'Good Eats: The Middle Years' on Serious Eats
Having subscribed to Alton Brown's anti-stuffing school of thought for a long time, this was my first experience with stuffing actually cooking inside the turkey. Once the turkey was brought up to the safe temperature of 170°F, I took it out of the oven and nibbled on a few preliminary bites. How different is true stuffing? The cooking turkey juices had seeped inside, making for a bready mix that was much moister, meatier, and deeply flavored than usual. It made me fully appreciate why so many folks swear by the stuffed bird; it really does taste better.
The recipe takes a boneless turkey breast (much more readily available than the whole bird for the bulk of the year) and treats it almost identically to the more typical chicken piccata. It's a simple preparation—pound, season, flour, and fry. The butter and oil that the turkey slices are fried in acts as the base for the sauce of shallots, white wine, and lemon juice.
I suppose that while paging through Alton Brown's Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, I was looking for a glazed carrot recipe that had a little more oomph than the standard combo of butter and brown sugar. This recipe subs in ginger ale as a sweetener, and depending on which brand you choose it can lend a significant kick. I chose a super strong ginger beer, which reduced to a lovely glaze and left the carrots plenty spicy and gingery enough to wake you up. The sprinkling of chili powder adds a bit more warmth and spice, taking these carrots out of the realm of sleepy side and into the side dish spotlight.
This Beet Green Gratin ended up filling in for my beloved green bean casserole perfectly, treading the line between kitschy (Ritz cracker topping) and classy (ricotta and beet greens).
What's the allure of cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table? Its sweet tartness breaks up the starchy monotony of the meal, interjecting little bites of much needed acidity. When choosing recipes from Alton Brown's Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, I was looking for another dish that could impart a little cranberry-sauce-esque brightness to the meal. This German Hot Slaw ended up doing just that.
Last year we started our own Thanksgiving tradition here at Cook the Book: sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving-centric recipes from Alton Brown's first cookbook, Good Eats: The Early Years. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Brown is back with a sequel, Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, which picks up where The Early Years left off, with recipes from seasons six through ten. In typical Brown fashion, The Middle Years is filled to the brim with equal parts science and silliness, photos and techniques, and tons of Brown's fail-safe recipes. Enter here to win a copy.