11/14/12 - Herb brined turkey breast with sweet potatoes

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I grew up like millions of Americans where Mom made canned sweet potatoes whipped with margarine, then topped with marshmallows. YUK! I never thought I liked sweet potatoes until I went to Culinary school and learned the only way to eat sweet potatoes is roasting them, just like a baked potato—which caramelizes their flavor.

Then came the challenge-

I made sweet potatoes whipped with egg nog and topped with pumpkin granola one year and maple- pancetta mashed sweet potatoes the next holiday—

A tie in the family requests, so this Thanksgiving we will serve both.

4 sweet potatoes- skin on, pricked with a fork and roasted at 350 degrees – about 35 minutes until tender

Let cool for 10 minutes before taking out of skin.

Using a mixer

Place in bowl with 2TBSP. butter and ¼ cup plus eggnog.

Season with a turn of the salt grinder and a pinch of brown sugar.

Place in individual ramekins and bake for approx.. 25 minutes until hot a bubbly. (hint- for the real gourmet in you- pipe on whipped egg whites before baking for a beautiful soft peak-

4 sweet potatoes- skin on, pricked with a fork and roasted at 350 degrees –about 35 minutes until tender.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, brown 1 package diced pancetta (Fresh Market sells both slices at the deli or already minced in the case--)

Add 1 leaf sage to pancetta to extract flavor then remove.

Let cool for 10 minutes before taking out of skin.

Place in bowl and add 1 Tablespoon butter

Add browned pancetta and kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Using a mixer, whip in ¼ cup plus pure dark amber maple syrup.

Place in casserole pan or individual ramekins and bake about 25 minutes- You may top with parmesan cheese before placing in oven.

Herb brined turkey breast

2 cups Herbs d Provence brining (fresh market)

1 3 pound rolled turkey breast

1 cup apple cider

1 cup ice cubes

1 cup boiling water

Make sure you always rinse the turkey off before roasting- brines are very salty by nature of the ingredients.

Mix seasoning with boiling water- add cider and –cool about 1 hour, add ice cubes and turkey and refrigerate in brining bag or bowl that has turkey immersed for 4-8 hours.

Hint—juice from brine turkeys is often saltier- make sure you use only 1 cup of juice for your gravy and add turkey stock..

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at www.mysuncoast.com