Friday, March 13, 2009

Thai Turkey Basil

I had ground turkey in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I asked my husband this morning...."Would you like meatloaf or meatballs for dinner?" He was nice about it, but I could tell he was tired of both. And then I thought to myself..."I can do better" and then "OOOOooooh, I have a whole bunch of basil waiting to be used!"

Not sure if this is really a "Thai" dish, but I'm the blogger and I'll name it what I want, dammit. It reminds me of a food demonstration I saw in Santa Barbara from the owner of the Coleman Family Farm, called "Cambodian Style Pork with Chilies and Two Basils", which used a mushroom soy sauce and 2 types of basil. Yum!

I encourage you to add more veggies to this dish...bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms - whatever you have. A little grated ginger would be nice too. The only produce I had left were 3 measly carrots and an onion. I'd better go shopping so I don't have to crack open that frozen bag of peas that's been in the freezer for months. Eek.

I would start the rice right before you begin this takes about 20 minutes total.

1 T. olive oil
1 package ground turkey
2 t. minced garlic
1 T. 1 chopped onion
3 carrots, sliced on diagonal
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. fish sauce
1/3 cup water
1 T. brown sugar
1 -2 tsp. sriracha sauce (or minced thai chiles)
squeeze of lime
cornstarch slurry
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup roughly chopped basil

In a large skillet, brown the turkey in olive oil, adding onion and carrots in after the first couple of minutes. When the turkey seems about done, add the garlic and stir for another minute. Drain off the turkey liquid. Add soy, fish sauce, water, brown sugar, lime juice, hot sauce or chiles. Stir until all mixed up. Taste sauce and adjust the seasonings until you like it. Add a tablespoon or two of the cornstarch slurry and let simmer until thickened. Stir in cilantro and basil until wilted. Serve over hot rice.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Butternut Risotto

I made my first risotto last month and loved it so much, I decided to embellish it a bit with some winter squash this time. Thanks to Monique for steering me to the original recipe at Williams-Sonoma, which I used as inspiration. I love the sage brown butter addition. Absolutely sinful. You must go to confession if you make this.


5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. minced fresh sage


In a saucepan bring the chicken broth to a simmer and maintain over low heat.

In a large saucepan over medium warm the olive oil. Add the onions and butternut cubes, saute until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add rice and stir until the grains are well coated with the oil and are nearly translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.

Add the simmering stock mixture a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more.

When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 30 minutes, stir in the the cheese, salt and pepper. Add more stock if needed so the rice is thick and creamy. Let stand for 2 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. butter. Add the the sage and heat until the butter browns. Drizzle each serving with about a teaspoon of the sage butter and serve immediately. Serves 6.