It’s turkey time! If your restaurant or food service operation is serving Thanksgiving dinner this year, making sure you have a delicious, flavorful bird is an absolute must. Better yet, if you have a combi oven from Convotherm, not only can you roast a turkey, you can smoke it as well!
Chef Ash from our friends at Zink Marketing has made a handy video, showing you a simple, easy to use way to make smoked turkey in your combi this Thanksgiving. And if you don’t have a combi oven, then you can find them at Central! Shop now for our selection of Convotherm combi ovens.
Turkey is the main attraction for Thanksgiving dinner, but the wine you choose to serve at your restaurant or home can be just as important. The decision can be quite daunting with the endless wine options. When deciding on wine purchases, you have to take in account all the variables. For example; how many will be attending dinner or will be dining at your restaurant? How long will the dinner last? White or red? There is still time to make last minute wine purchases to cater to your Thanksgiving Day guests.
How Much to Buy
Before the decision of what wine to buy, it is important to know how much to buy. You don’t want to run out of wine before the main course! The amount of wine your guests will drink depends on the amount of food being served. The longer the meal, the more wine is needed. If you have appetizers before the main course you will want to account for that as well. Keep in mind, if the meal is longer, you’ll want a wine with a lower alcohol percent. Thanksgiving is a time when adults tend to drink more wine, and you don’t want any of your guests to have to leave early!
What Wine to Serve
Once you have figured out how many guests you will have and the length of the meal, it is time to choose the combinations of wine you will be serving. Better Homes and Gardenssuggests serving sparkling, white and red wine throughout the meal. A sparkling wine, like champagne, is perfect to start with as your guests arrive and are mingling with others. These help the celebration start on the right note with their light and bubbly taste.
CC Image courtesy of Bar Wines by Alex Brown on Flickr
Moving to the appetizers or finger foods, white wines can be served to your guests to get their pallets ready for the main course. Serving a white wine with a lower alcohol percent would be beneficial here. Your guests will be drinking as much as they are eating. Better Homes and Garden advises to serve more fruity wines that are light, but crisp. Moscato or a Riesling would fit this description perfectly.
As the afternoon (or night) moves to the main course, red wine can be an option for your guest. Not everyone enjoys red wine, so be sure to have enough white wine for the main course as well. A red wine can add to the decoration of the dinner as well. It is important to choose a light red wine over a dry one. This will allow your guests to enjoy the smooth taste without the bitterness.
For dessert, it is really up to you. It also depends on the selection of desserts as well. If there is a bigger selection, wine might be too overwhelming for your guests. Wine does not necessarily need to be part of the dessert, but having it available for the guests who want it is not a bad idea. Sweeter white wines can be served again after dessert when your guests are starting to wind down and are grazing on leftover food.
Whether your are hosting guests at your home or at your restaurant, keep in mind these tips while purchasing wine for a great Thanksgiving Day. For all your wine needs from glasses to merchandisers to wine savers/stoppers, Central has you covered! Shop online or call one of our helpful product consultants at 800-215-9293 for information about all the options available.
“A cushaw is basically a crooked neck squash. You make the pie like a pumpkin pie but the flavor is lighter and more like a cross between pumpkin & sugar cream pie. The first time I had it was when a cousin brought it to our house one Thanksgiving a few years ago. They grew the cushaw themselves and gave us seeds to grow our own. We did the next year, but we didn’t preserve the seeds properly. She was killed in a car accident a couple of years later, so the memory is extra sweet.
The link below has pictures of the cushaws, a recipe similar to the one we used and a description of the flavor and uses. It is a favorite at our house and we always look for cushaws at farmers markets and such. They’re rare, but worth the trouble if you can find them. And this is from a woman who doesn’t like pumpkin at all!”
“I used sea salt, and regular pepper, and I mashed them by hand.”
Vanilla mashed Sweet potatos
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, cleaned and left a bit damp
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
white pepper in a mill
Preheat the oven to 350F. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until tender to a fork tip, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cook until warm enough to handle, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and discard the skin. Put the potatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
Meanwhile, pour the cream into a 2-quart pot, add the vanilla bean and orange zest, if using, and set it over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Use tongs to fish out and discard the vanilla bean. Pour the mixture over the potatoes in the processor and add the butter.
