Cilantro Pesto Cruster Turkey Tenderloins
This recipe evolved from the simple boredom of having the same meal once a week. Normally, with turkey tenderloins, I simply pound them flat, give them a quick soak in some sort of marinade, and throw them on the grill. This go around, I wanted to do something different and a bit more flavorful. Looking through a list of recipes, I was intrigued by one recipe that I found that encrusted the tenderloins in a sage pesto using walnuts. Inspired by this recipe I decided to put my own MexItalian spin on it!
I have taken turkey tenderloins and baked them with a coating of cilantro pesto. I just love how the fresh, almost floral flavors of the cilantro combine with the garlic and citrus to add complexity to the turkey. The pesto also gives the added benefit of keeping the turkey moist during the roasting process. This recipe is kid tested and approved! My daughter, on first sight, did not want anything to do with green colored turkey. Upon tasting it, she proudly exclaimed “Whoa!”… That sure sounded like a seal of approval!
Cilantro Pesto Crusted Turkey Tenderloins
- 2 turkey tenderloins, about 1 pound each
- 8 medium red potatoes, quartered
- 1/2 of a white onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 8-10 nopales paddles, cleaned and diced (optional but recommended!)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a mixing bowl combine the potatoes, onion, garlic, nopales, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
- Prepare the cilantro pesto (Follow the recipe for the cilantro pesto below!).
- Spread the pesto all over the tenderloins and place in a roasting pan.
- Spread the potatoes, nopales, and onions in the same pan around the turkey.
- Roast for 40 minutes, or until the tenderloins reach a internal temperature of 165F. Let the tenderloins rest for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Serve with the potatoes and nopales and a glass of Pinot Noir!
1 bunch or 2 cups of fresh cilantro (washed well and dried well!)
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put the pine nuts and the garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times.
Add the cilantro, lime juice and slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the cotija cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Everyone in the blogosphere was posting their Super Bowl recipes this past week. Since it was my birthday on Super Bowl Sunday, although I had not planned on cooking anything, it came around to sunday afternoon and I could not think of a better way to spend my birthday than cooking one of my all-time favorite recipes for my family.
Chipotle Wings with Cilantro-Lime Tzaziki
This is my take on chicken wings. There are two rules when it comes to chicken wings for me. The golden rules are as follows: #1 Always use fresh chicken wings and #2 Never fry chicken wings. The opinions I have in this respect are mine alone, but I do not like chicken wings when they are fried, this is the easy way out when it comes to flavor. Anyone can fry a chicken wing. It is also imperative to use only fresh chicken wings, you’ll never get the dreaded “black bone”. This happens when you use frozen wings, so the next time you are in a restaurant and order chicken wings, check the bones, if they are black, then they have used frozen chicken wings!
Following these simple rules, I oven bake them and I always use fresh chicken wings. Usually, I make three different sauces for my wings. I make a Honey BBQ for my daughter, my famous (at least famous in my family) Chipotle sauce, and a simple Sriracha sauce that is my personal favorite. I almost always serve my wings with a Cilantro-Lime Tzatziki. Its a flavor affinity for the chipotle wings and is also a fresh, light alternative to blue cheese dressing. These recipes are a bit approximate, I have never written this one down until now, so you may need to adjust for your personal tastes!
Chipotle Wings still steaming!
- 2-4 lbs. of Fresh Chicken Wings
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- DelGrosso All-Purpose Rub (See below for recipe)
- Cut chicken wings at the joint to the upper wing and the lower wing section and at the wingtip joint. Reserve wing tip for stocks and toss the forearm and upper wing in a colander.
- Wash wings well, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil and toss well.
- Add the rub and mix well with hands, making sure all the wings a well coated with seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place in a square roasting pan and cover with foil. What I usually do is place each wing next to each other, in this step it does not matter if they are touching, we are going to essentially steam the wings in this step (it makes them fall off the bone tender!)
- Cook for 35 minutes.
- Transfer the wings to a baking sheet lined with foil to prevent smoking. Set the oven to 500F and broil. Put the top rack of the oven on the second tier (about 6-8 inches from burner).
- Broil the wings for 10 minutes, then flip the wings and broil another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and toss with sauce in a large mixing bowl.
- 1 Can of La Costeña Chipotles in Adobo
- 1 Clove Garlic, peeled
- 1 slice of onion (cut the onion in half and take 1 layer from onion)
- 1 cup of tomato puree
- Juice of half of a lime
- ½ cup water of chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a blender add the chipotles, garlic, onion, and tomato puree and liquid (water or stock).
- Puree mixture in blender until smooth.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then force puree through a medium mesh sieve and then add the salt.
- Cook on low for about 15 minutes or until it reduces to a nice creamy consistency.
NOTE: This sauce is a bit on the HOT side of the heat index. So if it is too hot for you, you can add more tomato puree until it mellows out.
Sriracha Wing Sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat then add the Sriracha and reduce to low. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice for balance.
DelGrosso All-Purpose Rub
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili powder
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to mix or place in a jar, cover it, and shake to mix. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light.
Super Bowl Chipotle Wings