Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano

As has often been the case in recent years, I hosted Thanksgiving for our family this year.  My parents and sister came to dine at my house, while my other sister, brother-in-law, and their kids remained in Ohio.  I was trying to figure out how to make my turkey and came across this recipe from the November 2010 Bon Appetit magazine that I had clipped six years ago and decided to try it out.

I ordered a fresh turkey for the first time, from New Pioneer Food Co-op, and in the style of our family, I did the dry-brining on the Monday before Thanksgiving and cooked it on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so that we didn’t have to deal with the carving and mess of the turkey on the table the day-of.  Plus, I was able to put together a stock on Wednesday with which to make my gravy.

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Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Mushrooms

I’ve never made risotto before.  But, I found myself having some cut up squash on-hand and some farro in the cupboard, and I thought that I should make a nice fall dish.  You may remember when I made the Roasted Maple-Chile Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes, which also had farro and a sweet potato/squash flavor.  For this, I needed to pick up some mushrooms, and a better white wine, but beyond that, it was using a lot of ingredients I had available in the cupboard.  I should also mention I was looking for something that was a little fall-into-winter in flavor, and comfort food, without the intense richness of a macaroni and cheese.  This risotto hit the spot.  The recipe came from Saveur’s The New Classics Cookbook, and called for butternut squash, but since I had acorn, I went with that.


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Cranberry Wild Rice Muffins

I once read that to enter something into the Pillsbury Bake-Off, at least 4 ingredients need to be changed within a recipe.  I have no plans to enter this recipe into the Bake-Off, but I would match those qualifications for the adjustments I’ve made to the Blueberry Wild Rice Muffin recipe I made about a year ago.

After making a bunch of wild rice and going through a few recipes, I had some leftover rice and decided that these muffins would be a good use of the rice.  I didn’t want to go get blueberries, though, since I had cranberries on-hand.  I remembered these not being especially sweet muffins, and wanted to make some other adjustments to enhance the flavor and complement the cranberries, so the adjusted recipe is below.

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Wild Rice Meatballs

Sometimes it’s easier to get all the ingredients in one location.  Does anyone else ever feel that way?  When I was looking through cookbooks and came across the wild rice bread recipe, I knew I wanted to make it.  And, I was running errands at Costco, so I came across a gigantic bag of wild rice, and it was easier to purchase it there than to make another stop at the grocery store on my way home.  So, you might see a few more wild rice recipes coming up here in the next few posts.

Now, for those of you not from Minnesota, you might be unaware that wild rice is a Minnesota staple.  We make it into hotdish, amongst other delicious items.  In the past I’ve made a variety of different recipes with wild rice, including muffins, dressing, and soup.  So, when looking for other wild rice recipes, I thought the From Minnesota with Love cookbook series might be a good starting point, and I was correct.  This recipe for wild rice meatballs looked great enough to try.


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All-Day Pork Shoulder with Apple Cider

This is another recipe from the Small Victories cookbook, that I decided to make as a response to the challenge.  It seemed like the perfect night before Thanksgiving sandwich, simple, tender meat, and a nice contrast to the turkey we’d have the next day.

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All-Day Pork Shoulder with Apple Cider

2 tsp salt
1/4 c maple syrup, dark brown sugar, or honey
1/4 c Dijon mustard
4 1/2 lb pork shoulder, at room temperature
2 c apple cider

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, maple syrup, and mustard.  Rub the pork all over with the mixture and put fat side up in a large roasting dish or cast-iron skillet that holds it comfortably.  Pour the apple cider around, not over the pork.

Roast the pork for 15 minutes, just long enough to let the maple syrup start forming a crust on top, then turn the temperature to 250 degrees.  Let the pork roast, turning it once every 2 hours, until the exterior is beautifully browned and the meat is incredibly tender, 7 hours (6 hours are okay, as are 8, this isn’t too exact).

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and use a knife and/or tongs to shred the meat.  Return the meat to the roasting dish to really saturate the pork with all of its juice.  Serve it warm.  Or if you’re making the pork ahead of time, shred it and let it cool to room temperature in its cooking liquid, then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.  Warm in a 300-degree oven or over low heat on the stovetop.

Susan Poupore’s Wild Rice Bread

Every once in awhile, there’s a recipe that looks so delicious, I feel the need to make it.  And, ever since taking a bread making class with my dad earlier this year, I’ve been wanting to try and make some more bread recipes.  I’ve found a white bread I really like — the Old-Fashioned Milk Bread I posted about a few weeks ago.  When I saw this wild rice bread recipe in the same Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook (really, I need to stop baking and cooking out of this book sometime soon), it looked like a great hearty fall bread recipe to try.  Between this and the wild rice stuffing recipe I love so much and the chicken wild rice soup recipe I love, I’m having a bit of a love affair with wild rice lately.  So Minnesota.

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Honey, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

I was walking through a used bookstore and came across a cookbook from the Amana Colonies.  Since the Amanas are a local delight, I had to pick it up.  Oma’s (Grandma’s) Family Secrets: Generations of Amana Cooking was a cookbook I needed in my collection.  There are a number of recipes in here which look delightful, and a few that I’m not sure I need to make (like one for squirrel), but part of what is great about the recipes in this book is that they are all handwritten.

I knew I needed to make these cookies because I had all of the ingredients for them, and I was thinking about the holidays coming up and wanted to try a few more recipes out in preparation for the days.  These were nice because they were super chewy cookies, and they weren’t overly sweet.


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