It's unlikely that any of us will feel like roasting whole turkeys in the near future. But you can still enjoy the taste of turkey without the hoopla of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cooking with turkey parts means not worrying about overcooking and drying out the meat.
For variety in your winter meals, consider these recipes using turkey parts: ground breast meat in the meatloaf, turkey drumstick barbecue and turkey breast cutlets, which replace the veal in traditional Wiener Schnitzel.
Mandel is author of "Celebrating the Midwestern Table" (Doubleday & Co., 1996).
Active Work Time: 30 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 red or green bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey breast meat
* Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until just starting to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Stir in bread crumbs, 1/4 cup chili sauce, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin and black pepper to taste. Mix well. Add turkey, using fork to work into vegetable mixture. Let rest 10 minutes.
* Transfer to shallow baking dish lined with foil and shape into 8x5-inch oval; mixture will be moist. (Can be covered tightly and refrigerated at this point up to 1 day.) Before baking, spread remaining chili sauce over top and sides.
* Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees until internal temperature registers 185 degrees, about 45 to 50 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
4 to 5 servings. Each of 5 servings: 196 calories; 818 mg sodium; 86 mg cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 0.50 gram fiber.
Turkey Drumstick Barbecue
Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
If you prefer, you can eat these drumsticks whole, rather than make sandwiches.
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 turkey drumsticks, about 1 pound each, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
4 soft Kaiser rolls, warmed
* Combine cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in small dish. Rub spice mix into drumsticks. Place in baking dish lined with foil.
* Roast drumsticks, uncovered, at 375 degrees, turning them every 15 minutes, until lightly browned and juices run clear when pierced with tip of sharp paring knife, about 55 minutes. Generously brush 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over drumsticks. Roast 10 minutes more.
* Remove meat from bones, discarding tendons and skin. Put meat in bowl. Heat remaining barbecue sauce then toss with meat. Divide evenly on buns; serve warm.
4 servings. Each serving: 322 calories; 1,050 mg sodium; 72 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 38 grams carbohydrates; 26 grams protein; 0.20 gram fiber.
Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling
Good accompaniments are spaetzle, tiny German dumplings or buttered noodles along with garlicky spinach or sauteed red cabbage.
2 turkey breast cutlets, about 4 ounces each
1/4 cup flour, seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs, left out to dry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced parsley, for garnish
2 teaspoons drained capers, for garnish
2 lemon wedges, for garnish
* Tear 4 sheets of plastic wrap. Put each cutlet between 2 sheets. Gently pound cutlet from center to edges until uniformly 1/4-inch thick. Put seasoned flour on 1 sheet waxed paper, bread crumbs on another and egg in shallow pie dish. Dip each cutlet into flour, beaten egg and then bread crumbs, coating cutlet evenly. Arrange cutlets on wax paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate 30 minutes for coating to adhere and dry out slightly. Before cooking, generously season both sides cutlets with salt and pepper.
* Heat oil and butter in 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, saute cutlets until well-browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and brown other side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot garnished with parsley, capers and lemon wedges.
2 servings. Each serving: 302 calories; 932 mg sodium; 175 mg cholesterol; 16 grams fat; 38 grams carbohydrates; 26 grams protein; 0.20 gram fiber.