Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Ultimate Turkey Roulade 2017

After making Turkey Roulade many times over it was time for an updated post. The process is mostly the same but with some slight variances. Here is a link for Past Posts. Hopefully this will be my last post on the subject. 

You have some options.You can buy a whole Turkey and break it down or buy a Turkey breast. If you like dark meat you have to buy a whole Turkey. I've done it both ways. It doesn't matter. Have you ever broken down a Turkey? Chefsteps has a two great videos on the whole process Video 1 and Video 2. 

Easy to break down!!!!

Using a very sharp knife start pulling and cutting the Turkey Skin away from the breast. Make slight cuts in the membrane that connects the skin to the breast. Try not to puncture the skin.

How simple was that.... remove excess fat!!! 

Here they are.... Breasts removed with the skin. 
Should you remove the tenderloin? It all depends. Do a preliminary step first to help you make the decision. Invert the breast on each-other and see if you can wrap the skin around the whole breast like this picture shows. If it doesn't look like this than you need to remove the tenderloin. BTW- I've only been able to make the whole breast fit with the tenderloin about 20% of the time. Sometimes there's not enough skin to wrap the whole thing. 

This next part is very important!!! You must Dry-Brine the Turkey!!! I won't go into all the details as to why. I've done that numerous times. You can google the info or read my past posts. Treat each Turkey piece with salt. Do not toss salt in a container and mix it all up. This is not an adequate way to dry-brine. If you need a percentage it's about 1%. This is about the only thing I do not precisely measure. Refrigerate for 24-36 hours.

After the dry-brining step get ready. You will need some type of injector. Melt a ton of non-salted butter. It's up to you how much. Now for the herbs. I chopped a whole bunch of Italian Parsley, Lots of Sage, Thyme, and rosemary.

Inject a load of butter throughout the Breasts.  I used a lot of butter!!!!!

Stretch out the skin on your cutting board on top of 24 inch plastic wrap. Coat the Breast and skin with Transglutminase. You want to make sure that the TG makes it way into every nook and cranny. 

It should look like this. For more details read my previous posts. 

This is a two person operation at this point. Start rolling the Roulade with a layer or two of plastic wrap. Start tossing in the herb mixture (optional some coarse pepper). Yes that's right the herb mixture will never touch the breasts (Read below why). Roll it two more times or so... Add some more herbs making sure to cover the Roulade from end to end. This thing needs to be TIGHT!!! Stretch and roll, stretch and roll. Squeeze the ends and twist in the opposite direction all the while pinching the ends to force the breast to constrict a little. I wish I would have video tapes this. All in all I must have made 20-30 evolutions when I got done. 
In the end it looks like this... it was 11.5   inches long and about 3 inches in diameter. Again using two people twist ends and secure with butchers twine. Use pliers if you have to. It needs to me be extremely tight. 

Note: Use a sharp fork or a sausage pricker and make tiny little holes all over the roulade. 
Explanation about the Herbs- The herbs are basically a surface treatment and nothing more. If you were to place herbs directly on the breast they would over power the flavor of the Turkey and present an uneven herb taste. Puncturing the plastic wrap with the layered herbs will allow the herbs to gently perfume the Turkey. The Turkey juices will mingle with the herbs and spread their flavor. 

Vacuum seal and place in refrigerator for 24-36 hours. It's gonna take a minimum of 24 hours for the TG to bind the proteins.

A word from yours truly…  Now this part is a matter of preference. After doing this several times using different temps I have settled on a few. I'm not going to get into all the science of surface vs core pasteurization blah blah..... I Sous-Vide at 145 f at 5 hours. Go higher or lower it's up to you. Why would you go higher/lower? It's all about preference and how you are going to finish. Do you plan on smoking for a long time? Do you plan on starting out cold? Are you going to deep fry? If you have to think about how the finishing process will affect the internal temp. Are you going to monitor the internal temp? Do you plan on shocking to bring down temp prior to finishing? All these things should be taken into consideration. 

Important: After you have SV'd (yes I use SV as an Adjective, Noun and a Verb) you must Cold-Shock the Roulade by submerging it into an Ice-Bath. Basically something large enough to hold lots of ice, water and the Roulade. The idea is to bring down the temp quickly so you can refrigerate. The Shock & Awe Ice-Bath will take about 2 hours for adequate temps to be reached. 

What now? It's been a day... heck maybe even a what now. Ahhh... the convenience of SV. As you already know we need to put a good sear on the Roulade in order for it to look appetizing and taste good. This is how I achieve great sears on all my proteins. In this case I removed Roulade from it's plastic home; rinsed under cold-water and dried with paper towels. Place protein on rack and dry using a fan. This is the exact fan I use. If you want to hasten the drying enclose the rack. I stand a cutting board behind the rack to increase air circulation. 

