Saturday, November 26, 2011


Projects 11 & 12 and Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Project 11 was a dry cure and I went with a Tuscan Salami recipe. After the salami had lost just over 30% of its starting weight, I put them into vacuum bag, sealed them and put them in the fridge. Then I traveled for work. About a week before Thanksgiving, I opened some of the vacuum bags and tasted. It was good, but a little more drying would help. So I wrapped the salami in parchment paper and put them back in the fridge. A week in the fridge improved them significantly. I sliced a few of them up for a Thanksgiving appetizer. I plan to bring a bunch to the curling club on Monday night.

The final Charcutpalooza project was to celebrate the skills learned at a meal. I thought Thanksgiving would be the perfect opportunity to share some of the Charcutepalooza experience. The goal was to have at least 3 Charcutepalooza inspired items at a meal. The first at Thanksgiving was the salami. The second was the grilled vegetable and goat cheese terrine. I did my best to slice it so it looked pretty. It tasted better than it looked. I will chalk this up to being one of those "now that you have done it once, the next time will be better" experiences. Now I know what to expect.

Next up was the turkey. After the dry rub and rinsing, I smoked the turkey. This is that offset smoker that recently made the trip from my sister-in-laws house to mine. Behind it are the trusty Webers. That 18" one on the left has been with me since 1997. The 22" on the right was a father's day gift 6 years ago.

If I had to guess, the turkey wasn't fully thawed. I thought it was but I don't think so. The bird went into the smoker before 11 AM. By 3:30 (the time I was hoping to take it off to rest), the temperature of the thigh was 120 degrees. I took it from the smoker and went to the oven and named the process smo-roasting. While it came out late, the turkey looked pretty and tasted pretty good too. And through the power of beer, wine and some North Carolina moonshine my brother brought, I was the only one that cared about the delay with dinner.

The fourth and final Charcutepalooza inspired dish was the string beans. I cooked up some homemade pancetta. I added some garlic and a dash of vinegar to the pan and the reheated the blanched beans. It came out pretty good. Not too many beans were left and that pancetta is delicious.

All in all, it was a good Thanksgiving.

And last night there were leftovers. This is one of my favorite sandwiches. You've got good bread, turkey, stuffing and gravy in there. Something about bread in bread is delicious. While I was taking this picture I was asked, "Daddy, why are you taking pictures of your dinner?" Probably because I'm a little crazy.


  1. Duuude, that is an epic looking (and delicious) thanksgivign!

  2. Completely wish I had been there. looks amazing!


  3. Thank you both. It was fun to play chef for a few days.