Sunday, March 22, 2020

Cuban-inspired Great American Turkey Fritas: Burger Bash 2020 Contest Winner

Can’t stand it when you click on a link for a recipe then must wade through someone’s life story before you get to the goods, so here’s the recipe first, then the story:

Cuban-inspired Great American Turkey Fritas

Ingredients (See Note)
Great American Turkey Smoky & Sweet Chili Turkey Breast Strips 
Half slice of white or Italian bread or approx 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
Potato Sticks
Sliced Avocado

Smoked paprika

Pulse 2-3 small garlic cloves and approx. ¼ cup of onion in food processor until soft and combined. Add turkey strips and liquid from package and pulse again to grind (but not liquify) turkey. Scrape from food processor and put in mixing bowl. Add a slice of bread to food processor, pulse and add to mixing bowl (or add a half a cup of plain breadcrumbs. Crack an egg and blend mixture, then make four equal-size balls. Let rest for 20 minutes.

Heat a heavy frying pan and add just enough olive oil to cover. When oil shimmers, add each ball, fry for a minute, then flip and press into a patty with spatula. Fry until desired doneness then serve on brioche, dust with smoked paprika topped with potato sticks accompanied by avocado slice and (optional) roasted pimento garnish.

This was my contest entry for a competition sponsored by The Great American Turkey Company, for “an original, Latin-inspired food recipe using one of Sponsor’s six provided turkey products ("Food Recipe") and up to, but no more than, five (5) additional ingredients of contestant’s choosing (this excludes cooking oil, seasonings and spices).” Each of the top four recipe creators would win a ticket to an event at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) Lucky me! I won a ticket to Burger Bash

I'm impressed with the products they sent and the company's approach. You can read more about them here.
Me and Great American Turkey Company co-founder and President George Faison

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pastrami from Corned Beef?

Not exactly. Purists can leave now but I managed to make a pretty tasty simulation using a point-cut corned beef.

I used this recipe posted below (video link here) as my guide with several modifications:
  • First of all, I had a tiny 2-lb brisket, so I probably should've halved the proportions but I didn't. I also added the contents of the little packet that came with the brisket, which was mostly coriander seeds, plus a pinch of allspice because that adds a nice rounded note.
  • The recipe calls for triple-wrapping the seasoned brisket but I have trust issues, so I quadruple-wrapped it in heavy-duty foil.
  • The recipe said to bake it for six hours at 225° but I did it for 250° for four and a half hours.
  • Recipe said let it cool overnight but I was busy so it sat in the fridge for two days. 
  • Recipe said take it out, sprinkle leftover rub, then broil, then slice. Nope. I sliced it cold, then sprinkled and broiled. I didn't reheat it with water, either, since it was already pretty moist. The result is pictured above.
Taste was good; definite pastrami notes and the texture was excellent, probably because the source, a point-cut from Aldi, was quite good; well-trimmed and not too salty. (I'd made it as a straight-up corned beef in my pressure cooker a couple of weeks earlier.)

So what would I do differently next time?

Might dry it a bit more before cooking. I realize these things are pumped with liquids but it seemed a bit wet. Also, maybe wrap and cook on low in my slow cooker instead of the oven for economy's sake. I'd also reduce the pepper and use some liquid smoke and more smoked paprika because it just wasn't very smokey.

But overall, I was quite pleased with the result and will press forward in the name of science — and pastrami!

Here's the original recipe I modified.


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