Turkey Milanese with Cranberries and Romanesco…. it’s not just for Thanksgiving!
While shopping last week a few weeks ago I happened to see a strange looking Broccoli…..hmm, it had a pointed top. While standing in front of the display, smartphone in hand googling Romanesco, unnoticed one of Wegman’s produce employees had come up alongside me. As he spoke there was no need guessing what part of the world he came from, as he told me how delicious Romanesco is……it was of course from his home country of Italy! He begins to extol the virtues of this wondrous vegetable and how good it was grilled or roasted, and then he went on telling me how delicious it was in Risotto……well my friend you had me at Risotto. I picked up two heads, one to roast and for risotto.
As I wandered through the store and finally into the meat department, I was thinking of Thanksgiving and all of the wonderful dishes that I would be preparing, and I thought to myself what a shame it was we didn’t eat turkey more often. Of course, I do roast a few over the course of the winter, and turkey burgers are my burger of choice these days, but that glorious bird just doesn’t seem to find its way onto my table very often. Well, I think that’s about to change because I found packages of very thinly cut Turkey breast, aka Turkey Scallopini. When I first returned to cooking many years ago, we served a veal scallopini, and to me it meant smothered in red sauce, with onions, peppers and mushrooms and then topped with melted mozzarella….sigh It was not only beautiful but delicious. It was only later that I learned that scallopini referred to the cut of meat, more exactly a very thinly sliced piece of meat. So with the Turkey scallopini in my cart, I headed for the checkout.
There are many things I could have done with those tender slices of turkey, Piccata came to mine, a nice lemon butter sauce with capers, light and flavorful, or of course marsala with mushrooms….hmmm, or even Milanese, lightly breaded and sauteed in olive oil, served warm from the pan, tender and flavorful.
I decided to go with the Milanese, I could of course just dredge the slices in flour and saute them without the breadcrumbs, but a protective layer of bread crumbs really helps a cut of meat like the turkey scallopini, it keeps it moist and tender.
Now it was after all almost Thanksgiving and what goes better with turkey than cranberries….so with that thought in mind, I decide a homemade warm cranberry sauce would make a lovely addition to my meal. Of course, I also knew that Lisa wouldn’t go anywhere near those cranberries…..sigh, she just doesn’t like them. Luckily I had purchased some Jersey-Fresh cranberries, larger than any I had seen before and such a beautiful color red. I quickly washed them and placed them a pot with a cup of water a cup of sugar the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt and let those berries simmer into a beautiful homemade cranberry sauce.
Now the meal was really getting interesting. Do you remember the Romanesco? Well, one head was roasting in the oven and the other head was well on its way to becoming a delicious risotto.
As I plated the meal, I couldn’t help but spoon some of that gorgeous steaming cranberry sauce over my Turkey cutlets, and one just had to find it’s way into my mouth, drenched in that tangy sweet cranberry sauce…..sigh, it was a beautiful thing and to say that I was not disappointed would have been an understatement! Those flavors were meant to be together, it was outrageously delicious! Lisa, of course, enjoyed her Turkey Scallopini Milanese style, and she seemed to enjoy her meal every bit as much as I did.
I can promise you that turkey will be finding its way onto my home menu more often, and I hope you give it a try, I know once you do you’ll be serving turkey more often too!
- 1 1/2 pounds turkey breast pounded 1/8-inch thick, 8-10 cutlets
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 small onion chopped
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 1 head Romanesco cut into florets
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Using the flat side of a meat hammer pound the turkey until 1/8 inch thick.
Combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.
Place the eggs in a second medium bowl and lightly beat.
Place the seasoned bread crumbs in a third medium bowl.
Dredge the turkey in the flour and shake off any excess flour.
Dip the turkey into the eggs and then into the bread crumbs to coat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook the turkey, in batches, until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, adding more oil, if needed.
Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200-degree oven.
In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons oil.
Saute garlic and Romanesco for about 3 minutes or until garlic is tender.
Add 1 cup chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer uncovered, for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
In another saucepan heat remaining oil, add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
Add rice and stir until rice is coated.
Add 1/2 cup chicken broth stirring constantly until absorbed
Add in romanesco and chicken broth, stirring until the liquid is absorbed.
Add remaining broth, 1/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly, continue to cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Rice will be creamy and grains tender when done. (Total cooking time is about 20 minutes.)
Mix in the Romano cheese and drizzle with good olive oil before serving.