Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turkey Picadillo

Pretty much anywhere you travel in the Spanish speaking world you'll find some version of the usually ground, but sometime chopped meat concoction known most often as Picadillo. The warm spices and gentle sweetness whisper of the Moors who most food historians believe brought these types of dishes with them to the European continent. From Spain these flavors traveled the globe and along the way melded with the local cuisine and now you can find Picadillos with olives, raisins, sweet onions, tomatoes, and even bits of ham. Eaten with rice or folded into dough, Picadillo is an easy disguise for leftovers and a quick weeknight super.
For my version I sauteed four chopped onions in olive oil and butter until just beginning to soften and added several cups of chopped turkey meat, chili powder, a pinch of ground cloves, about a half tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of mace. After stirring in the spices in went one large can of diced tomatoes, one cup of water, 3/4 cup of raisins, 2 TB of tomato paste, some brown sugar to taste, and a heavy 1/4 cup of cider vinegar. I left all the ingredients to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes and then for five minutes more, uncovered, to thicken slightly. With a little salt and pepper our homestyle version of Picadillo was ready for dinner over saffron rice. I've already wrapped the remaining stew in empanada dough (ready to bake bundles waiting in the freezer)for another night. James will never recognize those leftovers.

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