Mary Anne here. I didn’t sleep last night – and I knew I wasn’t going to. Fretting over taxes left me uptight before bed and restless once under the covers. I barely slept a wink and this groggy, sluggish morning reminded me to share one of our new “mood-altering” meals: Turkey Saltimbocca. The tryptophan in the turkey and the calcium in the generous portion of cheese offer a one-two sleep-inducing punch. Pair it with a tall glass of milk and you may nod off before you even finish.
While a traditional saltimbocca recipe is usually served with veal, like filet mignon, it carries a hefty price tag ($14.99/lb!), so I decided to try swapping out veal for turkey to see if I could save the bucks without losing the appeal of veal. The result was astonishing. While I had to settle for ordinary turkey breasts rather than the thinner medallions, a gentle beating with a wooden mallet flattened the breasts to an acceptable thickness of about ¼”. Tenderloins will get you even closer to the consistency of “real veal.”
Thanks to my experiment, I realized you can swap out veal for turkey in almost any recipe that calls for veal medallions, including Veal Marsala, Veal with Lemon and Capers, etc. The following recipe makes plenty of leftovers, in case you have a few sleepless nights – or unexpected guests – in your future.
Turkey Saltimbocca with Crispy Prosciutto, Sage and Mushrooms
*Note: This dish can be prepared the day before. I would suggest cutting the cooking time on the turkey breasts to two or three minutes on the second side of the browning instructions so that they’re just-this-side of under-cooked. Proceed with the rest of the instructions. Pour the mushroom sauce into a separate, sealed container. Cover the “Saltimbocca” on its platter and refrigerate everything. To reheat, bring the components back to room temperature. Place the mushroom sauce in a small saucepan and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Place the “Saltimbocca” covered loosely with foil in a preheated oven, 350 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes until the cheese is soft.
1½ lbs. Turkey Breasts or Turkey tenderloins (chicken also subs in nicely) – $5.98
Salt and Freshly ground pepper – from stock
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided – from stock
2 cloves of garlic, mashed to a paste – from stock
3 oz. Proscuitto, thinly sliced – $4.00
2 Tablespoons Fresh Sage, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried – $1.99 (fresh)
4 oz. Fontina or Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced/shaved – $3.49
1 Shallot, diced (about a Tablespoon) – $0.89
¼ lb. white mushrooms, sliced – $1.50
¼ cup dry white wine – from stock
¼ cup canned low sodium chicken broth – from stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $17.85
Cost per Serving: $4.46 per serving if using fresh sage rather than dried from stock.
If you had made this with veal, the price would be exactly double: $33.00 total and $8.26 per serving!
1. Wrap the turkey pieces in plastic wrap. Place on a flat surface and pound with the flat side of a wooden kitchen mallet.
2. Sprinkle both sides of pieces with salt and pepper.
3. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the butter on high in a skillet large enough to accommodate the turkey pieces in one layer. Add the turkey pieces and brown on one side, about 4 minutes.
4. Turn the pieces and smear the garlic paste over each. Place the evenly divided Proscuitto slices over each piece and sprinkle with the Sage.
5. Cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness. (To test for “done-ness,” prick the turkey meat with a toothpick. The juices will run clear when done.)
6. Transfer the turkey to a broiler-proof platter.
7. Heat the remaining Tablespoon of butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots. Cook for a minute or two and then add the mushrooms. Sauté another two to three minutes.
8. Add the chicken broth and wine and cook, stirring constantly for about two minutes.
9. Lower the flame on the skillet. Place the evenly divided cheese over each proscuitto-topped filet and run under the broiler just until the cheese is melted.
10. Spoon the warm mushroom sauce over the turkey and serve hot.