Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apples #1 - Stuff and Bake

Baked apples...what's not to love?

When you get apples the size of your head, you know you've got to stuff those babies.  And that's exactly what I did last night with the monster Honeycrisps you saw in my earlier post. 

It just so happens Fresh Market included a recipe for baked apples in its newsletter announcing the celebrated arrival of the Honeycrisp.  It's pretty good, too, and couldn't be easier.  This will take you 10 minutes of prep time, an hour to bake, and a minute to eat.

Baked Apples Stuffed with Cranberries and Walnuts
(Fresh Market)

4 Honeycrisp apples (or other large baking apples)
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 C dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
1/4 C walnuts, chopped (or pecans, toasted, of course!)
4 T butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice off top of apples and scoop out cores, leaving a well in the center.  In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries and walnuts until blended.  Stuff each apple with a quarter of the brown sugar mixture. 

Place apples in a deep baking dish, topping each with one tablespoon of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Fill the bottom of a pan with water, place the dish of apples in the pan, then bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until apples are tender.

Note:  I baked only two apples and cut all the recipe ingredients in half.   Be sure to drizzle some of the buttery drippings over the apples before serving.  These would also be good stuffed with granola.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Try an Asian Noodle Bowl

Lucky enough to have a chill in the air?  This will warm you.

The featured recipe in this post reminds me of a Vietnamese noodle bowl, but cookbook author Sheila Lukins says it is inspired by the noodle soups of Indonesia.  This dish is basically an aromatic fish and noodle soup.  It uses cod and tons of chicken stock, fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro and shallots. 

I had a package of frozen cod and was looking for a creative use for it.  My recent library visit resulted in the book Ten, which is a compilation by Lukins of 32 different foods we are presumed to love.  She provides 10 recipes for each, and each recipe she considers a "10."    Are you following this?  What a convoluted idea for a cookbook! 

Anyway, emerging from the chapter on fish is a recipe for Ginger-Lime Cod in a Bowl.  The heavenly aroma will have everyone in the house asking, "What's for dinner?"  Be forewarned, this dish dirties lots of pots and pans and involves loads of chopping - a great meal if you have a sous chef handy (or child labor).  It's also ideal for dieters.  If you aren't concerned about calories, serve with a loaf of crusty bread.

Ginger-Lime Cod in a Bowl
(Ten by Sheila Lukins)

For the fish:
2 C chicken broth, preferably homemade
4 sprigs cilantro, lightly crushed
4 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, sliced and crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 pounds cod fillet, cut crosswise into six 4-ounce pieces (try to keep the pieces similarly sized by trimming off the thin area on the bottom of each piece)

For the serving broth:
2 T. olive oil
2 medium-size shallots, minced
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. minced fresh ginger
6 C chicken broth, preferably homemade
2 cinnamon sticks (each 3 inches long)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For finishing the dish:
12 ounces angel-hair pasta
1 head broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into small florets
2 ripe tomatoes, each seeded and cut into 8 pieces
4 scallions (white bulbs and 3 inches green), thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
6 lime slices, for garnish
4 T. thinly sliced fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

1.  Prepare the fish:  Combine 2 cups of chicken broth, cilantro, parsley, garlic, ginger, salt, and 2 cups water in a large skillet.  Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer, add the fish, and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 7 minutes.  Using a slotted spatula, gently transfer the fish to a plate; set it aside.  Discard the cooking broth and seasonings.

2.  Prepare the serving broth:  Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the shallots, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the broth and the cinnamon sticks, partially cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Season the broth with salt and pepper.  Let it steep, covered, for 15 minutes.  Then strain the broth into another saucepan and set it aside until serving time.

3.  About 15 minutes before serving time, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions  Drain, and set it aside.

4.  While the pasta is cooking, bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the broccoli florets, and blanch them lightly, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain the broccoli and set it aside.

