Spring Recipes! A Taste for Turtle

Image by AWokZap42i from Pixabay

It should be warm. But it is not. The cold, snow, and wind made me feel we were in a snow globe with no way out! To help us through, I thought we could use some fun spring recipes.

I believe next week should be my last coffee adventure article. Tune in next week to get the rest of the scoop on coffee and great ways to make it!

A little bit of Turtle

Here in the great state of Minnesota, turtles may NOT be hunted during May and June. You can catch the legal, statutory ramblings here.

Image by Daina Krumins from Pixabay

Turtle Soup- From Bill Sandbulte

This recipe is a biology lesson as well as a cooking lesson. Enjoy… or not. I will enclose this YouTube video on how to prepare a turtle here. It’s part one. For the super curious, you can continue to part two. I couldn’t watch.

Basic Preparation

Dressing a Live Turtle– The head must be removed first. Cause the snapping turtle to grasp a stick. The head can easily be pulled forward and cut off. Heads of other species can protrude by pressing the upper shell; then pull the skin back over the legs to the feet and disjoint the feet. Remove the lower part of the shell by cutting through the bridges which join the upper and lower shell. In both the snappers and soft shells, the bridges are soft. When the bridges are out, the lower shell is readily removed by inserting a sharp knife under it and lifting the shell up and off Remove entrails; then remove four quarters from the upper shell.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. turtle meat
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1/4 c. butter or margarine- Butter, please!-M
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few parsley sprigs
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/4 t. ground mace
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 c. sherry
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, minced

Directions

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Cut turtle meat into 1-inch cubes. Put the turtle meat, with 3 quarts of water, in a kettle and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, reserving broth. Melt three tablespoons of butter in the kettle. Add turtle meat and brown on all sides. Remove meat and add the remaining butter to the kettle. Add onions and brown lightly. Add flour and store until browned. Add turtle meat and the remaining eight ingredients. Add enough water to the broth to make 4 quarts and add the mixture to the kettle. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours. Strain, add sherry, and reheat, if necessary. Serve with a garnish of minced egg. Makes about 3 quarts.

So, how’d that taste

Truthfully, I have never had turtle soup. I know there are folks out there that enjoy it. That’s great. I like turtles. In Wisconsin, the same snapping turtle crossed the back of our property once during spring and then fall.

In spring you would see her head to the pond inside the woods. Then in the fall, you would see her head back to the marsh hibernate. We would always run out and give her a hello, or goodbye as she crossed.

The most exotic food I have ever eaten would be alligator, frog legs, and shark. We were camping with extended family and decide to have an exotic food night.  Brad’s sister lived near a fish market with exotic aquatic animal meat. So, she took everyone’s exotic fish order and then drove up.

Seasoning and cooking

We set up different breading stations. The turkey fryer was ready to go. Everyone prepared what they wanted, deep-fried it, ate it, and then gave a report.

Here was my food critic report:

  • Alligator- chewy, blubbery, definite muddy taste, ketchup was the enhancer. Overall, it was okay.
  • Frog- tough, tasteless. Overall- gross.
  • Shark- not sure how to describe it. I took a nibble, grabbed a Diet Coke® and chugged it. Overall-gross.

I have no fancy words to describe this aquatic meat, wine pairing suggestions or desserts to follow. I would suggest keeping a Diet Coke® handy and some Dove Dark Chocolates® nearby. That is as sophisticated as I get.

Till next time. Thank you, my favorite foodie readers. I sure like your letters, the comments you share with me when you see me on the street and even phone calls with questions! I appreciate you. Bless you, all!

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