Welcome to Tina’s Kitchen

turkey_running-2Do you panic about making Thanksgiving dinner? Is it the vast array of food; our ancestor’s answer to the groaning board? Is it the fear of being able to duplicate Aunt Sarah’s candied yams or Grandma’s gravy? Or is it just the anxiety of preparing so much food for so many people; a group of people whose collective memories define the holiday in a myriad of ways. According to a survey I once took, you are more concerned about all the last minute preparations for the dinner than anything else. Your second biggest concern was having the entire family around at one time!

Whether your dinner looks like a Norman Rockwell painting or the NFL’s dream of every American’s Thanksgiving, your dinner should be hot, delicious, and an enjoyable experience for your guests. Most of all, you too should be able to enjoy your friends and family in this celebration. I can help you with some of your concerns about timing and flavor, but I regret that only a good therapist can help you deal with your families!

With that said, I hope that you enjoy preparing for the meal and that life gives you many things to be thankful for this year.

Eat in good health,

Tina

Tina’s Tidbits for Thanksgiving

  • When using a foil tent to protect the turkey breast from drying out, ALWAYS place the foil SHINEY SIDE UP on the turkey. This will REFLECT the heat AWAY from the meat.
  • If you are entertaining a large crowd, it is more advisable to roast two 16 pound turkeys rather than one 24 pound bird. The larger turkeys are older and tougher and the necessary longer cooking time might make the white meat drier no matter how you protect it.
  • When using foil to partially bake a moist mixture, ALWAYS place the foil DULL SIDE UP. This will help ABSORB the heat and steam the mixture faster and make the finished mixture lighter.
  • NEVER use Cooking Wine. ALWAYS use in-expensive wines purchased in a liquor store. Cooking wines often use poor-quality wines as their base and contain salt. In Victorian times, salt was added to prevent the cooks from imbibing the wines in the kitchen.
  • I use Cream Sherry in recipes. The flavor does not dissipate during the cooking process so you get its full taste effect. I’m one of the few professionals that will tell you this, but I promise you it makes a difference.
  • A basic Veloute’ sauce , thickened broth-based sauce, is 2 Tablespoons butter, 2 Tablespoons flour and 1 cup broth. Use these proportions when making your turkey gravy, increasing the quantities as needed.

    Basic Gravy

    Melt 2 Tablespoons of Turkey drippings and whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Add 1 cup hot turkey or chicken stock and whisk over medium heat until thickened. Add additional seasonings and ingredients such as cooked giblets if desired.