Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mixed emotions

I can’t decide how I feel about the fact that my star recipe for using up Thanksgiving leftovers got gazumped by one of the biggest food blogs around.

Should I be annoyed that Simply Recipes posted an entry for Turkey Mushroom Risotto yesterday? Or thrilled that I had independently come up with a recipe so similar to one devised by an internationally known recipe guru?

I think I’ll go with thrilled. It’s more positive. I am thinking like a food-writing heavy hitter! Plus—let’s be honest—we’re not really on the same playing field. It would be a bit like being annoyed with Baron Haussmann’s redevelopment of Paris being devised and carried out before I helped Miss B build a Paper Bag Town around her model train tracks yesterday.

Also noteworthy: the Simply Recipes version uses goat cheese, which I may very well need to stir into my leftovers. Which would definitely be a positive development.

RL Turkey Mushroom Risotto
This is basically the same recipe I devised for Thanksgiving Redux, with mushrooms added to the turkey and celery to give the flavors a bit more oomph.

6-8 cups turkey stock*
2 Tbsp/a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 carrot
2 stalks celery**
1 white onion
2 slices bacon
1 package (about 2 handfuls) baby bella mushrooms
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped cooked turkey
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
salt & pepper

Put turkey stock on to heat in a medium saucepan while you get on with the rest of the prep. Put the dried mushrooms in a small, heatproof bowl. When the stock is hot, pour a ladleful or so over the dried mushrooms and leave to soak until needed.

Very roughly chop the carrot, 1 stalk of the celery, the onion (peeled first), and the bacon. Throw into a food processor and mince finely into a soffritto.***

Clean and quarter the baby bella mushrooms, then slice the remaining stalk of celery thinly. Put a good-sized pan on to heat—one that allows you to stir what’s in it without slopping all over the stove—and pour 2 of the 3 Tbsp of olive oil in.

When olive oil is heated and moving freely in the pan, throw in the mushrooms and celery and stir to coat completely with the oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their juice and shrunk in size. Remove mushrooms and celery from pan.

Add remaining Tbsp of oil to the pan. Throw in the soffritto mix and stir. Cook for ~5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add rice to the pan and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until rice has begun to turn translucent (you will still be able to see a white dot at the center of each grain). Add wine and continue stirring.

Once wine is mostly absorbed, begin adding hot stock in 1-cup increments, stirring frequently and adding the next cupful when the previous one is almost but not quite fully absorbed. Keep your eye on the bottom of the pan and, if rice is beginning to stick, pour the next addition of hot stock directly on that section and use spoon or spatula to loosen.

(You don’t need to stir risotto constantly, but don’t let more than 2 minutes go by without stirring thoroughly. You can use those two minutes to do bits of other cooking-related tasks, like grating cheese or chopping the soaked mushrooms.)

At some point in the stock-and-stirring process, when the dried mushrooms have been soaking for at least 15 minutes, remove them from the stock, chop finely, and set aside with the other vegetables and turkey. The next time you add liquid, pour the mushroom soaking liquid (through a strainer if it has a lot of stuff in it) into the risotto.

When the risotto tastes almost but not quite done (mostly al dente but still a little bit more chewy than you would like), add both kinds of mushrooms, the celery, and the turkey (and maybe another ladle of stock), and stir to combine. Add the butter and cheese and stir again. Turn the heat down (or off entirely) and allow the risotto to sit for 2-3 minutes to heat through the add-ins and allow the flavors to combine.

Stir the risotto again and taste it, then season with salt & freshly ground pepper. Taste again and adjust as necessary.

Serve immediately, with more cheese for topping at the table.

Serves 4 as a main course with abundant leftovers; could probably stretch to 6.

* Made from the carcass of the Thanksgiving turkey, of course. You could substitute chicken or vegetable stock, but it won’t taste as turkey-ish.
** Note that each stalk is used in a different part of the recipe.
*** You could do this part by hand, but I’d much rather use Archie than try to hone my extremely mediocre knife skills.


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, be thrilled, Nancy, you're right at the forefront of food trends! :)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

The cutting edge--woohoo!

KJ said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm late in commenting here, but that's too much of a coincidence...you are inspiring the international gurus, no doubt...but I think you deserve a mention for it from Simply Recipes!! Kudos regardless! Roving Lemon is conquering the food world. A cookbook is not far behind!

Code word: Wasar. As in wasar with dat.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks KJ! Speaking of books, wasar with dat PU book I'm waiting on?

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