Adventures in Southwest Cooking: Turkey Fillets with Pineapple Salsa

I love fruity salsas, especially in the summer time!  One of my favorite restaurants in Santa Fe has a delectable spicy mango salsa the I could just gobble up in minutes.  These yummy turkey fillets are served with a pineapple jalapeno salsa that offers just the perfect amount of sweet and spicy.  I love the combination of flavors and colors.

Fiery Turkey Fillets with Roasted Pineapple Salsa (from the Santa Fe School of Cooking's Flavors of the Southwest):

For the Turkey:
3 pounds turkey fillets, well trimmed
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons pureed chipotles in adobo
3 tablespoons Chimayo chile powder
1/4 cup finely minced onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp toasted and ground cumin
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1 tsp salt

1.  Rinse fillets quickly under running water and pat dry with paper towels.  Place in a large plastic food storage bag.
2.  Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl to make a marinade.  Stir well.  Pour over turkey and turn to coat thoroughly.  Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
3.  Allow turkey to return to room temperature before cooking.  Remove from marinade, scraping off any excess.  Pour marinade into small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes.
4.  Grill or broil fillets 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the desired doneness is achieved, brushing occasionally with marinade.  Slice the fillets into medallions.  Spoon a few tablespoons of heated marinade on individual serving plates. and fan out the turkey medallions over top.  Serve with Roasted Pineapple Salsa.

For the Salsa:
1 fresh pineapple
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno chiles
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp salt

1.  Peel, core and slice the pineapple into 1/4-inch slices and grill until lightly browned on both sides.  Dice pineapple (should yield approximately 2 cups depending on the size).
2.  Mix all the ingredients together and stir well to combine.  Serve as soon as possible as the brightness of the colors tends to fade with time.

What is the difference between Chimayo chile powder and ancho chile powder?
According to the Santa Fe School of Cooking's Flavors of the Southwest, ancho chiles are the dried form of Poblano peppers.  "It is a deep reddish brown, flat, heart-shaped chile measuring about 5 inches in length.  It is quite mild in heat and can be described as a sweet chile with tones of fruit, coffee and licorice."  Chimayo is a town north of Santa Fe where many chile peppers are grown.  Chimayo chile powder consists of ripened (red) chiles ground into a powder.  It is usually medium hot.


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