Random December Bites
Did you know I make a turkey in a plastic bag?
When I was in my 20's, a woman named Marie who worked at the salon where I got my hair cut, swore by this method, and I've been doing it ever since.
You can't mess it up and there is no basting, no messy oven, and the turkey cooks in HALF the time.
Season and stuff your bird the way you like it (don't forget to remove the bag of giblets).
I stuff mine w/ an orange, a lemon and a big handful of fresh herbs.
Rub either melted butter or olive oil over the skin of the turkey and season w/ kosher salt & pepper...........
Place in a Reynold's oven bag with a little flour.
Cut 6 slits in the top of the bag and place in a roasting pan.
For a 12 lb. turkey, it took 2 hours at 350F. Let the turkey rest a half hour before slicing.
Ok, now that that's out of the way.
My favorite weeknight pasta dish:
I roasted a whole head of cauliflower with a chopped red onion on a baking sheet, my usual way, 400F drizzled w/ olive oil and kosher salt for 20 minutes.
When the vegetables are roasted, add them to a heavy skillet, big enough to hold the pasta.
Add a big handful of golden raisins, 2 tbsp of capers, a big handful of manzanilla olives chopped up (with the pimentos), a dash of red pepper flakes and a nice drizzle of olive oil and leave in the skillet, covered until your pasta is ready.
Boil 8 oz. (half a box of pasta), remembering to reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
When the pasta is done, drain and add the pasta to the skillet w/ the reserved water, and mix in with the cauliflower.
Grate some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano on top and serve immediately.
Garnish with fresh parsley if you like.
We had a delicious dinner at UPSTAIRS in Montclair, NJ.
It's a secret sort of place, hard to find with no signage, upstairs from a sushi bar, like a private club.
(How do you like my fancy collage?).
A chic cocktail bar, and an open kitchen produces some of the best charcuterie in NJ.
Pork belly and duck confit that melt in your mouth. We ordered a double portion of the calamari for the table in garlic w/ breadcrumbs and toasted bread to lap up the sauce.
The pork chop w/ house made candied bacon and sweet potato gratin will make you quiver.
Small batch spirits and infused herb drinks make for a fun and boozy night.
Can't wait to go back to this special place.
608 Valley Road
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
If you are still unsure about what to get your friends for Christmas, look no further.
I recently visited BOOSKERDOO Coffee Roasters at the Jersey Shore in Monmouth Beach, to check out their organic coffee roastery and cafe.
Monmouth Beach was hit very hard by Hurricane Sandy, and Booskerdoo is back in business and there to help the community.
This is the freshest coffee I have ever tasted. I loved the Jersey Diner blend.
They roast it fresh just before mailing it out to you, no sitting around in a package. The smell is intoxicating. You will be hooked.
They have a coffee of the month club, and great gift ideas for the coffee lover in your life.
Check out their website.
Booskerdoo Coffee Roasters
36 Beach Road
Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750
.........and just when you think it's mellowing at the MILITANT COMMUNITY GARDEN, here is the latest email about renewing our plots for the 2013 season.
I can't make this stuff up.
"If we don't receive your check by December 25 for renewal, a certified letter will be sent to you and you will not be able to renew.
Finally, I have a small fence around my plots. 16 feet of one of my fences had been bent at a 90 degree angle two weeks ago. It may have been an accident but appears to be malicious in nature. If anyone knows anything about this, please get back to me.
As a reminder, anyone found to have purposely done damage to, or have taken crops from another plot without permission, will have their plot taken away on an immediate basis. You may also face vandalism or theft charges from the ----- police department."
The dumpster will be taken away some time next week. If you still have cleanup to do, I would suggest doing it this weekend."
Yeah, merry happy.