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. 

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



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.  










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