Pickle-Brined Turkey


Article reprinted from Today.com



Change up your usual Thanksgiving turkey routine. Using pickle juice in brine adds loads of flavor and guarantees a tender and juicy turkey.

Swap options: The weight of kosher salt varies by brand. If you prefer to use iodized table salt or fine sea salt, reduce the salt by half to about 2 ⅛ ounces by weight.

For a spicy version add 1 roughly chopped jalapeño, Fresno, habanero or Thai chile pepper to the brine when simmering (depending on your preferred level of heat), and use the brine from 2 jars of zesty or spicy pickles instead of dill pickles.

For a bread and butter brined version, omit the garlic from the brine, add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to the brine when simmering. Then use the brine from 2 jars of bread and butter pickles instead of dill pickles.


    • 1 gallon of water plus 3 quarts water, divided
    • 3/4 cup kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
    • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
    • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
    • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
    • 3 cups dill pickle brine (from two 24-ounce jars of pickles)
    • One 10- to 15-pound turkey



To brine the turkey:

1. Add 4 quarts (or 1 gallon) of the water, along with the salt, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed, celery seed and dill seed, to a large stockpot. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until the brine is no longer steaming. Transfer the brine to the refrigerator until the liquid is cool.

3. Remove brine from fridge and pour in remaining 3 quarts water and pickle brine.

4. Place the brining bag in a large roasting pan or baking pan to support the bottom of the bag. Add the turkey to the brining bag. Pour the brine over the turkey into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out as much excess air as possible.

5. Return to the refrigerator. Use a Dutch oven lid, cast iron pan or heavy casserole dish to weigh the turkey down so it remains submerged. Brine overnight or for up to 12 hours.

To roast the turkey:

1. Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Place the turkey on the rack of a roasting pan.

2. Pat the turkey skin and cavity dry with paper towels and let sit for an hour at room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

4. Roast the turkey for 45 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue to roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted into both the thickest part of the thigh and the breast registers 165°F (this can take between 2½ to 4 more hours, depending on the weight of the turkey). If the skin starts to burn before the turkey is done, loosely tent the turkey with foil.

5. Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or serving platter. If uncovered, loosely tent with foil now. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes to redistribute the bird’s juices before carving.

News 4 Cooks: Jalapeño Cheddar Gougères

Written By Christian Wlach   –   KVOA.com

Jalapeño Cheddar Gougères
8oz butter (2 sticks)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar
2 cups milk
3 cups bread flour
8 eggs
2 cups cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 jalapeño pepper, finely minced (2 jalapeños if you like spicy)

Preparation Instructions (must be specific, no vague amounts i.e. “pinch or scoop”):
1. In a medium-large pot, boil the butter, salt, sugar, and milk.
2. Add the flour and stir until the mixture cleans the side of the pot (best using a heat-proof spatula or a wooden spoon).
3. Remove from the heat and police the mixture in the bowl of a stationary mixer (like a Kitchen-Aid), fitted with a paddle.
4. Mix on medium speed while adding the eggs gradually. Fully incorporate each addition before the next.
5. Mix until the bowl is almost cool to touch.
6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and the minced jalapeños.
7. Place into a piping bag (or a large Zip-loc bag with a corner cut off).
8. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
9. Pipe the dough into puffs, anywhere from the size of a quarter to the size of a half dollar, depending on how large you want the puffs to bake. They will expand in the oven.
10. Bake at 350*F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 320*F for an additional 10-15 minutes. The puffs should be a medium-dark golden brown color.

These puffs are served perfectly by themselves, but you can also make them bigger and fill them with your favorite chicken salad, seafood salad, or even a cream cheese and salsa blend for an enhanced filling! These Jalapeño Cheddar Gougères are great for hors d’oeuvres for a holiday party or for entertaining guests!

Jalapeno, lime, honey and coriander lamb shoulder


Jalapeno, Lime, Honey and Coriander Lamb Shoulder

Serves six.


1.4kg lamb shoulder, bone in

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped

zest and juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp honey

bunch coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped

cup vegetable stock

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, thinly sliced, fronds reserved

green cabbage, finely shredded

2 green onions, thinly sliced

To serve: soft tacos, lemon wedges, coriander leaves and garlic aioli


Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).

