November 29, 2021 by John Fernandez
Talking Turkey: Layers of Flavor and Texture
What is the most rewarding part of my job? I enjoy creating colorful and healthy blends of fresh, local foods that excite our patients and guests.
Crisp vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits and flavorful local herbs deliver taste and texture, with an added health bonus: You don’t need to add a lot of sodium, fat or refined sugars to create a delicious meal.
This seasoned turkey cutlet recipe—one of my favorites — is a good example of layered flavors and textures. The tomato and basil salsa tops off the flavors while balancing the dish.
4 oz. raw turkey breast cutlets (4)
4 oz. dry polenta plus 12 oz. chicken stock
3 tbsp. diced fresh chives
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly ground
1 pinch salt-free seasoning per cutlet
1 pinch dried thyme per cutlet
8 oz. large, vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
4 oz. small red onion, diced
8 each large, cleaned, chopped basil leaves (saving 4 to garnish)
¾ oz. balsamic vinegar
½ oz. champagne vinegar
1 oz. first cold-pressed virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Garnish fresh basil leaves and micro greens
Pinch of Hawaiian volcanic black salt (available at specialty stores and farmers markets)
Cooking spray as needed.
Yield: 4 portions
Polenta: Bring fresh or canned chicken stock to a simmer and remove from heat. Stir in polenta and nutmeg, return to the stove and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in fresh chives. Keep covered.
Turkey cutlets: Season raw turkey cutlets with salt-free seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper. Pan-sear the cutlets in skillet coated with cooking spray; finish in a 325-degree oven to internal temperature of 165 F, about 8 minutes.
Tomato and basil salsa: Mix tomatoes, onions, basil, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper and let marinate in refrigerator for 60 minutes.
Scoop 4 oz. of polenta onto plate. Place a cooked turkey cutlet on the polenta and top with salsa. Garnish with a basil leaf. Sprinkle a pinch of black salt around the plate. Top with micro greens.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Amount per serving
Calories from Fat 88
Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 63 mg
Sodium 450 mg
Potassium 391 mg
Carbohydrate 31 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 25 g
Stan Hodes is the executive chef and operations manager of Dining Services at Baptist Hospital of Miami, a position he has held for 22 years. Chef Hodes has worked as an executive sous chef with Marriott Hotels, Orlando World Center and the Casa Magna Resort in Cancun, Mexico. He has been the executive chef at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Pan American Airlines, Marriott Inflight division and Kings Bay Country Club. After graduating from high school in Mallorca, Spain, he received a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and hotel management from Bournemouth College in England. Chef Stan earned a “Premier’s Illuminating Excellence” Award, for Premier’s Food service program in 2008. In 2009, he was recognized by HealthLeaders magazine as one of the top 20 most innovative Food Service Executives in America. He is a member of Premier’s culinary committee, designing healthy food programs for hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.