Category Archives: Recipes

Thanksgiving House Cocktail: Bourbon-Rosemary Sour

Serving a “House Cocktail” as guests arrive sets a welcome and festive tone. Bourbon is the quintessential American liquor and the perfect complement to Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday! Rosemary provides a seasonally appropriate fall accent. Best of all, it’s an easy and delicious start to Thanksgiving. If you are a guest this Thanksgiving, consider providing this House Cocktail for your host because easy home entertaining is a team sport. You can mix it all ahead of time and bring in a pitcher along with some rosemary sprigs and lemon slices. All your host needs to provide are the glasses and ice.

There is no real substitute for fresh lemon juice though Whole Foods carries a jarred Lemon Juice product in the juice aisle that is acceptable. Under no circumstances use jarred Real Lemon available in standard supermarkets. Typically lemonade is made with equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup but this recipe backs off some of the syrup, thus the “sour.”  Caution: This spiked “lemonade” goes down very easily.

Thanksgiving Bourbon-Rosemary Sour

2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups rosemary syrup (See recipe below)
1 1/2 cups bourbon
Rosemary sprigs for garnish plus for rosemary syrup recipe below
8 lemon slices — seeds removed
Serves 8

Note: The juiciness of lemons is very variable. As a result, it is difficult to tell you exactly how many lemons you will need to make 2 cups of fresh lemon juice. I needed 8 lemons. They were unusually juicy. You may need more.

In a pitcher or other convenient pouring container, combine lemon juice, rosemary syrup and bourbon. Mix well. Fill glass with ice. Pour 1/2 cup mix into each glass. Stir well. Garnish with rosemary sprig and lemon slice. The half cup of mix per drink includes 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon so do not over-pour. Encourage your guests to savor and not slug.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 cup + 2 Tb sugar
1 cup + 1 oz water
4 sprigs rosemary
Yield 1 1/2 cups syrup

In a small pot, combine sugar and water. Simmer over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally, about 1–2 minutes. Add rosemary. Simmer for 3 — 5  minutes until rosemary wilts and gives up its color, then remove from heat. Cool for at least one hour or overnight. Strain out rosemary before using. Store in refrigerator.

There are six syrup recipes in At Home on Page 44 along with a tip on using Simple Syrups. One Thanksgiving dessert we are serving on Thursday is roasted pears basted with a syrup sweetened with honey as well as sugar and spiced with star anise, cardamom and coriander seed. See our complete menu below.

Five or six rosemary sprigs, about 20 to 25 total inches of rosemary. You will also need rosemary sprigs to garnish the drink.

When you start, the rosemary will be stiff and the leaves a strong green as pictured above. Simmer sprigs in syrup until they wilt and give up their bright color and turn somewhat khaki-colored. Take care to just simmer slowly. Leave the sprigs in syrup until ready to use. Strain out sprigs before using syrup.

Our 2012 Thanksgiving
Lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving — not the least of which is the recent election result. We are enjoying Thanksgiving at home with our extended family. Christina’s brother Larry and my son Noah will help with selected dishes and pitch-in with turn-out. Christina will take care of  getting our apartment ready and setting our table. We still have to do our wine shopping. I will do the flowers on Wednesday.

I am in good shape with my advance preparation — confident I will get at least one relaxed hour before guests arrive Thanksgiving Day. Probably more. Saturday I finished most of my shopping at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market and made cornbread. Since for me shopping is a pleasure, I started my Sunday at the Headhouse Farmers’ Market. Sunday is my watch football while preparing my gravy day. I prepare my do-ahead gravy with turkey legs and finish it with the pan juices after the “real turkey” comes out of the oven on Thursday.  (The food prep part was infinitely more fun than watching the Eagles!)

On Sunday, I also made the base for the ice cream that I will freeze Monday, the syrup for the roasted pears, peeled the celery root and sliced and rinsed the leeks for the gratin, prepped the turnips and carrots, peeled and sliced the kohlrabi, toasted the pinenuts for the kale, grated the cheese for the gratin, as well as made the sausage and vegetable components for the cornbread stuffing that I will combine on Wednesday. One last thing: I crumbled and toasted the cornbread to give it a nuttier flavor than simply baked cornbread.

Our At Home Thanksgiving 2012 Menu

House Cocktail
Bourbon-Rosemary Sour

Hors d’oeuvres
Larry’s Gougere
Oysters Rockefeller
Shaved Cauliflower & Fennel Salad
Diver Scallops “Sashimi” with Confetti of Granny Smith Apples
Roasted Baby Carrots & Hakurei Turnips
Raw Kohlrabi

Dinner Buffet
Roast Turkey
Tarragon Gravy
Gingered Cranberry-Onions Relish
Renaissance Chicken Sausage, Chanterelle & Cornbread Stuffing
Smashed Kubocha Squash with Confit of Onions — Larry is making this from last week’s NY Times Food Section
Gratin of Leeks & Celery Root
Sautéed Dinosaur Kale with Pinenuts & Raisins

Desserts
Ginny’s Pumpkin Pie
Commissary Pecan Pie
Roasted Pears with Star Anise, Cardamom & Coriander Seed
Burndt Orange-Caramel Ice Cream with Sea Salt

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Making Asparagus Better

In my new way of eating, unlimited vegetables are a cornerstone of my diet — along with unlimited fruit, modest amounts of protein and a maximum of two tablespoons oil daily.  (No white carbs!) An important part of dieting is maximizing the pleasure of what you eat. That sometimes means extra effort to prepare it very well. Though asparagus can be pricey, they make a welcome between meal treat, a start to a dinner in lieu of a salad or an accompaniment to dinner protein.  I have been enjoying asparagus from distant lands for months as they are usually available from somewhere much of the year. As asparagus is a cool weather crop, April into mid-June is peak asparagus season in the northeast. Local Jersey and Pennsylvania asparagus made an appearance about three weeks ago.

The simple step of peeling asparagus prior to blanching greatly enhances your enjoyment of your asparagus.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to making asparagus better.

