Turkey fillet, crusty with pecans, is quick but impressive party fare

FAST & FRESH

June 17, 1992|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

Looking for an impressive dish for quick and flashy entertaining? Try turkey scallops for a change. Also called turkey cutlets or turkey fillets, these are thin slices from the raw boneless breast of turkey. These delicate cutlets have been making nutritional waves lately because a 3-ounce portion has only 90 calories and 20 mg of cholesterol. They cook in a remarkably short amount of time (as quickly as a veal scallop), but beware of overcooking -- these fillets can quickly become tough and chewy.

I came up with this pecan coating, which helps keep the turkey moist and tender and adds a flavorful crunch, while creating recipes with cookbook author Marlene Sorosky. There are countless other possibilities for sauces and toppings that also would complement this versatile entree. You might want to try an herb and sour cream sauce,, a vibrant Southwestern sauce, or even a quality bottled sauce. Cranberries are perfect partners for these turkey fillets which are topped with a fast and fresh-tasting pear-cranberry relish.

Round out the meal with quick stir-fried fresh spinach and carrots. Fresh spinach is greatly reduced by cooking so you will need about half a 10-ounce bag for four people. Angel food cake makes a simple, tasty dessert.

Items you should have in your pantry include: scallions, fresh ginger root, carrots, vegetable oil.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:

1 1/2 pounds turkey scallop (cut 1/4 to 3/8 -inch thick)

1 jar (at least 6 ounces) honey mustard salad dressing (the thick kind usually found in the produce section)

corn bread stuffing crumbs

10 ounce bag fresh spinach

8 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 large pear (Bosc if available)

4 ounces shelled pecans

Angel Food Cake

Pecan crusted turkey filets with pear-cranberry relish

Serves four

1 1/2 pounds turkey fillets or scallops

1/2 cup honey mustard salad dressing plus 2 tablespoons for relish

1 cup dry corn bread stuffing mix, finely crushed

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

PEAR CRANBERRY RELISH:

1 cup (8 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce

1 large ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced ( 1/4 -inch size)

1 scallion finely chopped

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root

2 tablespoons honey mustard salad dressing

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet pan. Pour 1/2 cup honey mustard dressing on dinner size plate. Mix corn bread mix and pecans and place on a second plate.

Dip turkey fillets into salad dressing and coat well. Then dip in pecan corn bread mixture. Turn to coat both sides and press crumbs gently to adhere. Place on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

While turkey is baking, combine all remaining ingredients for relish. Place in serving bowl and pass as a sauce to top turkey scallops.

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