After it's completely dried I sprayed it with a little cooking oil and coated it with some spices  .....NO SALT. I used simple poultry seasoning and a non-salt herb concoction. Get a pan large enough to hold Roulade and fry on a high temp. Move it all around and use a spoon to get some of the hot oil on the protein. You know you're done when it's nice and golden. Don't worry about the inside being cold. The heat of the oil will increase the internal temp just enough for serving. You could also smoke or do it in an oven. Make sure to monitor the internal temp of the Roulade. 

This last pic is a Napoleon Thanksgiving dinner. All your favorites stacked on puff pastry. 


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sous-Vide Pumpkin-Eggnog Cheesecake

It's that time of the year again where we break out the recipes, research new ones get to cooking. This year I wanted to focus on my favorite dessert which is CheeseCake. CheeseCake is my go to dessert for almost every occasion and every outing. 

This year I wanted to try something I have never done before which is Sous-Vide desserts. I took my tried and true Sous-Vide  CheeseCake recipe and made some strategic adjustments and came up with a recipe. I will include the basic CheeseCake recipe at the bottom of the page. 

First I want to talk about masons jars for second. I have tried 4 different types until I finally settled in on these. I won't bore you will all the details but just know these are best. Why I like them. They are Widemouth, Easy to fill, and holds the perfect quantity.

INGREDIENTS  (makes 11)
3/4 CUP OF EGGNOG ( buy or make your own)
8 OZ OF PUMPKIN (from a Can or roast one yourself)
1 TSP PUMPKIN SPICE  (make your own or buy some.) 

Grab a large mixing bowl ( I use a Kitchenaid Mixer). Mix the cream cheese and Pumpkin until smooth. 

In a small mixing bowl add the eggs, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice and beat with a whisk or fork.

After mixing the cream cheese thoroughly and of course scraped down the sides you will add the eggnog. Don't forget to scrape down the sides again. Add the egg mixture above and do the same. Did I mention scraping down the sides? Hahahah... Now Sift the cornstarch and add to mixer on low speed 1 tsp at a time. All done....

 Fill the jars leaving some room at the top for some streusel of some type and whipped cream. Tap the jars a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and to make sure they're nice and leveled at the top. Tighten the screw ring band on your mason jar to "fingertip tight" 


At 60 minutes the cheesecake will have a custard like consistency and at 90 more like a traditional cheese. I like 75 minutes. 
After the elapsed time remove jars using Mason Jar Tongs and place on a towel. Let cool for an hour or so and place in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hrs. Top with streusel and whipping cream. 

I used cinnamon graham crackers but you can use whatever you want. One full cracker for every cheesecake jar. Toss them all in a food processor and grind them until they look like sand. Add a bunch of butter and sugar to taste. Bake in a 300 f oven for 15 minutes tossing them at least once. Let cool completely before using. 


1 2/3 SUGAR

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bistro Fillet Wellington

A while back I wrote about the Bistro Fillet aka the Teres Major Steak  and since than I have been creating recipes around this awesome meat. The steak is so versatile it could be used in just about any dish calling for red meat. Anyhow I thought it would go great in a Beef Wellington. And it gives me an excuse to use my Bavagool . In this post I won't go into a lot of detail but will supply several links within my blog/posts that will give you some insight and details about what it is I am doing. 

Dry-Brining with .60% salt. I.E if steak weighs 1000 grams I am going to use 6 grams of salt. Multiply 1000 grams X .60% or .06 = 6 grams . After you calculate the salt needed coat the fillets. Why Dry-Brine? Also HERE and HERE.

All Vac packed up. The fillets will be given a Warm Aged bath that will last 2 hrs at 104 f. 

I prefer the temp of 133 f for the Teres Major but since I am going to be using several cooking techniques for the wellington I better err on the side of caution and cook them at 127 f. If you think about it for a moment the steaks will be SV, Seared than roasted in the oven. I want to avoid the inevitable increase to the internal temp as much as possible. It's bound to happen but this should help a bit. 

All done!!! They were shocked and set in the refrigerator for a few hours. 

The refrigeration will help mitigate the increased temp caused by the additional cooking during the sear. Note: I prepared the meat in advance. So in other words if I was doing everything in one day I would still shock and refrigerate to bring down the temp prior to the sear.

Now on to the Mushroom Stuffing 

Chop up some Shallots and Cremini Mushrooms.

A hunk of meat preferably fatty and cured all chopped up. I used my Bavagool.

A few garlic cloves chopped up.

Some toasted Pine nuts too.

