Monday, August 10, 2009

Beck-garian Ground Turkey Goulash

I have been staring at defrosting ground turkey all day, dreading it. Nothing more tasteless to me than ground turkey, but I was determined to find a way to make even blah turkey taste good.

So I went to work and experimented.

Greg took one bite and said, "This is really great. I would definitely like to have it again." I said, "I better write down what I put in it before I forget! Because I think it has everything but the kitchen sink."

So here it is, and yes the ingredients may sound odd... but the result was delicious and full of flavor. Feel free to vary according to your tastes!

Put a big pot of water on to boil and boil a pound of your favorite macaroni style pasta. I love Orecchiette ("little ears")pasta for this. Shells would also be nice.

Season and cook 2 lbs of ground turkey with season salt (I like Tony's Cajun for a kick) and 3 cloves of pressed garlic. (Onion lovers could also add some diced onion at this point.)

Drain any fat and then just start emptying your spice cabinet into it. Okay, not quite, but here's what I put in:

2 Dash worchestershire
1 T. hoison sauce (if you don't have this sweet/plumy tasting sauce on hand; try brown sugar or maple syrup or honey instead)
1 t. cumin
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. Tarragon

1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomatoe paste
1/2 c. picante sauce
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce

To this Add: Any little bits of leftovers from your fridge.
I used some corn and black beans, but carrots, diced potatoes, black olives, peas, mushrooms.. all would be good!

Stir altogether and taste/check seasoning -- may need some more salt & a good bit of pepper. Should be slightly sweet, fairly thick, spicy and full of flavor.(Water can be added if needed to make it the right consistency -- about that of a thick spaghetti sauce.)

When pasta is done, drain and toss with a teaspoon of butter and dash of olive oil and just a pinch of salt.
Pour pasta into a casserole. (Pasta should just cover the bottom of it, about an inch deep or so.)

On top of pasta ladle the turkey mixture.

On top of turkey mixture dollop sour cream. (I used low fat) Then spread the sour cream until turkey mixture is covered, like icing the top of a cake.

Finally, grate cheese over all! As much as you like. I used a combination of cheddar, pepperjack and Parmesan.

Put in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes and then if cheese is not melted, turn oven to broil and watch until cheese gets nice and bubbly.

Cut in big squares and serve in bowls. We had this with a good green salad and an ear of corn and glass of chilled Riesling.

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