In a medium bowl combine olive oil, garlic, jalapeños, half the lime zest and juice, honey and coriander, season. Make small incisions in the lamb with a sharp knife, pour over marinade and rub to coat.

Place lamb in a large roasting pan, pour stock around base and cover tightly with foil.

Cook in oven for 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is tender and falling off bone. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes. Shred lamb with 2 forks. Drizzle with any pan juices, drained of fat.

Meanwhile place fennel, fronds, cabbage, onions, remaining lime zest and juice and extra coriander in a large bowl. Season and toss to coat.

Serve lamb on tacos with coleslaw, aioli and lime wedges.

Tips: Take your lamb out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to ensure it cooks more evenly (keep it out of direct sunlight).

Try lamb ribs or lamb neck fillet in place of shoulder.

Source: Meat & Livestock Australia


Cauldron Carving

By Angela Denstad Stigeler   –   

Here’s a trick worth trying: before you carve frightful faces into your fall gourds, set aside a small, stout sugar pumpkin to serve as cauldron for a fun and festive dip. A queso fundido, Spanish for “molten cheese,” is just the thing to bake up in a big pumpkin bowl and serve hot to guests coming in from the chill of night. A spicy, stick-to-your-ribs sort of party snack, it’s appealing enough to tempt kids away from the candy bowl. As diners dip away at the cheesy potion, they might even eat up the baked pumpkin, too. So try your hand at this warm and bubbling carved cauldron for some cheesy Halloween fun—with fundido!

Pumpkin Queso Fundido

1 small sugar pumpkin, about 3 pounds

8 ounces dried chorizo, diced*

1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped

1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Blue corn tortilla chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice off the top 1 ½ inches of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and pulp from the cavity. Wash and reserve the seeds for toasting, if desired.

Heat the diced chorizo in a medium pot over medium-high heat until the fat begins to render, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, green chiles, cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the jalapeno softens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cheeses. Cook stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts and the mixture is creamy, about 3 more minutes.

Place the pumpkin in a small baking dish and fill the pumpkin with the cheese mixture. Add 1 inch of boiling water to the baking dish. Cover with the pumpkin top and bake until the pumpkin is tender, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove the lid and continue to bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchen

*If you can’t find chorizo, use any spicy sausages, casings removed, and brown the meat in a little oil before proceeding with the rest of the recipe as written.

Jalapeño Popper-Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe – Made with Longhorn Bread & Butter Jalapeño Dip Mix form Peppers.com

Longhorn Bread & Butter Jalapeño Dip Mix


  • 1/3 cup chives-and-onion cream cheese spread (from 8-oz container)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese (6 oz)
  • 1/4 cup Longhorn Bread & Butter Jalapeño Dip Mix
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 20 oz)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups corn chips, crushed
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir cream cheese spread, pepper Jack cheese and Longhorn Bread & Butter Jalapeño Dip Mix until well blended; set aside.
  2. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Place melted butter in shallow dish. Place crushed corn chips in separate shallow dish. Place about 1/3 cup cheese mixture on center of each chicken breast. Roll chicken over filling, tucking ends to enclose filling; secure with toothpick, if necessary. Dip filled chicken breasts into butter, then coat in crushed corn chips. Place in ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
Check out all of our great sauces and spices at www.Peppers.com

Bobby Flay’s Nacho Burger

By Bobby Flay   –   Today

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Burgers are one of my favorite things to eat — especially while watching sports — and I love the Southwestern and Mexican flavors.

Technique tip: Make an indentation in the center of each burger before cooking to stop the burger from puffing up. Don’t press on burgers; you will press all the juices out.

Swap option: Use store-bought pickled jalapeños if you’re short on time.



    • 20 jalapeño chiles
    • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
    • 1½ cups white wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chile puree
    • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
    • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • Salt

    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1½ cups whole milk
    • 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
    • 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    • 1½ pounds ground chuck, 80 percent lean
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
    • Queso sauce (recipe above)
    • Tomato-chipotle relish (recipe above)
    • 4 pickled jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced (recipe above)
    • 1 bag blue corn tortilla chips


For the pickled jalapeños:

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the jalapeños to the water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain well; pat dry with paper towels and let cool slightly. Using a small paring knife, make a small slit in the center of each jalapeño and place in a small bowl that has a tight fitting lid.

