Sunday, January 30, 2011

Turkey - not just for thanksgiving!

If you say the word "turkey" to anyone, the first word that comes to mind is probably Thanksgiving - but you can cook with turkey the other 11 months of the year too! I'm not talking about buying a 15 lb. turkey here. I want you to go out and buy a package of turkey tenderloins because that's exactly what they are - really tender! They can be more forgiving and flavorful than chicken breasts, and it's a nice change if you're a household that eats a lot of chicken.

Sunday: Seared Turkey Tenderloins with a Mango, Lime and Ginger Dressing with Steamed Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I made this dish last May and I'm not exactly sure why I waited 8 months to make it again! I think I enjoy trying new recipes too much - so I forget about these recipes I try out and really like. Plus - this recipe is pretty healthy and easy - only took me about 45 minutes to make, from start to finish, and doesn't make a huge mess in your kitchen.
Seared Turkey Tenderloins with a Mango, Lime and Ginger Dressing
2 turkey tenderloins (mine was 1.66 lbs total)
Salt and Pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
Olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes
2 ripe mangoes
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

*Ingredient Notes:
- Picking out mangoes is a bit like picking out avocados - you don't want them to be too hard, but they shouldn't be smooshy either.
- Fresh ginger adds so much more flavor than using the ground kind in the bottle. It's inexpensive and you can buy a decent size piece, store it in the freezer and just take it out when you need a piece for a recipe like this one. It's also easier to cut up when it's frozen!
- I used a 6 oz. container of yogurt and didn't want to waste any of it, so I used it all. I think it created a much more mild flavor than if I had only used the 1/2 cup - so if you're not sure how you're going to feel about the mint and mango flavor, you could try using the whole 6 ounces the first time you try making this.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Season the turkey tenderloins on both sides with salt, pepper and the cumin. Heat a large skillet (that can also go in the oven, so metal handles only please!) on the stove over medium high heat with 2-3 tsp of olive oil. Add both turkey tenderloins to the pan when it's hot and sear for about 7 minutes on this first side, then flip over and sear for another 4 minutes on this other side.
3. While the tenderloins are cooking, get the sweet potatoes ready. I didn't peel mine, but you can if you'd like. You'll just want to cut them into about 1-inch pieces so that they'll all cook evenly.
4. Add the potato cubes to the pan with the turkey and transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Cook for about 22 minutes (depending on the size of your tenderloins). After 15 of the 22 minutes, turn the tenderloins over so that they are sort of sitting on top of the potatoes.
5. While the turkey and potatoes are cooking in the oven, you can work on getting the dressing ready. In a blender, combine the mangoes, mint, lime juice, mustard and ginger. Puree until blended and then add the yogurt, blending again until combined and creamy!
6. Take the turkey out and be sure to let the tenderloins sit for about 10 minutes before you start cutting into and serving them. When I took my turkey out I noticed that my potatoes weren't quite done, so I put the tenderloins on a separate plate and continued to saute the potatoes on the stove for a little until the potatoes were fork-tender. If you are doing this, feel free to add a couple TB of water so that the pan and potatoes don't burn.
7. Serve the tenderloins with the mango dressing right on top! (The 1.66 lbs of turkey tenderloins I had would be enough to serve 4 people.)

Not sure how to cut the mangoes? Me either.
This is one thing I hate doing - the pit is impossible to see and I always feel like I'm wasting some of the good part of the mango. If anyone out there has a better suggestion, PLEASE share!

I hold the mango upright and sort of follow the pit along each side, cutting off two large halves. Then I cut along the two opposite sides where there is still some skin visible. With these pieces, I continue cutting sort of like a cantaloupe - sliding my knife along the edge to get the peel off. I've seen sites suggest that I peel the mango first, before doing any cutting, but I find the mango slippery and hard to hold when I do this. You'll probably yield about a cup of chopped up mango from one piece of the fruit.

Base recipe courtesy of Robin Miller,

1 comment:

  1. Elise, it is so great that you are doing this! And everything looks delicious!
    As for cutting mangoes-- I try to estimate where the pit is, then cut just to either side of it. Then take a mango half in the palm of your hand, and score the flesh into 1-inch cubes with a knife-- the mango will still be attached to the skin. Then you flip it inside out, so the cubes of mango are separated from each other. You can now cut them off easily, and you will have nice bite-size chunks to munch on or use in a recipe! Then I like to nibble the fruit that is still around the pit... :)
    I have to say I did not make this up-- I saw it on TV, but it works really well!