» E-mail a question

» Holiday Guide: Gifts, Entertaining, More

Holiday Guide: Click for Special Section
Subscribe to this Blog

Stuffing and Turkey

Q: My husband and his colleagues are planning a Thanksgiving dinner to be held at their office at the end of this week. My husband will cook the turkey and stuffing in our home the night before and take into work the day of the dinner. Our questions: Can the previously cooked stuffing, which contains pork, be reheated safely in a crock pot? If so, approximately how much time should be allowed for it to reheat? The crock pot (an old one) has 2 settings, "simmer low" and "simmer high," but there is no indication on the crock pot or in the instruction book as to what the actual temperatures are at those settings. The office has a microwave. Would it be better to reheat the stuffing in the microwave?

I got help on this question from Bonnie Benwick, an editor in the Food section, who offers this advice:
Call us crazy, but what's wrong with cold/room temperature stuffing? Reheating in a slow cooker is usually NOT advised because they warm so slowly. And for us, the microwave option gets a little tricky when you're reheating foods with multiple textures --- in this case, the vegetables, meat and bread in your stuffing.

Think about a third option: Reheat your stuffing in the oven, wrap its baking dish in foil, and place in a cooler. Layer/insulate with toweling or newspaper. You'd be surprised at how long your stuffing or side dishes can stay warm this way.

Q: My family loves a smoked turkey. I intend to have a regular fresh turkey and the smoked turkey for Thanksgiving. For the fresh turkey there is plenty of advice everywhere. NOTHING for smoked turkey. In the past, I simply placed it in the oven for two or three hours, carved and served. Not this Holiday. I want it to be attractive too. They really are different. What kind of stuffing is best for it? Bread stuffing; other meats; one with fruits or one with sausages; none? Will the dripping after warming it, if any, be sufficient, to make good gravy? If not, how should I prepare some gravy? From a bottle? How best to present it at the table? What are the best wines,veggies, dessert for this kind of stronger flavor meat?

Food section Editor Joe Yonan answered this question:
The best thing about a smoked turkey (besides that delightful flavor) is that it's already cooked, but that doesn't mean that there's no concern about how to heat it up correctly. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, put the turkey in a roasting pan, add a cup or so of water, tent it with foil, and roast for about two hours or until it registers 140 degrees on a thermometer.

With such strong-tasting meat, you need a dressing with some acidity or bite, which leads me to think of something with dried apricots or dried cranberries and nuts, which can help offset but still complement the smoky flavor. As for sides, think about things that would go well with grilled or barbecued meats.

As sides, we recommend baked macaroni and cheese, balsamic pearl onions, and corn pudding. Parmesan-pine nut biscuits from our section a few weeks ago would also work well.

As for gravy, you won't get enough drippings from the bird to make any, but since you're roasting another turkey, use that one to make the gravy. Or see our instructions in today's section for partially deboning a turkey to make extra meat and get a head start on stock for lots of flavorful gravy. Resist the bottle!

The best way to present it at the table is the same way you'd present a regular turkey: either whole on a platter, garnished beautifully, or carefully carved in the kitchen with the meat nicely fanned out on the plate. See the video of Kim O'Donnel and I with Bryan Voltaggio of Charlie Palmer Steak for carving tips.

In terms of desserts, your favorite pie is always a good idea, so no need to change that. And as for wine, columnist Ben Giliberti recommended dolcettos for barbecued meats and poultry this past summer and that would be delicious with a smoked turkey, too.

By Liz Seymour |  November 15, 2006; 12:18 PM ET  | Category:  Thanksgiving
Previous: Museum Gift Shops | Next: Pumpkin Roulade, etc.

Blogs That Reference This Entry

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cgi-bin/mt/mtb.cgi/13292

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



We are tired of cooking whole turkeys for Thanksgiving. This year we want to cook a turkey breast and thighs separately. I know how to cook the breast, but am not sure about the thighs. Do you have any hints for us?

Posted by: Jim Banks | November 16, 2006 03:38 PM

The absolute best smoked turkey is from Greenberg Smoked Turkeys in Tyler, Texas. They only do one thing, they do not accept credit cards, you order the turkey, they'll ship it to you and then bill you later. Ugliest turkey I've ever seen, but with the most superb flavor.
www.gobblegobble.com

Posted by: SCJ | November 20, 2006 04:46 PM

I think the concern with cold and especially room temperture stuffing is that it contains pork. While a vegetarian stuffing might be fine, I'd worry about serving meat that hadn't been properly reheated. Maybe just out of the fridge, but certainly not after it had been sitting out on the counter

Posted by: izi | November 21, 2006 04:38 AM

Dear Washington Post:

Your online home page heading entitled HOLIDAY 911 is in BAD TASTE! You are sponsoring the exploitation of murderers and a tragic day in American history which has come to be known as 911. You sicken yourself and give American citizens a bad name. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Especially doing this during the American holiday season. Shame on you!

Ted Cheldin

Posted by: Ted Cheldin | November 27, 2006 11:44 AM

Dear Washington Post:

Your online home page heading entitled HOLIDAY 911 is in BAD TASTE! You are sponsoring the exploitation of murderers and a tragic day in American history which has come to be known as 911. You sicken yourself and give American citizens a bad name. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Especially doing this during the American holiday season. Shame on you!

Ted Cheldin

Posted by: | November 27, 2006 11:45 AM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




 
 

© 2006-2007 The Washington Post Company