George has had a love of all things culinary from a very young age, and throughout his career, has worked with renowned chefs and food technologists. He discovered his passion for cooking at the age of five after spending time in his grandmother's restaurant. From then on, under his mother's guidance (who is a talented cook of her own accord) George recalls cooking anything his mother would let him, starting out with scrambled eggs and hamburgers and quickly moving on to fine Italian and French dishes.
After many years of honing and perfecting his culinary craft, George still enjoys what he humbly considers: "complimenting my family culinary experience," by taking courses in regional cuisines pertaining to the vegetable ingredient products his family specializes in, namely: Asian, French, Mediterranean, Mexican and Tex Mex.
Because of George's extensive knowledge and passion for food, he is a great resource to customers in helping them find the right ingredients for their recipe needs. "I need to understand what's happening in the kitchen," he explained. "If my client has an unfavorable flavor note, I need to be able to assess the situation to understand why." That extra level of service and care undoubtedly stems from his love of food and his work alike, which fortunately for George, go hand and hand.
64 oz orange juice
64 oz white wine
32 oz water
15-20 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of salt
32 oz water
32 oz chicken stock
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup of celery, chopped
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 cup of onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sage leaves
1 Large turkey
1 tablespoon GC Farms’ roasted garlic olive oil concentrate
1 tablespoon GC Farms’ basil olive oil concentrate
1 tablespoon GC Farms’ oregano canola oil concentrate
2 tablespoons GC Farms’ extra virgin olive oil
4 carrots, sliced into sticks
4 celery ribs, sliced into sticks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf of sourdough bread
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup green apple, chopped
½ cup pine nuts
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon corriander
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
To Brine the Turkey:
1. Combine orange juice, white wine, water, garlic and salt.
2. Remove the neck and organs from the turkey cavity and set aside. Wash the turkey and pat dry with a towel.
3. Submerge turkey in brine for 6-10 hours.
To make the Gravy:
1. To make the gravy, brown the turkey neck and carmelize the onions, then combine the heart, kidneys, water, garlic cloves, celery, carrots and bay leaves in a pot and cook over medium low heat. (Note: Never make gravy from the liver – it adds an off taste to the gravy.)
2. Let the mixture reduce by half and then add the chicken stock. Let the mixture reduce by half again. Strain the stock and place in another bowl.
3. Once the stock cooks, strain the fat into another container. Add the stained stock back into the pot and simmer. Roast turkey.
4. Once the turkey is roasted and removed from the oven, remove carrots and celery from the bottom of the roasting pan. Leave the onions. Pour remaining liquid into a bowl and skim of the fat. Once the fat is removed from the liquid, add the liquid to the simmering stock. Place the roasting pan over medium heat.
5. Add 4 oz of turkey fat and 4 oz of flour back into the pan. Fry flour and onions until they are golden brown. (The color of the flour will dictate the color of the gravy.) Make sure while frying that you scrape up all the little pieces of turkey left in the pan.
6. Slowly whisk in the stock mixture into the roux. Save one cup of the stock. Once all, but the one cup of the stock is incorporated, return the gravy into the stock pot. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a few sage leaves and reduce over medium heat.
7. Strain and season gravy before serving.
To Roast the Turkey:
1. Take the turkey out of the brine and pat dry. Bind legs with cooking string. In a roasting pan, place ribs of celery, carrot sticks and a quartered onion on the bottom of the pan. (I like to use the carrots, celery and onion in place of the roasting grate.)
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the turkey with a mixture of roasted garlic olive oil concentrate, basil olive oil concentrate, oregano canola oil concentrate and extra virgin olive oil. Season the turkey with salt and pepper.
3. Invert the turkey on the celery ribs and carrot sticks so that the breasts are facing down. Roast turkey until the bottom is brown. It should take about 30 minutes.
4. Pull the turkey out of the oven, turn the turkey over so the breasts are up, and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven temperature falls to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, place the turkey back into the oven.
5. Baste the turkey every half hour or so and continue roasting until the juice in the cavity is clear. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.
6. Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 30 to 40 minutes before carving.
7. Return to gravy preparations – Step 4.
8. Carve and plate turkey. Drizzle the remaining cup of stock over the carved turkey to keep it moist.
To make the Stuffing:
1. Cube a loaf of sourdough bread (make cubes approx. ½”). (Note: A day or two of age will not hurt this recipe.)
2. Toss cubes in cooking oil, spread on a sheet pan and toast in a broiler until light brown.
3. Set aside. Turn the oven to bake and set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. In a Dutch oven, add butter and chopped onions. Cook over medium heat until onion is sweet. Add the celery, dried cranberries, green apple and pine nuts; cook until the apples are fork tender.
5. Add cubed bread and toss. Once mixed well, add vegetable stock, corriander, cloves and nutmeg.
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Garnish stuffing with finely chopped parsley.