Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quick and Easy (Sunday) Dinner

One of the things I have asked all my children to do upon moving out is to commit to returning every Sunday for dinner. We have always had a traditional sit-down dinner on Sundays, giving us a chance to catch-up, be civil, and practice our social graces. I did not want to see that end just because they moved out. And since they are all within 15 minutes away, it isn’t such a burden. We do a lot of traditional foods like leg of lamb, roast beef, roast chicken, and in the summer, big barbecues with potato salad, etc. They aren’t big on me changing the rules and making them guinea pigs on this one day a week. But I did it anyway. I tried to hedge my bets by not really telling them all the ingredients. I thought I would hear groans and see something pushed to the side of the plate, but I was more than pleasantly surprised to see everyone eat their meal in its entirety, so I consider this recipe a success.

What I like most about this recipe is that it requires little prep and cooks very quickly, meaning it can be prepared any night of the week. It is also very different, looks tasty, and is low in fat and calories. One of the things most people hate about low-fat foods is the lack of taste. I maintain that with the right herbs or spices, you can make most anything taste great and this recipe proves it. I cut it out of last July’s Gourmet magazine and it only took me a year to try it, and I am very sorry I didn’t do so sooner. Don’t be put off by the combination of ingredients, it really is wonderful. The Brady Bunch (plus 2) heartily endorse it.

Turkey Cutlets with Cilantro Almond Sauce
Serves 4 (I tripled the recipe without a problem)

3 T red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ t red pepper flakes
¾ t salt
¼ c olive oil
½ c sliced almonds (calls for toasted, but I didn’t bother!)
1/3 c cilantro, chopped
½ t ground coriander
¼ t cinnamon
4 turkey breast cutlets, about 1/3-inch think (about 1¼ lb total)

Whisk together ground coriander and cinnamon, 1 T olive oil and ½ t salt. Brush both sides of turkey cutlets and set aside to marinate.

Whisk together vinegar, garlic, red pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt, until salt is dissolved. Add 3 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Then whisk in almonds and cilantro. Set aside.

Grill turkey cutlets, turning once, until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes total. Do not overcook. Plate turkey with spoonful of almond/cilantro sauce.

I served this with rice and grilled vegetables. Simple, but delicious meal.

Note: I used turkey tenderloins, cut them in half and pounded them down

Changes Afoot

I was horrified to see that I had not posted in almost two months. Shame on me! But then I looked at the last billing period for my paying job and saw how much I had been doing and realized one of the reasons for being such a slacker in this arena. The other reason is that our eating habits have changed a bit due to the season and a change in household. The big change is that we have become empty nesters. Our youngest son moved out in June and it was painful. Painful to see the last one go, painful to be amidst so much quiet in our household, and painful to have to adjust the way I cook. Even when there were only 3 of us in the house there were, more often than not, my son’s friends here to partake in the evening meal. I cooked for 6-8 every night and we had leftovers if it didn’t all get eaten. Now it is just two of us, and given our expanding waistlines, we are eating differently. And then there is the summer farmer’s markets we frequent, where what is fresh dictates what I cook. We have been winging it a lot. But this week I made a concerted effort to go through a whole clipping file and find some new recipes to try. So that is what you’ll be getting, as well as repeated apologies for the long absence……