made out of crunched up Matzoh and vegetables.  This is where I have the kids help.  “Here honey, take this box of Matzoh and crunch it up in this pot.  Take as long as you want….”  I sauté a really big diced onion, diced carrots (you can use the Hindy Chopper!), a few stalks of sliced celery, and sliced mushrooms (of course) until they are all soft.  Then I combine them with the crunched Matzoh, add some chicken soup (which I am already making for Yom Tov) and into the bird it goes.  I use my “convection roast” setting and roast the turkey uncovered at 325° F.  Using the “convection” setting circulates air in the oven that “seals” the outside of the bird, keeping the inside moist and juicy.  The “roast” setting applies heat 60% from the bottom, and 40% from the top – more evenly cooking the turkey (yes, I actually took a class to learn how to use my oven properly).  Before I had my fancy shmancy oven, I used to roast the turkey covered for 15 minutes per pound at 350° F.  Now I have an actual temperature probe that I put in the meatiest part of the turkey thigh.  I set the temperature probe for 170° F and the oven lets me know when the turkey is done.  Meal in a pan – outstanding! 

Just don’t hide your afikomen in the stuffing….

In our kitchen, the person that carves the turkey and the servers conveniently get to shnooker the first juicy and delicious slices!  Somehow, everyone always winds up in the kitchen when it’s time to serve…shocking!!

Have a Chag Kasher V’sameach!!

1          large                 Turkey, defrosted, cleaned and dried

1          box                  matzohs, crunched in a large bowl or pot
1          large                 onion, diced
1          cup                   carrots, diced
3          stalks                celery, sliced
1          pound               mushrooms, sliced
2          tablespoons      oil
1          large                 egg, lightly beaten
2          cups                 chicken stock (or more)

6                                  potatoes, (peeling is optional), sliced 1 ½ inches thick
                                    garlic powder, onion powder, paprika,
                                    any other spices you love.
                                    non-stick vegetable spray
                                    cooking twine
Preheat oven to 350° F for conventional ovens, 325° F on “convection roast” for convection ovens.

Spray a large roasting pan with the non-stick vegetable spray. Place sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan.  Place the turkey on top of the potatoes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the onions, celery, and carrots and sauté until soft.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. 
Add the vegetables to the crunched matzoh.  Mix to combine.  Add the chicken stock.  Mix until the matzoh is softened.  Add additional stock if necessary.  Add the egg to the matzoh mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined.  Stuff the bird with the prepared stuffing.  Tie the legs of the turkey together with the cooking twine.

Spray the outside of the bird with non-stick vegetable spray.  Sprinkle spices on top of the turkey.  If cooking in a conventional oven, cover with foil, if using a convection oven bake uncovered for 15 minutes per pound.  You can check if the turkey is done by inserting a cooking thermometer in the meatiest part of the leg.  The temperature should register 170° F.  If you like a crispier skinned turkey, remove the foil during the last 30 to 40 minutes of baking.  Remove stuffing from cavity.  Slice and serve with pan juices.

Remove stuffing from turkey before storing if preparing the turkey in advance.

(Sorry, no photos yet…not making the Turkey until next week…stay tuned!)

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