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Cheap Date: Turkey Cutlets au Vin

December 15th 05:12pm, 2011


Welcome to Cheap Date, a new online column that takes the stress out of planning your next date. Every other Thursday, Nightlife reviewer Matt Berkley will reveal how you can enjoy all our city has to offer for under (or around) $30.

Only a few things are certain when it comes to your girl. First, not sticking up for her in a crowded environment (actually, make that any environment) is a deal breaker – regardless of how tall, dark and broad-shouldered you are. Second, she’s naturally more drawn to a guy who opts for a single-malt Scotch over a Red Bull and vodka. Third, if you want to make her happy, wait for the booth; a table is OK, but – trust me – she prefers the booth. Finally, if you want to make the lady really happy, cook for her. An intimate meal fashioned in your own kitchen signals not only that you care for her but also that you have a clue as to how to care for yourself. The best part about this date (aside from being a fraction of the cost of a decent restaurant meal) is that it can be easily tailored to your significant other’s tastes.

Booth at Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood

For a cheap, easy dessert, hit the baking aisle and grab a packet of chocolate mousse mix. Prepare as directed, refrigerate for a few hours and serve with a handful of fresh strawberry slices. But first, dinner. This recipe is relatively simple and can easily be made for under $30, assuming you have few of these items in your kitchen.


Traditional Coq au Vin

Turkey Cutlets au Vin
An alternative to the hearty French bistro classic, coq au vin, by Matt Berkley
4 Servings

4 boneless, skinless turkey cutlets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. garlic powder, divided
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
Olive oil
¼ onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
¼ lb. sliced ham, finely chopped
½ cup red wine*
¾ cup chicken (or beef) stock
6 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. raw green beans

• Coat the turkey cutlets with flour and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder on each side.
• Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and a dash of olive oil in a deep sauté pan on medium-low heat.
• Add the coated turkey cutlets to the pan and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
• Using the same pan, sauté the onion, carrot and chopped ham in 1 tablespoon of butter until the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
• Stir in the wine, stock, mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, thyme and several dashes of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
• Meanwhile, prepare the pasta until just al dente. Drain immediately and add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pasta.
• Add the cooked turkey cutlets back to the pan and spoon the juices over the meat. Cover and simmer for 8 more minutes.
• Place the green beans inside a steam basket in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and steam until bright green but still firm. Remove from water and set aside.
• Divide the pasta between four plates. Top each with a cutlet and spoon the pan sauce over each plate. Serve with the steamed green beans (cooked last).

*Use whatever bottle of red you have on hand. I used Yellow Tail cabernet sauvignon.

By Matt Berkley

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