Holiday greetings from EyeCare 20/20! We’re sure you’ll agree with us that the holidays are the most magical time of the year. One of our favorite things about the holiday season is the incredible assortment of delicious food. If your family is anything like ours, you’ve got at least a few favorite seasonal dishes and treats that bring everyone together in the holiday spirit. Maybe it’s Mom’s homemade fudge or fruit cake, maybe it’s Dad’s honey glazed ham or candied yams, or maybe Grandma’s secret recipe for sticky bread or stuffing.

Whatever it is, we think the holidays are made for food and for sharing, and we’re excited to share a few of our own favorite recipes with you! (And naturally, since we’re in the business of eyecare, the recipes we’ll share with you include nutrients that are fantastic for eye health – you might even say these delicious dishes are “to eye for”!)

Neely’s Deep Fried Turkey by Down Home with the Neelys

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 (14 lb) turkey, giblets removed, washed and dried
  • 2 ¾ gallons peanut oil (for frying)

Cook’s Note

To measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey, put the turkey in the fryer, add water to top of turkey, and mark the water line with a crayon or marker. Remove the turkey and the water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added. Dry the fryer before adding the oil.

Directions:

  1. After measuring the amount of oil needed for the deep-fryer, dry the turkey well, inside and out, before proceeding.
  2. Mix the smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme together in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the spice rub inside the cavity of the turkey and on the skin. Separate the skin from the breast meat and massage the rub onto the meat with your hands. Put the turkey on a large sheet tray and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
  4. Fill the electric deep-fryer with peanut oil and preheat to 400 degrees F, (it will take about 1 hour for the oil to come to temperature).
  5. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  6. Once the oil is hot and the turkey is at room temperature, very carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil. Make sure the oil maintains its temperature while frying. Fry the turkey until the skin is dark golden brown and crisp, or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, roughly 45 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the turkey from the oil and let it rest and drain on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to 165 degrees F while resting.
  8. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and serve.

Texas Style Brisket by Pecan Lodge

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups paprika
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 trimmed brisket, about 5 to 6 pounds

Directions:

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend well.
  2. Trim the brisket, leaving about 1/4-inch of fat.
  3. Season the brisket with about 1/4-cup of the rub. (NOTE: You don’t want such a thick crust that the smoke won’t penetrate the meat. Let the brisket marinate overnight in the refrigerator.)
  4. Preheat your grill to 250 degrees using charcoal and hickory.
  5. Using indirect heat, cook the brisket for 3 1/2 hours and flip. Cook another 3 1/2 hours, cooking for a total of 7 hours (about 1 1/2 hours per pound.) The brisket should cook to an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.
  6. Rest the brisket for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing. Slice brisket against the grain

Roasted Broccolini with Garlic and Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 heads broccolini divided into florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp grated parmesan or asiago cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Distribute broccolini evenly on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Using tongs, gently toss the florets in the oil. Halve the head of garlic and lay the exposed side in the drizzled olive oil. Lay the other half of garlic on the baking sheet with the exposed side up and evenly sprinkle red pepper flakes over everything.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until the broccolini is slightly crispy.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of the broccolini. Adjust seasoning and add more salt, pepper, and grated cheese and serve while hot.

Southern Maple Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie (Submitted via our Facebook page by Rand Speas. Thank you, Rand!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 store-bought pie crust
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans roughly chopped
  • ½ cup cooked bacon finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon

Directions:

  1. Combine until blended maple syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Increase heat and boil for one minute. Cook to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs and vanilla in separate bowl with a pinch of salt.
  4. Slowly whisk in maple syrup mixture into egg mixture.
  5. Stir in pecans, bacon, and bourbon.
  6. Pour into pie crust.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes.
  8. When done the pie should be set in the middle and puffed around edges.
  9. Let cool and serve with a dollop of whipped cream for a slice of salty-sweet-smoky heaven!

How, you might wonder, are these recipes good for your eyes? To begin with, turkey meat is extremely high in zinc, a mineral that protects the retina from damage, as well as high in vitamin B, which helps keep the eyes properly lubricated.

As for the brisket, broccolini, and pecan pie recipes, all contain incredibly concentrated forms of Vitamin A, which actually refers to a myriad of related compounds called carotenoids. The paprika in the brisket recipe has four carotenoids: beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. The first two carotenoids are used by the eyes to turn light into vision, while the second two (in which the broccolini and pecans are exceptionally high) are the eye’s primary antioxidants, decreasing the chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. 

We hope you enjoy these dishes as much as we do! We at EyeCare 20/20 wish you happy holidays and bon appetit! Give us a call today for all your eyecare and eyewear needs – we’re here for you during the holidays and all year long.

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