Cooking Louisiana - Newsletter - November 2003

Bonjour (hello) my fellow home chefs! 

As the leaves turn golden brown so our attention turns to the Holiday Season meals. Let's cover a few helpful facts that will make that cooking chore a little easier on you.

The next big holiday is Thanksgiving and that poor bird the turkey gets all the attention. On average, Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving. Baking a turkey would seem simple up front but poor planning often leads to a bird that has to be placed back in the oven to complete the cooking. 

Important things to remember when cooking a turkey:

1. Thaw the turkey completely. This is often the reason  a bird is not done completely in the recommended bake time.

2. Pre-heat the oven at least 15 minutes before putting the bird in.

3. You can test the doneness of the turkey by pushing the leg away from the bird. It should break away with little resistance. You should use a thermometer in the innermost part of the thigh; it's done when the temperature reaches 180ºF. The little pop-out indicator is nice but not foolproof.

4. Allow at least one hour more cook time when figuring when to put the bird in the oven in case it's not done when it's supposed to be.

5. Use two thermometers to bake a stuffed turkey. Put one in the innermost part of the thigh and one in the center of the stuffing. The thigh must be at least 180ºF and the stuffing must reach 165ºF. Let the bird rest for 20 minutes after removing from the oven, and, remove the stuffing after the rest period.

6. Carve that baby!  

Here's a great site that ain't nuttin but Turkey... Click Here

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Do you fight to get the rice in rice dressing to cook properly? Try this, sauté your vegetables as normal and brown the meat on the side. When the vegetables are done add the rice and proper amount of water to the vegetable pot. Add seasonings and 1 cup of browned meat. Stir, bring to a boil, lower fire and cook until rice is done. Fold in the remainder of the browned meat. You'll get the meat flavor in the rice, and, get it all cooked nicely. Here's my rice dressing recipe.

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Are you in charge of cooking that big Holiday Feast? You may find this little article helpful.
Click here...

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How cold does your oven get? Oh boy, he's lost his mind again!!! No folks not this time, this oven keeps food cold then turns the heat up and cooks your meal. A perfect tool for the working parents.
Check it out...

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Please please please follow the safety rules when handling and cooking foods. Ending up in the hospital with food poisoning is not a pleasant way to wrap up a holiday event.

This site gives you everything you need to know... Click Here.. bookmark it!

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Final Update on no-till Purple Hull Peas? Check it out...  

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Louisiana Cookin' is a fun-filled magazine with stories and recipes from the people who make Louisiana’s cuisine so famous. Each of the 6 issues during the year includes articles on food-related topics from the home cook to famous restaurants; Cajun, Creole and all in between … all with simple recipes. Also, articles on traveling throughout Louisiana and beyond brings our readers ideas on the best places to stay, dine and festivals to attend, with recipes included. Along with the tasty articles and recipes appearing in each issue, regular features included in this unique magazine are a calendar of food-related events, Gumbo Crossword Puzzle, quick and easy and low fat recipes.

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Be sure to visit the "What's New" page to see all of the site's new additions.
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Holiday recipes.....
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Rice Dressing

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Cornbread Dressing
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Bread Pudding
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Sweet Potato Casserole
 
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Have a safe and happy holiday season!

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