Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quelle dinde! (What a turkey!)

Let's play a game of word association. If I say turkey, what do you think off? You're probably thinking of 3 things right now. The country, Christmas dinner with the big huge bird that takes hours to cook and needs a not of basting, or, if you live in Ireland, you might also think of the famous puppet /TV presenter / 2008 Eurovision entry / presidential candidate / 'Go on ya good thing' Dustin the Turkey. If you're me, you probably also think of your Mother in Law, who is delighted when Turkey and Ham starts appearing on the menus at the beginning of December and will eat it at least 3 times a week throughout said month of December.

I have noticed a funny thing though. Say it to me in French ('dinde') and, instead of thinking exclusively of Christmas dinner (or my Mother in Law for that matter), I think of the deliciously tasty turkey dishes my mum cooks. You see, in France, turkey is not confined to Christmas time. It is an everyday type of meat in its own right. You can't beat a 'rôti de dinde' (roast breast of turkey rolled upon itself) on a Sunday or some 'escalopes de dinde à la crème' (turkey breast with a cream sauce), a typical french bistro dish.

So, I was delighted to hear that Bernard Matthews Farms & Marco Pierre White (the world renowned chef who sometimes appears on tv with a big, extremely sharp looking and rather menacing knife) had decided to unite forces in order to promote turkey as a healthy, cheap, everyday alternative to beef or chicken. Turkey breast meat is low in saturated fat, high in protein and a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. As part of their 'Change your meat not your menu' campaign, they highlighted the fact that, in 8 out of the 10 top dishes mums cook, it is possible (and tasty, not to mention healthier) to swap the meat for turkey. I am sure you have all seen the ad with Martin Kemp and Marco Pierre on TV. The interesting thing about this ad is that it was totally unscripted and really reflects Marco Pierre's passion for this too often overlooked meat.)


 So here is one of my favourite recipes using turkey: 'Escalopes de dinde à la crème'. I am pretty sure that Marco Pierre would do a much better job at it than I do, but hey, I am not a professional chef, just a mum:

Ingredients (serves 4):

- 1 turkey breast per person (you can use diced turkey breast if you wish, or strips of turkey)

- 1 pot of creme fraiche (liquid or not, full fat, 0% fat, whatever you want to use)

- 1 teaspoon of mustard (preferably Dijon mustard)

- 1 can of sliced mushrooms

- Salt & pepper.

How to: 

- In a pan, gently fry the turkey in a little oil.

- Once cooked (slightly golden on the outside), add the fresh cream and the mustard.

- Drain the mushrooms and add them to the pan.

- Season to taste.

- Cook until the cream has thickened a bit and you're ready to serve with some fragrant basmati rice or some fresh pasta and green beans. Delicious!


It makes me hungry just to look at it! So, next time you plan your meals, see if you can use turkey instead!

Bon appétit!

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