Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Laudable Turkey Roulade

Without the need of a calendar and the plethora of Turkeys lining the shelves one can only think of Thanksgiving. This is unless, of course you live under a rock. All that being said I just love Thanksgiving. For one thing I have a lot to be thankful for and I love food and family. I give all glory to G-D and I am very thankful to HaShem. 

Putting Religion and History aside for the moment this feast should be commemorated by every American!! 

Albeit, Thanksgiving is not all about Pilgrims, Puritans, Indians and religious freedom. Here is an interesting read on Thanksgiving. For me it's all about food and family. The other stuff I will leave to you!!! Ok off my soap box and on to the food!!!

I just can't get enough Turkey!! I have already blogged about this twice which are posted here Turkey Roulade ( first documented version) and Gobble Gobble Roulade my second version. You can call me a stalker of Turkeys the pursuer of Gobblicious. The reason for the third installment of Turkey Roulade is my desire to create something near perfect. I just want to get it right and you can only do this by trial and error. Although there were no errors made in the first two Turkey I wanted to enhance on what was already pretty darn good.

NOTE: Breasts were Dry-Brined with salt for 36 hours. 

In my third version believe I transcended the all my previous versions. This is not to say my previous versions were bad, Au contraire but there is always room for improvement. 

This post will be very short. I just want to recap quickly the changes I've made. I placed sage, Thyme and garlic inside the plastic while rolling up the Turkey Breast. I made sure the herbs did not make any contact with the breast but was on very first outer layer of the plastic. It's my hope that while breast cooks the herbs and garlic will release a perfume of aromas that will surround and enhance the taste of the breast. I didn't want the fresh herbs or garlic to have any direct contact with the breast. Take my word on this because I have ran some experiments with these techniques. What I have concluded is this, Roasted garlic (roasting or frying to avoid botulism) and herbs put in direct contact with the food will overpower the meat and will not flavor the whole thing. All the flavors of the garlic and herbs will be concentrated where they lie. By placing them in the plastic wrap the aromas will seep into the whole breast slowly. The trick is to pierce the plastic wrap with a sausage pricker or toothpick in several places along the cylinder. 

All sealed up and ready for Sous-Vide.

Here is my review which should be my last post on Turkey Roulade. What an improvement over the last two. 

I correctly hypothesized that the perfume of the herbs and garlic would encapsulate the breast. What have I learned? Next time I will cut up the herbs smaller and disperse them more evenly in the plastic. 

I will experiment with onions and peppercorns. Overall outstanding results. 

This is truly The Laudable Turkey Roulade.

Here are some pictures that shows all the steps including my Turkey stock. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gobble Gobble Roulade

In a previous post titled Turkey Roulade I described in detail how a whole Turkey breast can transformed into a moist cylinder know as a Turkey Roulade. Although I was pretty happy with the results I knew there was room for improvement. 

HERE IS MY LATEST VERSION "The Ultimate Turkey Roulade 2017"

Self actualization is essential when you trying to create something from nothing. The prerequisite for culinary inspiration for me is meticulous introspection. What exactly do I mean? Not to get too philosophical but I approach food in an atypical way or at least I think so. It's all about self-edification and the need to conceive something new. Doing this brings me undeniable joy!! My atypical way of creating interesting cuisine requires introspection and time. I just don't go out and make the first thing that pops in my head. I think about it for a long time and then proceed slowly. That's not to say that I cannot be spontaneous when it comes to food. I do this all the the time when I am cooking for the family. 

Here is an example of a culinary inspired dish. I love gyro's but the meat is not something you can buy at QFC. I am flirting with the idea of making a Gyro Salami/Sausage. I have been playing around with different recipes and have been contemplating which casings I want to use. Should the casings be collagen?, Fresh? or even high barrier casings? There are pros and cons to all three. Anyhow experimentation and inspiration will eventually lead me to a successful Gyro salami or sausage. This idea is two months old!!!  

