America may be blotted with asphalt-moated fast-food stops but for more than two decades, a slow food movement has been, aptly, slowly emerging. In chapters across the world, including one right here in St. Louis at SlowFoodStL.org, people are fixed on the preservation of local foods and culinary traditions. Despite its name, the slow food movement’s foundation is taste not haste.
Still, dishes that can be prepared quickly take on entirely new dimensions when allowed to cook slowly, very slowly.
These recipes are two of my slow favorites, the potatoes new, the chowder old. The chowder recipe easily converts to a delicious clam chowder. When taste counts, choose clam chowder. When taste and local both count, smoked turkey is the pick.
SMOKED TURKEY CHOWDER
Time to table: 3 – 4 hours
Makes 10 cups
CARAMELIZED ONIONS & MUSHROOMS
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 large onions, chopped in large pieces
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, caps broken into pieces, stems chopped (see TIPS)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional but encourages browning)
- 1 – 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, skins on, cut into rough pieces or even batons
- 4 cups turkey or chicken stock (see TIPS)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 smoked turkey leg, skin discarded, meat cut into slices
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
CARAMELIZED ONIONS & MUSHROOMS In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter on medium. Add onion, toss to coat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are deep gold in color, about 90 minutes. Lift the onions from the pot, leaving the cooking liquid behind. Stir in the mushrooms and sugar and let cook til deep brown in color, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
POTATOES Meanwhile, separately cook potatoes in salted water. Drain, then peel if desired.
CHOWDER In a large, heavy pot such as a Dutch oven, warm the stock, milk, turkey, oregano and rosemary on low heat, not allowing to boil. Stir in cooked onions, cooked mushrooms, and cooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
FOR STOVETOP Cover and gently cook on medium low heat for 1 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally, not allowing to boil.
FOR OVEN Cover and place in a 200F oven for 4 hours, longer if you like.
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