Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tina's Minnesota State Fair Pulled Turkey Sandwhich

Screw you Minnesota and your pathetic weather! I am sure I could find a better way to convey how I feel about Minnesota these days. If you don't live here you won't understand what we have been through these past 6 months and as I write, spring is passing us by. We have had nothing but cold, snow and more snow followed by cloudy, gloomy, windy rainy days. Today was the last straw especially when I heard this soaker that has planted itself over the Twin Cities might dole out snow tonight. Thank goodness we had a small window of sunshine yesterday so Paula, my beekeeping partner, and I could hive our bees. It was a beautiful day and we left the bee yard feeling completely energized and excited about the beekeeping season. The weather turned sour shortly after we got home. Fortunately Tina found a way to cheer us up and make us believe it were August, State Fair season. She found a recipe for a Minnesota State Fair favorite of hers, Pulled Turkey Sandwiches.

Our adventure started late in the afternoon, roasting a 12 pound turkey and by 9 pm, well past my bedtime, I finished pulling all the turkey off the carcass tossing it into a crock pot. Tina seasoned the meat, and a quart of my homemade chicken stock went in as well. I would have made turkey stock but we didn't have time. The turkey cooked in the crock pot all night. This morning Tina re-seasoned the meat and stuck it in the fridge while I went to check on the bees in a frigid windy downpour. I spent the rest of the day putting together the fixings for a good old fashion picnic, gussied up baked beans, napa cabbage salad, dilly cucumbers, pickles and watermelon. It might only be the end of April but we are having an indoor picnic tonight even if the rain won't stop. I've never had a Pulled Turkey Sandwich at the fair, after all I wouldn't waste calories on anything other than French Fries but this pulled turkey is darn good and quite easy to make. I enjoyed mine on a toasted Kinnikinnick gluten-free "english muffin" and had seconds with a little BBQ sauce.

Tina's Minnesota State Fair Pulled Turkey

1 roasted turkey, about 12 pounds
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
coarse ground pepper
garlic salt
turkey broth

Roast a turkey and cool long enough to handle, about an hour or so. Remove skin and pull meat off carcass, shredding it. Place all the meat into a crock pot and pour enough broth to cover the meat half way. Season with about a tablespoon or two of Lawry's, two teaspoons or so of coarse ground pepper and 2 teaspoons of garlic salt. The amount of seasonings is really up to you, more or less according to your taste. Cook the meat on low for 4-6 hours. Season again with Lawry's, pepper and garlic salt and put in the fridge for about half a day or more. Put meat back into the crock pot, cook on low for another 3-4 hours. Serve on buns.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

the girl & the fig, in disguise

Where to start? I guess I should come clean, I have an Internet friend. That's right, a friend I met on facebook. Her name is Katrina and she is sweet as the day is long! Katrina writes a wonderful blog which I have written about here before. We connected through her blog, we have never met in person. We are more like facebook pals, now engaged in a wild exchange of fun surprised for each other. It started as a way for me to lift her spirits after her husband took to the road for the year on the Broadway tour of Rock Of Ages. I periodically send fun, uplifting surprises for her, cooking equipment, unusual ingredients and what not, to keep her busy. I never expected she would respond with Skillet Bacon Spread, packages of gluten-free treats, a box full of cranberry treats, a fun lunch box and now this, the girl & the fig cookbook.

I have lusted after this restaurant for years, trying to scheme a way to visit Sonoma country and eat at the girl & the fig. This and Alice Waters . . . some day. When I left the house for my walk this morning I realized I had a day in front of me with nothing specific to do. When I got home, this package was sitting on the dining room table. I am not sure when it arrived, Tina must have brought it in and left it there. I literally gasped with surprise when I opened the package and found the girl and the fig cookbook. My day took shape over coffee and I selected a recipe, one that would take all day.

These Meyer Lemon Tartlets with Blood Orange Sauce are beautiful! I know they are good, even though I can't eat them, the lemon shortbread dough is not gluten-free I am sure it would be easy to make this with a gluten-free crust but today I wanted to make something for Tina's colleagues. But I can eat my weight in lemon curd, and this recipe did not disappoint! The Blood Orange Sauce gives the curd a twist and punches a second pucker like nobodies business! If you like tart you will like these! Unfortunately I can't post the recipe as I don't have copy rights, but trust me they would make a beautiful end to any spring meal or liven up the weekly Math department meeting!

As for Sonoma and the girl & the fig, I am going to get there someday! In the mean time I am looking forward to cooking from her cookbook! Thanks Katrina, you are the best!