Easy Turkey Recipe with Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Try Turkey Cutlets for an Easy Christmas Dinner
Are you having just a few people in for Christmas dinner, and don't want to roast a whole bird? The traditional Christmas dinner that requires thawing, cleaning, stuffing and roasting a 12 to 25 pound bird, as well as preparing the various vegetable side dishes and dessert to go along with it may not be something you have the time or energy for. Increasingly in our family we have found ways to organize potluck group festive dinners, where friends or relatives get together to celebrate the season, with each guest bringing something to share. For example, the host may cook the turkey and make gravy while another mashes potatoes, others each bring a vegetable dish, or a vegetable or jellied salad, while others bring traditional Christmas cookies or the dessert you prefer--carrot pudding, pumpkin or mince pie, or shortbread.
Easy Christmas Dinner
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Especially if you only have a few days off work over Christmas, you may be far more interested in resting than in speeding around with the shopping, cleaning, baking and cooking that goes into hosting a traditional Christmas party. If you are having just a small family party, or are cooking just for two, one easy Christmas dinner to cook is breaded turkey cutlets with homemade cranberry sauce.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Cranberries grow wild in acidic swampy areas around the shores of many lakes in North America. Because they ripen in the fall and are best harvested after the first frost sweetens some of their tart or bitter flavour, they were one of the harvest foods that early European settlers enjoyed at the Thanksgiving feast. An excellent source of vitamins C, E and K, and manganese, they are still prized today as a side dish for turkey, accompanied by other fall harvest foods, including squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, potatoes, and corn.
As a child spending Thanksgiving long weekend at the family cottage in Muskoka, I remember canoing over to the cranberry bog on the far side of the icy, calm lake to harvest cranberries. We tied the hemp painter of our old cedar strip canoe to a the brush, and donning Wellington boots we picked the bright red berries until the jewelled globes filled the Allen's Apple Juice cans strung with wire handles that my Grampa had made for berry picking. Then we paddled home across the quiet water to the log cabin where the smoke curled up from the stone fireplace and the air smelled of humus, woodsmoke and roasting turkey.
Today areas in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia are cranberry farms under contract to Ocean Spray, and the farms flood the fields in fall and scoop the berries with machines. Cranberries are a major commercial crop in northeastern and northwestern United States, in Massachussetts and New Jersey as well as Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin; they are likewise important commercially in southeastern and southwestern Canada, in the eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec, and in the west in British Columbia.
Breaded Turkey Cutlets: an Easy Turkey Recipe
Turkey Cutlets ready to Serve with Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Breaded Turkey Cutlets Recipe and Cranberry Sauce
- Rinse the cranberries, and add the cranberries, sugar and water to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or so.
- While the cranberry sauce is simmering, prepare the turkey cutlets.
- Beat the egg in a shallow dish.
- Mix the bread crumbs, oregano, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, seasoning salt and pepper in a second shallow dish.
- Heat the frying pan on medium heat. Brush the pan lightly with butter to prevent sticking.
- Dredge each turkey cutlet in beaten egg first, then in the bread crumb mixture, coating it evenly and placing it in the pan.
- Cover the pan and cook the cutlets on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes each side.
- Serve with homemade cranberry sauce.
Ingredients for Turkey Cutlets and Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 1 cup bread crumbs, 4 slices whole wheat if you are making your own crumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper, to taste
- 2-4 turkey scallopini or cutlets
- 1 egg
- a small knob butter, to grease the pan lightly
- 2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 -1 cup brown sugar, to taste
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