Puree the potato mixture until smooth. Season with salt and 4 grinds of pepper, or to taste. Keep covered and warm until ready to serve.
Marinades for Turkey from Justina Welch
Citrus N’ Spice Marinade
1 /34 cups of sunflower oil or olive oil
¾ cups orange juice
¼ cup cider vinegar
10 cloves of garlic
1 tbls sea salt
3 tbls lime juice
3 tbls dired oregano
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tbls ground cumin
1 tsp ground allspice
Combine cider vinegar, garlic, salt, oregano, chipotles in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour in remaining ingredients and continue blending until oil is emulsified. Spread marinade over turkey surface. Place in roasting bad or wrap in aluminum foil. Marinate for 12-24 hours prior to cooking.
Lemon Rosemary Marinade (my favorite)
3 large lemons
¼ cup fresh rosemary or 3 tbls dried
¼ cup olive oil
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
Cut lemons in half squeeze juice into plastic (non reactive) bowl. Throw in lemon halves and remaining ingredients. Mix in blender, leave somewhat chunky. Spread over turkey. Marinate for minimum 4 hours prior to cooking
Left over turkey? Try this recipe!
Rosemary Turkey Soup
1 chopped onion (1-1.5 cups)
1 cup chopped celery.
1.5 cups sliced carrots
4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
1 tbls dried thyme
2 tbls fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 cups cooked wild rice
½ package of Amish egg noodles or Kluski noodles
2 tbls cornstarch
Salt & Pepper to taste
Add turkey carcass and leftover meat to large pan with chicken stock (4 containers, I use organic, low sodium). Saute onions, celery and carrots until onions are soft and translucent (I use olive oil). Add garlic and thyme sauté for one minute. Dump in pan with turkey, bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Then add cooked wild rice and noodles. Once noodles are done, add cornstarch and water-to make a slurry- add to soup while constantly stirring to thicken slightly. Check/adjust seasonings (I sometimes add 1 more sprig of fresh rosemary leaves at this point). Ready to serve.
Candy Cane Fudge from Laura Bedilion
“Candy cane fudge is something my mom always made for Christmas when I was a kid. I found a very similar recipe online and it’s delicious (but very addicting)!”
“This recipe I have used for many years for holiday as well as everyday when we have ham. It is a great side dish with ham, although it can also be a dessert.”
2 cans pineapple chunks, drained
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar (sugar substitute works well too, as long as you can bake with it)
1 stack of ritz crackers
1 stick of butter
Mix pineapple, flour and sugar well. You will have juice with pineapple after mixing. Pour into baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees until hot and bubbly. Meanwhile, crumble Ritz crackers. melt butter and mix with crackers. Top pineapple with crumbs and bake until cracker mixture is browned. Serve hot.
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies from Kerrie Lafky
“I found this recipe on line and it was inspired by cookies that were served at the Holiday Inn Express in Harrison, OH. This is the hotel Hubert uses for their overnight visitors. I’ve stayed there a few times; and each time I’ve been there they have fresh cookies for their guests. When I was there this past December they had Cranberry Oatmeal cookies with white chocolates chips. They were so good that I went back downstairs to the lobby for more. I talked to a woman at the desk and she said she made them and proceeded to tell me what was in them. I was able to find a recipe on line that matched up. I think what made them special is they have cardamon in them which is kind of expensive but worth it. If you don’t want to spend the money on cardamon, you can substitute pumpkin pie spice mix, allspice, ginger or just more cinnamon or nutmeg based on your taste. So here it is straight from the ‘Hubert Hotel.'”
1 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups of flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cardamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture and stir until well blended. Add dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment covered baking sheet. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool.
Baked Ziti from Tracey Rector
Years ago when I began to explore cooking, I found this incredibly easy Baked Ziti recipe, hence its original author’s title, “Easy Baked Ziti.”