Sunday, November 21, 2010

pre-Thanksgiving 2010

One of the worst things about Rykert's job is that he has to work holidays. Last year he worked Christmas, and this year he's working Thanksgiving. I'm heading to my parent's for the week and he'll be here working. Though he's keeping the dog to keep him company.

Because he won't be able to share the traditional Thanksgiving meal, we decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving feast this weekend. The caveat is that we decided to make it less traditional. And with that, the turkey fryer was ignited.

Here's the thing about a large vat of hot oil: once it's going, we find ourselves searching the house for things to throw in. I know this is how fried pickles, fried Snickers, fried Oreos, etc. were invented. This pretty much happens anytime we turn the fryer, large or small, on.

To start, we fried some pita bread and served it with spinach and artichoke dip.

Fried Pita Bread

Spinach Dip

The fried pitas were a bit of an experiment, but happily they turned out delicious. I bought flat bread (rather than pita pockets) and cut them into triangles. Once the oil got to about 325-350, we threw them in for just a couple of minutes, and then drained them on paper towels. They were surprisingly not at all greasy, and were crispy on the outside and soft inside. And yes, that is a can of aerosol can of Easy Cheese. My sister and nieces showed up with that. And I can't resist some cheese food product. We had another dip as well. This is where I have to admit that I'd honestly be happy with a meal that was comprised only of various dips, crackers, and breads.

Next we fried some French fries. We cut potatoes, and soaked them in ice cold water for a few hours. And then drained them and patted them dry. As dry as possible, and then they were fried...

French Fries

While they weren't as greasy as I expected, they did get a wee bit over-fried. But they were good nonetheless.

And for the main event, we made a buffalo fried turkey.

Buffalo Fried Turkey

This isn't our first fried turkey. But the large vat of oil over a propane tank in my driveway still makes me a wee bit nervous. We followed this recipe, for the most part. Rykert honestly cannot resist using his Cajun injector so he made a fairly mild injector sauce to inject before we lowered it into the oil. And with any turkey frying experience, I call it a success if the fire department is not summoned.

I should have taken a picture of the set-up in our front yard, and Rykert bundled up standing watch. Because it was quite a sight. I can't imagine what our neighbors think of us. Luckily, it's a quiet neighborhood so no one much comes out of their houses from what I can tell.

For dessert, I made S'mores Pie.

S'mores Pie

I used this recipe, but omitted the almonds. I also substituted semi-sweet chocolate for the bittersweet, because it's what I had on hand. Unfortunately, when it was time to serve the pie, I realized that my kitchen torch was out of fuel so I had to use my broiler to toast the marshmallows. Can you tell that my oven heats a bit unevenly? The pie was really good, and I think I'll be making it again later this week. True confessions though, the marshmallow topping is a bit tricky and you will need a candy thermometer if you decide to make this. I actually got distracted and had to make it twice. But it's worth the pain, because it's so good.

I joked with Rykert that I would buy him a Hungry Man to eat before he goes to work on Thursday.


But instead, I took pity on him and made him Crawfish Pie. Here they are uncooked.

Crawfish Pie

I will let him decide whether or not it's an improvement over the Hungry Man.

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