Snap off fibrous end
I prefer thick, substantial asparagus over thin asparagus. It’s not a matter of taste. Thick and thin asparagus taste pretty much the same. It’s the “character” of the asparagus. For me, “meaty” thick asparagus simply have more character.

Thick or thin, asparagus have a tough and fibrous bottom. Begin your asparagus prep by snapping the end off the asparagus and discarding. To do this, hold the asparagus at its bottom and bend. The asparagus will naturally snap at the point where the fibrous part ends. This will likely be about one quarter to one third of the asparagus. Discard the fibrous end.

Peel!
Next, using a vegetable peeler, gently peel the asparagus beginning about an inch below the very scaly tip portion as pictured above. Peeling is easiest with thick asparagus, but even moderately thin asparagus benefits from peeling. For thinner asparagus, lay the spear flat on the counter as you peel to avoid breaking the stalk. You will periodically need to unclog your peeler as the asparagus peel tends to clog the peeler. Peeling under running water also helps prevent peeler clog. Regardless, rinse peeled asparagus to help remove any clinging peel.

Blanch…and shock.
Blanch asparagus in a generous amount of boiling water. Asparagus should be cooked al dente. Asparagus should not feel raw, but have a pleasant firm “toothiness.” Thick asparagus take four to six minutes to cook. Cooking time depends significantly on the amount of boiling water you have relative to the amount of asparagus. More water means shorter cooking time as the water retains more of its heat when you drop in the asparagus. Thin asparagus cook in as little as about a minute. As I cook my thick asparagus I periodically remove one from the boiling water, cut off a little bit of the end and check for whether they are cooked to my liking.

After blanching, I like to “shock” my asparagus. (This is a common practice in cooking many vegetables.) Shocking involves immersing just cooked asparagus in an ice bath to immediately stop the cooking and set the emerald  green color. If you get really cold water from your sink, you can drain cooked asparagus in a colander and run under lots of cold running water. Ice water does a better job, but is a bit of a bother.

Here are my beautiful asparagus, moved from boiling pot to adjacent ice water with a skimmer. You could also use tongs for this or go from pot to colander to ice bath.

If you are going to serve hot and right away, you can skip “shocking” and go directly from blanching to serving. However, especially if you are cooking a large quantity for guests, by blanching and shocking and then re-heating, you get maximum control and are most likely to serve al dente asparagus. Given my diet, I just eat my asparagus au natural –  topped with salt. Delicious. If I want them hot, I re-heat either in the microwave or by dunking in a pot of boiling water for about a minute until hot. Drain well.

For Easter I made a large batch of asparagus for the eight of us having dinner. A goal of home entertaining is to reduce the number of things you have to worry about once guests have arrived. In my case, for Easter I was taking asparagus to Christina’s mother’s and I wanted to reduce the complexity of what I had to do in her kitchen. I cooked and shocked the asparagus on Saturday. The pre-cooking got the blanching out of the way and ensured my focus on keeping them al dente. I was not cooking the asparagus while trying to pull together other parts of Easter dinner. On Sunday I simply warmed my pre-cooked asparagus in a pan with some butter, salt and pepper.

Check the recipe from At Home for Asparagus Three Ways, an interesting salad showing off the varied aspects of asparagus. Also, check out Mark Bitman’s NY Times blog about asparagus.

Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

P.S. As of today I have lost 52 pounds.

Asparagus Recipes from At Home

The following is a recipe from At Home: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining by Steve Poses. Other asparagus recipes included in the book are Grilled Asparagus, Bacon & Egg Sandwich (P.353), Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus (P.70), Lemon-Scented Asparagus Risotto (P.337), Shaved Fennel & Asparagus Salad (P.132), Salad of Asparagus, Mushrooms, Goat Cheese & Pinenuts (P.146), Asparagus Soup (P.111), Stir-fried Asparagus & Shitake Mushrooms (P.310)

Asparagus Three Ways
Preparing a versatile vegetable multiple ways—in this case, grilled, blanched and thinly shaved asparagus—makes a beautiful first course presentation. If it’s too time-consuming to make all three, simply eliminate one.

do ahead Ingredients can be prepared up to six hours ahead and stored
in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
2 pounds asparagus
11⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 Gently bend each asparagus spear a few inches from the bottom of the stalk until the end snaps off. Then, using a peeler, gently strip the ends to remove the tough outer layer. Divide asparagus into three equal portions.
2 Shave a third of the asparagus: Hold the tip pointing toward you and use a peeler to strip away thin lengths from each spear, avoiding the tip and working until most of the spear has been shaved. Continue with remaining spears and reserve tips for blanching. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set shavings
in the water.
3 Blanch the second third of the asparagus: Prepare a bowl of ice water. Fill a pot wide enough to accommodate asparagus with salted water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus plus reserved tips and cook for 2 minutes. It should be firm, but not raw. Transfer to a strainer and immediately run asparagus
under cold water. When cooled, drain and cut into thirds. Set aside.
4 Grill the remaining asparagus: Heat a grill pan or backyard grill. Combine garlic and olive oil. Dip and coat asparagus in the mixture. Reserve mixture and transfer coated asparagus to grill. Grill until charred, turning to cook all sides, about 5 minutes. Cut into thirds and set aside.
5 Scrape remaining garlic into a medium bowl. Whisk in honey, mustard,lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add olive oil and whisk to combine; then add heavy cream and whisk to combine.
6 Drain shaved asparagus well, then blot with a paper towel. Toss shaved asparagus with 1⁄3 cup of dressing until well coated.
7 Mound shaved asparagus in the center of each plate. Arrange blanched and grilled asparagus on top, with tips pointing in. Drizzle each plate with dressing. Finish with Parmesan and more salt and pepper to taste.

serves 6

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Tangerine-Kumquat Martini

Tangerine Kumquat Martini
This was the signature martini Christina and I served at our winter wedding. It’s rarified, tricky to make and absolutely worth the effort. The “prize” at the bottom of the glass is the candied kumquat. Kumquats are available in the fall and winter, so set this recipe aside during the rest of the year.

do ahead Kumquats can be made up to one week ahead. Martinis can be made up to one day ahead and chilled until serving.

