25 May 2010

Happy Ending ... Grill's On! ... Spicy Turkey Cutlets With Couscous

So ... I have a theory about we New Englanders ... we bitch and moan about the weather when it's cold and snowy and frosty and muddy and rainy and dry and hot and humid. The only time we DON'T complain is on those four or so days when Spring is really here. These four or so days are balmy, sunny, soft days that call us out into our yards and fields to contemplate all the wonderful things that we'll 'put in' so that late summer and autumn will yield plenty for the pantry. But wait ... those four days or so? Those are the days that the black flies and mosquitoes emerge and wreak havoc. So ... we bitch and moan about them! It never ends ... and while we're whalin' away, the glory of our flower gardens unfolds.

We clean off the deck and wipe down the grill, all the while waving our arms around our heads and swearing that there is no Earthly reason for God to trouble us with those damned black flies. Meanwhile, leaves and foliage fill in grey spaces, oblivious to our complaints.

When we're done with preparing for the outdoor season, we crack a cold beer or pour a glass of lemon-ade or chill a jug of iced tea or decant a bottle of wine and celebrate with the first real grilled meal of the season. Standing by the grill and tending things makes us look around and really see just how wonderful the Spring gardens are. Oh, and the smoke from the grill holds off those damn flies and skeeters!

So ... grilling! The season has begun and I'm excited to try a few new recipes. I am loving this cookbook that I found at a used book store a while back. Matthew Kenney is a Maine native that has made his way into the urban bistro scene... and for that, I am thankful. For your inspection ...


Grilled Turkey Cutlets with Tahini Sauce - printer friendly
Grilled Turkey Cutlets with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
adapted from matthew kenney’s mediterranean cooking

Serves: 4

8 turkey cutlets, washed and dried
¼ c. olive oil
½ tsp. sweet paprika
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp. cumin
salt and black pepper
1 c. tahini-yogurt sauce, for dipping (recipe follows)

Making the Grilled Cutlets:

1. Combine the marinade ingredients and turn the cutlets a couple times in it. Refrigerate until about ten minutes before you want to eat.

2. Make the tahini sauce and refrigerate so that it’s cool by the time you want to eat.

3. Heat the grill to medium-high and grill the cutlets for 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t fidget with them, once you’ve placed them on the grill. Leave them alone so they get nice grill stripes.

4. Plate them and serve with a bowl of the tahini-yogurt sauce for dipping.

Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
courtesy of matthew kenney’s mediterranean cooking


½ c. tahini
1 c. plain yogurt
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. minced garlic
¼ c. honey
salt and black pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper

Making the Sauce:

1. Whisk the ingredients except for the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl.

2. Add the lemon juice a bit at a time and taste. When the acidity is right, add the salt pepper, and cayenne until the taste is right.

3. Place the sauce in a nice little serving bowl and refrigerate until time to serve.



Tunisian Couscous Salad
courtesy of matthew kenney’s mediterranean cooking


1 sweet red pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped
½ seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ c. black olives, pitted and copped
2 green onions, washed and chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 c. tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 ½ c. instant couscous (Near East makes a good product)
2 ¼ c. boiling water
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. lemon juice
½ tsp. cumin
salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

Making the Couscous:

1. Broil the pepper at a high setting until the skins are blackened. Remove from the oven and cover for 15 minutes. Peel the skin and seed the pepper. Chop and set aside.

2. Prepare the rest of the veggies, the garlic and herbs and set aside.

3. Place the couscous in a large bowl, add the boiling water and the salt (1/2 tsp), and cover tightly. Set aside for 15 minutes.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Set aside.

5. When the couscous water is absorbed, toss with a fork.

6. Add the veggies and the dressing and toss until combined.

7. Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate until serving time OR serve warm.


  1. This looks wonderful. I love couscous!

    Let's talk about those iris--Aren't they gorgeous? That color is my favorite.

    Happy Spring!

  2. Looks yummy. Will have to try these out when we get back from Memorial Day break. Might have to experiment a bit. The other half thinks a little lemon goes a long way in food, so might sub and interesting vinegar in the couscous and dipping sauce?

  3. Susan @ Kay28/5/10 5:24 PM

    Kay, I admit that I decreased amount of the lemon juice in the couscous by half, as it is really strong ... and makes for a very tangy flavor ... your idea of a flavored vinegar (an Asian vinegar might be interesting) is clever.


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