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A couple of items from this year’s Thanksgiving table. The main thing of course is turkey. I used the high-heat method which makes for a beautifully browned bird with crispy skin and moist meat all through. It also scares the spouse, but in the end she was happy.

This 14-pound bird cooked in just two hours.
This 14-pound bird cooked in just two hours.


It goes like this: heat the oven to some high temperature — methods range from 400° to 500° F. Start it on its back and roast for 45 minutes. Turn it on one side, roast for 15 minutes. Turn it on the other side, roast for 15 minutes. Then turn it breast side up and roast until done (mine went 30 minutes but use a meat thermometer).

I used this one, minus the brining. A really helpful thing here is the use of a V-shaped rack covered with perforated foil.

No soggy patches, no underdone thighs or overdone white meat.

The take on sweet potatoes

We were trying to think of something a bit out-of-the-ordinary, since we were already having stuffing plus mashed potatoes the last thing we needed was another hot and heavy casserole-style dish like roasted sweet potatoes in sticky sauce with (gasp) molten marshmallow toppings. But who am I to judge? Anyway.

Two ideas collided in my mind: the unlikely appearance of fresh figs in a local market, and the Ottolenghi recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with fresh figs.


It’s easy because you can and should do the potatoes ahead of time, and then you only need one burner. Minimal kitchen collisions!

What wasn’t easy was sourcing out the ingredients. The place where I’d originally seen the figs was all out; the produce guy recommended somewhere else, and they had them. But then they didn’t have the red chile pepper, and neither did a third place. So I ended up back at vendor #1 and picked up a red habañero. It really perked things up I’ll tell you. A ripe jalapeno or serrano would have been better, but you take what you can get.

This photo got more Facebook “likes” than any I’ve ever done.

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