Monday I hit a blogging milestone. Fifty posts! In celebration, I decided to cook one of my favorite dishes. Off to the store I went to buy coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Everything else waited for me in the pantry and fridge. I know what you’re thinking. . .coconut milk and store-bought canned tomatoes are NOT LOCAL. This is true. BUT if you notice the countdown on the right, I am not going strictly local for 19 more days. Until then I am eating local as best I can. Many local items went into my cast iron pot tonight, including local turkey. I usually use chicken, but when all was simmered and sauced, I liked the turkey better; the flavor was deeper and more robust.
I was VERY PROUD to use my own cilantro as a garnish for this dish. Walked right out to the deck and clipped it just before serving. I can’t begin to explain to you the satisfaction I felt while gathering those tiny leaves from their pretty pot. I felt. . .accomplished. Sounds silly, but that cilantro is a goal realized, just like 50 posts feels like a job well done. While assembling the first 50 posts, I planted a garden, made new friends, met with shop and restaurant owners with a commitment to local foods, ate hyper-local salads (walked outside and picked the ingredients; can’t get much more local than that), discussed food issues with complete strangers, learned what a GMO is, banned GMOs from my house, lost a few pounds (all those salads), watched at least eight food documentaries, and discovered what it means to eat REAL food. I’m excited to see what the next 50 posts bring me!
50 Post Thai Coconut Turkey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 turkey legs
2 turkey thighs
Kosher salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced thickly
2 carrots, peeled and sliced (or julienned if you want to be fancy)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup chicken broth (you can also use water; it works fine)
2 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 14 ounce cans coconut milk (substitute 14 ounces chicken stock if all that coconut milk scares you)
8 ounces green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
Juice of one lime
Handful of cilantro for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Salt and pepper the turkey legs liberally. Sear the turkey legs on each side, about four minutes, working in batches.
Remove the seared turkey to a plate for the time being. Pour the chicken broth in the pot, being sure to scrape up the yummy bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, onion, carrots, mushrooms, curry powder, smoked paprika, and fish sauce.
Cook for a couple of minutes, while stirring. Add the diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Taste for salt. Add either kosher salt or fish sauce, whatever you prefer (if needed).
Return the turkey to the pot and simmer for at least one hour or until the meat is pulling away from the bone.
Now add the green beans and cook until green beans are tender but still crisp. Stir in the lime juice. Ladle over brown rice, choosing a thigh or a leg. Garnish with cilantro. If you want to remove the turkey from the bone and add it back to the pot, feel free. The basic sauce can be spiced up, spiced down and combined with any other vegetables and protein. Be creative and enjoy!
What did all the bloggers out there learn after 50 posts?