5.  To serve, reheat the serving broth.  Arrange the cod, pasta, tomatoes, and broccoli in a pinwheel fashion in each of six shallow soup or pasta bowls.  Top each serving with a cup of the hot broth, and sprinkle the scallions on top.  Place a lime slice in the center of each bowl, garnish each with the basil, and serve immediately.

Notes:  I didn't have any scallions, but I think they would add a nice crunch.  Be sure to season well with salt and pepper or this dish will be bland.

Monday, September 27, 2010

'A' Is for Autumn and Apples

I was so excited last week when I discovered Fresh Market got its first shipment of Honeycrisp apples. 

While I was out running errands Friday, I picked up five for $12.  At $2.98/pound on sale, these are some pricey - and enormous - apples, but well worth the splurge in my book.  I am not an "apple" person but I love these crispy beauties. 

Yesterday, I saw them at Walmart for $1.98/pound.  I don't think I have ever seen them priced so low, and I purchased one to see if it's the same quality as Fresh Market's.   Oh, yeah.  I have a feeling you'll be seeing a few apple recipes in upcoming posts.

Honeycrisps generate such excitement because of their sweet and tart flavors and extreme juiciness, as well as their limited availability:  September through December.   I look forward to cooking with them, since Fresh Market claims they are good baking apples, too. 

Oh, how I love fall!  Despite the 90-degree temperatures, I'll pretend there is a nip in the air and cook all my seasonal favorites anyway.  That's how we roll in Florida.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Foodie Headline of the Week

Today, we have this gem in the Tampa Tribune:


If you'd like to read the story in its entirety or take a gander at the lifesaving squash, here are the "grizzly" details from AP:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fabulous Fish Tacos

Both tacos are only 405 calories. 
Say goodbye to summer with this low-calorie favorite from Ellie Krieger's cookbook, The Food You Crave.  In case you are unfamiliar with Ellie, she hosts "Healthy Appetite," a show which previously ran on Food Network and now can be seen on Cooking Channel.  A registered dietitian with a master's degree in nutrition, she has a knack for making boring "diet" food taste pretty great. 

I recently made her recipe for fish tacos.  I love fish tacos but they usually are not low in calories, thanks to many restaurants and taco stands frying the fish.   Ellie marinates the fish in fresh lime juice and a touch of olive oil, then quickly grills it.  You never miss the fry.  She then adds a chipotle cream to spice it up and tops it off with corn kernels, shredded cabbage and cilantro.  Corn tortillas are the vessel of choice, since they are extremely low in calories, sodium and fat.

While the last few recipes I've posted are loaded with fat and calories, this is one you won't feel guilty about eating, and it's ready in a snap.  I picked up some tilapia, an ear of fresh corn, and a bag of angel-hair shredded cabbage, and it was off to the kitchen.  Ole!

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream
(The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger)

For the fish
2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound white, flaky fish fillets (tilapia, mahi-mahi or halibut)

For the chipotle cream
1/2 C plain nonfat yogurt or 1/3 C Greek-style nonfat yogurt
2 T. mayonnaise
2 tsp. finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce

For the tacos
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
1 1/2 C shredded green cabbage or lettuce
1/2 C cooked corn kernels
1/4 C fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

To make the fish, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Pour over the fish and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.  To make the chipotle cream, if using regular yogurt, put it into a strainer lined with a paper towel set over a bowl to drain and thicken for 30 minutes.  Preheat a grill or nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat.

Remove the fish from the marinade and grill until cooked through, about three minutes per side.  Set the fish aside on a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine the drained or Greek-style yogurt, the mayonnaise and chipotle.

To prepare the tacos, heat the tortillas on the grill or grill pan for 30 seconds on each side.

