Win this beautiful cast iron fondue set, worth $75!

Swissmar red fondue

WE ARE RAFFLING THIS BEAUTIFUL FONDUE SET (worth $75)… LIKE US* on Facebook or Sign up for our e-newsletter in our store to enter. A winner will be picked on 12/24.
*People who have liked us will be entered automatically.

Swissmar Sierra 11-Piece Meat Fondue Set, Red Enameled Pot, consists of 1.6 quart enameled cast iron pot and splatter ring, 6 forks, black enameled fondue rechaud (stand), paste/gel fuel burner with a wooden base/trivet.

When the liquid inside is bubbling nicely, it’s time to dig in. For safe, cool handling, there are two wide handles as well as a removable splatter guard that fits snugly on the pot with slots for the six forks.

Peanut Turkey with Apples and Carrots

Photo: Tasting Table

Whoa… Hold the press! When I first got an email for Southern-inspired Thanksgiving recipes from Tasting Table, a daily “food culture” newsletter, I was immediately drawn to the peanut aspect of the recipe. Over the years I have read many turkey recipes that involve exotic spices, rubs, and brine liquids… But peanuts?? I have never heard of combining peanuts with turkey before! I would like to share this with our Cook and Craft family… Hope you enjoy it and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

— Mel Harjono

Yield: 6 servings    Cook Time: 2 hours
INGREDIENTS
Turkey
One 12-pound turkey–giblets removed, turkey rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, plus 3 sprigs fresh sage, divided
4 baking apples (such as Macintosh)–cored, halved and divided
1 shallot, peeled
Half a medium lemon
8 large carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Peanut-Butter Gravy
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup apple cider2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salted peanuts
DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Sprinkle the cavity and skin of the turkey liberally with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mash together 3 tablespoons of the butter with the chopped sage, salt and pepper. Carefully rub the seasoned butter under the turkey’s skin. Stuff the cavity with the remaining sage springs, 2 apple halves, shallot and lemon. Truss the turkey’s legs.

2. In a large roasting pan, add the 3 remaining apples and the carrots. Toss with the remaining teaspoon of sage butter. Season with salt and pepper and add the chicken stock. Transfer the turkey, breast side up, to a wire rack and fold the wing tips under the turkey; rub with the peanut oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the rack on top of the vegetables.

3. Place the pan in the oven and roast until the turkey is golden, about 45 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375° and roast, basting every 20 minutes with the pan sauce until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh reads 165°, about 1 to 1½ hours.

4. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

5. Make the gravy: Transfer the apples and carrots from the pan to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Skim the fat off of the pan drippings and set the pan on two burners over medium heat. Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar and whisk, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add the flour to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thickened and the starch flavor is cooked out, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the apple cider and chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the peanut butter and cook another 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.

6. Carve the turkey and serve warm with the caramelized carrots, peanut-butter gravy and salted peanuts.

This Saturday: First Light Festival in Old Greenwich

We are gearing up for the annual First Light Festival… the garlands, the trees, and lights are up.  This year Cook and Craft  is partnering with African Portfolio, the 2009 pick by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the Best Adventure Travel Company.

African Portfolio will be showcasing Amarula Liquor, made from the fruits of Marula tree which only grows on the plains of Africa.  Apparently Marula fruit is often enjoyed by elephants, hence the elephants on Amarula’s labels.  The Marula fruits ferment a bit after lying on the ground and the elephants do get slightly tipsy from eating them.  We wonder if African Portfolio shows drunk elephants on their safari trips… that would be a sight!

Amarula would also be a great drink for the holidays, and First Light Festival is the perfect time to come and try it.

This is a real quick recipe you can try:

“Amarula Coffee Surprise”

4 shots of Nespresso espresso (or 4 cups strong filter coffee)

60 ml  (that’s 2 shots) Amarula Liquor

50 ml whipped cream

It’s Turkey Time!…..Relax

turkey_dinner

The holiday season is here which means it’s time for loving family fun, peaceful relaxing times,  reflection on the year behind us,  sunny visions for the year ahead and of course giving thanks over a delicious meal for all that we experience in this life everyday.

What about the stress?  The last minute shopping, extended family coming to town and preparing a meal for 10-15 -20 people…arrrgh!

Don ‘t let this stress happen to you.  Make an action plan and get a little something done everyday.  Order an organic turkey, shop at the farmer’s market,  survey your cooking tools , linens and serving pieces.  Delegate a dish or two to your guests,  your husband, or even your kids…pot luck style is always more fun for everyone.

When it’s time to put on the apron and get down to business the first thing you must do is relax.  The Thanksgiving meal is pretty simple and a great way to teach ourselves these golden rules of cooking:

–  always choose the highest quality ingredients available preferably natural, organic and local

–  apply cooking methods that bring out the best flavor and texture from your ingredients individually

–  season and taste your food often and before adding extra ingredients to a dish first ask why

Every year at Cook and Craft we can sense the nerves spreading through our community of cooks.  We want to alleviate your stress with sound advice on cooking tools or dressing your table as well as providing great hostess gifts and pantry items.  It always seems to be our cooking tips that help the most so this year we printed a recipe book which you can pick up for free next time you are in the shop.  Here is an excerpt ….

The butter massage, the cheesecloth blanket,  and roasting breast side down may all be valid tricks to achieve the best flavor from your bird. This year try using a brine and you will notice a more moist and flavorful result. Here’s a basic brine recipe that will work great for your Thanksgiving turkey, and also delicious when roasting chicken and pork.

BASIC BRINE RECIPE

1.5 cups kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf torn in half
2-3 fresh garlic gloves smashed
1 lemon halved and squeezed
handful of fresh parsley stems

In a large pot bring above ingredients and 6 qts. of water to a gentle boil to dissolve completely the salt and sugar…. add ice and more water to reach about 12 qts. Turkey should be covered with brine in a large stainless pot, plastic container, or brining bag.  Refrigerate 12-24 hours.
Brining meat for about 1 hour per pound is a good guide.

*other nice additions to your liking could include cloves , cinnamon, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, juniper berries, whole allspice, jalepeno chilis, or fresh ginger.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

it’s ALIVE! it’s alive, i tell ya!

hello, hello…

we are finally ON with our blog. since today is the first day of passover, we thought of posting something fun and matzo related…

first off, let’s get our matzoh or matzah apron on. you can get this from popjudaica.com. gotmatzahapron then, let’s get creative with this dry crackers and make matzoh ice cream with chocolate cover matzoh pieces. hey, who’s to say that matzoh is only good in the chicken broth?? to me, the whole passover story is about liberation and freedom. and this ice cream recipe is liberating matzoh from its humdrum existence and its predictable usage.

follow this link for the recipe: 
http://zachats.tumblr.com/post/93753569/matzoh-ice-cream-with-chocolate-covered-matzoh-pieces

matzoh_ice1