Candied Kumquats
12 kumquats
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Tangerine Kumquat Martini
11⁄4 cups tangerine juice, pulp strained out
2⁄3 cup lemon juice, pulp strained out
21⁄2 cups vodka
11⁄4 cups Cointreau or Triple Sec
2⁄3 cup syrup from candied kumquats
2 cups cold water

1 Make candied kumquats: In a small pot, combine kumquats with sugar and water. Bring to a simmer. Cook until kumquats are glossy and translucent, about 30 minutes. Chill. When ready to use, remove kumquats from syrup, reserving syrup for martini.
2 In a pitcher, combine tangerine juice, lemon juice, vodka, Cointreau or Triple Sec, kumquat syrup and water. Stir. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
3 Pour martinis into glasses and garnish each one with a candied kumquat.
serves 8

Drying the candied kumquats for 12 to 24 hours improves their texture.

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Homegrown Philly Cheesesteak with Farm Stand Sweet & Hot Peppers

I developed this recipe for Philly Homegrown’s Cheesesteak Give-away tomorrow, August 25th at the Mayor’s LOVE Park Farmers’ Market beginning at 11 AM.

What could be more homegrown in Philadelphia than a Philly Cheesesteak? What about a Philly cheesesteak in which all the ingredients come from farms within 100 miles of the City of Brotherly Love on an Italian roll from Sarcone’s? Best yet, with this recipe you can enjoy your Homegrown Cheesesteak…at home.

The Philly Homegrown Cheesesteak Give-away is part of Philly Homegrown, a consumer education and tourism marketing program launched this summer to introduce the people, places and flavors of the area’s foodshed—from Amish Country to the Atlantic Ocean and from the region’s rivers to the rich farmlands in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. I’ll be there with my Frog Commissary crew. We will give-away 1000 mini-Homegrown Cheesesteaks.

To learn more about Philly Homegrown and the event, go to food.visitphilly.com

Philly Homegrown Cheesesteaks will also be available at Ben’s Bistro at The Franklin Institute from Thursday, August 26th through Sunday, August 29th. Ben’s Bistro is open to the public without admission.

Philly Homegrown Cheesesteak with Farm Stand Sweet & Hot Peppers

Do ahead Onions and peppers may be cooked up to two days ahead. Reheat before serving. Bread should be bought the day you are using it.

8 ounces assorted farm stand sweet and hot peppers, stems and seeds removed
2 cups large dice sweet Pennsylvania onion
6 ounces mild, semi-soft cheese such as Pennsylvania Colby, grated
1 1/2 pounds grass-fed Pennsylvania rib eye steak* or chip steak
1 Sarcone’s large Italian bread loaf or similar 22-24″ loaf, ends trimmed and cut into 1/3′s or 1/4′s**
3 ounces oil
4 ounces water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
* If using rib eye steak, place in freezer for 2-3 hours until partially frozen. With sharp knife, shave thin slices.
** You may substitute 4 standard 6-inch steak rolls

1. Split each piece of bread in half lengthwise, but keep two halves connected. Pull out a little of spongy part of bread creating a cavity.
2. Cut peppers into long, thin strips.
3. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over low-moderate heat. Add peppers. Saute until peppers start to soften. Add 2 ounces water and steam peppers until water evaporates. Repeat with 2 ounces additional water. You want to fully soften peppers without browning them. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In same pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over moderate heat. Add onions and cook until translucent without browning. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. In same pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat. Add beef. Using a flat spatula, toss and chop apart beef as it cooks. When beef is fully cooked, add onions, salt and pepper and mix into beef. Add cheese on top of beef and melt. Place open rolls on top to lightly heat and refresh. Using tongs or slotted spoon, scrape meat onto rolls taking care to leave behind any liquid in pan.
6. Top with peppers and serve hot.

Serves 4

You will need a mix of farm stand sweet and hot peppers, onion, meat, cheese, bread and oil. From mid-summer on, farm stands are bursting with all manner of sweet and hot peppers. Depending on your preference, you should have about four times times sweet peppers to hot. Here are long hots and banana peppers along with red and green bell peppers. These hot peppers are hot, but not searingly so.

Cut tops from peppers and split in half. Be careful handling the interiors of hot peppers — seeds and membrane — as the volatile acids that provide the pepper’s heat can come off on to your fingers. Either wear gloves, put a piece of plastic wrap between the pepper’s interior and your fingers or just take care not to touch any soft membranes like your lips, nose or eyes until you thoroughly wash your hands after handling the peppers. Your fingers themselves will not be troubled. Soap, water and time will “cure” any pepper burning. It’s not dangerous, just uncomfortable.

Using your fingers and a sharp paring knife, remove seeds and cut away white membrane of peppers. Discard seeds and membranes. Cut peppers into long thin strips.

The cheese should be mild and semi-soft — suitable for grating. I used an organic Meadow Run Colby. Grate cheese using a box grater or something similar. In a “worst case,” just slice cheese thinly.

You can use chip steak. However, here I used a piece of  rib-eye steak. Premium cheesesteaks start with a rib-eye steak, typically sliced on a commercial slicer — something unlikely to be included among your home kitchen equipment. But you can still use a whole piece of rib-eye. Place the beef in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours so that it is partially frozen, but not rock hard.

With a sharp knife, cut slices as thin as you can. Your goal is to “shave” the beef so that you have “paper-thin” slices. Your slices will not be paper-thin, but do the best you can.

I used a long Italian loaf from South Philly’s Sarcone’s Bakery on 9th Street between Catherine & Fitzwater. DiBruno’s also carries Sarcone’s bread.  You can certainly use individual steak rolls.

If using a long loaf, begin by trimming away the rounded ends. Regardless of what sort of roll you are using, pull out and remove some of the doughy bread. This just makes for a less doughy and more enjoyable sandwich. You can cut your long loaf into three or four smaller pieces. Later I will recommend cutting sandwiches into 2″ wide pieces for easier handling so three or four pieces is not critical.

Also, chop your onion into pieces about half to quarter-inch in size. Here’s a video on How to Chop and Onion.

