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Turkey and Tamarillo
© Sue Courtney
31 July 2002

Once upon a time Turkey was a rarity on the New Zealand dinner table. The bird was usually only seen on the market at Christmas time and then they were frozen. How things have changed. Now at the supermarket I can buy fresh Turkey pieces, similar to chicken pieces. There are all sorts of cuts including drums, leg steaks, breasts and the popular 'nibbles'. It is great to see the product so accessible at all times of the year and here in New Zealand we can also enjoy cuts of Turkey for our "Mid-winter Christmas" dinners.

I spotted a packet of 'breast' containing two pieces that looked liked suitable serving portions for two people. The packet weighed in at 450 grams or a pound and had a price of $9.50. The packet had a recipe suggestion 'Turkey fillets in Cranberry Port Glaze'. Go to our website for the recipe, it stated.. I said to myself "I've got cranberries and port at home", so put the packet into my trolley and proceeded to the checkout. When I looked up the recipe on, I didn't have the correct ingredients at all !! Tegel, why don't you list the ingredients on the packet? That way I would have walked out of the supermarket knowing I had the necessary ingredients either my trolley or my pantry.

My improvisation on the theme was the following recipe -
Turkey Fillet in a Tamarillo and Port Sauce.

Take 2 pieces of Turkey Breast meat, each about 225 grams (or 8 oz).
1/4 cup of flour
3 tablespoons of butter
one small red onion
4 tamarillos
1 tangelo, squeezed to make 1/4 cup of juice
1/4 c port
1 tablespoon sugar

Wash and dry the breast meat. Slice each breast into 4 pieces. Coat with flour. Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a non-stick pan and cook meat for 5 minutes on each side to become golden brown. Put aside.

Boil some water in the kettle. Place the tamarillos in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Leave to soak in the water for about 2 minutes. Remove one tamarillo at a time, peel the skin off and discard. Now roughly chop the fruit.

Peel and cut half a dozen thin slices from the red onion. Chop these slices finely to end up with two tablespoons of very finely chopped onion.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Saute the onions for about 2 minutes, until soft but not browning. Add the chopped tamarillo and stir well. Cook for another two minutes. Add the port, tangelo juice and sugar and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Return breast meat to the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Plate the turkey pieces and pour the remaining sauce over.

Accompany with a pinot noir. Choose a pinot noir that has strong tamarillo flavours, such as one from Canterbury. Recommended is Floating Mountain Pinot Noir 2001, which was absolutely sensational on its own as well as with this dish.

The turkey was accompanied with whole baby beetroot, whole baby turnips and brown mushrooms. These were oven roasted whole in garlic flavoured olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes. Add the mushrooms after 20 minutes.

More Tamarillo Recipes
Tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea) is a fruit that has its origins in South America but grows well in the sub-tropical northern New Zealand environment. I love tamarillo and the piquant flavour of this fruit is one I often find in New Zealand pinot noir. Therefore tamarillo flavoured sauces and toppings for meat are a perfect food accompaniment to this delicious wine.

Simple tamarillo Jus for steak or lamb
Take 3 fleshy and nicely ripe tamarillo. I chose ones that were a bit softer to the touch. Cover with boiling water for about a minute, then peel. Chop the flesh and place in saucepan with 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar and sprigs of thyme freshly picked from the garden. Bring to the boil and simmer together for about 15 minutes adding more water if it gets too hot and dry. Remove from heat, mash with a potato masher, return to heat with a 1/4 cup of pinot noir - just whatever you are drinking at the time. Let simmer a little longer to incorporate the pinot flavours.
Serve to accompany fillet steak or lamb loin chops and accompany with the rest of the pinot noir.
This was divine served over medium to rare fillet steak and accompanied with the Gibbston Valley Reserve and Estate pinot noirs from the 2001 vintage.
Any left overs can be enjoyed mixed in with Greek yoghurt for your breakfast the next morning (the Tamarillo Jus leftovers - not the Wine!!!).

Tamarillo and Mint Jam
Well I have to confess I bought a jar of this divine tasting jam from 'Q Gardens' in New Plymouth. It quickly ran out. The ingredients on the jar said tamarillo, mint, sugar and lemon juice. Sounds easy. But I added some water too.

Take about 1.5 kilos of tamarillos. Blanch in boiling water, peel and chop. Measure the tamarillos and for each cup, use 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Add sprigs of fresh mint and stew together for about half an hour. Now mash the fruit with a potato masher to break up the chunky bits of flesh. Add lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil and cook for about 20 minutes. Bottle into warm sterilised jars.

Again this is delicious added to the pan juices of steak or chops or the lamb roast. I also like it stirred into yoghurt for breakfast.

Baked Tamarillos with Marsala Wine
Halve tamarillos lengthwise. Sprinkle with sugar and let infuse into the flesh for about 10 minutes. Cut the flesh with the edge of a teaspoon and gently pour about a teaspoon of Marsala wine over each tamarillo half, letting it soak into the fruit. Sprinkle over some more sugar and bake in the oven at 180 C for about 20 minutes. The sugar should caramelise into the fruit.
Serve as a desert.

Bon Appetit

© Sue Courtney
July 2002.

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