June 26, 2009
Posted by Michelle
I started buying turkey cutlets when I saw them on sale. That was really it. I needed meat for dinners and turkey was on sale. When I got home I looked them up to see if they are any different from chicken. What I learned was that they are different from chicken in a few little ways that make them WAY better.
The main difference has to do with the prep and cooking. Turkey cutlets require little prep, cook very quickly, and stay moist. Unlike chicken breasts, a turkey cutlet requires cooking only about 2-3 min on each side. Cooking them much longer can cause them to be dry and tough, so try to avoid that. On the stove top, flip them when brown… on the grill, flip them when they have grill marks. It is really that simple.
If you googled “turkey cutlets” you would see that lots of people use them as replacements for another type of meat. Some people use them in recipes that call for veal or pork. I cook them because they’re good. And fast. And cheap.
I had turkey cutlets, basil, and broccoli that HAD to be used last night. I was looking around through some recipes online trying to figure out what to make for dinner that would 1) use all the perishable stuff in my fridge and 2) be delicious (duh). I found a few recipes for a lemon chicken with basil dressing. Because I’m not good at following directions and because I didn’t have all of the ingredients in that recipe, I made something up.
I called my husband who was working from home and asked him to put the turkey in a marinade:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon pepper (we only had 1.5 tbsp, so he made up the difference with garlic power and onion flakes)
- 1 tsp cracked red pepper
- pinch of salt
Now I realize that lemon pepper and onion flakes usually fall into the category of “spices” that makes Food Network chefs gasp. Well tough luck. Yes, lemon juice and lemon zest would’ve been better. And a real onion would’ve had better flavor. I just didn’t have those things, so I improvised.
The turkey marinated for a few hour, but you could easily coat the turkey in this mixture and throw it right on the grill. If you used real lemon juice/zest, it would add MUCH more flavor very quickly.
I then made a pesto-ish mixture to go on top:
- fresh basil
- fresh mint
- one clove of garlic
- feta cheese
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
I tossed the basil, mint, and garlic into the food processor to combine. Then went in some feta. Then the olive oil… just a little at a time! Don’t over do it! Then a splash of the red wine vinegar and done. Into the fridge so the flavors could marry while I made the rest of the dinner.
Along with the turkey cutlets, we had grilled broccoli. I know I’ve posted about grilled broccoli before, but it is worth mentioning again. Simply cut the heads of broccoli into trees (follow the natural stems), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the spices of your choice (I used just black pepper here), and onto the grill until they have marks. Super easy. SUPER good. (I should also mention here that my dog loves grilled broccoli too… she’s gotten a piece here and there that fell on the floor. Loves it. No idea what that’s about, but it is fine with me.)
I threw the turkey cutlets onto the grill for about 3 minutes on each side. They cook really quickly, so only flip once.
Once everyone came off the grill, we moved inside (“we” being the turkey, broccoli, and my dog who thinks grill time is frisbee time). I put a little shmear of the basil/mint pesto-ish mixture on the turkey. Voila! Dinner’s READY!
From start to finish, that took no more than a half-hour. Quite possibly less. A delicious, healthy, unique weeknight meal in under a half-hour. Beat that, Rachel Ray!