Tag Archives: butter

Dry vs Wet Brine

Dry versus wet bring. Which is better? More efficient? Which is easier? Every year there is always some one trying to dis the idea of wet brining. Like it was just thought up a few years ago or something. I am certain the Chinese and Scandinavians would take issue with that as they have practiced it for a 1,000 years or longer. Here’s a lovely piece from Buzzfeed that causes me to post about it. I wrote about wet brining last year…HERE.

Here’s Proof That Bringing Your Turkey is Stupid and Wrong
by: 

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

 

IF you can get past the obvious click bait words, “stupid” and “wrong” and ignore the “why my idea is better” atmosphere of the buzzfeed article then we can actually talk about different ways to prep your turkey.

My wife cooks the Thanksgiving turkey at our house. I usually cook a duck, small turkey or chicken, and this year I am throwing in a rack of ribs as well! My wife typically does wet brining. And I know why, cause it works for her. She found a recipe (egad! who follows recipes?!?!) online a few years back. Her turkeys are great.  I typically do whatever I feel like at the time. Dry brine sometimes, wet brine other times. I hate the tone of the above linked buzzfeed article but I think it is fair in asking why should we have to go thru the wet brine process if we can find another way that would make us happy? Not wrong. Not Stupid, just another way.  Did you know that ButterBall used to inject the turkeys with butter? Hence the name? They don’t do that anymore but you can do it! Forget the brine all together, inject that bird with butter!

Anyways, I am making this post because if you are researching brining I don’t want you to use the buzzfeed link as an information tool for wet and/or dry bringing. I want you to view the following two pages before you set you virgin brining eyes on that click bait craze buzzfeed article.

AMAZINGRIBS.COM Ultimate Smoked Turkey
by: Meathead Goldwyn
This page has a plethera of information. Ignore the “smoked” part of the link. It has tons of turkey info. All pretty much proven by science. This page has some kicks ass, I mean kick ass information. I am not partial, I swear. 🙂

Amazingribs.com

The Food Lab: Turkey Brining Basics
by: J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT
This page does a great job of explaining wet brining and is written by a serious chef, not a blogger like me. Yeah yeah, the author of that buzzfeed article is likely more educated than me on the topic. But I promise not an expert. A simple question for qualifying anyone is, would you allow your lawyer to call them in as an expert witness? LOL Anyway this site also talks about a lower “done” temperature like 140*-150*.  I think internal temp is one of the biggest players in making meats dry. That’s an obvious statement, I know. But you are told to cook your turkey to 165* (FDA item #3). AND if you read that AmazingRib write up you’ll see those pop up temp thingies are just a “tad” wrong.

 

Don’t forget our Food Science expert Alton Brown! You don’t like Alton? Put your mouse or finger over the small x in the top right corner and never come back to this site again. Please. Here is Alton’s Thanksgiving page (tagged keyword site LOL) HERE. He also did a video on Brine Thawing. A clever way of thawing your turkey and brining at the same time. View Site link HERE or the Facebook Video Link HERE

Any way you shake your turkey leg, have fun and do test runs. And remember, the recipe is only for guidance. Get a feel for what works and start messing around with what you got until you are happy! Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

Blackened Trout (more like a blackened sauce)

Blackened is a strong statement in my opinion. Not just strong as in spicy, but I have an expectation when someone says something is blackened. So I cooked some trout tonight and it wasn’t what I’d call blackened. haha

Blackening should be where the food (typically fish) is drowned in melted butter and then dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices. Those can be all sorts of combo’s like thyme, oregano, chili pepper, peppercorns, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. It is then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet. The signature brown/black color of the crust is from a combination of browned milk solids from the butter and charred spices.

I am a huge fan of “charred” foods. I love them. Add spicy hot and I am almost always sold on it. Except that one time in Tijuana, at 2AM in the morning, yeh…whatever that was, it scared me. I think I ate it around 3AM though. Tequila does that to you. The good thing about Tequila is I don’t really remember what it tasted like.

Well, here at frankenspam.com, as you know, life is all about doing what the hell you want to do with your food. Life is too short to make it like some Cajun Chef says it should be made (although without a doubt it is so good though! LOL).

First things first, we need to use the bacon grease from the BLTs we had yesterday. Sliced some baby red potatoes and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
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Let’s throw some broccoli in a skillet as well. I slice them long ways. Use EVOO and spice them same as potatoes or however your heart desires.

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Let’s make our blackening magic sauce. 1/2 tbsp of butter, 6 or 7 tbsp of sweet BBQ sauce (Use any BBQ sauce or one that you made (like this one)), 1/2 tbsp of apple cider, 1 tsp each of creole spices and cayenne powder. Simmer and stir.

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Large iron skillet preheated to 400* with some EVOO in it. Sauce up fish throw them in. In oven for 10 minutes, turn to broil and sauce them again. Under broil for a few minutes. Fish are down when they flake.
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8yr old son’s version.

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It was really good. Just like what is supposed to happen. Caramelized sugars and the milk solids getting sticky browned under the broiler. I might have over cooked it a tad. I like my fish to be a little wetter on the inside. BUT, you can’t mess this up. It’s trout, so the flavor is what you put on it. 😛 Cook on people!!

Posted from phone with BBQ sauce all over it.