Flake the fish with a fork.  Spread each tortilla with one tablespoon of the chipotle cream.  Top with fish, cabbage, corn and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

Notes:  I have been using the leftover chipotle cream on sandwiches and it adds lots of flavor and heat to otherwise uninspired turkey sandwiches.  If you don't like spicy foods, use less chipotle in the cream.  Greek yogurt is superior to regular yogurt.  Buy it and you won't need to mess with the strainer.  You can use frozen corn but fresh tastes best, and I simply saute it in butter-flavored cooking spray.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Magical Dining in Orlando: Cala Bella

Get thee to Orlando to take advantage of Magical Dining Month!  From Sept. 1-30, participating restaurants, many of which are upscale gems, are offering three-course dinners for $30.  My Tampa friends, time is of the essence.  Here's the link, which lists the restaurants and their featured menus:

Hubmeister and I were at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort Friday night for a meeting and were treated like royalty while taking advantage of this promotion at its very expensive Cala Bella restaurant. 

Mention the Magical Dining promotion at these establishments; otherwise, you're apt to get the standard menu.  Orlando food bloggers reported this, and that's what happened to us.  Without hesitation, our exceptional waiter simply switched the menus and inquired how we heard about the promotion.  We selected a lovely bottle of wine but were well-treated even before we ordered it.  We usually loathe restaurant promotions - once servers ourselves back in the day - but this deal is too good to be missed, and it does help these folks through a notoriously slow month in Florida. 

I became aware of Magical Dining Month when I stumbled across an informative Orlando food blog -  Kate, a chef and sommelier, mentioned her fondness for this annual culinary event and listed a few spots she planned to visit.  After a bit of research, I discovered the resort where we were booked - a AAA Four-Diamond property with highly rated restaurants - was participating.  The steak restaurant, A Land Remembered, was closed for a private party, but the Italian bistro, Cala Bella, was open for business. 

I apologize for not having any pictures to share.  Hubmeister grumbled about my taking photos, and since we were dining early due to a later engagement, we were the only people in the restaurant.  Photography would have been awkwardly conspicuous.  You must take me at my word that every plate was gourmet gorgeous.

The special menu offered a few choices for each course, and they were dishes taken from the regular menu, not a scaled-down set concocted for this promotion. 

We both started with a salad of arugula, Gorgonzola cheese, candied pecans, mission figs, raspberries and blackberries tossed with yellow tomato vinaigrette and topped with carrot curls.  A picture in a bowl, the peppery greens mixed with the tangy cheese and sweet and tart fruits were scrumptious. 

Along with the salad course, we devoured a basket of assorted breads featuring rosemary-flavored bread sticks, an oval flat bread that reminded me of a gargantuan Melba toast covered in Parmesan and perhaps a few other cheeses and then baked, and rolls resembling mini-ciabattas that contained walnuts and raisins. The bread was accompanied by a dish of olive oil accentuated with balsamic vinegar and honey.  The honey was a new twist for me, but the sweetened oil-and-vinegar combination complemented the raisin-walnut rolls.  I could have stopped at the salad and irresistible bread and left perfectly happy.  However, I continued my gluttonous journey.

My entree, "papperdelle ai bistecche," was a 10-ounce New York strip served with a spicy tomato and mushroom ragu over papperdelle, a ribbonlike pasta.  I had a couple of prickly issues with the steak.  First, it was cooked more than I consider medium.   To me, medium means bright pink, not barely pink.  Second, it arrived already sliced, atop the pasta.  A nice presentation, yes, but I like to cut into a steak.   The savory juices seared inside this "Five-Diamond Harris Ranch Prime New York Strip" exploded onto the chef's cutting board, not my plate.  Despite the beefs I had with the beef, it was tender and tasty.  The wavy pasta dressed in spicy red sauce was a palate-pleaser.  Although a big fan of garlic, I found it refreshing that the kitchen didn't overwhelm the dishes with it.

Hubmeister ordered asiago chicken, a dish prepared with sun-dried tomatoes, fried wild mushrooms, and asiago cheese, presented in a delicate pool of Chianti reduction.  Quite pretty.  He didn't go crazy over it, but you must understand Hubmeister, although I don't - he doesn't care for sun-dried tomatoes or mushrooms.  So, why order this dish?  To steal a line from Tennyson, "Ours is not to reason why."