2. Combine the vinegars, salt, sugar, coriander, peppercorns, fennel, mustard and cumin in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. Pour the mixture over the jalapeños, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours before using. Stir several times during pickling.

For the tomato-chipotle salsa:

Stir together the vinegar, oil and chipotle puree in a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes, onion and cilantro and mix to combine; season with salt. The salsa can be made 4 hours in advance.

For the queso sauce:

Melt the butter in small saucepan over medium heat, add flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the Jack cheese until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in Romano and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

For the burger:

1. Heat a cast iron pan or griddle over high heat. Add the canola oil and heat until it shimmers.

2. Form meat into four 6-ounce burgers, brush with the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Place an indentation into the center of each burger and place, indentation-side-up in the pan and cook until the bottom is browned and a crust has formed, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the burgers over and continue cooking to medium doneness, about 4 minutes longer.

3. Remove the burgers from the grill and place on the bun bottoms. Top each burger with some of the queso sauce, then tomato-chipotle relish, pickled jalapenos and blue corn chips. Top with bun tops and serve.

Jalapeno Spiced Beef Short Rib Tacos

Jalapeno Spiced Beef Short Rib Tacos – 24 Stuffed Tacos 

A jalapeno glaze adds spice to these delicious tacos

4 pound bone in chuck short rib roast
2 tablespoons barbecue spice
2 tablespoons chipotle powder
2 tablespoons steak seasoning
2 tablespoon smoked sea salt
.25 cups canola or sunflower oil
24 each 4″ flour tortillas
2 cups prepared pico
2 cups salsa verde
1 each avocado
1 each cilantro bunch
1 cup honey
One large jalapeño
Mix dry seasonings together. Using a paring knife puncture multiple half inch slits in about 1 inch intervals on the top side of the meat. Rub the seasoning into the meat and allow to sit for 24 hours uncovered. 
Mid-morning remove the Beef ribs and allow to sit at room temperature for about a half hour. Rub with oil and in a hot large skillet sear the meat side so that it is caramelized. Deglaze the pan with tequila and add a jalapeño that has been cut in half and has had the seeds removed then add approximately one cup of water then place into the oven at 275° for approximately five hours. When the meat is cooked it should come away from the bone in the ends. Leave the meat attached to the bone and place into refrigerator overnight. Take the jalapeño and finely mince into almost a paste.
About one hour before your party remove the beef and allow it to start coming up to room temperature. 
Using a blender to purée the avocado into the salsa verde. 
Mix the jalapeno with the honey and spread half over the top side and sides of the beef. Set up platters on the table with the tortillas, pico, cilantro and avocado salsa. Add whatever garnishes you would like. When guests arrive or when you are ready to grill place the glazed beef ribs on a medium high heat indirect heat grill. We are simply reheating the meat and setting the glaze. Brush with additional glaze as it grills. When ready to serve cut the ribs between the bones and add to your serving platter. Your guests can pull the meat directly off the bones and shred for their tacos.

Catherine’s Pickled Blueberries

3 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole allspice berries

1½ cups red wine vinegar

2 quarts fresh blueberries, washed and picked over

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice berries onto the center of an 8-inch square piece of cheesecloth. Gather together the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen twine to secure. Place spice sachet into a large saucepan and pour in the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook for 5 minutes. Stir blueberries into the vinegar; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. As the blueberries heat, gently shake the pot. Don’t stir to avoid breaking the berries. Remove from heat, cover and let stand at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Pour berries and liquid into a colander set over a bowl. Remove spice sachet. Transfer berries to hot, sterilized canning jars; reserve the liquid. Return liquid to saucepan and place over high heat. Stir in the white and brown sugars; boil until thickened, about 4 minutes.

Ladle hot syrup over berries, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with sterilized lids; screw on rings.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot and process for 15 minutes.

