By Joel Furches
Chef Todd Mohr has been around the block a few times in his years of professional cooking and professionally teaching how to cook. More recently, Chef Todd has been around the world in an expedition to learn new recipes and bring them home to his online cooking courses. In fact, Mohr is still in the process of making these expeditions. For an easy, and often free way of picking up new recipes and cooking techniques, it’s worth checking out Mohr’s videos. And what better person to tell you how to prepare your Thanksgiving feast? See what Chef Todd has to say.
Chef Todd Mohr is a graduate of Baltimore International College, a former Executive Chef and Culinary College Professor, and Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients they desire at WebCookingClasses.com
Chef Todd’s Autumn Turkey Brine
Home cook’s biggest fear is that their turkey will be dry after cooking it. This is a reasonable fear because “roasting” is a dry-heat convective cooking process. When roasted, your turkey is cooked indirectly through the use of hot air. Hot air will evaporate moisture, making your turkey dry.
If you fear a dry turkey, adding moisture before cooking is the best strategy. Just like a grilling marinade adds moisture and flavor to a steak, brining a turkey is the opportunity to add flavor and retain moisture when cooking in a dry heat process.
- 1 large bucket (5 gallons) with tight-fitting lid or beverage cooler
- 5 pounds of ice
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Kosher Salt
- ½ gallon Apple Juice
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 quart Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Bourbon, Brandy or Apple Liqueur
- 1 gallon Chicken broth or stock
- Dissolve Brown Sugar and Kosher Salt in boiling water. Add to bucket
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine
- Add whole turkey to the brine
- Fill bucket with ice to cover the entire bird and keep it below 40F.
Food safety is extremely important when brining turkey. While the presence of Apple Cider Vinegar, an acid, will lower bacterial growth, the raw bird should be brined no longer than 24 hours, and must be kept below 40F (4C) to be safe. See Chef Todd’s Brining Turkey Video
Double Cranberry Apple Sauce That Didn’t Slide Out Of A Can
Apple Cranberry Sauce is something unique that you can add to your holiday table this year and avoid the gelatinous creature that slides from a can every Thanksgiving. Apples balance the tart cranberries with a natural sweetness while contributing a special flavor to the otherwise one-dimensional side dish.
- 6 Large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often
- Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat, stir in dried cranberries.
- Cool, cover and chill until ready to serve
Can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Serves 4.
Thanksgiving Potatoes That Beat Boring Baked And Mundane Mashed
Thanksgiving potatoes are boring. If you’re serving the same mashed potatoes year-after-year just because of tradition, perhaps it’s time to start new ones. Duchesse potatoes are a fancy French twist on your basic mash. This potato dish has egg incorporated into them so that when piped with a pastry bag and baked, they hold a holiday shape.
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
- ½ ounce butter
- Dash nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.
- Drain immediately and lay on sheet pan, allowing all moisture to evaporate
- Roast in 300F oven to dry completely
- Puree potatoes in food processor, add butter, season with nutmeg, S&P
- Cool to below 140F.
- Mix in the egg yolk, blending well
- Place the mixture in a piping bag with a star tip
- Pipe single sized spirals onto parchment-lined sheet pan
- Brush with melted butter and bake 375 degrees until golden brown
Related: Thanksgiving Weekend Travel Tips