Dessert was a treat because I usually don't indulge, and now we had two delightful specimens to share.  I ordered cappuccino creme brulee and Hubmeister requested lemon mascarpone.   I didn't receive my brulee, but I didn't care because the chocolate sabayon that was placed before me was my other choice.  Now, honestly I am not familiar with cooking or eating panna cotta or sabayon, but they were delicious.  This dessert, which I assume was chocolate panna cotta accompanied by fluffy sabayon flavored with liqueur, was presented with a raspberry coulis and chocolate sauce formed into the shape of a musical note.  I felt like singing.

Hubmeister's lemon mascarpone consisted of layers of crispy sugar cookie, sponge cake, raspberry filling, and creamy mascarpone cheese flavored with lemon, all encased in a hard yellow shell and accented with edible art made of white chocolate.  It was light and luscious, a perfect end to an Italian meal.  

Our waiter was attentive and friendly, but not overly intrusive.  He gets huge props for brewing a pot of fresh coffee to accompany dessert, apologizing for the slight delay because he opted to do so.  This guy should give lessons on how to wait tables.  I wish I would have asked him more details about my dessert, but I was having too much fun to care about specifics.  I must have been distracted by the comfortably elegant atmosphere; serene panorama of the resort's pools, gardens, lakes and golf course; and the fine company, food and wine.  Our gourmet dining experience at Cala Bella was magical indeed. 

Note:  Reservations are recommended.  Some tables view the open kitchen, if you want to watch the chef in action.  Request a window table if you prefer a more romantic evening.  An adjacent piano bar is an inviting spot for a cocktail.  Attire is dressy casual.  Valet parking fee, validated at restaurant.

Restaurant Info:
Cala Bella Restaurant at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida

Cala Bella & Bella's Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 17, 2010

Headline of the Week

This week, I introduce a new feature on Food and Loathing
Favorite Foodie Headline(s).   

Today, I give you:

Kitchen Divas at War!
"Paula's a Hillbilly, Rachel's a Drunk" 

"I Could Just Slap Her" (Rachel to Martha)
Paula's Plan to Crush Rachel and Martha

Just saw it in the checkout line and believe I can attribute this investigative reporting coup to The National Enquirer.   The lady behind me and I enjoyed it.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ina Nukes to Stardom

How does one transform herself from White House nuclear-energy policymaker into best-selling cookbook author and cooking-show host extraordinaire?

As the dichotomous life of Ina Garten illustrates, you never know what's in store for you.  If only Ina would take a break from T.R., Miguel, Frank, Stephen and Jeffrey, maybe she would have time to explain it all to me.  I'd bring her some hydrangeas and a fresh black smock top.  Hey, we could have a beach barbecue and I could even dig up some gay friends to bring along to the clambake. 

Until then, I'll simply marvel at her diverse and extraordinary talents as cook, recipe developer, author, teacher, TV host, caterer, store owner and nuclear-energy expert.  Underachiever!  And I'll share her terrific recipe for spaghetti and meatballs, of course. 

The melt-in-your-mouth meatballs - or golf ball-sized flavor bombs - are tender, yet they stay together; the wine-infused sauce is surprisingly quick and easy.  No long list of ingredients or all-day cooking are required.  Hubmeister raved about the sauce.  I used San Marzano tomatoes and inexpensive, read *cheap*, cabernet.  I made another batch of sauce a couple days later for the leftovers you see simmering in this photo:

A sub can't be far behind.
Notes:  Try to use fresh ingredients in this recipe.  It only takes a few seconds to make your own bread crumbs in the food processor, and while you have it out, use it to grind up the Parmesan cheese.

I don't see any point in retyping the whole recipe, so I'm including the link and you can go directly to it.  (I'm getting blog savvy!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Vegetarian's Nightmare

Last week was really meaty.  I made both meat loaf and meatballs, and it was comfort food galore around here.  Before my arteries clog up and I keel over, I thought I would share with you what I learned from this cholesterol-packed experience.  

