Monday, March 21, 2011

Turkey Stew with Peppers and Mushrooms


[I've re-typed and reposted this, trying to fix the strange capitalization that the original post showed up in, but alas, something still is goofy.  Sorry!]  


I made this recipe this past weekend, and it was a big hit.  I had originally planned it as a somewhat-more-work-than-usual meal for just David and me, but I ended up doubling the recipe and making it as a meal for us and three dinner guests.  Usually when we have guests, I make something more "special," but I had my eye on this recipe.  It turned out to be a very satisfying dish, and the leftovers the next day were even better.


This recipe is lightly adapted from the Simply Recipes blog.  I was going to just send you directly to that website, but I did make a few small changes, and thought it would be easier for you if I incorporated them into the recipe rather than wrote them out separately.  I do recommend this blog by Elise Bauer:  In addition to the regular postings of recipes, there's a sidebar that lists recipes by type, and an index where you can look up either by ingredient or by name of recipe. 


Turkey Stew with Peppers and Mushroom

adapted from
serves 4
2 T. olive oil (divided 1 and 1)
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
3 bell peppers of various colors, sliced thinly
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika or a few dashes cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1 1/2 to 2 pounds skinless, boneless turkey thigh or breast, cut into large chunks
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 14-ounce can of plum tomatoes with juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 t. cornstarch
3/4 cup plain yogurt

Heat 1 T. of olive oil on high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and peppers and sauté them until they begin to soften and lightly brown. Add the sweet paprika, the hot paprika (or cayenne), and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove the peppers, onions, and garlic from the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and the turkey to the pan. Sear the mushrooms and turkey over high heat, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the turkey and mushrooms begin to brown. Reduce the heat to medium, return the peppers-and-onion mixture to the pan and mix well.

Squeeze the tomatoes to break them up, and add them with their juices to the pan, along with the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, rosemary and black pepper. Mix well, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Stir the cornstarch into the yogurt and add to stew. Cook over low heat (do not let simmer or boil), stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens a little.

Serve with white rice.  (Bauer recommends serving with rice, mashed potatoes, or polenta.  The first night I served it with mashed potatoes, and the second night with rice.  Rice wins!  I usually use brown rice when cooking, but white was very nice in this dish.) 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Comfort food--chicken/rice casserole

This is a standard at our house, a simple, plain dish that is easy to make and very comforting.  Kids love it, as do grown-ups.  From time to time I cook enough chicken or turkey so that I can make 2-cup packages of diced meat to put in the freezer.  I generally have the other ingredients always on hand, so this is a convenient fall-back dish.  This recipe comes from my husband David's mother, Dorothy Amor.  David grew up on an orchard, and the family raised chickens also.  Often a chicken was roasted for Sunday dinner, with leftovers lasting through the week, with their final appearance in this casserole.

serves 4

2 cups cooked, diced chicken or turkey (bite-size pieces)
1 cup (raw) white rice, cooked (you can substitute 3/4 c. brown rice, cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray some oil on a casserole dish.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Put into the casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

French lentils

I don't know if I'm doing this recipe a favor by showing a photograph--it's not the prettiest dish.   But quite tasty, and different from the other lentil recipes I make (lentil soup and a lentil chile).  This is made with the small green French lentils, which hold their shape more than the regular brown ones do.  The recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That; I've halved the amount of olive oil, cut way back on the amount of salt, and increased the vinegar.  It's fine with the lower amount of oil--in fact, it could probably be reduced even further.

serves 4-6
1 T. plus 2 T. olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 carrots, scraped and 1/2-inch diced
1 t. minced garlic
1 cup French green Le Puy lentils
1 whole onion, peeled and stuck with 6 whole cloves
1 turnip, cut in half
1 t. unsalted butter
4 t. Dijon mustard
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper

Heat the 1 T. of oil in a sauté pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.

As the vegetables are cooking, place the lentils, 4 cups of water, the onion with cloves, and the turnip in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, add the leek and carrots, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender.  Remove and discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils.  Place them in a bowl and add the butter.

Whisk together the 2 T. of oil, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Add to the lentils, stir well, and allow the lentils to cool until just warm, about 15 minutes.  (Also fine made ahead and re-heated.)