Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Turkey. Sigh.

I don't know about you, but I just get so tired of coming up with dinner. Which is kind of stupid, because, well, I write a blog about it, but what can I say, I'm human. Yesterday, trolling the Whole Foods, feeling both bored and poor, I stumbled across turkey cutlets. We are mighty tired of chicken, I thought, and tossed them in the cart. Fine. Whatever .

But turkey isn't that different from chicken, is it. And once home, staring at those turkey cutlets - while they were inexpensive - I felt so thoroughly uninspired I almost tossed them in the freezer and called the pizza guy. Except we just had pizza on Sunday - and I was bored of that too. I'm just bored of everything. Perhaps it's the weather. Bored. Bored. Bored. Aren't you bored of this post already? - I know I am. Perhaps I should just get to the dinner I made, because, while I was in quite a sad and sorry state of ennui when I came up with it - it did turn out nicely. And even though I sighed throughout the meal, Smith and the girls liked it a lot - plates were cleaned and seconds were asked for. And it was easy easy easy to make. Which was good because it gave me more time to drape myself over the divan and sigh...

Turkey Cutlets with Red wine Mushroom Sauce

Served, 4 (2 of em, kids -- for most families, this would serve 2 - so feel free to double the amount of turkey - but we are cheapskates and pile our plates with sides to make up for the lack of meat)

4 Turkey cutlets
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste

1 TBLSP of olive oil, or 1 TBLSP of butter or a combo of both
12 (or so) cremini mushrooms * (see below)
1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup red wine (Used a tasty Zinfandel called "The Zin" which is on sale at the State store)
1 or 2 table spoons of half and half, or milk or if you don't have either a bit more of butter

So, wash and pat your turkey cutlets dry. If you don't dry them they won't brown, so do not skip that step, although I am often tempted to do so. Salt and pepper the cutlets on both sides.

Wipe the dirt off the mushrooms and cut them into thicks slices. Preheat your skillet. When it's nice and hot swirl in the oil, then toss in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are brown on both sides. You'll need to do this in two batches, because as Julia Child said (and Julie Powell learned) the mushrooms won't brown if they are too crowded. When the mushrooms are browned and cooked through, slide them onto a plate and wipe out the skillet.

Preheat the skilled again, and once it's hot toss in more oil or butter (or combo - if butter is being used, let it get frothy). Meanwhile, dump the flour into a pie plate and dredge each cutlet through it, knocking off the excess before placing it in the skillet. Don't crowd the meat either - nothing browns in a crowded pan. Do this in batches if you have a small pan (like I do) and keep what's been cooked warm -- I like to put a cookie cooling rack in a 195 degree oven and put the cooked cutlets on the rack. Doing this prevents the loss of crispiness.

When the cutlets have been cooked, raise the heat a bit and pour the broth and wine into the pan. Scrape up brown bits, reduce a minute then add the cooked mushrooms and the cream. Adjust the seasoning, it might need pepper, or it might not. Serve IMMEDIATELY - or the whole thing will get soggy.

It helps to have made the sides before you cook the Turkey. I boiled up some egg noodles and some frozen peas. The sauce was awesome on the noodles.

And, no, my children did NOT eat the mushrooms, which was fine: more for Smith and me.

**- you can also soak dried mushrooms in about 1/2 cup of boiling water. After the mushrooms have reconstituted, take them out, squeeze them dryish and strain the water they soaked in through a paper towel. You can use the mushroom water in place of the chicken broth for a more mushroomy taste

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