Recipe By: foodelicious

Spice Up Your Cocktails with Homemade Jalapeño Tequila

Add some heat to that margarita or Paloma with jalapenos

BY CAREY JONES   –   Tasting Table

A beautiful jalapeno infused cocktail
Photo: Tasting Table

Spicy cocktails have never been hotter (pardon the pun). Bar goers can’t get enough of drinks that pack a little heat; in fact, even bars that don’t have a spicy margarita on the menu will hear requests for one. And if you’re looking to recreate those spicy drinks at home, there’s no easier way than these two magic words: jalapeño tequila.

Some mixologists will use hot peppers to create tinctures or bitters that impart serious sizzle; others, meanwhile, will muddle slices of pepper right in the cocktail shaker. But as a home bartender, odds are you’re not looking to get too technical. And muddling fresh jalapeño peppers into every cocktail can be messy and cumbersome—it’s also impractical when serving a crowd, since some jalapeños are hotter than others.

That’s why infusing tequila is your best bet. All you need to do is place the peppers in the liquor, let the mixture sit, strain it—and boom, you’re done.

Now, about specifics: A solid ratio is two medium-sized jalapeño peppers to every 750-milliliter bottle of tequila. Choose whichever brand you like, just make sure it says “100 percent blue agave” on the label. Z Tequila is a great value.

Slice the tops off the peppers, cut them into thin strips, and place both the cut peppers and the seeds into a sealable container. Pour in the tequila, cover, let sit overnight, and then strain out the peppers and seeds. Pour the infused tequila back into the bottle, and you’re good to go.

Once you’ve mastered your first batch, toy with the heat level—try a single  jalapeño for a gentle tingle and a few for a spicy punch.

Here are two great drinks to make with jalapeno-infused tequila.


Combine two ounces of jalapeño tequila, an ounce of fresh lime juice and ¾ ounce of agave syrup (agave cut 1:1 with hot water) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass with ice (salted rim optional). Garnish with a lime wheel or a thin slice of jalapeño.


Combine 1½ ounces of jalapeño tequila, 1 ounce of fresh grapefruit juice and ½  ounce of agave syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with 2 ounces of club soda and give it a brief stir. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and/or a few thin slices of jalapeño.

Carey Jones is a New York-based food and travel writer and the author of Brooklyn Bartender: A Modern Guide to Cocktails and Spirits. Follow her on Twitter at @careyjones.

Spicy Jalapeño Shrub Cocktail

A sweet and spicy sipper to quench your thirst

BY JAKE COHEN   –   Tasting Table

Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

Can you handle the heat? Cocktails have gotten spicier than ever—and we’re not complaining. Which is why we’ve developed a shrub by macerating blueberries and jalapeños with sugar before straining and preserving them with basil- and coriander-infused vinegar. It’s the perfect base for a range of drinks, particularly this sparkling gin cocktail that’s got a beautiful balance of sweet and spice.

Don’t love blueberries? The best part of a shrub is how interchangeable the ingredients are. Try playing around with different berries and chiles (such as cascabellas) for an infinite number of variations. Strawberry and Fresno? Raspberry and poblano? The sky’s the limit. Just keep it hot with chile peppers.

To learn more, read “Burn Notice.”

Jalapeño Shrub Cocktail

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 1 cocktail

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating time

Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating time


For the Shrub:

2 cups blueberries

1 cup granulated sugar

jalapeños, thinly sliced

1 cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup basil leaves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted


For the Cocktail:


1 ounce jalapeño shrub

1 ounce gin

½ ounce lime juice

2 ounces soda

Thinly sliced jalapeño, for garnish


1. Make the shrub: In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar and jalapeño slices. Toss to coat with sugar and mash to begin to release the juices from the blueberries. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours, shaking the container halfway through.

2. In another sealable container, combine the remaining shrub ingredients and store in the fridge while the berries macerate.

3. After 2 days (or less if you’re pressed for time), strain both the macerated berries and the vinegar, discarding the solids. Combine the strained vinegar and syrup to make the shrub; makes about 3 cups.

4. Make the cocktail: In an ice-filled glass, combine the shrub, gin and lime juice. Stir until chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe. Top with soda, garnish with a jalapeño slice, then serve.