Monday, March 19, 2007

Turkey Cakes with Morel Sauce

turkey cakes smothered in morel cream sauce
Earlier this year when I was on holiday in Minnesota, I was introduced to morel mushrooms. I had never seen an actual fresh morel mushroom because they are usually sold in dried form here in Southern California. However, up in the Minnesotan-Wisconsin region, these lovely 'shrooms grow wild and they are plentiful. The mushrooms have a very meaty and nutty taste and really wake up bland meats such as chicken or turkey. I played with the ingredients in trying to recreate the pheasant cakes with morel mushroom cream we had at Legends Grill in Prior Lake, MN. It didn't come out exactly the same, but it was still yummy. If you don't like asparagus, you can omit them from the morel sauce...I just used them because I had leftovers.

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

  • 1 oz. dried morels, reconstituted in warm water for 30 minutes and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c. panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Morel Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup asparagus, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 3 spears)
  • 1 oz. dried morels, reconstituted in warm water for 30 minutes and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until soft, about 2 minute. Add 1 ounce morels and minced garlic, and sauté until garlic becomes fragrant, about another minute. Put mixture in a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.

Once it's cooled, add the ground turkey, worcestershire sauce, egg, parsley, parmesan cheese, panko and salt and pepper to the shallot and morel mixture. Combine the mixture, without overworking it. Shape into 4 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Spray large non-stick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add patties; cook 4 minutes. Turn patties; cook 4 more minutes or until no longer pink in centre and internal thermometer inserted into centre of turkey reads 165°F. Cover the patties with foil and place them in the warm oven while you make the sauce.

Morel sauce: Wipe the same sauté pan with a paper towel and heat 2 tablespoons butter on medium-high heat. Sauté the shallot and asparagus for one minute, then add remaining one ounce of morels and garlic. Sauté for another minute then stir in the white wine. Bring to a boil then simmer for a couple of minutes, or until wine is reduced by half. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer until the mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste then place the warm turkey patties in the sauce and simmer for about a minute. Serve the sauce over the turkey patties and a side of Minnesotan wild rice will go well with this dish, too.

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