Turkey Cutlets w/ Red Pepper Cream

photo 1-288

When we were working at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania, we were fortunate enough to have an on site cafeteria that provided a variety of lunch options at reasonable prices. The food wasn’t always great but it was convenient and after eating there enough you quickly learned which dishes were better than others. The cooks loved to serve overcooked meats “enscalope” as they called it and we learned that this essentially meant meat covered in some sort of cream sauce. A favorite of Glenn’s was chicken filets covered in a pepper cream sauce. He took to ordering it so frequently, even when it wasn’t on the menu, that the kitchen staff began calling it “the Glenn”.

We’ve since left Albania but when my husband mentioned “the Glenn” I decided to recreate the dish here in Belgium. In an attempt to make my dish taste as authentic as possible, I used avjar as my red pepper base. Avjar is to the Balkans what ketchup is to Americans; it is essentially slathered on everything, eaten as a dip, condiment for meats or spread on sandwiches. The ingredients vary by region but the one I am most familiar with includes roasted red peppers and eggplant. It is actually quite easy to make but if you don’t want to make your own, you can find it in the ethic food section of your grocery store. I also substituted turkey breasts for the chicken but you could also use boneless pork chops or even a firm white fish.

Turkey Cutlets w/ Red Pepper Cream

4 thin turkey cutlets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 1/2 cups avjar

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons mascarpone

  • Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat.
  • Season the turkey cutlets on both sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Place the turkey in the skillet and cook until it is lightly browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the meat over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet. When the oil is shimmering, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Saute until fragrant and lightly brown, 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the avjar. Stirring constantly cook until the sauce is heated through.
  • Stir in the cream and mascarpone and heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture is hot.
  • Return the turkey to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Serve the cutlets with the sauce on top.

Serves 4

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