Saturday, March 6, 2010

Food: Turkey Breast Roulade

This morning when I went outside, I saw one of the first true signs of Spring. Sure, the birds have been chirping more in the mornings and the sun is rising sooner and setting later and the snow is finally starting to melt with daily temperatures in the 40's (can't believe I'm excited about 40-degree weather)! But the real indication of Spring was just outside my front door...the first peeks of a hyacinth rising from the ground. I couldn't have been more excited. Seeing this sent me into daydreams of late spring flower planting and summer vegetable harvests and the smell of freshly cut grass. But I digress....I'm getting ahead of myself and the season...back to the coming of Spring.

With the arrival of Spring, many of our minds are filled with thoughts of Easter. After all, it's been the Lenten season for a few weeks now. And if any of you have checked your calendars lately or started planning trips to visit relatives over the holiday, you've probably realized that the holiday is less than a month away! Oh my, that's really soon!

An Easter tradition for many of us includes a morning filled with family, church, and Easter egg hunts followed by a lovely afternoon meal. And although ham is generally a common main dish for a lot of folks, if you're having a smaller gathering this year, I recommend making a little change to your menu. This year, try serving turkey roulade. "Oh, that sounds too fancy and difficult," you might say. But honestly, it's really simple and the smell of apricots, golden brown turkey, walnuts and sherry is nothing short of heavenly. Unlike Thanksgiving, this turkey doesn't need all the rich sides like stuffing and candied sweet potatoes and cranberry relish. There's so much flavor in it, it'd be perfect served with some uncomplicated, oven-roasted sweet potatoes (olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt, coarsely cracked pepper), tender green beans, and a simple roll with a twist like these light and fluffly coconut bread rolls. Is your mouth watering yet?

Apricot Stuffed Turkey Breast Roulade
Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens

  • 1, 2-to 2-1/2-pound boneless turkey breast half
  • 1-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs (2 slices of fresh bread pulsed in the food processor)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots*
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans*
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Butterfly turkey breast and place between two sheets of saran wrap or wax paper
  • Pound meat to about 3/4 inch thickness
  • Slice into 3-4" wide strips and pound slightly thinner to even each strip out
  • In a mixing bowl combine bread crumbs, apricots, pecans, garlic salt, sherry, rosemary, and 2 T olive oil, mixing well
  • Spoon "stuffing" on the flattened turkey breast strips, starting from the center and spreading out to cover the strip, leaving a border around the edge
  • Fold the side edges of the strips in and roll from one end to the other, securely fastening the opening with toothpicks or tie with heavy string
  • Stir together mustard and 1 T oil; set aside
  • Place a large, oven-safe skillet on the stovetop, add 1 T olive oil and pre-heat to medium-high heat
  • When the oil is hot, add turkey roulades, cooking until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side
  • Pour the chicken broth/stock over the turkey
  • Brush the tops of the turkey with the mustard-oil mixture
  • Move the skillet to the oven and cook until the turkey breast registers 170 degrees F, about 45 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and let the dish stand for a few minutes prior to slicing the turkey breast
* MM Tip: A small food processor works well to chop the two of these ingredients at one time without your hands getting sticky from the apricots

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