Category Archives: Thanksgiving Recipes

Roasted Turkey with Lemon Grass Stuffing


This is an Asian style of cooking the turkey

Serving size: Serves 4
Cooking time: More than 2 hours


250g sea salt
200g sugar
6 bay leaves
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 litre hot water
7 litres cold water
4kg turkey
125g softened butter
Salt and white pepper
2 cups white wine
1 cup chicken stock
125g softened butter
1 onion, diced finely
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or lemon thyme)leaves
1 tbsp lime zest
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250g fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs
150g macadamia nuts, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped finely



Step 1 Make brine Place salt, sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns in jug with 1 litre hot water. Stir to dissolve. Refrigerate until cool. Add cooled liquid to 7 litres cold water in saucepan. Place turkey in brine, cover with tea towel or lid and refrigerate for 24 hours. Two hours before roasting, remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Return to fridge until ready to stuff.

Step 2 Make stuffing Melt butter in frying pan and add onions, parsley and thyme. Gently fry until onion is softened, then tip into bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate to cool. Spoon stuffing into turkey cavity.

Step 3 Prepare turkey Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place turkey on wire rack in baking dish and rub all over with softened butter. Season well with salt and white pepper. Pour wine and stock into dish and cover turkey breast with foil. Roast for 1 hour, basting frequently. Remove foil and continue cooking for another 30 minutes until golden brown. Continue
to baste – add more stock if required. Test turkey for doneness by piercing the thigh with metal skewer. If juices run clear,
turkey is cooked.

Step 4 Remove from oven, cover for 10 minutes to rest, then carve.

To make a simple gravy…

Drain off any excess pan juices. Place baking dish over medium heat and scrape bottom of pan to loosen any baked-on bits. Add about 2 cups of stock (or vegetable water) and a dash of wine if you like. Dissolve 2 tbsp of cornflour in a little cold water, then slowly add to gravy, whisking to prevent any lumps. Stir over low heat until sauce thickens to your liking. Add salt and pepper if needed.

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Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey



* 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

* 1 cup kosher salt
* 1/2 cup light brown sugar
* 1 gallon vegetable stock
* 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
* 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
* 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
* 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

* 1 red apple, sliced
* 1/2 onion, sliced
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 cup water
* 4 sprigs rosemary
* 6 leaves sage
* Canola oil


2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

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Seafood Bouillabaisse

According to tradition, there should be at least five different kinds of fish in a proper bouillabaisse. In Marseille, considered the mecca of bouillabaisse, they use at least seven, not counting the shellfish. The fish should be extremely fresh – caught and cooked the same day. If you cannot get extremely fresh fish, then the next best alternative is quick frozen – fish frozen the same day it was caught. Use as many different types of fish as you can, such as fillets of flounder, haddock, cod, perch, white fish, whiting, porgies, bluefish, bass – almost any combination. Count on at least three kinds to serve six.


  • 3 pounds of at least 3 different kinds of fish fillets, fresh or quick frozen (thaw first)
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1-2 pounds of Oysters, clams, or mussels
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp, crab, or lobster meat, or rock lobster tails
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 4 Shallots, thinly sliced OR the white parts of 2 or 3 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped, or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2-inch slice of fennel or 1 teaspoon of fennel seed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup clam juice or fish broth
  • 2 Tbps lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • Sliced French bread


1 Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large (6-qt) saucepan. When it is hot, add onions and shallots (or leeks). Sauté for a minute, then add crushed garlic (more or less to taste), and sweet red pepper. Add tomato, celery, and fennel. Stir the vegetables into the oil with a wooden sppon until well coated. Then add another 1/4 cup of olive oil, thyme, bay leaf, cloves and the orange zest. Cook until the onion is soft and golden but not brown.

2 Cut fish fillets into 2-inch pieces. Add the pieces of fish and 2 cups of water to the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add oysters, clams or mussels (though these may be omitted if desired) and shrimp, crabmeat or lobster tails, cut into pieces or left whole.

3 Add saffron, salt, pepper. Add clam juice, lemon juice, and white wine. Bring to a simmer again and cook about 5 minutes longer.

4 At serving time taste and correct the seasoning of the broth, adding a little more salt or pepper if need be, and maybe a touch of lemon juice. Into each soup bowl place a thick slice of crusty French bread, plain or slighlty toasted. Sppon the bouillabaisse over the bread. If desired, serve with Sauce Rouille. Serves 6.

Directions for Sauce Rouille:

1 Tbsp hot fish stock or clam broth.
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 small red hot pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft white bread, pulled into bits
1/2 cup olive oil

Put hot fish stock or clam broth into the bottom of a blender. Add garlic and red hot pepper, salt and bread. Blend until very smooth. With the blender still running, add olive oil slowly and stop the blending as soon as the oil disappears.

At serving time pass Rouille in a little bowl along with the bouillabaisse. Each serving is about 1/2 a teaspoon that you stir into your soup. Use gingerly like Tabasco.

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Tambo (Bamboo Shoot Soup)

Tambo is the Ilonggo term for bamboo shoots while labong is the tagalog term. Sometimes the term tambo refers to the dish itself because tambo is the signature ingredient of this classic Ilonggo sud-an or viand. However, for a more detailed description, the dish is oftentimes called utan nga tambo in order to emphasize that what is wanted is tambo with vegetables rather than referring to other dishes such asAtchara nga Tambo or Tambo with Bagongon-telescope shells.

These fresh bamboo shoots come from the farms and mountains of Iloilo. Right after summer, at the end of May, new bamboo shoots sprout from the main bamboo plant especially when the rainy season starts to unfold. This is what rural folks refer to as“tigtarambo or season for bamboo shoots. Thus, tambo can be bought cheapest during this season. Therefore, you could find it in public markets in Iloilo, for only ten pesos per kilo.

However, whenever tambo is already out of season-starting from the months of August and September-its price from ten pesos per kilo doubles.
Utan nga tambo can be cooked in different ways and with varying ingredients. I discovered through my interviews that the choice on whether what ingredients to be used depends on one’s preferences and social status. For instance, the simplest tambo recipe only has the following ingredients: tambo, coconut milk, okra or tugabang (saluyot leaves) and bagoong. Moreover, the regular tambo recipe includes shrimps and does not include bagoong. Finally, the ultimate tambo recipe would consist of tambo, coconut milk, crabs or  even alimango, okra and tugabang (saluyot leaves) or takway.

Serving is good for 4-6 people.

Here are the ingredients

2 cans of Tambo – labong in tagalog; Young bamboo shoots. It is abundant during rainy days. You can use the canned bamboo shoots if you cannot find fresh. 

1 stalk of Tugabang – saluyot in filipino (and in other asian countries); Its english name is jute mallow or jute leaves

1 lbs Okra 

2 Yellow Corn. We Ilonggos would like to use the glutinous variety of corn.

1 can of Coconut milk – set aside the kakang gata.

1 lbs Fresh Shrimps or Crabs or Dried Fish or Visayan Shrimp Paste (Guinamos)


1) Boil your sliced bamboo shoots until its soft to chew. Discard the water. Squeeze out excess water.
Boil this again in 4-5 cups of water.

2.) Add your okra until soup is slimy

3. ) Add your second batch of coconut milk. At this stage I like to add some cloves of garlic. You can add your grated corn here if it’s fresh.

4.) You can now add your shrimps, or blue crabs or dried fish.

*Our Ilonggo secret ingredient: Add one spoon of Visayan Shrimp Paste to flavor (optional if available)

5) Add your tugabang(Jute Leaves)

6) Add your remaining kakang gata(coconut milk), simmer for another minute and serve.

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