June 12, 2016
Layered Turkey Cutlets with Walnut Stuffing and Kale - We ♥ Walnuts! #Sponsored Recipe Contest
Can we talk?
I am about to share a little secret with you. Up till last week I rarely ate walnuts except in a salad, as long as they were glazed and came in little bags.
You're probably wondering why I would participate in a recipe contest where the main ingredient was walnuts.
California walnuts challenged us Recipe Reduxers to incorporate whole foods and walnuts into creative pairings to share with our readers. I knew they were healthy but that was about it, so before I took on this challenge I did research (especially for an ingredient not at the top of my culinary list).
I will make this short and sweet because we are all busy people and nothing bores us more than science talk.
Walnuts are bitter. No, they aren't mad. They fall into the taste category 'bitter' (along with sweet, sour & salty). Walnuts contain iodine. When they are fresh off the tree, they are green and sweet. This is when they are best for pickling. As the nut matures, that iodine tempers and folks in the know will often store them in burlap bags to age.
Most of us don't want to plan that far in advance. We want to toss and eat. Don't blame you, I am all about the toss. So, how do you make that bitter taste better?
Here comes the secret.....
Walnuts have the ability to balance out high-fat foods because they have a fair amount of polyunsaturated fat and have a rich, buttery texture.
Bitter vegetables like sour cherries or grapefruits, along with cabbage and endive, have the same effect on walnuts that walnuts have on sweet ingredients.
Bitter foods + Walnuts = Perfect Bite
Walnuts + Sweets = Perfect Balance
Too much richness or sweet would result in an unbalanced dish, so the key to taming is in the pairings. Who doesn't strive for that perfect bite?
"I received free samples of California Walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."
There are 3 walnut pairings in this dish, mushrooms/walnuts for the stuffing, walnuts/Parmesan for the sauce and walnuts/kale for the base.
I used one skillet, 3 times and a processor, 2 times. No need to even clean them out after use.
Kale? Oh, yes.
See the sauteed kale under all that goodness?
There she is.........
Did you know that kale is also a 'bitter' food?
Secret. The Nudge thought it was sweet spinach. A great way to fool those who aren't enamored about kale.
I used pre-sliced turkey cutlets from the meat counter but chicken, while having less flavor than turkey, is much easier to find.
I sprinkled seasoned salt on both sides of the cutlets and sauteed in olive oil.
I shingled the cutlets over the kale.
Processed and sauteed onions, mushrooms and walnuts were added to a cooked brown & wild rice mix and spooned between each cutlet.
I blended walnuts to a fine crumb & added Parmesan cheese & brandy to make a creamy sauce.
Under the broiler right before serving to caramelize the top and dinner is ready.
This dinner is loaded with nutrition. Kale, brown rice, lean turkey, mushrooms and the star, California walnuts.
As you can see by the chart, walnuts rank second in essential plant-based omega-3 as well as 4g of protein and 2g of fiber.
Now you see why California walnuts should become a staple in your pantry.
I am so sold on this nut that I am even going to make a promise to myself to add walnuts to as many meals & snacks as I can.
I plan on living to 100. Want to join me?
Let's get cooking......
Layered Turkey Cutlets with Walnut-Mushroom Stuffing and Kale
makes 6 servings (2 cutlets each)
* 12 thin sliced turkey cutlets
* Seasoned salt
* 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
* 1 pound button mushrooms
* 2 cups chopped onions
* 2 cups cooked long grain & brown rice
* 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
* 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces, divided (1 + 1/2c)
* 1 bunch chiffonade dinosaur kale
* salt & pepper to taste
* 3 ounces reduced fat goat cheese
* 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
* 1 egg yolk
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute seasoned cutlets on both sides until they get some color. Remove to a platter.
2. Process onions, walnuts and mushrooms until fine texture.
3. In the same skillet you cooked the cutlets in, add another tablespoon olive oil and saute processed onion/mushroom/walnut stuffing mixture until it is dry and add that to the rice mixture. Remove to a bowl and add the tarragon.
4. To the same skillet, add the kale and a 1/4 cup water. Cover and steam until wilted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Remove to a platter and spread evenly from end to end.
5. In the processor, process remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, goat cheese, cognac and egg yolk. Thin with water if too thick. Should be the consistency as a heavy cream. Remove to a bowl and stir in Parmesan.
6. Layer the cutlets over the kale mixture.
7. Divide the rice/mushroom mixture into 11 portions. Starting with a cutlet, spoon 1 portion of stuffing over cutlet. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, ending with just a cutlet.
8. Spoon the sauce over the layered cutlets and place under the broiler until browned, about 4 minutes. Watch this carefully.