I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Turkey Parmigiana

Since Parmigiana dishes are mostly an American riff on Italian food, I don't feel the least bit bad about the liberties I took tonight. We had turkey cutlets because they're quick and readily available at TJs, but I didn't feel like preparing or eating any of the French-influenced sauces recommended in my Cook's Illustrated Quick Recipe cookbook. "Can you make Parmigiana?" asked R. Why yes, in a manner of speaking.

It turned out to be a tasty dish easily made of items we always have around: matzo meal, eggs, frozen homemade marinara, and havarti cheese slices (makes for quick-n-easy cheese toast). My sensibilities were far more offended by the sauteed bock choy I served along side, but that's my anti-fusion issue.

1 package turky cutlets (~1 lb.)
1 T flour
1 egg
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/2 t Italian seasoning
2 T + 1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese
salt and pepper
2 cups marinara-type tomato sauce, or make a very simple marinara with lightly sauteed garlic and one can of tomatoes, puree to use
Cheese slices suitable for melting

Arrange the turkey cutlets on a plate and allow to rest 10 minutes at room temp. Meanwhile, spread the flour in a plate. Lightly beat the egg in a pie plate and arrange it next to the flour. Mix the matzo meal, 2 T grated cheese, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste in a third plate. Begin prep for a salad or veg side. Pour a glass of wine. Then blot the cutlets with paper towel and lightly salt and pepper.

Using tongs (this gets messy), dredge the turkey cutlets one by one in flour, egg and the matzo meal mixture. Shake lighly after each dredging to rid excess. Some cutlets will follow apart, salvage the small pieces that make sense and keep going. Transfer the turkey cutlets to a plate and let sit for ten minutes while the coating sets. Turn on the broiler, heat the sauce and cook the veg and a pasta shape to accompany and make the salad.

Heat a 12" nonstick skillet on med-high and add 1 T EVOO. Heat until it's hot enough to sizzle a crumb of matzo meal mixture, but not smoking. Add the turkey cutlets and cook for 2 minutes, turn over and cook for 30-60 seconds until just browned. Transfer to aplate lined with paper towels, and continue to saute the turkey in batches as necessary.

Arrange the cutlets in a casserole and ladle a few tablespoons of sauce over each, then top with the remaining grated cheese and torn-to-size pieces of sliced cheese. Place under the broiler till the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Remove and plate on top of a bit more tomato sauce. Toss the pasta with the remaining sauce. Serve with cutlets over the pasta and with the veg and/or salad, enjoy with a glass of wine, of course.

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