Saturday, 8 October 2011

You Gotta Have Guts!

Insalata con Ventrigli di Tacchino e Topinambur Salad of Turkey-Gizzards and Topinambur

Okay... I know I am not going to gain many fans by having added turkey-gizzards to my repertoire- but you will get over it! I learned to love these things on both my trips to the Provence- the thought of them may not be so appealing- but they certainly made for many  a great lunch for me on my trip out there in August, where I would make a point of searching for them at every new town that I visited...

Alas, I have not managed to crack the code as to how the French manage to get them so incredibly tender, but seasoned with Herbs de Provence and served on a bed of salad they are pretty delicious... even if mine were a little on the chewy side this time around. 

I popped them into a skillet with a little neutral oil at a moderate heat for around 5 minutes, until they had lost their bright pink coloring. At this point I added the Herbs de Provence and some crushed garlic and pepper and tossed them around to make sure they were all getting coated and nicely browned. I gave them a little splash of Tarragon vinegar, a tiny squeeze of honey and a little salt at the end and I tried to delude myself into believing it would keep them from going tough, as is the case with liver... but sadly no, and they did end up a little bit chewier than they might have been. Oh well- the least said the better!

The thing that DID end up tasting wonderful, was the Topinambur. I have posted an image for you, as you are probably as unfamiliar with these little beauties as I was. Basically, this is a root vegetable, also know as the "earth-artichoke"- which should give you an idea of what it tastes like. It is basically something that was considered a "poor peoples potato" here in Germany, but has less starch and that makes it more suitable for diabetics. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor as I have often heard people say that they don't taste that special. I would hazard a guess and say that they were overcooked! I peeled and sliced them, put them into my frying pan with a little salted water and boiled them for 2-3 minutes until the water was completely evaporated. After 2-3 minutes, you will see that they will have changed color slightly and are already half-done. Once the water is gone, add a pat of clarified butter, salt and pepper and finish them off, tossing them as you go until they are uniformly brown. And that is basically it... serve them along with the gizzards on a bed of Arugula and a light oil and vinegar dressing... no fuss- just food! Which is just the way it should be...

So yes- at the end of it all, I am admitting defeat with this one. Which is fine. It just leaves it being one of those things to look forward to on my next trip to France- whereas the Topinambur is something I will be trying out again sooner in any number of ways, shapes and forms...

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