Now you’re ready to cook your Homegrown Philly Cheesesteak with Farm Stand Sweet & Hot Peppers.

Assemble your ingredients next to your stove.

Begin by sauteing your onions in a large saute pan in oil — I used olive oil. You should only need about 1 tablespoon oil.

Cook until onions are soft and translucent but not browned. This should take six to eight minutes. If onions begin to brown, reduce heat and/or add a touch of water. The water will stop the browning and help the onions soften. You will want to evaporate the water. Remove cooked onions and set aside.

Next, in the same pan, cook peppers over low-moderate heat in a tablespoon of oil. Peppers will take longer to cook than onions – about 15-20 minutes. . You want them to be very soft, but not browned or falling apart.

Again, adding a few ounces of water, once the peppers start to soften, is helpful to softening the peppers. Here I added 2 ounces of water two times, each time allowing the water to fully evaporate. You want sautéed peppers and not boiled peppers. Lightly salt peppers, remove from pan and set aside. The peppers should be warm, but they are a topping and do not have to be hot.

If you do not have a large saute pan, cook the steak in two batches. Hold your first batch in a 200 degree oven while cooking second batch. I used a 13″ pan. Begin by adding 2 tablespoons oil to pan over high heat. Allow oil to get very hot — nearly smoking. Carefully add shaved beef. Allow bottom to brown.

With a broad, flat spatula, turn beef and using “blade” of spatula, chop and cut up beef into small pieces.

When beef is fully browned, add cooked onions and mix in well. Cheesesteak places cook their meat on a flat griddle that allows the rendered liquid to flow away. When cooking in a pan, the liquid will evaporate somewhat, but you will still have some liquid to contend with.

Add cheese on top and allow to melt. Season with salt and pepper.

While cheese is melting, place bread lightly on top to enable steam from cooking beef to re-fresh bread. I cut the long loaf into three very generous sandwiches, but you can easily cut it into four.

Using slotted spoon or spring tongs, transfer beef, onion, cheese mix into rolls. Take care in doing this as it’s very hot. Top with farm stand sweet and hot peppers. In serving, I recommend cutting sandwiches into more manageable smaller pieces — two inches or so in length.

For lots of recipes and to view visits to area farm stands or Philadelphia Neighborhood Farmers’ Markets, go to athomebysteveposes.wordpress.com.

For more information about Philly Homegrown, visit food.visitphilly.com.

To learn more about local farmers’ markets, visit The Food Trust and Farm to City. Year ’round you can purchase local food products at Fair Food Farmstand at the Reading Terminal Market.

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Lemon Verbena Sorbet

Lemon Verbena Sorbet
Fresh lemon verbena is in the wings waiting to be discovered and become a star. It has a wonderful herbal lemon bouquet. The difficult part of this recipe is hunting down fresh lemon verbena. Fresh lemon verbena is hard to find, even at premium farmers’ markets. But it easy to grow a few plants in your backyard. Dried lemon verbena makes for a lovely hot tea, but I would not substitute dried for fresh in this recipe. You can steep fresh lemon verbena into a memorable summer iced tea, but the precious leaves go lots further turned into a sorbet.

This simple procedure bypasses the usual sorbet process of making simple syrup and steeping the lemon verbena in the warm syrup. Avoiding heating the lemon verbena preserves its effervescent freshness. Instead, the lemon verbena is simply made into a paste with sugar in a food processor, combined with lemon juice and water, steeped and strained. It is then ready to freeze. This is a basic  procedure for making herb-based sorbets.

Note: Lemon verbena is often available at the Z Farm stand in the Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.

Do Ahead Sorbet may be made up to a month in advance and held in freezer. Make sure you cover the of sorbet with plastic wrap to protect from freezer burn. Remove sorbet from freezer at least 20 minutes before serving to temper or soften.

2 cups lightly packed lemon verbena leaves removed from woody stem
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, seeds removed – about 3 lemons
5 cups water

1. In work bowl of food processor, combine lemon verbena and sugar. Process until leaves and sugar are fully incorporated and turns into damp paste. Add lemon juice and process an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.
2. Add 5 cups water and stir well. Steep in refrigerator at least three to four hours or overnight.
3. Pass through fine strainer to remove leaf fragments.
4. Freeze according to manufacturers instructions.

Yield A generous 6 cups

Lemon verbena sorbet is very easy to make. Just lemon verbena, fresh lemon juice, sugar and water. Some recipes call for superfine sugar, but I find it unnecessary. You do need a food processor and an ice cream freezer. Here I used somewhat more than two cups lemon verbena, but it all depends on how hard you press the leaves into the measure. A bit more or less is not a big deal. More is usually better than less.

In work bowl of food processor, combine lemon verbena leaves and sugar.

Process until verbena is well ground and forms a paste with sugar.

Juice lemons. Here I am using a reamer — a very handy tool when you need a little fresh lemon or lime juice. You extract much more juice than by squeezing by hand. You will need more than the recipe calls for because you will be straining out the seeds and pulp.

Strain out seeds and pulp from juice.

Re-measure.

Add lemon juice to lemon verbena-sugar mixture and process until incorporated.

Transfer from food processor to bowl.

Add water and chill in refrigerator overnight or for at four hours until cold. Freeze according to directions of your ice cream maker. I use an electric Cuisinart ice cream maker with which you can make continuous batches. If you are using an ice cream maker that pre-freezes a bowl, you may reduce the recipe proportionately or make two batches, refreezing your bowl if required.

Inexpensive ice cream makers that requiring pre-freezing of bowl work very well and provide an excellent “entry level” frozen dessert making. They cost about $50 and make up to 6 cups at a time. The Cuisinart that I use costs about $300 new, though Home Depot sells reconditioned models at $159.

When serving any ice cream or sorbet, be sure to remove it from the freezer at least 20 minutes before serving to temper it, meaning to allow it to soften so you can scoop it and the texture is better for eating. Here  it is from On the Table: Farm Stands of Lancaster Co.. I served it with lightly macerated nectarines and golden raspberries along with a Market Day canale. Canele are molded desserts that fall somewhere between a caramelized custard and cake.

