My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Turkey-It's What's for Dinner

Well, now. As you may or may not know, I'm not exactly an Iron Chef. My forays into the culinary world are quite recent, and as much as I enjoy cooking, it's not always relaxing. My main concern is the mess left behind. Well, last night we filled up the dishwasher and used at least 3 different pans, but it was totally worth it.

I've been collecting recipes I want to try for a while, and decided this weekend that Monday would be the perfect night to try Real Simple's crispy turkey cutlets. I'll go through the recipe, but if you want to follow it on your own, you can find it here along with the recipe for green bean salad, which we decided to forego. We bough a pound of turkey cutlets from Albertson's and made sure that we had everything we needed this weekend. All that was left to do was put the dinner together.

Garlic mashed potatoes courtesy of James
We started with mashed potatoes. We had potatoes left over from our pasty experiment, so we decided to use the rest of our Idaho golden potatoes to make some garlic mashed potatoes. Peel and chop potatoes, boil, strain, return to pot. Add milk and a clove of minced up garlic, then mash up in the pot (Note: if you have Teflon coated pots and pans, do not use a metal masher--I see a trip to the store in our future...). We added a bit too much milk, but the potatoes were still the most delicious tasting potatoes ever. Mmmm.

Before cooking, after dredging
Then we moved on to the turkey. Like our favourite chicken-fried steak recipe, you season the turkey (you'll need double the amount listed to season both sides), then dredge in flour, lightly beaten egg, and then instead of flour again, dredge in bread crumbs. We just used Progresso's bread crumbs, since they were on sale. This added a nice crunch to the cutlets. Here's what the cutlets look like before cooking <--.
A little too browned, but still yummy
We filled a pan with 3 Tbsp of olive oil, and James began frying the cutlets. The recipes recommends using medium-high heat, but we have a bizarre stove, so medium was good for us. Our stove is also on a slant, which means all the oil runs to one side, but James is an amazing cook and manages to deal with it perfectly well. Fry the cutlets approximately 2-3 minutes on each side (3-4 for us) until they're golden-brown on each side. Now, we put them on a baking sheet and kept them warm in the oven. This wouldn't have been a problem, but we had the oven at 275 degrees (you'll see why later) which ended up drying up the cutlets. If you need to keep them warm, but the oven on the lowest setting. Or even better, plan your gravy in advance, before the cutlets are cooked.

If you know me, you know that I love gravy. And I mean, LOVE. So we decided to try to make our own gravy. James has pulled off lemon-butter sauces off the top of his head, so I thought that just giving him the basic ingredient list would be fine. Keep the oil that's left in the pan after frying, add butter, milk and flour. Add the flour SLOWLY!! Otherwise, you'll end up with our problem, and have huge globs of flour, instead of a smooth gravy. Sine turkey doesn't add a lot of flavour, and bread crumbs don't leave as much on the pan as a last dredge of flour does, you'll need to add some chicken broth or stock. My recommendation is to actually follow a recipe instead of making it up. We did not add chicken broth, and had clumps of flour. Ours also tasted like flour-y milk, so we tossed it out and James headed to Ralph's to buy some canned gravy. Not exactly the best, but better than nothing.
So yummy!

After all this time, the potatoes were a bit milky and the turkey was dry around the edges. However, in the middle it was both moist and crispy on the outside. It was an absolutely delicious dinner, and worth all the trouble of cleaning up. If you don't want gravy or have a gravy plan in advance, this would be a five star dinner. Even with the problems we had, James and I both gave it four stars. We both want to try this recipe again, making a few changes and both of us cooking (James acted as a sous-chef and I sat out and just directed since I had a killer headache).

A homemade snack, to-go
While everything else was happening, I took the pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lantern yesterday and washed them off--warm water in a large bowl, then a colander with a large hole. I went online to find the best way to roast pumpkin seeds and found a site called the Pumpkin Patch. It recommended roasting them on a cookie sheet at 275 degrees (see, it all makes sense) for anywhere from 10-20 minutes. I wanted to season them with something other than salt, so I decided to try something new. I put them back into the bowl I washed them in (sans the water), added some olive oil, lemon pepper, salt and just a touch of garlic. I mixed it all up, and spread the seed out on parchment paper that I put on top of the cookie sheet (saves you a lot of clean up). I roasted them for the recommended time, though I think a little longer might have been better. They're delicious! Makes sure you really spread them out, since where a few were piled up, they didn't roast as well, but if you like a lemon-y smokey taste, these little snacks are great! Yum!

All in all, a great night, and four stars out of five for the recipes, with the few changes we recommend!

1 comment:

  1. I baked pumpkin seeds with your recipe, and YUMMM - I'm crunching them right now! Can't wait to see more wonderful recipes. :o)

    - Becca