Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rock 'n' Roll!

Involtino di Tacchino con Spinaci e Funghi
Stuffed Turkey roll with Spinach and Mushroom 

Ah, yes- this one does look a little more impressive now, doesn't it? Can you believe this took all of 30 minutes to make? Well you had better believe it! With only one "special" ingredient, this meal is simple and elegant and inexpensive... three of my favorite things in the world! 

 The "special" ingredient of this dish is a single King Oyster mushroom. This truly is royalty folks! This here fellow is almost the size of my chopping board! They can be a little bit pricey, but I only needed half a mushroom for this serving- so you are not going to ruin yourself be making this! Especially as the only other ingredients are a slice of turkey breast, a strip of bacon, some Dijon mustard, and basil. 

The red wine reduction, infused with star anis, plum preserves and powdered galangal root, is an unctuous and powerful accent to this otherwise Mediterranean meal. A little unusual but complex and different, this is, though very simple to make, the most time-consuming part of the meal... so this is where we will begin!

In a flat pan, bring to the boil some red wine, add a tablespoon of honey, a star anise pod, and a teaspoon of galangal powder. Galangal is a root, similar in look and flavor to ginger, but a little sweeter and milder. Once it has come to the boil, reduce to a low simmer and render it down to a thick, syrupy consistency... it will be black as ink and deeply delicious! Using a flat pan gives you a larger exposed surface area, which will let the wine evaporate more quickly. It's not rocket science! It's easy!

Slice your turkey breast as thinly as you can and spread generously with mustard. Season with salt and pepper and cover completely with basil leaves. Sprinkle very lightly with olive oil and roll tightly. Wrap a strip of bacon around the roll and put it into a dry non-stick pan at a moderate heat. Add a couple of slices of garlic and a little rosemary to infuse the roll with flavor as the bacon begins to release its juices. At the same time it will begin to shrink and tighten around the roll, holding it together. If you are careful, it will work just fine this way- but you can always use a skewer if you feel unsure. Once the bacon begins to brown, add your mushrooms and let them toast in the juices, but don't salt them at the moment as that will make them go tough. Keep flipping the rolls and the mushrooms until ready- this will take between 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime you can prepare your spinach. Chop a little garlic and fry it in a little olive oil. Once slightly brown, add your spinach and sprinkle it with salt, Add a generous grinding of black pepper and a light dusting of grated nutmeg. We all know how quickly spinach is ready... so after 3-4 minutes you should be putting down the cocktail you have been enjoying and reaching for your warm plates to serve dinner! And I am telling you- these little rolls DO rock!



  1. Despite having overindulged in some good food today when I look at these photos and read about the ingredients I would love to start eating again!The stuffed Turkey roll looks fantastic!! I may need to ask for some inspiration soon for my next New Gourmet Club dinner which I am hosting and have set a Mediterranean theme!
    Thanks for the inspirational photos and ideas!

  2. Oh- my pleasure Carl! Thanks for the encouraging words and happy to inspire! Please do recommend my blog to your Gourmet Dinner friends! Regards, Francesco

  3. Simply awesome blend of flavors here! Turkey is not really in my thoughts much, I have always considered it dry and bland. However, you have proven that with a little creativity and fresh ingredients, turkey can be quite delicious. Thanks for posting.

  4. Hi Tina! Yes, the bacon and mustard will keep the turkey nice and juicy and the basil makes it flavorful- as long as you don't overcook it, turkey is a great, lower-fat alternative! Again- glad you like it and thanks for the support! Francesco