Last week I was invited to participate in Whole Foods Market’s holiday Clash of the Cooks and of course I said yes. The challenge: pick up a bag of secret ingredients from my local Whole Foods store and create a mouth-watering recipe using all of the ingredients they provided. Then blog, pin and tweet my way to a live cook-off on December 8th. The grand prize sealed the deal for me: dinner for two at Solace (a super yummy farm-to-table Encinitas restaurant), a Whole Foods pantry makeover (yes, please!) and a shiny new Vitamix mixer.
You can help me win this challenge! I did my part — cooking a creative feast — but now I need everyone to PIN, TWEET, COMMENT and LIKE this post. Pretty please!
On Monday I headed to Whole Foods Encinitas and picked up my bag of goodies for the week. In the bag: Whale Tails tortilla chips (yum), chicken broth, cranberry sauce and a spicy smoked gouda dip (yum times 10).
My head was spinning! What should I make?! I had dozens of ideas ranging from stuffed chicken breasts to holiday meatballs, but in the end I decided on an Italian spin on some Thanksgiving favorites. Turkey Milanese — a savory breaded turkey cutlet — topped with a sweet cranberry fig balsamic reduction, served with a heap of creamy, slightly spicy polenta with a arugula and micro green salad on the side. Yum.
J was out of town so I invited two of my dear friends to come over to test the recipe and enjoy the feast. Judging by their enthusiastic comments and clean plates, I think this dish was a huge hit! And the best part… it only looks fancy. Anyone can make this lovely dish, I promise.
1 lb of turkey breast, sliced into 4-5 thin filets (the butcher will do this for you)
4 handfuls of Whale Tales tortilla chips
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C whole wheat flour
Cranberry Fig Reduction Sauce
1/3 C fig balsamic vinegar (if you don’t have a fig balsamic, you could sub in regular balsamic. It will be stronger but will still be delicious)
3 hearty tablespoons Whole Foods cranberry sauce
pinch of orange zest
Creamy Gouda Polenta
1 tube of pre-cooked organic polenta (you can find this at most Whole Foods markets)
1 C sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 C chicken broth
1/2 C Whole Foods spicy gouda dip
Let’s get started…
1. I decided to start with the cranberry fig balsamic reduction sauce as I could easily warm it right before dinner is served, but wouldn’t have to be juggling cooking three things at the same time. This is super easy to make and will have such an impact on your dish! In a small saucepan, combine your fig balsamic, cranberry sauce and orange zest over medium-high heat. Stir constantly. The sauce will begin to bubble and thicken–keep stirring. Let it bubble and reduce for about 3 minutes, then remove from heat. So easy, right?! Just before serving I like to heat this sauce over low heat, but you can also serve it cold or at room temp.
2. Next up, the turkey milanese. We fell in love with milanese dishes in Argentina of all places. The chicken or turkey stays so tender cooked this way and won’t remind you of the big beast from Thanksgiving dinner at all.
If you had your turkey breast fileted at the butcher you probably don’t need to pound it, but if not or if you still have some thick spots, take your turkey breast (each piece separately) wrapped loosely in plastic wrap and pound it into submission with the flat side of a meat mallet until it’s around 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
It’s time to set up your breading assembly line. On one plate you will put your flour. I used whole wheat flour — you can go gluten free and use something like almond flour here. In a bowl, beat your eggs. On another plate you will have your bread crumb mixture. We got creative and used the Whale Tales tortilla chips in the place of bread crumbs. To turn them into crumbs, toss a couple handfuls of the chips into your blender or food processor. Pulse until you have about one cup of a fine crumb mixture.
One your plate you will mix the cup of tortilla chip “bread” crumbs, parmesan, parsley flakes and black pepper to taste. You don’t need to add any salt as the chips are already salty.
Heat a pan with 3-4 T of grapeseed oil over medium high heat. I prefer grapeseed to olive oil as it can be warmed to a high heat without being damaged and losing nutrients. To bread your turkey, take a flattened cutlet and dip it in the flour, covering the entire cutlet. Next, dip your cutlet in the egg mixture to coat the filet then cover with the chip mixture and place in the hot pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. I like to add a splash or two of chicken broth when I flip the cutlet to keep it extra moist. Transfer cooked turkey to a plate and cover to keep warm.
3. While the turkey is cooking, make your creamy gouda polenta. You want your polenta to be served right away to keep it creamy so try to time it so that this it is ready when you are ready to eat. In a medium saucepan, heat a tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Add your sliced mushrooms and Italian seasoning and saute for about 5 minutes. Now we’ll add in the polenta. Mix in your pre-cooked polenta with one cup of chicken broth over medium heat. It will start out clumpy and even solid at first but will start to get creamy as it heats. When the polenta is creamy, stir in your smoked gouda and watch it melt into deliciousness. Yum yum. The smoked gouda spread has a LOT of flavor so you don’t really need to add anything else. The gouda gives a smoky creaminess to the polenta, with a hint of jalapeno adding a nice spice.
Serve piping hot, topping the turkey with a spoonful of cranberry fig reduction sauce. I add an arugula and mico green salad (I tossed them with dried cranberries, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper). Buon appetito!
Please help me pass on this recipe and win the grand prize!
Tweet about it (use #WFMClash), pin the photos, like this post and comment below on this dish! Thank you thank you.