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MARGARET PROUSE: You decide if it will be turkey or tofu at your Christmas feast

The centrepiece of a traditional Christmas dinner is roast turkey. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The centrepiece of a traditional Christmas dinner is roast turkey. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The centrepiece of a traditional Christmas dinner is roast turkey.

If you roast a turkey only once a year, it can be challenging to remember the timing.

Here’s a summary:

Buy about 450 g (1 lb) of turkey per person or 700 g (1½ lb) per person if you want leftovers. 

The safest place to defrost frozen turkey is in the fridge, allowing 10 hours/kg or five hours/lb. If you have a nine kg/20 lb turkey, move it to the refrigerator 90-100 hours or about four days before you need to start roasting it.  

Pack stuffing loosely into the cavity immediately before roasting. 

Roast a stuffed turkey, uncovered or lightly covered with foil, at 180 C (350 F) to an internal temperature of 82 C (180 F) at the thickest part of the inner thigh not touching the bone. The stuffing should reach 74 C (165 F). Estimate 4¾ hours for a nine kg/20 lb turkey.

Allow the turkey to sit for 20 minutes after removing it from the oven before carving.  

Refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers within two hours.

Check www.canadianturkey.ca for more information.

If you or your guests are vegetarian, turkey dinner is off the menu. Vegetarian and vegan cookbooks offer special recipes for holiday meals, such as this vegan holiday roast. 

Holiday Roast

 

Vegetarian and vegan cookbooks offer special recipes for holiday meals, such as this vegan holiday roasted tofu. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Vegetarian and vegan cookbooks offer special recipes for holiday meals, such as this vegan holiday roasted tofu. SUBMITTED PHOTO

From Laforêt, Marie: “The Vegan Holiday Cookbook: From Elegant Appetizers to Festive Mains and Delicious Sweets”. Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, 2017.

Tofu layer

800 g (1¾ lb) firm tofu, crumbled

6 g (1 tbsp)  vegetable bouillon powder

3 g (1 tsp) garlic powder

2 g (1 tsp) ground paprika

1 g (1 tsp) dried oregano

1 g (1 tsp) dried thyme

0.5 g (½ tsp) dried rosemary

1 g (½ tsp) freshly ground black pepper

Stuffing

30 mL (2 tbsp) olive oil or neutral vegetable oil

3 apples, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, finely chopped

10 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Handful of walnuts, chopped

80 g  (¾ cup) crushed rusks

200 mL (¾ cup + 5 tsp) ready-to-use vegetable broth

15 mL (1 tbsp) tamari

Glaze

30 mL (2 tbsp) sesame oil

30 mL (2 tbsp) white miso

15 mL (1 tbsp) tamari

15 mL (1 tbsp) water

2 g (1 tsp) smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). 

Tofu Layer: Place tofu in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Place sieve on a soup dish and place a fairly heavy weight on top to press tofu. Let drain in refrigerator for 2 hours.

In a bowl, combine drained tofu, bouillon powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, rosemary and pepper.

Stuffing: In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add apples, garlic, and onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown. Reduce heat to medium and stir in sage, walnuts, rusks and broth; cook for 5 minutes or until apples are softened. Remove from heat and stir in tamari.

Place two large sheets of parchment paper crosswise on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Spread two-thirds of the tofu mixture in the centre, in an area measuring about 30 by 10 cm (12 by 4 inches). Press down firmly in the centre to form a compact layer.

Place stuffing in centre of tofu layer, packing it down firmly. Pack edges of tofu layer around stuffing. Add the remaining tofu mixture on top. Pack tofu with your hands to shape the roast. There should not be any holes in the tofu layer, and it should be uniform in thickness (about 1 cm/ ½ inch thick) around the entire roast.

Fold over the sheets of parchment paper to help shape the roast, just tightly enough to give it a cylindrical shape. 

This step is the most delicate one. Don’t hesitate to start over a few times until you have shaped the roast correctly. 

Warning: If the parchment paper gets too damp, it can tear, so don’t stretch it too much. Once the roast is rolled in the parchment paper, tie it up with string, not too tightly, and close up both sends. Fold foil around parchment paper.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Glaze: In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, miso, tamari, water and paprika.

Unwrap roast and place on a baking sheet. Brush with glaze and bake for 5 minutes. Brush with glaze again and bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Margaret Prouse, a home economist, can be reached by writing her at RR#2, North Wiltshire, P.E.I., C0A 1Y0, or by email at margaret@islandgusto.com.

 

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