Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gratin, Grazie
I was very happy to find a package of Turkey breast tenderloins at my local grocery store the other day. Unfortunately for me, though turkey cuts are becoming more common at the grocery store, the cuts available in the stores vary from week to week and sometimes I find that no turkey is to be found at all. Sometimes it sucks to be me.
At least this time I was able to find a different cut of turkey and I even had a dish in mind.

A couple of weeks ago my local Sam's Club was giving out samples of their jarred pesto. Now I am a sucker for pesto and as my basil has suffered along with my tomato plants in the unseasonably cool and rainy weather this summer, I knew I wasn't going have enough basil to make my own pesto. I did check out the ingredient list on the jar and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ingredients were all natural, with no preservatives or hard-to-pronounce things lurking inside. Okay, I could get this with no guilt involved.
I also have sliced mozzarella cheese and sliced ham.

I cut down the center of one of the tenderloins until I was about 1/2-inch from the bottom edge.

Plastic wrap covered the tenderloin and I proceeded to gently pound the meat down to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Mission accomplished.

Though not necessary, I opted to remove the vein from the center of the tenderloin. Just slide the knife underneath the vein and then slide it along the length of the vein until it has released from the meat.

The pesto has been spread evenly on the turkey.

Then some slices of ham go on top of that.

And finally some mozzarella cheese goes on top of that. Then, beginning on one long side, tightly roll the entire thing into a neat roulade.

Lay this seam-side down.
This went back into the refrigerator for several hours. Remember, there is little need to secure the roulade with bands or toothpicks or twine if the meat has had a chance to rest in the fridge for some time before it cooks.

Heat a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in an oven-safe pan on the stove. Salt and pepper each side of the turkey roulade and sear over medium-high heat. Place in oven for about 20 minutes to continue cooking or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

And now it's time to move on to one of the side dishes for tonight's dinner. This is a dish that Melissa D'Arabian demonstrated in her The Next Food Network Star pilot episode. The thing that I really like about this recipe is that I can make each person's gratin to their personal tastes. For instance, the Foodie daughter only likes mozzarella cheese and my husband doesn't like rosemary. Uh-oh, if you clicked on the link above, you've already noticed that I've changed the recipe. Was there ever any doubt?
At any rate, the mise en place consists of:
heavy cream
grated mozzarella cheese
grated English white cheddar cheese
red-skinned potatoes
fresh chopped rosemary
fresh chopped chives
black pepper
sea salt

After spraying the muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, I began layering the cups with potatoes that had been sliced with a mandolin.

Chopped chives were next.

Then cheese. The layers were repeated until the cups were filled.
A splash of heavy cream and some black pepper and salt on each cup finishes off the dish. The oven was preheated to 375 degrees. Following recipe directions, the muffin tins were covered with foil for the first half of the cooking process and then the foil was removed. After 40 minutes the potato gratin cups were removed. Or, if you are like me and forget to cover the muffin tins with foil at the beginning, you can cover them at the end and call it even. Whatever. Hey, it's not rocket science.
Run a table knife around the edge of the cups and carefully invert on a plate.

While I worked on the meat and the potatoes, my husband took care of the peas. He was more than happy to oblige as I am apt to overcook peas. Go figure.

The potatoes were good. I happen to love rosemary with my potatoes, and I got to have rosemary with my potatoes without bothering anyone else with my 'weird' tastes.

And this turkey is just too good for words. Moist, succulent, flavorful. The pesto gives a good punch to this mild-tasting meat.

As it was, I got resounding accolades for this dinner. Sometimes it pays to play loose with the rules.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

I've been wanting to try Melissa's potatoes. And the roulade looks wonderful.

Kathy said...

I will definitely try the turkey. Looks great.