Friday, November 29, 2013


Citrus Chinese Spiced Turkey

This is the best turkey recipe ever!  Well at least in my opinion. Possibly even better than my Photastic Vietnamese Turkey recipe.  This turkey was so juicy and tender.  There is a lot of prep work but you will end up with an amazing turkey that your guests will rave about.  I started off with a Citrus Chinese spiced brine and glazed the turkey with a hoisin glaze. 

  • 1(16-20-pound) fresh turkey, rinsed & patted dry, with neck & giblets reserved for stock.
 For the Chinese Spiced Brine:
  • 12 cups (3/4 to 1 gallon) apple cider
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 8 whole star anise pods
  • 3 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 3 4-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cups (3/4 to 1 gallon) chilled water
For the Citrus Onion Aromatics:
  • 2 large oranges, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 large lemons, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into wedges with skin intact 

 For the compound butter:
  • Zest from one large Orange
  • 1/2 cup soft butter 
For the Hoisin glaze:
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 12-quart stockpot, with lid
  • 1 large roasting pan, without lid
  • 1 large brining bag
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • aluminum foil

Prepare the Chinese Spiced Brine: In a large 12-quart stock pot, bring (12 cups) apple cider, salt, garlic, herbs and spices to a boil. Stir occasionally to dissolve salt. Remove from heat. Add (12 cups) chilled water to cool liquid slightly. 

Prepare the Brine with Citrus & Onion Infusion: After the Chinese Spiced Brine has cooled somewhat (no longer very hot, but still very warm), squeeze citrus wedges into the liquid adding each rind after expelling juices. Next, add onion wedges and stir. Cover stockpot and allow the brine to steep. Cool to room temperature. (This will take a few hours.) If preparing brine the day before brining turkey, chill brine in refrigerator until ready to use. 

Assemble the Turkey & Brine in Brining Bag: Open zip-top brining bag wide and insert into large roasting pan with high sides. Using a large liquid measure (I use my 2-cup glass measure), scoop some of the brine and place it into bottom of large brining bag. Insert the turkey over the brine breast side up. Using a slotted spoon, place some citrus and onion wedges into the cavity of the bird and continue to add the remaining brining liquid over the turkey in the brining bag. Carefully close zip-top and expel as much air as possible. (It helps to have two sets of hands at this point.) Gather top of brining bag and twist. Secure brining bag at the top so that brine covers entire turkey, tie bag closed. Transfer roasting pan, with turkey and brine in brining bag, to refrigerator. Soak turkey for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. 

Prepare the Turkey for Roasting the Night Before: The night before you plan to roast your turkey, remove it from brining solution; discard brine and brining bag. Pat the bird thoroughly with paper towels to dry completely inside and out.  Loosen skin on breast of turkey being careful to not break the skin evenly smooth compound butter over turkey breast under skin, refrigerate it overnight uncovered in the roasting pan.

Roasting: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.  Loosely place onion and orange wedges (use your zested orange) into turkey cavity. Place a loose foil tent on top of turkey.  Roast turkey till internal temperature reaches 170 degrees at it's deepest point (part of the thigh, nearly to the hip joint, but taking care not to touch the bone).  Remove turkey from oven, remove foil tent and baste with hoisin glaze.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place uncovered turkey back into oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Reglaze if necessary and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Let turkey rest for at least 1/2 an hour before carving.


Apple of Roses Cream Pie

I found a beautiful pie on Pinterest and created my own recipe inspired by a lady named Yoli from Bulgaria.  I had to translate her recipe to english, change some measurements, and used substitutions. I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit.

 For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 cup flour
For the cream:
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 5-6 apples
  • apricot jam
  1. Beat soft butter with powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange peel. Add egg and ground almonds. Add flour gradually to make a soft dough.
  2. Dust a 9 inch greased round pie pan with flour. Spread the dough evenly in it. Place in refrigerator while preparing the cream.
  3. For the cream, in a sauce pan mix the flour with vanilla and orange peel. Add yolks and a little milk. Stir until smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and apple cider. Bring the cream slowly to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened, then let it cool.
  4. With a vegetables peeler cut the apples in long strips.
  5. Wrap the strips into apple roses.
  6. Pour the cream on top of the dough and arrange the apple florets close to each other.
  7. Glaze the roses by lightly brushing them with the warmed apricot jam. Bake pie in preheated oven at 300 degrees farenheit until the dough is baked and apples become golden.  
  8. Let pie fully cool before serving.

 This pie is so delicious and light tasting too. Enjoy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hoisin Glazed Salmon

As always, I love combining my Vietnamese heritage with the Alaskan ingredients that my sister and I grew up with.  I am a lover of Hoisin Sauce, as my mother would disapprovingly tell you since she has witnessed me dump copious amounts of it into my Phở since I was a little girl.  Hoisin Sauce just makes it better!

So check out this amazing Hoisin Glazed Salmon recipe and see just how good it is!


  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 whole salmon fillet, divided into 4-6 individual portions
  • sesame seeds to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with a non-stick spray.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, skin side down.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the hoisin sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lime juice, and ginger powder to create the glaze.
  4. Remove the salmon from the oven and spoon the glaze over the fillets.  Return the salmon to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds to garnish and enjoy!