Persian-Style Roast Turkey

Cook Time: 250 minutes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves garlic, 2 finely grated and 3 whole and unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 turkey (12 to 15 lbs.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 4 dried Persian limes, smashed (optional)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more for the gravy
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Preparation

1. For the turkey, in a small bowl, mix the grated garlic, turmeric, 1 tbsp. cumin, the paprika, and cayenne. Rub the oil and then the spice mixture inside the cavity and all over the turkey; season generously with kosher salt inside and out. Let the turkey marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. While the turkey is marinating, make the pomegranate sauce. In a large pot, bring the pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, limes (if using), and the remaining 1 tsp. cumin to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup of the sauce to a small bowl and reserve for the gravy.

3. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Pour 2 cups stock in the pan. Stuff the whole garlic, the onion, orange, lemon, and herb sprigs into the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey and loosely tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Generously brush the turkey with the pomegranate sauce. Tent loosely with foil and roast the turkey, brushing every 20 to 30 minutes with more of the sauce, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. While the turkey rests, make the gravy. Strain the pan drippings into a large heatproof 2-cup measuring cup. Let sit until the fat rises to the top, about 5 minutes. Skim off the fat; transfer to a small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup of the fat to a saucepan; heat over medium-high. Add the flour and whisk to blend. Cook, whisking often, until it begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. If needed, add enough stock to the drippings to measure 1 1/2 cups, then add to the pan. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the reserved 1/2 cup pomegranate sauce and the honey. Thin with more stock, if desired. Stir in the walnuts; season with kosher salt. Carve the turkey; serve with the gravy.

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Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Yields: 24 bars

Crust:
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
1/2 c butter, melted
2 TBS sugar

Topping:
16 oz. cream cheese
1 c sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 TBS flour
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 bar (2 oz.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust:
1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground chocolate, butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
2. Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
3. Bake 8 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Topping:
1. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flour until well blended.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixture well after each addition.
3. Blend in the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. Pour the topping into the crust and bake 40 minutes.
5. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
6. Melt the chocolate pieces and vegetable shortening in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water.
7. Stir occasionally until smooth.
8. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cooled bars.
9. Chill approximately 10 minutes, just until the chocolate layer is partially set.
10. Score the chocolate layer with a sharp knife, forming squares, and return the pan to the refrigerator.
11. Chill 30 minutes, or until firm. Ct through the bars and serve. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 bars (8 0z.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1/4″ pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9″x5″ pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla extract until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring until moistened.
6. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
8. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
9. Cool the bread in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze.

Light Alfredo

Ingredients:
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c chicken broth
2 1/4 tsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
1/4 lb fettuccini
2 lb broccoli

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until golden brown.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, flour, salt, and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick. Stir into onion mixture. Continue to cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick. Stir in parmesan cheese.
3. Meanwhile, boil broccoli in boiling water. After several minutes, add pasta.
4. Drain the pasta and broccoli, and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with sauce. Serve.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients:
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
2 TBS all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Butter and slightly flour four 6 oz. ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, with the egg yolks, sugar, and salt at a high speed until thickened and pale.
3. Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Serve immediately.

Zucchini ‘Crab’ Cakes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 C grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS butter, melted
1 C bread crumbs
1/4 C minced onion
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.
2. Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour.
3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients:
3 cups burgundy wine
2 TBS brandy
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
2 lb cubed beef chuck roast
4 TBS olive oil, divided
2 onions, chopped
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1 TBS tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10.5 oz beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBS butter
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced

Directions:
1. For marinade: in a large bowl, combine the wine, cognac, onions, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, and salt. Mix well and add the cubed beef. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 days.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
3. For Bourguignon: Strain the meat from the vegetables and marinade; reserver marinade. Dry meat with paper towels. Heat 2 TBS of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat and saute for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a separate medium bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Pour a cup of marinade into the skillet and deglaze the skillet then return this liquid to the reserved marinade.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the onion and carrot from the marinade, along with the additional onion that you’ve chopped, and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with meat, again using a slotted spoon, and return skillet to the heat. Add the flour to the skillet, combining with the oil and stir until well mixed and brown, about 2 minutes.
6. Now add the tomato paste, garlic, beef broth, reserved marinade and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and whisk to remove any flour lumps. Add this to the meat and vegetable mixture. Place entire mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.
7. Bake at 300 degrees F for 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. About 15 minutes before meat is done baking, melt butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. When meat is done, add the mushrooms to the meat mixture, stir well and let sit for about 15 minutes.