Friday, March 13, 2009

Turkey Cutlets with Walnut-Sage Pesto

This "SuperFood" sauce was inspired by a recipe from Wine and Food Magazine. In addition to the turkey, you get a serving of walnuts, garlic and olive oil. The turkey breading also include oat bran and flax meal. Serve on a bed of whole wheat or fiber-enriched pasta, such as Smart Choice by Ronzoni that was tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper to round out the meal.

Note: Turkey cutlets are boneless, skinless breast meat that has been sliced across the grain. Available in most major supermarket chains.

1 1/4 cups walnuts (4 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 cup of oat bran
1/8 cup of flax meal
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 medium sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 6 tablespoons for frying
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Eight 1/4-inch-thick turkey cutlets (1 1/2 pounds)

In a food processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the walnuts with the bread crumbs, oat bran, flax meal and cheese until the walnuts are finely ground. Transfer to a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Wipe out the bowl of the food processor. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts along with the sage and garlic and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the butter and 1/3 cup of the olive oil and process until the nuts are finely chopped and the butter is incorporated. Season the pesto generously with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.

Put the flour and eggs in 2 shallow bowls. Season the turkey cutlets with salt and pepper, then dust them with flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the cutlets in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dip the cutlets in the walnut-crumb mixture, pressing to help the crumbs adhere.

In a very large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the cutlets and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden outside and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the cutlets to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and turkey cutlets. Transfer the cutlets to plates, spoon some of the walnut-sage pesto on top and serve at once on bed of pasta. (Pasta can be omitted.)

Recommended side dish: Spinach sauteed in garlic, cranberries and olive oil.

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