Sunday, December 30, 2012

Turkey Piccata & Pinot Grigio - An Elegant Budget Pairing

The Wine Lover's Cookbook, Photo: NK
When you think about a dinner with wine pairings, wallet-friendly is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. We've done food and wine match-ups on NK before (check out the last one HERE), but today, we're doing one with an eye towards budget. Who says elegant and delicious has to equal super expensive? You can create a top-notch, company-ready meal with wine without spending an arm and a leg. We'll be adapting an innovative take on Turkey Piccata found in Sid Goldstein's, The Wine Lover's Cookbook. The book was gifted to me by my thoughtful friend, Missy, who, as with all things, has been incredibly supportive of my cooking and blogging obsession. She's also undoubtedly noticed my love affair with wine!

I highly recommend this cookbook for its exhaustive yet simple presentations on various wine types and styles, explained straightforwardly alongside comprehensive lists of the "base" and "bridge" ingredients that pair best with each varietal. The result is a book that makes it easy to create fantastic food and wine pairings. Also, to save you the guesswork, every different chapter also offers multiple recipes that pair with the type of wine highlighted in each. 

Turkey doesn't get much attention here on NK, so I figured I'd give the bird a chance, and it didn't hurt that Goldstein's recipe looked positively elegant. I, for one, tend to forget that Turkey really is a great option when you are looking for a healthy, budget friendly protein. Take this recipe for a spin and I hope you'll find the results are, indeed, fantastic. Even better, this dish is done in a flash - 25 to 30 minutes should cover all the chopping, prep and cooking. Trust me, you can't mess this up. 

It doesn't look too shabby either:

Turkey Piccata with Mustard-Lime Sauce Garnished with Fresh Thyme, Photo:NK

Before we fire up our burners, here are your Recipe Pointers and of course, your Pairing.

Recipe Pointers: 
Today's dish comes together quickly, so it is important that you chop and prep everything in advance: prepare the Spice mix and dust it on the Turkey Cutlets, premix the Wine, Mustard, Worcestershire, Lime and Caper mixture, and only then, turn on the stove. From there, you'll be all ready to serve dinner in only about 5 or 7 minutes.  

This recipe calls for wine in it as well as with it. You are more than welcome to use an even cheaper bottle for cooking, though you can certainly use part of the pairing bottle as the dish only calls for a third of a cup. 

Kris 2011 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Photo: NK
Now for our Wine Pairing:
As Goldstein's book will tell you, this dinner's best pairing is a nice Sauvignon Blanc, yet because of the piquant, citrusy character of our Turkey dish, it is also a natural match for a boisterous Pinot Grigio. The recipe will pick up some of the herbaceous aromas of Citrus, Thyme, and other fresh herb aromas often found in the Pinot Grigio varietal. I opted to serve Pinot because it's what I had on hand, and I happen to really enjoy the budget bottle I am about to recommend. 

Our Pinot Grigio Recommendation:
I often purchase Kris Pinot Grigio because it is a great, widely available, value bottle. As noted by Food and Wine's critic, Ray Isle, Kris Pinot Grigio offers more "personality" and I think, complexity, than other bottles in its similar price range.  

Kris Pinot Grigio retails for 13 to 14 dollars but you can also find it on sale as well. 

Our adaptation of Goldstein's Piccata includes more fresh herbs rather than dried. My thinking was that fresh herbs would more effectively draw out the wine's character while adding extra personality to the dish. I also incorporated a bit more wine and spice in the recipe itself. Our version of Turkey Piccata should still be acceptable for spice-sensitive palates nonetheless. Now, off we go:

Turkey Piccata with Mustard-Lime Sauce
Recipe adapted from Sid Goldstein's The Wine Lover's Cookbook
Serves 2

1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1.5 teaspoons chopped Fresh Tarragon
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Heaping Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
1 Lb Turkey Breast Slices, pounded to a similar thickness, if necessary
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Chopped Shallots
2.5 Tablespoons Fresh-Squeezed Lime Juice
1/3 Cup White Wine + 3 Tablespoons, divided
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard or Hot, Sweet Grain Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce 
9 Drops Tabasco Sauce 
1 1/2 Tablespoons Capers, drained
Ingredients, Photo: NK 

In a small bowl, mix Basil, Tarragon, Thyme, Rosemary, Salt, Pepper, and Flour. Mix well.

Place Turkey on waxed paper, parchment, or another surface and dust the Spice and Flour mix on both sides of the cutlets. 

In another small bowl, mix the 1/3 cup of Wine, Dijon Mustard, Lime Juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco and Capers. Mix well. 

In a very large non-stick saute pan, heat the Olive Oil over medium-high heat.  Add Shallots and Turkey Cutlets and cook for about 2 minutes before turning. 

Add the Lime Juice, Wine and Caper Mixture to the pot and continue to saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove Turkey to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. 

Deglaze the pan with 3 Tablespoons of White Wine, scraping the bottom and mixing. Simmer the sauce for an additional two minutes so that it can reduce a bit more. 

To serve, plate the Turkey Slices and top with Pan Sauce. Garnish with Fresh Thyme and Lime slices. Don't forget to serve that lovely wine. 

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  1. anything piccata makes me a happy lady :) ...and wine pairings make you my new favorite person haha. the dish looks great!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment and so glad you enjoyed. and yes, wine is KEY :) Happy cooking!