Monday, December 12, 2011

Smothered Turkey with Walnuts

A native of Persia, the large wrinkled walnut, a name derived from "wealth", meaning strange or foreign, became erroneously known as "English Walnut" because the nuts were carried around the world in English trading ships. In Gaelic lands walnuts came to be associated with feast day dishes as they were thought to bring good luck and good health.

Specialties called "smothered" include foods mixed or covered with other foods, a kind of hash. This one can be made easily from left over turkey, chicken, or any other sort of poultry you may have. Serve with a green salad and warm scones or soda bread for a brunch or supper!

2 tblsp butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup fresh asparagus (optional)
1 tsp curry  powder
1 tsp paprika
1 cup stale bread crumbs
4 cups diced cooked turkey
1/2 cup turkey gravy
salt & pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large heavy skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and asparagus. Saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry and paprika; saute about 1 minute. Add the bread crumbs, and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the turkey and gravy to the mixture in the skillet. Season with salt & pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, cream, and parsley. Increase the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Spoon into a dish to serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

This dish can be partially made ahead, and cooked just before serving.

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