A few tablespoons of chopped up Sun-dried tomatoes and Italian Parsley.

A good quality Balsamic Vinegar. You're only going to need a few tablespoons but it makes all the difference in the world. And last but not least Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.

Toss mushrooms in a  large skillet and season with salt and pepper. The salt will help draw out some moisture. When the mushrooms start to take on some color add the onions. Saute for a few minutes.

Add the cured meat and saute for about 5-6 minutes to render some of that fat. Add Tomatoes and garlic. 

Add the parsley and keep tasting. At this point I added smidgens of thyme, basil, oregano , tomato powder (I had some), onion powder and finally paprika. Finish by adding the pine-nuts. 

Add the cheese..... I love cheese. After fully incorporated I added the vinegar. Keep adding and keep tasting. 
Did you get it right? If not keep adjusting. Do you need to add sugar? I didn't but you may have too. 

All done!!! Refrigerate until the next step or continue. 

Using a food processor grind until a paste forms. Refrigerate until your ready for the next step. Note: I prepared this in advance. 


Remove meat from vac bags and dry off very well. Spray with a little oil. Add additional seasoning if you so desire. Do not use additional salt. Place these babies in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before you fry them. Getting them very cold will prevent an increase to the internal temp.

Save the purge for the the link. 

Cover Fillet in AP flour. This will help with the searing and create a great crust.

Sear until nice and dark!!
Cool off and place in freezer for a rapid chill.

 By now I sure you  figured out this dish is all about timing and logistics. You can do many of these steps way in advance. At the end I will tell you what I did.

Almost there..... encapsulating the fillet in meat and mushroom mash. Lay down some plastic wrap. The wrap has to be wide enough and long enough to hold and wrap the entire meat and stuffing. Choose your favorite cured meat. I chose of course my Bavagool but if I did not have that on hand I would have chosen my VAM or Vealcetta.

Cover the meat with the mushroom mixture. Coat the meat with your favorite mustard (I used Dijon) and lay across the mushroom mixture.

Using plastic wrap as your guide roll up the Fillet into a cylinder. Roll the cylinder tight and twist the ends in the opposite direction. Twisting the ends in the opposite will make the cylinder taut. Now you need to store this in the refrigerator and get it very cold. Don't forget you will need to roll this in puff pastry. If the meat is warm or at room temp the it will affect the overall internal temp. This is very tricky. The goal is to sufficiently bake the outside of the puff pastry to a golden brown and not overcook the meat. Prior to working with the puff pastry I shoved the now very cold rolled meat into the freezer for about 20 minutes. 

Roll out the puff pastry and figure out how much you will need for each roll. I only needed two sheets which I connected and divided them into 3. If you have a good eye and if you have worked with puff pastry before this is easy. 

I placed all three rolls into the puff pastry to make sure I measured correctly. Let's be honest here I eyeballed the whole thing.

I used a combination of Eggs, Cream and water as my glue. Using a pastry brush I coated the perimeter of the pastry and rolled them up tucking the ends under each other. 

I preheated the oven to 400f. I took the egg wash and smeared the outside of the puff pastry. I topped with more seasonings. If you have leftover pastry you can decorated the top. Also make several slashes along the top so air can escape. Don't forget this step please. 

How to Bake!! Pay attention or your masterpiece will turn out poorly. BTW- The pics below are not the best..... time to upgrade the camera.  

So first we have to establish what our goals are and than decided how we are going to accomplish them. 
  • Goal 1- Brown the outside without over cooking the inside. 
  • Goal 2- Internal temp needs to be between 127-133 f (133 is highest it can go)
  • Goal 3- Accomplish Goal 1 & 2. 
Preheat oven to 400f. Use an in oven digital thermometer and shove into the smallest Beef Wellington. The temp should be pretty cold. Don't forget we are trying to brown the outside without over doing the inside. Shove everything into the oven. Watch and observe. If the outside becomes brown and the internal temp of the meat hits your target temp you've accomplished Goal 1 & 2. If you find that the outside has not browned sufficiently but the inside is getting up there that means you the meat cylinder was not cold enough. This is tricky and not easy to do. If the puff pastry browns quickly and the internal temp hits 120 f this will suffice too. If you want to go a little longer to get the inside a little warmer turn down the oven temp. There will be a little carry over cooking so take this into consideration too. 

What I did.....

  • Brine Meat
  • SV
  • Shock for 2 hours 
  • Refrigerate until I was ready for the next step. For me it was 3 days.
  • Make Mushroom stuffing and grind up... I did this the day before I made the cylinders.
  • Make Cylinders.... 1 day before Puff Pastry
  • Finish!!!! 
  • Tada....
  • Create your own schedule.