Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Ahead, Give Me The Bird!


Yes go ahead, because now I am ready! I did give my fridge the bird when I looked in and realized I had ordered a rather large heirloom 'Bourbon Red' turkey, and we had no room!

This called for some meal planning and organizing. Cooking for only two people might seem like a small task, but scheduling meals around his traveling, volunteer work, open mic, and my job can be mind boggling. Bringing food home from work and cooking, well, things also begin to stack up, and my freezer space is limited.

A few suggestions for keeping up with food in the refrigerator, and freezer-

  • Keep things arranged so that you can see what is available. Take foods out of the grocery bag before you place them in the freezer. (Buff- you reminded me of this on your post, and I was guilty!)
  • Place smaller items in front, or to the left. Keeping the oldest items in front, and dated to insure spoiled food is not eaten (I recommend two days if not frozen ASAP). Avoid food poisoning.
  • I color code my food by using red containers for items that need to be used in the next day or so.
  • Use clear freezer purpose containers and bags, so that you can see items more clearly. Use containers that will be filled to the top pressing out as much air as possible in order to keep ice crystals from forming (warm air causes condensation, so ice crystals do not always mean freezer burn). Vacuum seal foods if possible.
  • Only save what you know you will consume, and unless you have a deep freezer- do not over buy. Many food pantry's and soup kitchen welcome food donations all year long.
  • Do not over stuff freezer; it keeps needed cold air from circulating around containers, and also might pop open when you are unaware. Avoid Food Poisoning.
  • Rotate ingredients into new dishes, and do not be afraid to play or experiment with recipes. 
  • Thaw out frozen food properly. Take them out the night before, and let sit at bottom of refrigerator and use immediately. Never let meats sit in the sink; unless you run cold water over them until thawed, and use immediately. 
  • Keep a list (if schedule allows) of 'Food Safety and Sanitation Guidelines'' on the refrigerator door. Easily printed from the computer these guidelines help remind us to properly contain and store foods so that our families remain healthy and safe all year round! Children should begin learning this stuff early!
My first task was to figure out how to use up some of our left over's, even I have to be reminded of the above warnings. So, I pulled out a few things from the freezer the night before, and planned my meal. Having some pork loin ends and polenta left from my 'Pinot Noir' tasting, I decided to re-design ingredients for a brunch. An addition of eggs and truffle oil made this leftover dish an exceptional treat for our weekend meal.

Place a few ramekins, or small heat resistant bowls with a small amount of warm water in the bottom in baking dish; set in preheated 200 degree oven. In a hot skillet throw some diced apple, red onion, and olive oil; saute. Then add polenta (cooked; that has sat overnight, and set). Dicing it up into chunks you will season it with some paprika. Dice up desired pork loin ends and add; saute until pork pieces are done, and polenta is crusty brown.


Once you have gotten the desired brown crust, you may place portions into warm ramekin. Crack an egg atop the mixture (The key is making this dish before you are ready to sit down. The egg will take about 7 minutes to set up); drizzle with truffle oil, and cover loosely with foil; place into the oven until egg is cooked to desired texture- easy, medium, or hard consistency. I like mine medium, how about you?

Now come on now...give me the bird!Or should I say my Heritage Bourbon Red Turkey...

Next year get the bird from Griggstown Quail Farm and Market, New Jersey. If you do then do not forget to 'Brine' the turkey; it makes for a juicier and more tender bird on the holiday table!

Freezing on Foodista