Saturday, May 30, 2020

Chef Bolek's Half Turkey Breast

This is a basic recipe.  It is something that I go to when I am very busy and need something that requires very little prep.  The only thing that needs to be done is the rub.  And, even the rub is simplified so that it can be prepared in a couple of seconds.

The base of the rub is onion powder and garlic powder.  The flavor elements include thyme, coriander and fennel seeds.  (I have recently been on a big fennel kick, especially in roasting, grilling and even barbecue.) All of those ocmponents are just 1 teaspoon.  Additional flavor comes from some stronger herbs, both rosemary and sage. I reduced the amounts for each of these two herbs to half teaspoons each. The rub is completed with a teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.  The work is complete. 

This is a great recipe to make on the weekend.  Once the breast is roasted and sliced, then you can make turkey sandwiches for lunch during the week.  It is a great way to skip the processed meats in the deli section of the local grocery store. 

A Chef Bolek Original 
Serves 8

1 half turkey breast, about 3 to 4 pounds
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, cracked
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 cup of wateror more if needed
1/8 cup of olive oil, more if needed

1.  Prepare the turkey breast.  Combine all of the dried ingredients and mix well.  Brush olive oil all over the turkey breast.  Sprinkle the herb/spice mix all over the turkey breast.

2.  Roast the turkey breast.  Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the breast in a roasting pan, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water around the edge of the breast. Roast the turkey breast in the oven until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The end temperature is 165 degrees, but the breast will continue to cook for several minutes afer being removed from the oven. Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.  Slice thinly and serve immediately or refrigerate for use in sandwiches later.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Classic Roasted Bone Marrow

I was there for another reason.  I really can't remember it now.  But, I stood at the counter of a local butcher shop ready to purchase something.  Perhaps it was a pork butt.  Maybe it was a brisket point.  Whatever it was, it did not matter. As I waited for the meat, I wandered over to the freezer.  I saw it.  Two long bones, split to reveal the bone marrow.  I knew that I had to buy it.

One of my most favorite things to eat is roasted bone marrow.  If anyone searched through this blog post, he or she would probably find at least five or six recipes in which bone marrow was used as an ingredient.  At one point in time, I had a good source for bone marrow.  The cut were usually small vertical cuts, little disks with just enough marrow to fill a teaspoon or a tablespoon (if one was lucky). That source disappeared long ago, as did the bone marrow recipes. 

Things were different at the butcher shop. These were long marrow bones, cut horizontally. The bone holding in a nice long strip of marrow.  The type of bones that one could order at a fancy restaurant. The types of bones that I would order at a fancy restaurant. 

As wonderful as this ingredient can be, the best part about bone marrow is how simple it is to make. This is perhaps one of the easiest recipes out there. Set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, a little salt and pepper, and roast for about twenty minutes.  Pull the bones out and garnish them with whatever you want (I like a little roasted garlic and fresh flat leaf parsley). That's it.  Spoon out that wonderful marrow onto some toasted bread and enjoy! 

Recipe adapted from Honest Cooking
Serves 2

1 marrow bone, cut vertically
2-3 cloves of garlic, roasted, diced
1 clove garlic for the bread
2 teaspoons of flat leaf parsley, minced finely
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
Toasted bread slices

1.  Roast the bones.  Preheart the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Place the bones on the pan, cut side up.  Season wtih salt and pepper.  Roast the bones in the oven for 20 minutes.

2.  Toast the bread.  Grill the bread on a hot grill or toast the bread using your toaster.  Peel the garlic clove and rub one side of the bread.  Do not push too hard on the bread, the point is to get the taste and aroma of the garlic on the bread.

3.  Finish the dish.  Once the bones are roasted, remove the pan from the oven. Carefully and safely transfer the hot bones to a serving plate, garnish with roasted garlic and  parsley.