whale bone turkey

by Michelle

Inviting friends to the farm to spend the day with us is always my opportunity to play around with new recipes. Sometimes it works – sometimes not so much!

The turkey looks good doesn’t it? I made a gorgeous herbed oil with garlic, jalapeno, parsley, tarragon and rosemary and basted it every twenty minutes while it roasted on the rotisserie which I have done a kabillion times before. The culinary angels were not with me. The turkey was as dry as whale bone.

As long as you chewed really well, the turkey was palatable and could be ignored because of the just picked vegetable side dishes. I served slow roasted field tomatoes with fresh garlic and variegated oregano, steamed green string beans and sugar snap peas sautéed in garlic and EVOO.

Happily the afternoon snacks were worthy of our friends investing their Saturday in my cooking skills. I’ve been playing around with different flat breads ever since Mom and I had lunch at Jamie’s Italian in Oxford, England in 2009. It’s my OCD. I get fixated on a dish that I taste somewhere and then have to try to recreate it. Ralph has been forced to eat the same dish six nights in a row!  Saturday, I nailed this Italian ‘music’ bread. I used pink Australian sea flakes and sesame seeds – I would have preferred black sesame seeds – to embellish the crackers and then served them with bacon marmalade.

Baba Ganoush is a standard summer time dip at the farm. It’s one of those dishes that I never make the same way twice. The bar-b-cued eggplant leaves itself wide open to any and all sorts of flavour enhancements so I can use whatever is on hand. This one was chalked full of garlic, lemon, fresh flat Italian parsley and cilantro.

Baba Ganoush

4 small eggplants

1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame paste)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/8 teaspoon chile powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat the bar-b-cue to 375*F

Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them on the grill, turn until the eggplants are uniformly charred on the outside

Reduce grill flame and continue cooking eggplant an extra 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft

Remove from grill and let cool

Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a food processor with the other ingredients until smooth

Chill for a few hours before serving

Serve with crackers or bread

The moral of the story is don’t sweat it when some part of your menu flops. Entertaining is as much about filling your guest’s spirit as it is about filling their belly.

Thanks for reading