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Friday, December 14, 2007

Pistachio-crusted Turkey Tenderloin

This is a great lunch...actually it was a great meal last night, and the leftovers made a great lunch, with an aroma factor of about 7. This led one of my coworkers to ask me "how do you decide what to make?" When I think about this, I have to say there are two contributing factors to a final decision; what am I craving and what ingredients are available in the house? I'm not a big stocker. Growing up, my parents had 2 extra freezers, one extra fridge and a pantry of dry goods. While I admit it would be nice to have a plethora of goods at my discretion, my small loft does not come equipped with food storage spaces! So I started with a turkey tenderloin and some couscous, then I found pistachios and random veggies. This was quite an easy thing to put together; the longest process might have been cracking the pistachios out of their shell! I've written the basic below. Do as I do, and substitute for whatever you have or according to your flavor profile!

Crush a couple of cups of pistachios (you can do this with a rolling pin, or just the bottom of a glass. Sautee garlic and onions in olive oil. Place the tenderloin on a grill for a couple of minutes a side, long enough to get some great gill marks and flavor going. I use a cast iron grill pan, you can use a fry pan if you don't have the cast iron, or you can do this on your outdoor grill. Roll the tenderloin in the sauteed garlic and onions olive oil mixture, then roll in the pistachios, patting the nuts into the meat. Now place the tenderloin back in the grill pan, adding a little olive oil and larger pieces of onion and garlic to the base and put in the oven (350 degrees). Test the turkey with a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be reaching 165 degrees.
In the meantime, take whatever random veggies you have (I used broccoli, celery, onion, carrots and zucchini. Dice them and sautee in olive oil until slightly soft. Add water and couscous right to the veggies, cover and let it do it's thing until the turkey is ready. By sauteeing and adding the veggies in give an otherwise drab side dish great flavor!

Always let your meat rest before slicing to help maintain the juices. Take the grill pan and deglaze a couple of cups of white wine. The pistachio flavored sauce is to die for!

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