So despite my love of food and cooking, there are times when I am delighted to sit back and let my hubby do all the hard work. Although I don’t let him into the kitchen often, when he does cook he does a darn good job! He’s a master at rack of lamb and toad in the hole, but not long ago he was so sweet and made his American wife a British Thanksgiving dinner. It was all last minute and he managed to find a turkey crown from a local butcher that morning. Now I must say my apologies to my Dad, my Mom and my aunts because I have to admit that Chris’s turkey was THE best turkey I have ever had! It was the most flavorful and moist turkey and that was without a brine.
After very thorough research he tried a new (and very successful) method of cooking the turkey. He rubbed it all with a seasoned butter (just salt and pepper) and then painted olive oil on top to seal the butter in. He also used little pigs in a blanket (British versions are cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon) and tucked them into the edges with toothpicks/cocktail sticks. Simple and straightforward but with great results. After cooking it at 160C for awhile, he checked the temperature and it was about 140F (it should be 165F). So he removed the cocktail sausages and raised the temperature to 200C/400F for another 20 minutes or so until it reached 165F. While it rested under a foil tent, he got on with all the trimmings : duck fat roast potatoes, sauteed green beans, sage and onion stuffing, carrot and parsnip puree and super crispy Yorkshire pudding! I do have to note that the carrot and parsnip puree was sooooo yummy. He used one part carrot, two parts parsnip and just added a splash of milk and butter.
It was all so good and helped me miss home a little less. The only thing missing was a Honey Baked Ham which is a tradition with my family. And I haven’t seen any ham in the UK come close to the succulent juicy ham from the Honey Baked Ham store with a crispy sweet crust… Mmm.. But I can’t complain really as for the first time my Thanksgiving dinner was made all by my hubby
So you might be thinking – okay – roast meat and trimmings.. Sure that’s nice.. But he really impressed me this past weekend when he made us Thai Fish Cakes! Not only did he make it all by himself but he used a couple different recipes to make his own version! Here are two recipes that he referenced – one from the BBC and another from Good Food.
Thai fish cakes is one of my favorite Thai dishes and something that always felt very daunting. We had some leftover frozen fish that we wanted to use and this turned out to be a great use for it! You just add the fish, egg, lemongrass, garlic, spring onion, chilli, coriander/cilantro, ginger (if you have it), some oil, fish sauce and lime zest into a food processor and blitz. Add it to a bowl and mix in some chopped green beans. The mixture was a little wet, so he added a couple tsp of plain flour to help bind it.
Heat about half an inch of plain oil (vegetable or sunflower) in a large frying pan. Don’t put it on your highest heat but just below it. Make a small patty at first to test the seasoning and oil temperature.
While Chris made the patties, I was flipping and frying them. My method here was to use a large round metal spatula with holes in it and a fork. The oil temperature was hot but not so much so that the oil was splashing out. Basically it was safe and I could stand close to it. After forming the patty, place it onto the spatula and slide it gently into the oil. If it won’t slide, flip it into the oil but use the fork to catch it with your other hand. Let it fry until you can see it browning up on the sides. Then turn it over. You will need to cook these until just before they look burnt. They’ll be a nice dark brown. Keep flipping them if you need to even the coloring. Let cool on kitchen towel before eating with sweet chilli sauce and some salad greens. Enjoy!!