Market Day canale are available in Philadelphia at the Clark Park, Rittenhouse Square and Headhouse Farmers’ Markets as well as other retail locations. Click here for details.  Metropolitan Bakery also makes wonderful canale.

There are nearly 100 recipes on the At Home by Steve Poses blog. Recipe Index.

There are more than 400 recipes plus tips, fun stories and wonderful Pascal Lemaitre illustrations in At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining. Learn more.

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Grilled Bread for Hors d’oeuvres or Accompaniments

For access to the complete list of At Home Blog recipes, visit Recipe Index.

Grilled bread is a versatile, multi-purpose accompaniment that once you master it’s relatively simple technique, will become a crowd-pleasing stable at your table. In grilling bread, your goal is to maintain a slightly spongy interior to the bread and “wrap it” in a crunchy exterior. The charring provides a more complex flavor than simply toasting. The spongy interior enables bread to absorb liquids. Taken together, it is an altogether more compelling experience and than fully crisp cracker or oven-baked crostini.

Grilling bread is more a matter of staring with good bread and technique than it is a recipe. Good bread is critical. You want bread that has a firm crust with a spongy interior rather than a cottony interior. Sourdough is best. Ciabatta is a bread that has the sort of texture you want and is often available in supermarkets. In my experience, if you live in the Philadelphia area, the best bread comes from Metropolitan Bakery.

Here’s what you need to grill bread: Good bread, spring tongs, a bread knife — though you could use pre-sliced bread, olive oil, and, of course, a grill or grill pan. Pictured above is a Metropolitan ficelle in the foreground and a Metropolitan Country White. A ficelle is a smaller-sized baguette-style bread. Due to its smaller size, it makes for a somewhat more “mouth-friendly” sized hors d’oeuvres.

There are several ways to cut your “baguette-style” ficelle. Cutting it straight across makes more round slices.

A bias or angle cut produces longer more oval slices. The rounder sizes are on the right.

In foreground are bias cut — longer and thinner than the rounder straight cut in background.

This is a loaf of Metropolitan Bakery Country White. Larger pieces of grilled bread are better for accompaniments with dishes that have liquids that beg to be sopped up on bread.

By cutting the bread yourself rather than buying it sliced enables you to control the thickness of your bread. Cut slices about 1/2 to 1-inch thick. Cut large slices in half.

A variety of cuts. The cuts from ficelle are ideal for hors d’oeuvres or cheese. The half slices and “fingers” work best served with something that has liquid that needs something more spongy such as an amply dressed tomato salad or steamed mussels.

Pre-heat grill, or in this case, the grill pan over moderate-high heat. You may need to slightly adjust heat source if you find bread grilling too quickly or too slowly.

Place bread on grill.

Once bread is well-grilled on one side, turn it and grill on other side. Don’t hesitate to sample an occasional piece as you go to check bread’s progress — slightly crunchy exterior and lightly spongy interior. Another “tell” is bread should still be slightly pliable when you bend it rather than fully crisp. Once you do this, the “skills” and “tells” of grilling bread will become second nature for you.

Thinner bread has less room for error if you want to maintain a slightly spongy interior.

Ideally you want bread to visually “express” it’s place of cooking, ie. grill marks. The variable amounts of charring, from dark to light, produces a pleasingly complex flavor “profile.”

Once all your bread is grilled, lightly brush on both sides with olive oil. Serve immediately or within a few hours. If bread sits longer than that, it will be helpful to re-fresh in oven.

Bread can be stored for up to five days in an airtight container and refreshed before serving.

If you have stored bread, simply refresh by placing on tray and…

…place in pre-heated 350 degree oven. The smaller pieces need 3-5 minutes and larger, thicker pieces take 7-10 minutes. You goal is to restore the crunchy exterior crust while maintaining a slightly spongy interior.

Grilled bread is the ideal accompaniment to Marinated Roast Sweet & Hot Peppers. Serve a bowl of peppers along with a basket of grilled bread — including a small fork for guests to make their own.

Or make individual hors d’oeuvres and serve on a platter.

Enjoy…At Home!

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Marinated Roast Sweet & Hot Peppers

Note: For the complete library of At Home blog recipes, see Recipe Index.

Marinated Sweet & Hot Roast Peppers
By mid-summer, sustained heat produces a rainbow of peppers at farm stands and farmers’ markets.  These peppers are transformed by roasting such that when paired with slightly soft grilled bread, they are one of the great pleasures of sitting around with friends and family in summer. When buying peppers, select an assortment of colors — mostly sweet peppers with an occasional hot pepper — enough to keep things interesting and preventing a bland bowl of just sweet peppers.  If using supermarket peppers, select a mix of red, yellow and orange. They are expensive, but worth it. Do not use green bell peppers as their taste is too aggressive and not sweet. For hot peppers, use mildly hot Poblano or Anaheim and Cubanelle. You want substantially more sweet peppers than hot – maybe five to one.

You will definitely need a spring loaded tongs to turn peppers while charring so don’t even try this without them.

Do ahead Marinated peppers will sit happily in your refrigerator for a month.

2 – 2 1/2 pounds assorted sweet and hot peppers, in a volume ratio of 4-5 sweet to 1 hot
1 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
3 ounces olive oil
3/4 teaspoons Salt, Kosher preferred

1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Place peppers on foil-lined heavy duty rimmed baking sheet. Depending on how many pounds of peppers, a double layer of foil may be useful to protect your pan and make clean-up easier.  Place peppers on sheet and place on shelf closest to flame. Broil until lightly charred, turning peppers as you go to char all over.
3. Remove peppers from oven and immediately transfer to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to steam peppers. This facilitates peeling peppers.
4. When peppers have cooled enough so they can be handled, place on cutting board. Pull away stem. Peel away skin. Split peppers in half. Remove seeds.
5. When all peppers have been peeled, lay peppers flat. Cut into thin strips. Cut long strips in half.
6. Transfer strips of peppers to bowl. Add garlic, good olive oil and salt.

