Stuffing may be an important part of the family Thanksgiving feast, but unfortunately it often gets second billing to the other holiday staples, primarily because it tends to be bland, just like Uncle Harold, nice guy, but dull as dishwater.
Ercan Ekinci, executive chef at Green Turtle Market, believes it’s about time that Uncle Harold-type stuffing got a jolt of excitement. For the holidays, the chef at the Indian Harbour Beach gourmet emporium recommends his signature stuffing, priced at $2.99 a pound and available in varieties such as chorizo sausage, wild rice and apple; apricot, cranberry and chestnut; and cornbread, sage and Italian sausage. The last of the three is first among many Green Turtle patrons.
“It has a good balance of flavor that can please an array of tastes,” said Ekinci. “We make the cornbread in-house and that makes a difference.”
Ekinci credits the stuffing’s huge success on a secret recipe.
“We use a combination of or homemade turkey brine and multiple flavors at once to bring your whole Thanksgiving meal together,”
With the chorizo stuffing, the meat adds a Spanish twist.
“We also have a vegetarian option that doesn’t compromise on flavor,” he said.
For those who prefer to make their own stuffing, Ekinci obliges with a variety of spice blends that take stuffing to the next level. Choose from truffle, parmesan and black garlic; garlic, lime and chili seasoning; and Mediterranean herb and spice blend.
Stuffings are just a small part of the Thanksgiving preparations at Green Turtle, which is taking offers for uncooked, all-natural Amish turkeys that are hormone-free and never frozen. The birds go for $1.99 a pound.
Sliced ham and turkey are also available, as are salads, gravies, salsa, casseroles and potatoes that include garlic mashed, rosemary roasted, parmesan au gratin and sweet potato. Veggie sides include balsamic-marinated asparagus ($8.99 a pound), roasted Brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and crisp bacon ($5.99 a pound) and baked acorn squash ($3.9 a pound).
To complete the meal, choose from the traditional pies such as pumpkin, pecan and apple ($8.99 to $9.99), or go a little wild and get the key lime pie ($14.99) or pumpkin cheesecake ($29.99).
All side dishes are pre-packaged in oven-ready containers and only require heating.
Ekinci recommends giving turkey brining a try this season. It’s worth it, he promises.
“Brining turkeys has been a part of my family tradition since I can remember,” he said. “There is a big difference between brined turkey and turkeys cooked in a traditional fashion. Not only Is the moisture incomparable to other recipes, but the flavor delivered by the brining solution resets the bar. The best advantage in wet-brining at turkey is that it results in the juiciest, most flavorful possible turkey meat.”
He recommends using a heavy-duty cooking bag versus a large pot for the process.
“It ensures you receive the best-looking and tasting results while also helping save refrigerator space during the process,” he said.
Have you tried
What: Thanksgiving sides, available for pickup the two days preceding the holiday
Where: green Turtle Market, 855 E. Gallie Blvd., Indian Harbour Beach
Info: 321-773-2001 or visit greenturtlemarket.com