First, I love both foods, so it has not been difficult to do some experimenting over the years.  The main thing I discovered is both dishes are more flavorful if you use a combination of ground beef, veal and pork.  If you don't already buy it, you'll see the packs of "meat loaf mix" at your butcher's counter.  I never used it until recently.  BJ's Wholesale Club has a good one.  Last week, however, I purchased each ground meat individually.

For the meat loaf, I saute the vegetables before mixing them in with the meat.  I think this adds moisture.   The main reason I did this was Hubmeister's and Son's revulsion to onions.  If they crunch into any onion, I'll be eating the whole loaf by myself.    If it were only me, I'd also saute some green pepper, but they won't go for that.  I only can get away with the sauteed onions.  I also saw a meat loaf master on  "Throwdown" swear by cooking the vegetables first to keep the loaf moist. 

After trying numerous recipes, I keep returning to one I saw in a church cookbook.  I like using oats rather than bread crumbs and the top glaze adds just enough sweet flavor contrast to the meat without being ketchup-y.   This loaf has a nice consistency; the meat doesn't crumble because it's too dry and the loaf isn't mushy because it's too wet.  This one is just right.  The whole persnickety family approves, and the sandwiches made from leftovers are a treat.  My favorite is to slap a fat slice on white bread with mayonnaise, fresh basil leaves and sliced onion.

These leftovers aren't going to waste.

My Famous Meat Loaf
(Based on Karen Flynn's "Famous" recipe in St. Anthony's Family Cookbook,  Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)

1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef, pork and veal
1 C regular oats
1 C milk
1 egg
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1/2 C green or red pepper (optional)
1 T. ketchup
1 T. molasses
salt and pepper

  1. Saute onion and green/red pepper until soft. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine meats, oats, milk, egg, sauteed onions (and peppers), salt and pepper.
  3. Form into a loaf and place in a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray or on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  I have a Martha Stewart meat loaf pan with an insert that allows the fat to drain under the loaf while it cooks.  That way you get the loaf shape but it isn't sitting in fat. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and molasses.  Spread over loaf.  Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
Here's a tip from Ina Garten:  Put a pan of hot water in your oven while the meat loaf cooks to keep the meat from drying out.  I haven't done this, but by weird coincidence, the Barefoot Contessa is demonstrating how to cook meat loaf while I write this post.  I'll have to try her recipe, but she just dumped a ton of ketchup on top of hers - uh-oh.  Maybe not.

I'll post the meatball results tomorrow, and that happens to be Ina's fabulous recipe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Barry-Only-Likes-Bologna Bread

One of the most memorable - and bizarre - Martha Stewart shows I ever saw featured Martha cooking with Barry Manilow. 

You know how skinny Barry is...Well, Martha asked him about his favorite foods and he said something that explains his birdlike physique:  Barry revealed that he doesn't really like food.  I don't think Martha had heard that one before, and I believe she remarked, "Oh, really?"  Nothing says cooking segment like your guest hating food!  

After some awkward prompting, with Martha insisting that he must eat something to stay alive, Barry decided his favorite means of putting life-sustaining calories in that Copacabana-playing bod was a diet of bologna sandwiches. 

Obviously briefed about his aversion to food and his affinity for the bologna sandwich,  Martha decided to teach Barry how to make bread.  What else!  That will at least keep him crooning for Mandy and writing the songs that make the whole world sing, cry or bash in their car radios. 

After witnessing this weird exchange between the consummate food lover and the quirky food hater, I had to make this bread.   Martha assured Barry he would love this loaf, made with nutritious whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and honey.  I don't know whether Barry liked it, but we sure did.  I made a couple of loaves yesterday for the first time in several years, and we polished off almost an entire loaf at dinner.  A day later, the heavenly aroma still lingers.

Below is the link to the recipe and you don't need no stinkin' bread machine!  No excuses, people.  Making bread is easy, and the rewards are great.  One cooking note:  This bread was done in 35 minutes in my oven, which was set to the breads mode.  Be sure to watch it.  I remember burning the bottom a few years ago when I removed it at 50 minutes, as stated in the recipe.