Yield About 1 1/2 cups

This is a wonderful assortment of peppers purchased at several Philadelphia farmers’ markets. Roasting, peeling and removing seeds is a project made easier if you avoid smaller and long, thin peppers.

Peppers are variable in the time it takes to char and blister so be patient. This is a result of pepper size and how different peppers skin reacts to heat.

Most broilers have two rows of burners down the middle so some peppers will be closer to heat than others. You will need to rotate peppers.

Rotate peppers as you go. As they are round, they may prove slightly stubborn about maintaining the position you want them. As they soften, don’t hesitate to apply a little pressure — squishing them to position them as you need to. Instead of a broiler, you could do lots of peppers at a time over a hot grill. Char peppers over high heat.

Turn as you go. Remove fully charred peppers to bowl and cover. Add more peppers as space allows. Peppers do not have to be fully charred, but can be substantially blistered and you will be able to peel away skin. As peppers heat, the air inside will expand and some peppers will “explode” — simply meaning they will split open. This is fine.

Transfer charred peppers to a bowl and cover so they steam. Steaming helps to remove charred skin. Rather than wrapping and unwrapping with plastic wrap, you can just place a plate on top to “seal” bowl. As peppers char on outside they steam and soften on the inside. Keep both your covered bowl for charred peppers and your un-charred peppers near broiler to make it more convenient to deposit your charred peppers and add un-charred peppers to the tray as you go.

Once all peppers have been charred and steamed in their bowl, it’s time for the somewhat tedious task of peeling and removing seeds. Here’s a set-up to make this task easier. From left to right:
1. Container to discard peel and seeds.
2. Damp cloth to keep area clean. A pastry scraper also helps.
3. Empty bowl for peeled peppers
4. Bowl of charred and steamed peppers.
You will also need a sharp paring knife to scrape away peel and cut strips.

Larger, thicker peppers are easier to peel. You have to be pretty careful with thinner skinned peppers to remove peel and seeds without destroying peppers meaty flesh.

First remove stem and peel from all peppers waiting to remove seeds until all peppers are peeled. You can just pull out the stem or cut away the pepper’s top including stem. Next, split peppers and carefully remove all seeds. As you go, it is useful to continuously wipe your peeling and seeding area clean to prevent pesky peel and seeds from sticking to the peppers you have cleaned. Stack cleaned peppers in bowl.  Take care in handling hot peppers. The volatile oils will sit on your fingers — and counter and cutting surface — and if you touch your eye or other soft membrane it will be painful. If this happens, wash well with soapy water and rinse well.

Once you have peeled all peppers and removed seeds, take one or two peppers at a time, check to be sure that there are not errant seeds sticking to pepper and lay flat on cutting board.

With a sharp knife, cut peppers into strips. If peppers are long, cut strips in half. Long strips of peppers are messier when placing on hors d’oeuvres-sized crostini or grilled grilled bread.

When you are done you have wonderfully naked strips of sweet and hot peppers waiting for their marinade…and a mess of peel and seeds to discard. This is a double batch.

Garlic is the natural compliment to peppers. Patiently chop until garlic is very finely chopped as you don’t want your guests biting into a chunk of garlic. The garlic is not essential, but strongly recommended.

Mix peppers well with garlic, good olive oil and salt. They get better the longer they marinate and will keep in refrigerator for a month. Serve on crostini or grilled bread. See At Home Page 82 for a crostini recipe.

Look tomorrow for instructions on grilling bread

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Cold Beet Soup with Sour Cream, Cucumber & Dill

Cold Beet Soup with Sour Cream, Cucumber & Dill
Pity the poor overlooked beet. Maybe it’s the unfortunate legacy of scary childhood memories of canned boiled or pickled beets – a form of both beet and child abuse. Treated correctly, beets are both sweet and sexy — with a crimson color unmatched in the culinary spectrum. I am a strong advocate of soups – cold or hot — as the ideal do ahead meal starter. This cold soup is simple to make – virtually fat-free but for the sour cream garnish that you could skip (though I think that would be a mistake) and gorgeous. As is often the case in working with beets, you will add some vinegar — here red wine vinegar — to balance the natural sweetness of the beets and add a little complexity to the flavor.

Do ahead Soup may be made up to five days ahead and stored in refrigerator.

2 cups sliced sweet onion
2 pounds beets, trimmed, peeled and cut into roughly uniform chunks
3-4 cloves garlic
3 cups vegetable or corn stock or water
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For Garnish
1/2 cup small cubed cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 ounces sour cream


1. Combine in pot over moderate heat, onion, beets, garlic and stock or water. Bring to simmer and cook about 50 minutes until beets very soft. Off heat and allow to cool.
2. Transfer beets, onions and garlic mixture and cooking liquid to blender. Add red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth. Pour into bowl. Chill until very cold — at least 3-4 hours. You want soup to be quite thick, but pourable. Add more liquid if too thick. Water is fine to add. Taste for vinegar. Beets are variable in their sweetness and you definitely want to taste a little background vinegar to counter beets natural sweetness. Before serving, adjust salt and pepper as things need more seasoning when cold.
3. To serve, pour soup into bowls. Place a small mound on cubed cucumbers in center. Top with dollop of sour cream. Lightly sprinkle dill.

Yield About 6 cups to serve 6.
Note: This is a rich soup by virtue of the beets. A cup per person is enough, though by all means if you have four guests, you could serve 1 1/2 cups — or stick with a cup each and save the rest for yourself.

This is a very simple soup to make and virtually fat-free but for the sour cream garnish that you could skip — although I wouldn’t. It’s just not that much sour cream.

Trim ends of beef with knife and peel.

Cutting beets into roughly uniform sizes enables them to cook more quickly and uniformly.

Ready to go — beets, sliced onions, garlic cloves and stock. I used corn stock though you can use any vegetable stock or water.

Place everything in a pot over moderate heat, bring to simmer and reduce heat to maintain a gentle cooking. You want to be careful not to cook the liquid away as you will need this to thin the soup. Add back water if the you seem to have cooked too much away. You at least want to sure the beets, etc. remain covered with liquid.  If it turns out that you don’t have enough liquid left at the end of the cooking to get a thin enough soup you can always add some water to soup after pureeing it in blender.

