Wild Turkey, Asparagus and Mushroom Soup

Wild Turkey, Asparagus and Mushroom Soup

This is a slow-cooker recipe that will simmer for you while you are afield. This isn’t a heavy soup, so feel free to add fresh baked bread as a side or even a quick, fresh lettuce salad.

2 wild turkey, complete leg/thigh sections, skin on or off

pulled turkey thigh meat

1 large onion, quartered

3 carrots cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces

3 celery stalks cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces

2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves)

6 to 8 whole garlic cloves

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 cup onion, finely diced

2 cups asparagus cut into 2-inch pieces

6 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 cup diced fresh or canned tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup port wine (optional)

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with equal parts cold water

Salt and pepper to taste

Place 2 wild turkey (complete leg/thigh sections), 1 (quartered) onion, carrots, celery stalks, rosemary, 6 of the garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a lightly greased roasting pan. Place in a 400-degree oven. Brown well, turning occasionally. This takes about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and transfer to a large stockpot. Add water to the pan and scrape to remove the bits. Pour into pot and add cold water to just cover the contents. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 6–8 hours over low heat. Strain the liquid through a colander into another stockpot; you will need 5 cups of liquid. If there is less than 5 cups, add additional chicken broth. If there is more than 5 cups, reduce liquid in the pot by simmering over medium heat. Next, pull meat from the thighs and cloves. Discard all other solids. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 additional garlic cloves and the other 1/2 onion set aside. Sauté until golden brown. Add asparagus and sauté until just soft and lightly browned. Add mushrooms and sauté until golden brown.Transfer to stockpot with turkey broth. Add tomatoes, port wine and pulled turkey meat. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly stir in cornstarch mixture until slightly thickened. Serve immediately. (Note: Don’t slice the mushrooms too thin or they will disintegrate when cooked.)

Fried Whole Crappies with Parmesan Peanut Sauce 

What else can you do to those little crappies other than fry them and serve them fish-‘n-chips style? Pair them with your favorite beer and have yourself a very “merry” Fish Fry Friday. If you don’t have peanuts, use almonds or another nut in the house

7 to 10 crappies, cleaned, dressed with heads removed

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup buttermilk

Peanut oil for frying

Spicy Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon creole seasoning

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In a shallow bowl, mix breadcrumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, ground peanuts, salt and pepper. Coat each fish with flour, then dip in the buttermilk, and finally dip and coat evenly with crumb mixture. In a large skillet, heat 1 to 2 inches of peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add fish and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

For sauce: combine all ingredients; mix well and serve with fish.