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Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Turkey mushroom stew

I thought about titling this posting "stew of disappointment" because what I really wanted to make today was scalloped potatoes -- also known as funeral potatoes. But the coop didn't have ham. ANY ham, sliced or not. And then I found out they didn't have any of our little boy cookies. These are really called Le Petit Ecolier (the little schoolboy), made of little biscuits with chocolate. Jasper and I are addicted to them. Actually, the coop had little boy cookies in milk chocolate, but not in our dark chocolate. In fact, there's not even a tag on the shelf for the dark chocolate, which means every time it appears it's just a guest star, not a regular. Made me want to yell over the intercom "WRONG cookie, people! What is the matter with you? It's New York City, where people eat dark chocolate! What are Jasper and I supposed to eat now?!?"

But it's the coop, after all. So I strolled up and down the aisles waiting for something lovely and organic to inspire me. Then I saw a package of wild dried mushrooms and another package of fresh pearl onions.

So this was a good stew. And you will read about many stews this winter, for they are ever so easy. As I've written before, dump a bunch of ingredients in a pot with water and that's it.

I started this one by browning two turkey wings in some olive oil. Then I added four cups of water, the dried mushrooms, a few sprigs of thyme, and a bay leaf. After about 15 minutes or so I added sliced carrots and Jerusalem artichokes (I always see these and wonder what to do with them. This was not the best use, so that's an ongoing project). I cooked a little longer until the wings were done and then took them out. I added in several cute fingerling potatoes.

Meanwhile I boiled the pearl onions for a couple minutes. Then I cut off the root ends and squeezed the onions out of their skins. Dave once showed me a great way to carmelize onions. You grill them with water for a long time, continually stirring and adding more water. I have to admit I didn't stir them that often, but they still carmelized well enough.

Once they were done I added them to the stew. And when the wings were cool enough I removed the meat and added that as well. I served the stew with a salad of arugula, dried apricots, and pumpkin seeds and some porter-soaked cheddar. Lane had some whole grain bread as well.

My favorite thing about this stew was the mushrooms, which turned became meaty and chewy. Rehydrating them directly into the stew gave the stew a great, mushroomy flavor. And mushrooms always go well with thyme.

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