It will take about 50 minutes for the beets to cook through. Off heat and allow mixture to cool somewhat as it is just safer not to have hot liquid when you blend to avoid getting splattered with hot liquid.

Pour everything into blender adding red wine vinegar , salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. A food processor will not create the creamy smoothness of a blender, but if that’s is all you have, it will be OK.

The soup should be quite thick — though easily pourable. You want it thick enough to “support” the garnish of cucumbers and sour cream.  Refrigerate 3-4 hours until soup is very cold. I needed my soup sooner so I placed it in the freezer and occasionally stirred. You could also place soup in its bowl into a “water bath” — that is, another bowl with ice and water. It helps to stir occasionally.

To make little cucumber cubes, begin by peeling cucumber, cutting in half mengthwise and scraping out seeds with a spoon.

Cut cucumbers into thin and fairly uniform strips. (As I am a bit compulsive, I trimmed the thick portion on the left side of the cucumber lying on top above.) Line strips up in a tight row.

Cut across strips to create cubes. I gave my cubes an additional dice as they still seemed too large. There will certainly be variation in the size of your cubes.

Ideally lay out your soup bowls and pour equal portions into each bowl. This soup is quite rich — not because it has any rich ingredients but beets but their nature have a rich mouth feel. So keep your portion fairly small — a cup or a bit more than a cup. Place a small mound of cucumbers in center, top with dollop of sour cream and sprinkle coarsely chopped dill in a circle around center garnish.

For the complete library of At Home blog recipes, go to the Recipe Index.

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Cold Lightly Curried Zucchini Soup

For access to all of At Home blog recipes, visit the Recipe Index. Additional cold soup recipes include Cold Corn Soup, Handmade Gazpacho for a Crowd and Cold Cucumber Soup with Dill.

Cold Lightly Curried Zucchini Soup
In summertime, cold soup makes for the perfect lunch along with good bread and cheese and an ideal starter to dinner. Zucchini is plentiful and inexpensive during summer — so much so that its bounty outstrips its uses. Grilling is a simple and excellent use. Ratatouille is a summertime classic, but an ambitious undertaking. The relative blandness of zucchini lends itself to accepting flavors such as the lightly curried accent to this buttermilk enhanced soup. The slight sourness of buttermilk — similar in character to yogurt, adds to the refreshing nature of this soup.

Do Ahead Soup may be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated

1 medium onion, sliced — about 2 cups
2 pounds zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced — about 7-8 cups
1 cup diced celery with leaves plus leaves for garnish
1 cup parsley leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup small cubed carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups corn, vegetable or chicken stock (See note.)
2 cups reduced fat buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a thick 4 quart pot, heat olive oil over moderate high heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to wilt. Reduce heat to moderate. Add curry powder, stir well and cook for about a minute stirring. Add zucchini, garlic,celery and parsley. Stir well. Cook about 7-8 minutes until unions wilt and zucchini starts to soften.
2. Add stock and cover. Cook another 8-10 minutes until zucchini soft. Off heat and allow to cool.
3. Transfer to blender and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in two batches.
4. Transfer to bowl, add buttermilk, salt and pepper. Chill at three to four hours until very cold.
5. Bring water to boil in small pot and add carrots. Cook about a minute until slightly softened. Strain carrots and run under cold water or transfer to bowl of ice water.
6. Before serving, adjust thickness adding more buttermilk if too thick. Taste for salt and pepper. Remember that as things get colder they can take more salt.
To serve: Place in individual bowls. Place small mound of carrots in middle and smallish pieces of torn celery leaves in a circle.

Yield 2 quarts serving 6-8.

Note about Corn Stock
Corn produces a simply wonderful sweet stock. Just save the water from cooking your corn on the cob, add back the cobs after shaving away corn (or even after eating — yes, that’s right – the cobs will boil and the stock will be perfectly safe!) and some sliced onion. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and strain. You can boil stock to increase its flavor concentration.

Cold Lightly Curried Zucchini Soup is quite simple to make, cool and refreshing. The buttermilk provides a slight sour undertone, much as yogurt does in the previously featured Cold Cucumber Soup. In fact, you could substitute yogurt for the buttermilk. If you do this, you will need to thin out soup with more stock or water as yogurt is thicker than buttermilk.

Trim the ends from zucchini. Then cut in half lengthwise. Cut slices about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. You do not have to be precise about the thickness as it all gets pureed.

To make small carrot cubes — or to cube other similar-shaped vegetables — begin with a peeled carrot.

With a sharp knife cutting parallel to cutting surface, cut lengthwise slices.

Cut these slices into long strips and line up the strips.

Cut across the strips and create your small carrot cubes. If you want smaller cubes, cut thinner slices and thinner strips. The cubes will not all be the same size — nor will they truly be “cubes” — but they will be perfect for what you need.

Ready to start cooking. This recipe uses the basic technique for making soups based on vegetable purees. Basically this is a light saute of the primary vegetable — here zucchini — along with aromatics like onion and garlic, seasonings — here curry powder — and preferably a flavored stock, but, in a pinch, water.

There is a recipe for Mastering Vegetable Puree Soups on Page 110-111 of At Home followed by the ingredients for Cream of Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus Soup and Roasted Cauliflower Soup. While, except for Spring-arriving asparagus, these are not warm weather vegetables, I have seen local cauliflower at farm stands and Brussels sprouts will start to arrive while the weather is still warm and they would all make wonderful cold soups.  Purchase At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining – available only online.

Use a thick-bottom pot like this enamel over cast iron. This enables even cooking and prevents scorching. Add the onions to hot olive oil.

Cook until onions begin to wilt and soften – about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally so onions cook evenly. You do not want onions to brown.

Add curry powder and cook about a minute. This “toasts” the curry, enhances the flavor and removes any rawness. Stir as you do this to prevent scorching.

Add zucchini, garlic, parsley and celery and stir well. Cook for 4-5 minutes until zucchini starts to soften.

Add stock, reduce heat to moderate and cook for 8-10 minutes until zucchini is soft.

