A RECIPE TO FIGHT CLIMBING
Daily news reports continue to
focus on escalating fuel prices, along with the escalation of rising feed
costs and subsequent food pricing. With crude oil futures reaching record
highs, the demand for ethanol will continue to grow. This mandate for
renewable fuel, which diverts corn to ethanol, has reduced the availability
of corn, which is a primary ingredient in turkey feed, thus increasing
feed costs. The weak American dollar and strong foreign demand for U.S.
feed ingredients brings yet another dimension to the problem. Still adding
to the dilemma are the rising costs of transporting food to market. Visit
the balanced food and fuel Web site to learn more: www.balancedfoodandfuel.org.
Consumers can better cope with rising grocery prices by making a few modifications
to both their food purchasing and cooking techniques. As a savvy shopper,
use clever purchasing skills to select foods abundant in nutrients. Turkey
is a nutrient-rich food with high levels of lean protein plus calcium,
iron, zinc and other vitamins and minerals. A few years ago, turkey was
named a SuperFood due to rich nutritional qualities. The National
Turkey Federation (NTF) calls it the perfect protein because of turkey’s
nutrient-rich profile, availability, versatility and good value. Replacing
high fat and calorie laden proteins with a lean protein provides a great
choice for grocery shoppers. You get a lot of bang for your buck when
turkey is added to the shopping basket.
The following are shopping and cooking tips to help you cope with rising
Start the process of trimming your grocery bill before going to the supermarket.
Polish your shopping skills with the following tips.
supermarket advertised weekly specials. Grocery stores publish weekly
bargains in newspapers, inserts and on their Web sites. Design your
meals and stock your freezer with the advertised specials and enjoy
the savings for several weeks.
- Make the most of
the coupons offered from several sources. Clipped coupons from newspapers
and magazines are the most familiar sources, but coupons are also available
on-line. Check the Web sites of your favorite brand of turkey, http://www.eatturkey.com/about/list.html,
and other popular coupon Web sites to gain access to bargains. In-store
coupons are frequently distributed in the grocery store. If you can
arrange your schedule to shop on double or triple coupon days, the savings
will accumulate even more.
- Evaluate the yield
of products. Ground turkey is a great bargain because there is little
waste – no bone or gristle to carve away and little fat to drip
away. A pound of ground turkey easily provides the recommended amount
of protein for four entrées.
- Sign up for membership
in frequent-shopping programs/bonus clubs at all of the grocery stores
you patronize. A growing number of supermarkets offer E-mail specials
to their shopping club members. The savings may be significant.
- Consider turkey
parts such as wings, drumsticks and thighs. These products are versatile,
economical proteins that make flavorful grilled presentations. Combine
them with dry rubs, zesty marinades or tangy barbecue sauces. Turkey
wings offer a fun way to serve popular Buffalo wing appetizers for more
bites with spice. Turkey thighs offer a depth of flavor to traditional
favorites such as cacciatore and osso buco. Thighs may be skinned and
cut into boneless pieces for chili, stews and soups.
Slice Grocery Expenses While Slicing Turkey
Studies show savings can mount when you purchase a turkey
breast or a whole turkey and slice them into meal portions.
- Turkey breasts
offer an endless supply of delicious entrées when sliced into
cutlets, steaks, chops, tenderloins, medallions and scaloppini. For
both food safety and ease of cutting, make sure the turkey is well chilled
before carving begins.
Starting at the
neck cavity, cut along the top edge of the breast bone. Cut down the
edge of the wishbone and keelbone, peeling the breast away from the
bones and leaving as little meat on the bones as possible. Remove
the half-breast and repeat for the other side.
For cutlets, simply remove the skin and slice the breast into 1/4-inch
slices. For future use, the cutlets may be stacked between double
layers of waxed paper and frozen for quick and easy weeknight dinners.
Cutlets are perfect for grilled entrees, stir-fry dishes, schnitzel,
kabobs, fajitas and entrée salads. Consider cutting turkey
breast into 1/8-inch scaloppini slices for an economical substitute
to a classically expensive entrée.
The tenderloin or fillet is the long cylindrical muscle next to the
keelbone. It may be carved by removing the skin and cutting the tenderloin
from the breast. The tenderloin is perfect for oven roasting or grilling.
It pairs with so many flavors and is ideal with a zesty marinade.
To carve turkey breast medallions, cut the tenderloin, across the
grain, into 3/4-to 1-inch slices. Medallions, prepared with a dry
sherry or wine sauce, provide an elegant entrée presentation.
Any remaining turkey may be used in a stir-fry recipe. The pieces
need not be uniform. Cook the turkey with fresh garlic, ginger and
vegetables for a quick and economical dinner.
offer an even greater opportunity for savings due to the variety of
recipes suitable for both dark and light meat. In addition to the
recommendations for turkey breast, think about smoking or grilling
legs and thighs.
Grilling a whole turkey provides flavorful fare for outdoor events.
This approach to barbecue provides a healthier option for those seeking
both taste and reduced fat.
The whole turkey provides ample ingredients for large party recipes
with different cuisines such as Cajun gumbo, French bouillabaisse
or Mexican moles. If company is coming for the weekend, stretch one
whole turkey into a roasted turkey dinner, another dinner with shredded
turkey tacos, sliced turkey sandwiches and salads for lunches with
enough leftovers for turkey à la king for your freezer.
