Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lemon-Marinated Turkey with Golden Raisins, Capers, and Pine Nuts (Page 383)

RECIPE #871

  • Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 -- 11pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I picked this recipe because I am trying to make some progress on my slowest section in The Book: Poultry. (Note: with this recipe and the previous one added in, Poultry will no longer be my slowest section of The Book. That honor now goes to Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb.) This is the time of year when it is easy to find whole turkey breasts at the store, so although I got this turkey breast from the local butcher, even the grocery store had them in stock. To make this, I started with the poached whole turkey breast from the previous post. I made a mixture of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon zest, golden raisins (that had been soaked in boiling water), and capers, and marinated the poached turkey breast in the mixture for 4 hours. Then I let it stand at room temperature in the marinade for 20 minutes before slicing the turkey breast. I strained the marinade to separate out the zest, raisins, and capers. Then I sprinkled the zest, raisins, and capers on the turkey slices. I whisked some parsley, mint, salt and pepper into the marinade and spooned that over. Finally I sprinkled the whole thing with toasted pine nuts. The result was very tasty. All the flavors worked together quite well. In general cold, poached poultry is a little bland. But this preparation did not suffer from that problem. The strong acidic and briny flavors in the marinade complemented the turkey nicely. The fresh herbs and pine nuts mellowed it out a bit, providing nice contrast. This turkey meat was good served by itself, but would also make a lovely and refined sandwich filling.

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This is the first weekend that I haven't been traveling in the last seven weeks! It has been so relaxing to be at home this weekend! My weekend has had two big themes: grading and cooking. The latter is obviously more fun than the former, but even grading is relatively relaxing. We are going to be traveling for Thanksgiving this coming week, so I wanted to get a lot of cooking done this weekend. That way I will have things to blog about even if I don't cook for a few days. I ambitiously chose 10 recipes from The Book to make this weekend and I made them all! There is so much food in our apartment right now it's scary! Most of the cooking happened yesterday in the late afternoon and evening. I was working on 6 or 7 dishes at once -- all of them in various stages of preparation. I had things macerating, things marinating, things cooling, things chilling, things braising, things poaching, etc... I was pretty much on top of it all, but I slowly began to run out of space in the refrigerator. Sure, there was space is I was willing to take everything out and reorganize. But I wasn't so I just kept trying to cram more in. I was doing ok, until I went to take out a bowl full of egg whites (leftover from eggs I had separated earlier in the evening for a recipe that called only for the yolks). I got the bowl of whites out just fine, but I altered the careful stacking in the fridge and a bowl full of mustard vinaigrette (to go atop some poached celery) came flying out of the fridge. Shockingly the bowl didn't shatter when it hit the ground, but there was mustard everywhere. The fridge? Covered in mustard. The floor? That too. My pants? Mustard. My fuzzy slippers? Mustard. My legs? My shirt? The cupboards? All covered in mustard. I even found some later in my hair. It was quite a sight. My special gentleman looked up from where he was working on the couch, commented astutely, "Looks like you spilled something," then went back to work.

I am happy to say that was the only (minor) disaster in making 10 recipes, which isn't bad at all! Now the question is: How will we eat all this food before we leave town for Thanksgiving??? Luckily we are headed over to Paul's house right now to eat dinner, and unload some of these desserts I made!

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