Allow to cool before transferring to blender. This is not for culinary purposes as you could puree while hot. It is for safety purposes so you do not run the risk of getting splashed with hot liquid. Blend until very smooth. (Note: This is an incredible blender. Expensive, but worth it.)  Transfer to bowl and add buttermilk, salt and pepper. Allow to chill for at least 3-4 hours until very cold. Before serving, check thickness. It should have the consistency of thick heavy cream — not at all watery. Liquids will naturally thicken as they chill so you may need to thin more. In addition, cold liquids usually need more salt, so taste and adjust, adding more salt if needed.

Quickly blanch carrots in boiling water for about a minute. You want to remove the raw carrot quality while retaining some “bite.”

Strain carrots and run under cold water or place in ice bath to stop cooking and retain texture.

To serve, place in bowl with a small mound of carrots in center and a few pieces of celery leaves scattered around. You have an easy, do ahead and delicious start to a dinner or the centerpiece of a lunch with a tossed salad, some good bread and cheese.

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Grilled Herb-Marinated Turkey “Flank Steak”

Grilled Herb-Marinated Turkey “Flank Steak”

Turkey is overlooked and under-appreciated most of the year. Grilled turkey breast is a simple and ideal addition to your backyard barbecue repertoire.  A boneless turkey breast is too thick to grill. The outside would become dry and charred before the interior cooked through. But by simply slicing a breast into “flank steaks” and giving it a good marinade, the turkey breast becomes both grill-worthy and grill-friendly.

There are several variables in grilling your turkey “flank steak.” These include how hot the grill – it should be medium-hot, and the variable thickness of the breast. It is very helpful to use an instant read thermometer. I live in a Center City Philadelphia apartment and do not have an outdoor grill. But I do have a grill pan and I am always prepared to grill — rain or shine. The photos in this recipe use my grill pan, but apply to your outdoor grill.

This recipes uses fresh tarragon. Tarragon has a particular affinity for turkey. But you could really use any fresh herb. You will need about the same amount of other fresh leafy herbs like basil or oregano, a bit less sage as sage is very strong and lots less fresh thyme. There are a dozen marinade recipes in At Home’s Chapter 9 — Easy Entrees: From the Grill and any of these will work. Take care when using a marinade with sugar as the long grilling time needed for the turkey could cause the marinade to burn. Try cooking over a more moderate heat or finish cooking turkey in a 350 degree oven once it is nicely charred on both sides on the grill. At Home also features a recipe for Grilled Turkey “Flank Steak” seasoned with mustard and soy — a Frog Commissary summertime staple — on Page 195.

Turkey also benefits from a condiment. See At Home’s Chapter 9: Cold Sauces & Condiments.

Do ahead You can marinate up to two days in advance. As with most things grilled, it best to eat shortly after removing from the grill and prior to refrigeration.

4 tablespoons chopped garlic
3/4 cup tarragon leaves chopped, about 3 tablespoons for marinade
plus 2 tablespoons to add after slicing
1 lemon plus 6-8 lemon wedges, trimmed
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds boneless turkey breast
1 – 2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1.  With a sharp knife, cut turkey breast in half cutting parallel to cutting surface.  Rinse and pat dry.
2. In a dish large enough to hold breast, combine garlic, 3 tablespoons tarragon and olive oil. Add pieces of breast, one at a time and coat well with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours but ideally 6-8 hours.
3. Preheat grill of grill pan to medium high.
4.  Remove breasts from marinade, lightly scraping away some of the garlic and tarragon. The breast will take some time to cook and the chopped garlic will burn. Having a bit is fine, but you don’t want your breast covered with charred garlic.
5.  Place breast on grill or in grill pan and cook first side for about 8-10 minutes. Turn and cook until thermometer reads about 155 degrees in thickest part of breast, about another 8-10 minutes.
6. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Cut into about 1/4-inch thick slices against the natural grain of breast.
7. Squeeze lemon over sliced turkey. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons tarragon. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 6 -8

If your breast is skin-on, just peel away skin.

You will need a sharp knife. Place breast flat onto cutting surface.

Moving your knife parallel to cutting surface, cut breast in half.

You will have two thinner “steaks.”

One side may naturally break into two pieces. This is fine.

Rinse and pat dry.

Measure tarragon leaves into cup measure. A bit more or less really doesn’t matter much. Chop the tarragon.

Add garlic, chopped tarragon and olive oil to a dish large enough to hold breasts.

Mix well.

Add turkey “steaks” and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and ideally 6-8 hours. It is best not to cook from cold — especially when grilling something thick. By removing turkey from refrigerator and allowing it to reach room temperature, you are getting a head start on cooking by bringing the temperature from the 40 degrees of the refrigerator to the 70 degrees of a room. If you don’t do this, your turkey will require additional cooking time that could cause you to over-cook the outside while waiting for the inside to reach temperature. Ideally, remove from refrigerator three or four hours before grilling.

Pre-heat grill or grill pan over moderate-high heat. Add turkey. These are the two smaller “steaks.” Cook 6-8 minutes.

Turn and cook another 8-10 minutes — depending on level of heat and thickness of “steak.”

This is the larger “steak” cooking. Place thermometer in thickest part to check temperature as you go. The internal temperature of the turkey will continue to rise even after you take it off the heat. The recommended cooking temperature for turkey breast is 165-170 degrees. I find this takes the breast too far and dries it out. Your goal is no pink or just the barest amount of pink when you slice the breast. Removing turkey at about 150-155 degrees should accomplish this. Remember that your “steak” is probably not of equal thickness so it will not all be cooked exactly the same.

Here are the three pieces. Looks pretty good! Any grilled meat will benefit from resting at least 10 minutes before slicing. Slicing too soon causes the natural juices that need to settle in after cooking to drain away. Be patient.

Try to find the direction of the natural grain of the turkey and cut across it rather than parallel.

Here it is on the left, sliced and ready to go. Sprinkle with fresh tarragon, add salt and pepper — after slicing so the salt and pepper can get to the slices, squeeze lemon and serve with lemon wedges.

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