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Nutritionally Speaking

Be Kind to Your Heart by Trying Turkey for Yule

December 08, 1988|TONI TIPTON

If an elegant menu entree that is quick to prepare but offers nutritional balance is what your shopping for this holiday season, then look to turkey parts as a solution.

With less than half the calories of beef, turkey is a heart-wise choice. It is low in saturated fat, a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, making it a good substitute in almost any recipe that calls for meat.

Turkey slices can stand in for veal in scaloppine and ground turkey can be used in place of ground beef in patties, meat loaf, chili and spaghetti. But because of the low-fat content, turkey products tend to stick to cooking surfaces and should be cooked in non-stick pans or marinated in mixtures of lemon juice, vinegar or wine for added moisture. Use a small amount of oil or non-stick vegetable coating spray when grilling, broiling or roasting.

Stunning Presentation

The recipes that follow, feature turkey breast tenderloins and turkey thighs, and offer the stunning presentation required at this time of year. In Turkey en Croute, lightly browned tenderloins are wrapped in frozen puff pastry and served with a delicate dill-cream sauce. Turkey Roast With Fruit is another memorable feast. Garlic, oregano, prunes and dried apricots flavor the marinade. To serve, perch the roast on a bed of spinach fettuccine tossed with the remaining marinade.

Tenderloins with Plum Sauce, Honey Smoked Turkey Tenderloin With Vegetables, Chutney Yogurt Turkey Tenderloins and Stuffed Turkey Thighs round out the selections.

TURKEY EN CROUTE

1 pound turkey breast tenderloins

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 (17 1/2-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 1/4 cups half and half

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Saute turkey in butter in skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes, turning to brown both sides. Remove turkey and allow to cool slightly. Cut each pastry sheet in half and wrap each half around tenderloin, gently stretching pastry to cover turkey. Pinch edges of pastry together to seal. Decorate with additional pastry. Place seam-side down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine half and half, cornstarch, dill, basil, pepper and onion powder in same skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve with turkey. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

TENDERLOINS WITH PLUM SAUCE

1 pound turkey breast tenderloins

1 (16-ounce) can plums

1/2 cup apple juice

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Place turkey on broiler pan. Place 5 inches from heat and broil 10 minutes. Turn and broil 10 minutes on other side.

Meanwhile, drain plums and reserve syrup. Combine syrup, apple juice and cornstarch in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove seeds and coarsely chop plums. Add plums and allspice to sauce. Cook 1 minute longer. Serve over turkey. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

HERB TURKEY ROAST WITH FRUIT

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup apple juice

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup minced garlic

3 tablespoons oregano leaves

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 (11-ounce) package pitted prunes

1 cup dried apricots

2 to 3 pounds turkey breast roast

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 pound spinach fettuccine

Combine oil, juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, prunes and apricots in medium bowl. Place turkey breast in 3 to 4-quart Dutch oven and pour marinade over. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Drain marinade from turkey and reserve. Sprinkle turkey with brown sugar and bake at 350 degrees until thermometer reaches 165 degrees, about 35 minutes per pound.

Meanwhile, cook fettuccine according to package directions, then mix with marinade. Serve turkey roast on bed of fettuccine. Arrange apricots and prunes around turkey roast. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

HONEY SMOKED TURKEY TENDERLOIN WITH VEGETABLES

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 up soy sauce

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon grated ginger root

1 tablespoon crushed sage leaves

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 1/4 pounds turkey breast tenderloins

8 red potatoes, quartered

4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 small onions, cut into 8 pieces

Combine juice, oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger, sage, garlic, salt, pepper and liquid smoke in medium bowl. Place tenderloins in 13x9-inch baking pan and pour marinade over. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Place potatoes, carrots, celery and onions in marinade around turkey and bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

CHUTNEY-YOGURT TURKEY TENDERLOINS

1 1/4 to 1 1/2-pounds turkey tenderloins

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 stalk celery, with leaves, sliced

3 peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 cup chopped mango chutney

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