This leads me back to the post at hand. Well I did it again....I think!!! I think I am getting closer to the The Laudable Turkey Roulade. If you would like more details other than what is presented below read the previous post.

Start with a whole breast. What separates this Roulade from the previous one is the dry salt brine. A dry brine is a culinary miracle for Turkey and all meats because it turns average meat into juicy succulent meat. For more on the subject of Dry brining click here. I sprinkled Kosher salt all over the breast inside and out. I placed the breast covered in a large covered bowl and set in refrigerator for 36 hours but all you really need is 24. If you do it for less than 24 hours the results will not be that great. The salt needs time to penetrate the breast and equalize. NOTE: YOU CAN DRY-BRINE ON THE CROWN OR ON BROKEN DOWN. 

Before removing skin give the breast a good rinse in cold water to remove excess salt. 

Dry off Turkey breast and proceed to remove skin. 

Slowly and methodically using a very sharp knife remove the skin.

Skinned!!!! I also trimmed up the skin and removed any undesirable fat and squared it off a bit.

There are several things that makes this Roulade different from the previous one. In this one I removed the Tenderloins. I also removed any undesirable fat and silverskin. I did not score the breast and add any seasonings. 

In this next step I used Transglutaminase Activa RM to bind the meat together. I wanted the Turkey Breast when rolled to become one solid muscle. I applied the Activa by sprinkling it on top of the skin and on top of the muscle. 
Transglutaminase, also called meat glue, is an enzyme that can be used to bind proteins to make uniform portions of fish filet, tenderloins, etc. that cook evenly, look good and reduce waste. Transglutaminase can also be used for creative applications in modernist cuisine such as making shrimp noodles, binding chicken skin to scallops or even making checkerboards with different types of fish.  How can you do such a thing? Simply apply some transglutaminase on each side of the protein to bind, press the sides together and let it rest refrigerated for a few hours. I like 24 hours but you can go as little as 6 hours but the bonds will not be as strong.

Transglutaminase ‘meat glue’ was introduced into the modernist kitchen by Heston Blumenthal and is currently being used by some of the world best chefs such as Wylie Dufresne to:- Make uniform portions of fish filet, tenderloins, etc that cook evenly, look good, and reduce waste. 

This next step is very important and I wish I had taken pictures of the process but with only two hands and one assistant (my darling daughter) I was out of luck. Lay out plastic wrap making sure that it will be large enough to extend several inches beyond breast for tying. Using plastic wrap to aid in the rolling process I rolled up the breast and shaped it into a very tight cylinder. Vacuum seal Roulade and set in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Now for the Sous-Vide!! I wanted to cook my Roulade to an internal temp of 147 degrees. The reason for this is two fold. First, 147 degrees just might be perfect because 150 degrees was almost perfect. This is an arbitrary number based on personal experience. Using my Polyscience Sous-Vide Tool Box app it calculated that in order to cook the cylinder to an internal temp of 147 degrees and pasteurize the center it would have to cook for over 5 hours. Playing around with the numbers in the app I figured out that I could cook it at 148.8 degrees for 2:58 minutes to achieve an internal temp of 147 degrees and also pasteurize the breasts. And that's exactly what I did!!

Take a look at this Sous-Vide cooked Turkey breast!! This breast is very unappealing. Sous-Vide has one problem NO maillard reaction aka browning. Of course this hiccup is easily solved by using another heat source to brown. You could use a butane torch, skillet or a BBQ. I chose this time a very large skillet with lots of oil. What I did not anticipate was all the oil splatter. 

Bubbling away and burning my skin. Dang I need to get a 14 inch platter guard.

My Final Review- Fantastic!!! Great flavor!!!! One thing I might try next time is to include some fresh herbs I.E Sage in some plastic wrap while wrapping the Roulade in plastic wrap. I would not want to put the sage directly on the meat. By surrounding the herbs in some plastic first the herbs will perfume the meat rather than overwhelm or overpower just one section.