We all have culinary traditions dear to our hearts and taste buds. Food hits home in the heart, stomach and soul. In winter our brain sends messages to our metabolism and we crave heartier sustenance: fat, salt, root vegetables and comfort foods. As daylight fades, we need more carbohydrates to increase serotonin levels to help us all enjoy a better mood.
My spin on turkey this year is turkey roulade, with traditional root vegetables and unusual spices.
Turkey roulade is a crowd pleaser, but takes some effort, so you might wish to start the day before. A couple of breasts (debone them yourself, which is quite easy) will feed a dozen people. Or buy a smaller bird, remove the breasts and then cook the rest in a roasting pan, keeping the juices for gravy and serving the dark meat along side of the roulade.
Preheat oven to 375F for 40 mins or to an internal temperature of 155F.
1 Lb of bacon
2 Turkey breasts deboned
4 cups of your favourite stuffing
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Prepare your turkey stuffing, two cups per breast.
2. Butterfly the turkey breast to create one large piece.
3. Place the butterflied breast between two sheets of saran wrap and gently pound the with a mallet or wine bottle to thin the edges, keeping the remaining breast thicker than ¼ of an inch in the middle.
4. Put down new saran wrap as long as your bacon strips and lay them vertically, overlapping each one slightly and making sure the bacon is an inch larger on all sides than your turkey breast. Centre the turkey breast on top of the bacon.
5. Spread the stuffing along the centre and length of the turkey about an inch or so high. Roll the roulade away from you using the saran wrap, tucking in the sides as you go. The bacon will help keep the whole roulade together. Keep rolling the breast until it meets with the ends of the bacon. Then tuck any parts exposed within the bacon so that the entire roulade is covered in bacon.
6. Allow to rest in the fridge for a few hours.
7. For the vegetables, try roasting them on a sheet pan. With squash, the spices I like to use are garam masala, cinnamon, and nutmeg. For parsnips, star anise will brighten the flavor and for carrots try fennel seed over top. To cut down on pots competing on the top of the stove, cook your turnip the day ahead and reheat on the day.
Photo Michelle Stoppa