Herb Seasonings Prep for Tasty Turkey

What else announces a Caribbean Christmas main course than delicious turkey, stuffing and all the other trappings?  Even for vegetarians who prefer fish or other substitutes, the flavors that make those dishes bubble and pop are not created in the oven but long before when doing marination preparations.  For many Caribbean cooks like myself, the secrets to those mouth watering flavors are hidden in the home-made herb seasoning bottles prepared before the big day.  As a child, watching my Mum busy in the kitchen with all these green seasonings was dull to say the least.  When would she finish with what seemed like a never ending process of cutting, grinding and bottling those seasonings as I waited to get into other fun activities?

As an adult who has developed a knack for cooking tasty dishes myself, I have come to appreciate that critical step to flavor – the seasonings.

I share with you my secret blend of seasonings that I spend almost as much time preparing as my mother did before me, secure in the knowledge that it’s certain to add to the perfection of my turkey and stuffing on Christmas day.

Shop around at your favorite green grocers or market vendors and try to get your seasonings as fresh, and crisp as possible for your seasoning bottle.  Better yet, if your have a vegetable garden, now is the time to pick your bundles.

Get your utensils together and let’s get our seasoning prep on!

My secret flavor buster of herb seasonings for your Christmas Turkey.

 

Tools You’ll Need

Chopping Board for Herbs4 medium sized bowls
Cutting Board
Colander
Strainer (preferably hand-held)
Blender
Measuring Cup
2 Medium-sized glass bottles with secure screw top lids

Ingredients

3 bundles Chives
5 full bundles of Chadon bene (or Bandanna)
1 1/2 fist-sized bundles of Small Thyme
4 bundles of Celery
1 fist-sized bundle of large Spanish Thyme
2 fist-sized bundles of fresh Parsley (small curly leaf)
10 pimento peppers (full sized; mix of red and green)
2 Heads of Garlic

Step-by-Step Guide

Green and Red Peppers Cut1)  Cut off limp stems of green seasonings making sure to  keep the healthy, crisp stems
2)  Wash each bundle of greens carefully over strainer in sink
3)  Do a rough cut up of Parsely, Chives. Celery, Chadon Bene and Spanish Thyme and set aside in one of your bowls
4)  Do a quick blend of these ingredients in the bowl
5)  Use separate dish to cut pimentos in large chunks; keep seeds depending on how hot you prefer your seasoning
6)  Garlic should only be cut in halves IF the cloves are really large.  The blender tends to do a better job on the garlic

Blending the Seasonings

15 minutes before blending, set aside 1 cup of boiling water to cool to a moderate temperature

Have your blender prepared and proceed as follows:

Blender with Vega)   Add greens into blender until it’s half full
b)   Add 1/2 of the cut Pimentos
c)   Add 1/2 of the Garlic cloves
d)  Add some warm water

BLEND: start with pulse, then chop, then mix.

Aim for a nice, semi-rough, chopped texture.  Avoid purée

Once that first batch has been blended:

1)   Place hand held strainer over your 2nd bowl and pour out contents of the blender jar.  Allow the excess liquid to drain into bowl.

2)   Add blended seasonings from strainer into your 3rd bowl

Repeat steps for the remaining portion of un-blended seasonings using some of the strained liquid.

Add new batch of seasoning to previous batch.  Gently mix with spoon.

Fill your bottles with blended seasonings. Secure the lids tightly.  Add your favorite condiments (or just a touch of salt and pepper) for taste as per your preference.

 

 

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