A delectable turkey entree

Go Entertain

July 19, 2008|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Tribune Media Serves

A few weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, where we lived for many years and where I was the director of a large cooking school. I have many fond memories of working with a team of talented teachers at the school and, on this particular visit, my spouse and I were invited to a potluck "cooking school" reunion.

The spread included some of our group's favorites - baked goat cheese served with tomatoes and garlic toasts and a mushroom pate for starters, plus a gorgeous orange tart for dessert. There were also new, innovative dishes like grilled hanger steaks garnished with grilled lemon halves and bacon-wrapped turkey tenders also cooked over an open fire.

Two items really got my attention: the grilled lemons that accompanied the steaks and the turkey tenders. When I got home, I tried a variation of both. I cut thick slices from turkey tenders, wrapped the sides with bacon slices, then rubbed them with a mixture of smoked chipotle chile powder, ground cumin and coarse salt. The tenders were quickly grilled on each side and then put in the oven for half an hour to finish cooking. Instead of lemons, I halved and grilled limes for the garnish.

The turkey "tenderloins" (as my butcher calls them) were moist, fork-tender and perfectly seasoned, with hints of smokiness from both the chipotle powder and the bacon. The warm juice from the grilled limes complemented the robust flavors of the spices beautifully. Now I can't wait to use this main course for summer cookouts. Corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, summer beans or a green salad are simple sides that I plan to serve with this delectable new Ohio-inspired entree.

Betty Rosbottom writes for Tribune Media Serves.


Serves 4

2 turkey tenders, each about 3/4 pound (see note)

8 thin bacon slices

1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

olive oil for oiling grill

2 limes, halved crosswise

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

Place the turkey tenders on a work surface and cut each one, crosswise, into 4 slices that are each about 1 3/4 inches thick. End slices will taper off into a thin flap. Just tuck this flap under. Wrap a bacon slice around sides of each turkey "tenderloin" so that it overlaps slightly. You can skewer each with a toothpick, if you like, but it's not necessary.

In a small bowl, mix together chipotle chile powder, cumin and salt. Rub both sides of each turkey tenderloin generously with some of this mixture. (Turkey can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

When ready to cook, arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then prepare grill. Oil a grill rack and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill for a hot fire (high temperature). Grill turkey tenderloins until nicely browned on both sides, 3 minutes or longer per side. Then remove to a baking sheet and place in oven. Bake until juices run clear when turkey is pierced with a knife and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 to 170 degrees, about 30 minutes.

While turkey is in the oven, place limes, cut sides down, on the grill. Cook until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.

Serve 2 tenderloins per person and garnish each serving with a grilled lime half. If desired, sprinkle tenderloins with some cilantro and garnish with a cilantro sprig. Squeeze lime juice over turkey.

Note: A turkey tender is a piece of meat that is attached to each breast. It is similar in size to a pork tenderloin, and tapers slightly at the ends. When cutting a turkey tender into slices, simply tuck these flaps under the slices. Turkey tenders are available in most supermarkets, often packaged (such as Honeysuckle brand).

Per serving: 252 calories, 47 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, trace carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 81 milligrams cholesterol, 752 milligrams sodium

Analysis provided by registered dietitian Jodie Shield.

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