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Friday, December 30, 2016

My first turkey in the Char Broil Big Easy

Today I made my first turkey using the Char Broil Big Easy. 

It's marketed as an "oil less turkey fryer", but it's actually an outdoor roasting oven.  There's no such thing as an "oil less fryer".  That's a marketing gimmick.

It was also the first turkey I cooked, using an injectable marinade.  I used Tony Chachere's Creole Butter flavor.

And let me say, that I will NEVER make another turkey, without using an injectable marinade.  That turkey was incredible.  JUICY turkey-- even the breast, and I don't even like turkey breast.  

Because I used the injectable marinade, I didn't think I needed to rub butter on the surface of the turkey.  Actually, I should have, but it was still a great turkey.

You could also brush the turkey with olive oil or corn oil, if you'd rather not use butter.

I also seasoned the turkey, inside the cavity and out, with my usual turkey seasoning blend -- poultry seasoning, black pepper, seasoned salt, and chicken granules. 

Because this was going in the outdoor roaster, which roasts the turkey vertically, I did not put a stick of butter in the cavity, like I usually do.

As far as how the turkey cooks in the roaster, I was impressed with how the skin got really crispy, while the inside (credited to the injectable marinade) stayed juicy.  

The major downside to using the Big Easy is, I don't have a covered patio, so it entirely depends on the weather.  And it rains a lot where I live!  

Also, cleaning up the Big Easy afterwards is a chore.

Although the Big Easy does NOT produce a "fried" turkey, I will give it points for producing a great crispy skin all over.

Most definitely use an injectable marinade when you cook a turkey in the Big Easy.  And even if you don't!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Shrimp mirliton casserole, for the second time in my entire life

Years ago, I made a shrimp mirliton casserole that was very close to my grandmother's secret recipe.

Mirlitons are also known as "chayote squash".

She always made shrimp mirliton casserole for thanksgiving and christmas-- it wasn't the holidays without those mirlitons!

So I decided to make some for christmas.  I had to do it differently, since someone who will be eating it is allergic to butter; I had to use cooking oil and Parkay margarine, instead of butter.

Also, this time instead of boiling the mirlitons, I smothered them in a covered pot on the stove, with onions and a small amount of cooking oil.

I thought that cooking the mirlitons this way would make them taste better.  I haven't decided if it made them taste better or not-- I really like fresh green beans cooked this way, but it made some of the mirlitons overcook.  Also, it was more work, because I had to pick out the pieces that overcooked, and cut off the burnt part.

So here is what I did differently:

Heated up a small amount of cooking oil in a pot on the stove.  Added chopped onions and cut up mirlitons.  Covered the pot and let the vegetables cook down in the oil.  Drained and set aside.

Heated up a small amount of cooking oil (instead of butter) in a skillet.  Added chopped onions, minced garlic, and raw shrimp; Sauteed in the skillet.  Added black pepper, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder.

When that was cooked, I added the mirlitons, then added parmesan cheese and italian bread crumbs.  

I mixed the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese all through, then added more of both on top.  

Sliced up a stick of Parkay margarine (instead of butter), and put the slices on top.  Into the oven at 350 degrees.

This recipe was good, but not as much like my grandmother used to make, as the previous recipe.

So I'll just boil the mirlitons next time...