Turkey wings further
extend the value of turkey. Separate the wings into three pieces by
slicing through at each joint, bend the sections back and cut through
to separate the segments. Use the wing tip for soup or stock while
incorporating the other segments into barbeque recipes.
- After all the
turkey has been cut away, the carcass and giblets may be used for preparing
turkey soup or stock. In addition to saving money for purchases of packaged
stock, homemade stock just tastes better. Flavor the water with onion,
celery, carrots, herbs and peppercorns. The cooked stock may be chilled
so the layer of fat can be removed for low-fat stock additions to casseroles
and soups. Try a rich version of French Onion Soup with turkey stock
and white wine. Turkey stock may be frozen in small 1 cup containers
and used to enhance sauces and a variety of entrees. Freezing turkey
stock in ice cube trays will give you the ability to add a cube or two
to sauces, gravies and side dishes.
The carcass of smoked turkey has its own rewards when used for broth.
The results will enhance a variety of Southwestern cuisine soups, stews
and side dishes.
Stretch the Entrée Protein
Follow the example
of popular ethnic fare and stretch entrées by incorporating other
ingredients with turkey.
Stretch sliced turkey deli meat by asking the folks at the deli counter
to thinly slice turkey…it just seems to go further when sliced thin
or shaved. Combine sliced turkey with fresh seasonal vegetables in a wrap.
Aim for new flavor combinations with fresh spinach, bell pepper strips
or cucumbers for a different twist on America’s favorite sandwich.
You can save valuable
time as well as money if you double a recipe that provides leftovers to
serve for future meals. Cooked turkey has a storage life of three to four
days, so the cooked entrée may be safely kept in the refrigerator
during that time or transferred to the freezer for up to three months.
Check the following link for dozens of recipe ideas: http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/thanksleft.html
Leftover cooked turkey breast, turkey roast or whole turkey can provide
protein-rich offerings for several meals. Prepare any of the following
with planned leftover turkey:
Appetizers: Stuffed Mushrooms, Chinese Lettuce Wraps,
Quesadillas, Potstickers and Pastry Turnovers
Entrées: Lasagna, Pizza Toppings, Pot Pie, Fried
Rice, Enchiladas, Tetrazzini and Primavera
Salads: Spinach, Cobb, Caesar, Rice and Pasta
Sandwiches and Wraps: Club, Cuban, Panini, Monte Cristo and Burritos
Soups: Chowders, Chili, Rice, Tortilla, Gumbo, Minestrone and
Dollar Saving Storage Tips
When purchasing the large “value or family” ground turkey
packages, divide the turkey into 4-ounce burgers, stack them between double
layers of waxed paper, label and freeze. The burgers will be ready to
cook without any portioning required.
To ensure the full frozen shelf life of all turkey products placed in
the freezer, wrap them in freezer-safe plastic bags, heavy duty foil or
freezer paper. Label each package with the name of the contents and the
date it was placed in the freezer. Be sure to press all the air out of
the package so freezer burn will not develop.
Product Dates and Shelf Life
Understand the shelf life of turkey products and you will receive the
full benefit of the entire turkey. Turkey is one of the few proteins where
every single part of the bird, from the neck down, can be used. Do not
allow any of that potential to escape by letting the shelf life expire
on fresh or frozen products.
A date stamped on a
product's package, known as "open dating," uses a calendar date
so the supermarket operator may determine how long to display perishable
foods, including turkey.
There are several types of dates that may be found on turkey packaging:
- A "Sell
By" date tells the store how long to display the product
for sale. Consumers should buy the product before the date expires.
- A "Best
if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor
or quality. It is not a purchase or food safety date.
- A "Use
By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the
product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer
of the product.
For a consumer to
ensure that turkey and turkey products retain top quality, the following
tips should be considered:
- If the product
has a "Use By" date follow that date.
- Check the "Sell
By" date and purchase the turkey products before the
- Take the turkey
home immediately after purchase and refrigerate it promptly under 40°F.
Place the turkey in the coldest part of the refrigerator, which could
be either the meat/poultry drawer or the bottom shelf. Leave turkey
in the store packaging prior to use.
- If there is no
meat/poultry drawer, place a plate/tray under the turkey to prevent
drips onto other foods. Keep raw turkey separate from cooked foods.
- Freeze the turkey
at 0°F, if you cannot use it in the times recommended. Once a perishable
product is frozen the expiration date becomes irrelevant and storage
guidelines should be followed.
all fresh, uncooked and processed turkey products at 40°F or below.
Storage at 35°F-40°F
Storage at 0°F or Below
to 2 days
to 2 days
By" date on the label OR 1 to 2 Days
to 4 months
By" date on the label OR 1 to 2 Days
to 2 months
Storage of Leftover Cooked Turkey
Storage at 35°F-40°F
Storage at 0° F or Below
to 4 days
to 4 months
There is a real
opportunity to trim your grocery expenses by making use of the entire
bird, from the tenderloin to the carcass. Turkey can be of vital help
in coping with rising food costs.
© 2010 National Turkey Federation
1225 New York Avenue NW • Suite 400 • Washington, D.C. 20005
• TEL: 202.898.0100 • FAX: 202.898.0203