Monthly Archives: January 2015

Smoked Turkey Gumbo

SoupBaby it’s cold OUTSIDE……and what a perfect time to indulge in some comfort foods like soups and stews. In November we held a soup and chili cook-off. The winning submission was made by Doug White. Below is his winning recipe and well worth the effort it took to make it.

Smoked Turkey Gumbo

½ of a 14 pound Smoked Turkey and the stock from that.

All purpose flour

Vegetable oil


1 Onion cut into small chunks

5 Garlic cloves chopped fine

1 Green pepper cut into small chunks

6 Stalks of celery cut into bite size pieces

12 – 16 oz Smoked Andouille sausage cut into bite size pieces

Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun Magic Poulty Magic, about 2 tablespoons

Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun Magic Vegetable Magic, about 2 tablespoons

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Pound okra cut into bite size pieces

3-4 Green onions chopped fine

Part of the fun of making this Gumbo was smoking the turkey on the Big Green Egg the weekend before.  You will only need some of the turkey for the gumbo, so you can use the rest for turkey dinner.  If you prefer, you could also use a whole smoked chicken.  After smoking the turkey, carve the meat off the bones and boil the bones with a little salt to make a stock.  Strain the stock.  If you do not use it all for the gumbo, you can freeze some to make soup or chili later.  The smoked stock was key to the deep flavor of this gumbo.

Heat about 2 quarts of the stock in a large stock pot.  Cook the onions and garlic in a skillet with a little butter and about 1/3 of the Vegetable Magic until slightly brown and just starting to get tender.  Set them aside and add a little more butter and cook the green pepper pieces with more Vegetable Magic.  Put that aside and cook the celery the same way with the remaining Vegetable Magic.  Set the celery aside with the other vegetables, they will be mixed in shortly.  Cut the turkey into bite size cubes.  Mix about ½ cup of flour with a couple tablespoons of Poultry Magic and coat the turkey pieces in the flour.  Heat about 1/2” of oil in the same skillet and pan fry the turkey pieces.  When they are golden brown, set them aside.  Scrape the pan bottom with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck bits, then add enough oil to equal about a half cup in the pan.  Gradually whisk about ½ cup of flour into the oil over medium-high heat to form a roux.  Be sure to use any remaining seasoned flour.  Whisk constantly while cooking until roux is dark reddish brown, 3 to 5 minutes usually.  DO NOT burn the roux.  Remove the roux from the heat and stir in the vegetables.  Stir them to completely coat with the roux then return to low heat and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetables to the stock.  Sear the Andouille in the skillet until browned then add that and the turkey to the stock.  Do not waste the last bit of fond in the skillet.  Deglaze the skillet with a little water and add that to the stock.  Bring the stock to a low boil and cook for about 15 minutes.  Add the okra and return to a boil.  You can add water to thin the gumbo if it is too thick (if there is such a thing).  Taste the gumbo and add salt, pepper or more Cajun Magic if needed.  Reduce the stock to a simmer and cook for an hour or two.  Stir in the green onions about 5 minutes before serving.  Serve over rice.

Recipe by Doug White Doug

Joys of Convection Cooking

Convection cooking isn’t a new concept, but many are intimidated by it because of having to convert cooking times from standard ovens to convection. Here’s an online calculator you can use. Jim Balano, one of our exceptional salesman, has three suggested uses for convection cooking.

  1. Baking Chocolate chip cookies. You could bake three sheets of cookies at the same time. The fan in the rear of the oven stops hot or cold spots so that all three sheets of cookies are baked evenly.Turkey2007
  2. Roasting a turkey. With convection roast, the bake element, the broil element and the convection element with the fan will provide the perfect combination to roast your turkey. On average you will save about three minutes per pound, which translate to an hour less cook time for your 20 pound turkey. This provides the opportunity to finish your turkey that will be moist and golden.
  3. Multiple Cooking Racks. With the fan pushing the heated air through the oven, you could bake multiple items at the same temperature at the same time. Imagine cooking fish, crescent diner rolls, and cookies in the same oven at the same time. The convection fan moves the heated air so quickly, that the rolls and the cookies will not acquire the taste of the fish. You will have different time settings, but to cook three different foods, it saves time and energy.

You are not forced to use convection.  If you have been cooking grandma’s recipe for 20 years, you will still have the option of using the bake without convection.  However you will quickly discover that you will bake with convection 80% to 90% of the time due to the speed and cooking results achieved while using convection modes for your oven recipes.

Content provided by Jim Balano Jim Balano

Cookie Pic Credit      Fish Pic Credit     Turkey Pic by C. Varela



The Dirt on Dishwashing

Dishwashers….STOP PRE-RINSING!

Let’s wash our dishes before we load them in the dishwasher….Uh… how about NO?

It is a common misconception that the quick wash is a more efficient setting on your dishwasher than a two hour normal wash when in reality a quick wash doesn’t wash long enough to clean dishes well.   Most people that use that cycle will pre-rinse their dishes.  If you do pre-rinse, then the quick cycle is fine.   But if you are rinsing – STOP!!!   That is significantly less efficient than using a full cycle without rinsing your dishes.   In just two or three minutes of pre-rinsing you will use as much, or more,  water than your dishwasher would for a full cycle.  Many dirty dishespremium dishwashers that have an auto wash, or sensor wash, need to see how dirty the water is in order to run a full cycle at the highest temperature.  High temps for longer periods of time allow for better drying.   If you pre-rinse the sensors recognize that your dishes are fairly clean and the dishwasher shortens the wash time, which adversely effects sanitizing and drying.  Modern detergents have enzymes that eat food particles.  If you have rinsed all of the food off, the enzymes can attack your glassware and turn them cloudy since they do not have food to eat.   Be sure to scrape the big chunks off, but the little bits will be washed away at the end of the wash cycle.  If you want more details, check out what the EPA says about pre-washing.

Submitted by Doug White – Appliance Expert  Doug


Induction vs Radiant Cooking

Smooth, sleek, easy to clean, electric cooking….let’s explore two options when electric cooking is your cooking preference.

Radiant cooking is similar to electric coil cooking. It heats the surface of the cooktop and is slower to respond. The cost is significantly less than induction. It is a great option if you want a great, smooth top look without a big price tag.

Induction cooking offers precision, speed, and safety. These features come at a premium as compared to radiant cooking. Induction works by using electromagnetic energy. Induction works in conjunction with your cookware to transfer heat magnetically. Cookware used must be made of a ferrous material to make the magic happen. It responds to control adjustments instantly. The instant on and off is similar to gas cooking and will boil water faster. The heat is created by the transference of magnetic energy so the top of the cooktop remains cool wherever a pot or pan isn’t being used. This is a great safety feature. It is incredibly energy efficient as it requires little power or fuel to function. While your existing pots and pans may not work with induction, a simple test can be done by placing a magnet at the bottom of your cookware. If it adheres, your cookware will work.

Induction is definitely the way to go for electric cooking due to its fast response, precision, energy efficiency, and safety features, not to mention having electromagnetic fields preparing food is a pretty awesome way to cook!