Ramping Up For The Holidays

The Holiday gauntlet is fast approaching featuring Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, and then Valentines Day. Each holiday constitutes certain traditional recipes orchestrated by family members that are produced with a loving hand for those dearest to us.

These recipes engage (in many cases) secret ingredients that only those privy to the original chefs inner circle would know… “The Circle of Trust”.

One example of what I’m talking about relates to my daughter, Chelsea. Ever since my daughter was shorter she loved my spaghetti. Eventually… when she moved away to college she asked for my spaghetti recipe. Well, as many of you know (when I was the hall monitor at Craig Hall in Chico) I was very strict about the consumption of alcohol. My daughter asked me why her spaghetti didn’t taste like the recipe I created for her and I casually mentioned, “Did you put a half cup of red wine into the sauce?” Chelsea went ballistic asking me why I didn’t happen to mention such an important ingredient to which I replied, “You were on a need to know and at that point in your life… you didn’t need to know”. To this day we still laugh about that… well actually I’m the only one that laughs as Chelsea grunts and moves on to another subject.

Getting back to the subject at hand lets start with an up and coming holiday, Thanksgiving. This is such an important holiday because it is really the only holiday, the entire year, that focuses on food. This is what reality chef stars would call, “A food driven holiday.”

Centered around the traditional Thanksgiving holiday are certain culinary mainstays that are time honored dishes passed down from generation to generation. I don’t care what anyone else says this is a day for Turkey. According to the National Turkey Federation (yes that’s a real federation) last year 51.6 million turkey’s were consumed. No other holiday comes close to this staggering turkey fest regarding the consumption of said beast. Just to accentuate my point there is the “Turkey Bowl” on Thanksgiving featuring two NFL teams. No other bowl is represented on Thanksgiving for if there was it would simply “run afoul”.

For some reason, still not clear to me, Detroit is one of those teams (probably has something to do with the sponsorship by some car manufacturer). I always tell my daughter that if something doesn’t make since just follow the money. Having said all that my point is there is no “Ham Bowl” or “Fish Bowl” there is the one and only “Turkey Bowl”.

Now is the time to purchase(go to www.pazazshop.com) my PAZAZ™ Kitchen Tools to create “The Magic of Cooking” with Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. To follow is a recipe for the Thanksgiving Turkey only successfully prepared using my PAZAZ™ Silicone Baking Mat, Heavy Duty Aluminum Baking Sheet Pan, and finally the Steel Mesh Cooling Rack.

This recipe packs all the flavor and juiciness into an amazing stress free experience guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

1st- Buy the turkey based upon 1.5 lbs per person (if you live in Mississippi 3 lbs per person) 6 people would be a 10 lb turkey. If frozen take out one day in advance and place on PAZAZ™ Steel Mesh Cooling Rack inside of PAZAZ™ Heavy Duty Aluminum Baking Sheet Pan.

2nd- Don’t wash the bird just dry it with a paper towel.

3rd- Don’t brine or baste the bird these are wasted steps (like writing your congressmen) Just simply salt and pepper and let her fly.

4th- Don’t cook stuffing inside of bird it will be overcooked and dry. Cook stuffing in a side casserole.

5- Cook bird at 350 degrees (13 minutes per lb) to inner temperature of 160 degrees (Check it PAZAZ™ Style… if it flies away it needs more time) take out and cover with aluminum foil. It will continue to cook to make up that extra 5 degrees. Place bird on PAZAZ™ Steel Mesh Cooling Rack on top of the PAZAZ™Silicone Baking Mat inside of the PAZAZ™Aluminum Baking Sheet Pan. This will cool the bird while you are performing your version of the Cirque du Soleil show to the delight of those you love and care about.

6. Take the drippings from the turkey and incorporate them into the gravy to add the needed flavor that will send your mash potatoes (over the top).

The holidays should be fun and creative. Remember, its not to late to pick up a new tradition that will take your event filled season to another PAZAZ™ level.