Don't you think this recipe should be renamed to my post title?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Reason to Love Fresh Market

Here's a PR shout-out for outstanding corporate citizenship:
This weekend Fresh Market will hold its annual Hope Floats Sidewalk Sale benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). 

Do some shopping and then reward yourself with a hot dog, root beer float, ice cream sundae or chocolate chunk cookie. What the heck, get them all.  Your cash will help the victims of this disease in their fight to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.  Items, some available in regular and sugar-free, are priced from $1 to $2.   All proceeds from the sale go directly to JDRF.

Where:  Your Local Fresh Market
When:   Friday, Sept. 10 - Sunday, Sept. 12
Hours:   11 a.m - 6 p.m.

Great effort for a great cause!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

As the Ice Cream Churns

What do you do with leftover heavy cream and whole milk?  Is everyone screaming ice cream?

That's what we did last weekend.  Only we had a slight problem - I couldn't find the little Cuisinart booklet that was enclosed with my ice cream maker.   I rely on that for recipes, which are usually something banal like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.  It dawned on me to consult the Cuisinart Web site and, lo and behold, it was loaded with recipes, and not just for frozen goodies.  I never knew Cuisinart sold so many products, and they've got recipes for all of them.  I might return for additional ideas. 

Okay, back to the ice cream.  I scrolled down the lengthy recipe list and settled on Easy Mint Chocolate Chip. Now are you screaming why?  Because several months ago I purchased a bottle of good peppermint extract and had yet to open it.  I can't have that burning a hole in my pantry.  I had all the ingredients except for mini-chocolate chips, so I popped into Publix and prepared to churn.

The result was a creamy, minty taste sensation that screamed Labor Day!  Salute the end of summer by hauling out your ice cream maker and enjoy.

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 C 2% milk (I used whole milk - oink!)
2 C heavy cream
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract (you can substitute mint extract)
3 drops green food coloring (optional - but colorful!)
1 C miniature semisweet chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved.  Color to your liking with green food coloring.
  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.  After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips.  After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for two hours.
Notes:  The only thing I would do differently is buy better quality chocolate chips.  I was surprised the Nestle chips tasted waxy.  Maybe I'll try chopping up some Andes mints.  Oh, the possibilities...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Send Me to Eataly

Mario Batali and friends have opened Eataly, an Italian food paradise in Manhattan - possibly the food court to beat all food courts - featuring Italian specialty retail eats and seven restaurants.  I am ready to book a flight right now.

See for yourself:

You go, Mario!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Turkey Cutlet Challenge

As I contemplated the flaccid turkey cutlets I pulled out of the refrigerator last night, I wondered what I was going to create to make them taste like anything other than cardboard.  Marsala, Parmesan, and sage and brown butter all ran through my mental recipe index. 

It's hard to get fired up about turkey cutlets, but they are one quick dinner to put on the table - and they're good for you.  They are lean, which spells healthful, but they also don't have the robust flavor and moisture that fat transmits.   They scream for seasoning and a ladle of sauce.  So here's a tasty recipe I made last night, and I recommend trying it if you are in a hurry and the humble turkey cutlet shows up in your very own at-home quick-fire challenge:

Turkey-Basil Piccata
(Unknown Origin - My Old Recipe Box)

4 T. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (3/4 pound) package of turkey cutlets
2 T. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil, or 2 T. chopped fresh basil
1/2 C dry white wine, or chicken broth
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, sliced

Combine the first three ingredients.  Dredge each cutlet in flour mixture, shaking off excess.  Pour olive oil into skillet; cook cutlets over medium-high heat.  Remove.  Add garlic and basil to skillet; cook 45 seconds.  Add wine or broth, lemon juice and lemon slices.  Cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly.  Return cutlets to pan and heat through.   Garnish with fresh basil and lemon slices.

Notes:  I served this over multigrain farfalle, hit with a splash of good olive oil, and salt and pepper (adding some butter would make it even better), along with a salad of fresh spinach chock-full of hard-boiled egg and red onion.