Quickly Done Fine Food: The Twain Meets

January 30, 1991|By Charlyne Varkonyi

Once upon a time you had a pretty clear-cut choice: You either had fast food or fine food. The two rarely met.

But all that has changed. Now we all should know how to use the tools of a Fastlane cook's trade -- from the saute pan to quick-cooking items like turkey breast cutlets. We may know what to do, but sometimes we just run out of ways to do it.

This version of simply sauteed turkey cutlets takes on a sophisticated flair with the addition of a slightly sweet French Colombard wine, Dijon mustard and fresh dill. If you are watching your calories or fat intake, you can make the sauce without the cream. The flavor from the reduction is just as good.

Your cooking plan should begin by putting the potatoes on to boil first; they should be soft by the time you finish the 30-minute preparations. Then make the turkey cutlets. Cook the beans while the sauce is reducing.

Items you should have in your pantry include: extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, green onions, Dijon mustard.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list should include:

* 4 to 6 turkey cutlets, about 1 pound

* 1 bottle white wine, preferably French Colombard

* 1 bunch fresh dill

* 1 pint heavy cream

* fresh green beans

* 1 package slivered almonds, about 2/3 cup

* 8 small potatoes, red or white skinned

* 1 pint berry sorbet

Turkey cutlets with

mustard and wine sauce

Makes 4 servings.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

3 green onions, chopped, including green part

1 pound turkey cutlets

1 cup white wine, preferably French Colombard

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or light cream, optional

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan until smoking. On medium-high heat, saute onions and turkey cutlets, placing onions on top of cutlets when soft so you don't overcook them. Remove cutlets and keep them warm.

Add wine, mustard and dill to pan. Turn heat to high, stirring with a wooden spoon to integrate the turkey juices into the sauce. Bring to boil. Turn down to low and reduce to about 1/2 cup, cooking about 15 minutes. Add cream and reduce to about 1/4 cup. Serve sauce over cutlets.

Green beans with

toasted almonds

Makes 4 servings.

1 tablespoon butter

1 package slivered almonds, 2/3 cup

1 pound fresh green beans, ends cut off and sliced diagonally

1/4 cup water

salt and pepper, to taste, optional

Put butter and almonds in a microwave-safe dish and cook on HIGH for 1 minute; stir with wooden spoon. Repeat two more times.

Put green beans in a microwave-safe dish, add water and cover, venting one end to allow steam to escape. Cook on HIGH for 6 to 8 minutes, checking after 6 minutes for doneness. Drain beans and mix almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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