Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Apple Salsa

There’s not much Mexican about these tostadas, but I think you’ll like the flavor combination that brings a little autumn flair to the dish—turkey and apple, even a little cinnamon.

Ground turkey is naturally lean, but the thigh meat is a little juicier than breast meat. I simply cooked it with some onion and garlic and spiced it up with cinnamon and chile powder. The hint of cinnamon in the finished dish is a tasty complement for the bright, fresh salsa.

Most of the ingredients here are common in salsas: spicy chiles, bell pepper, some  onion and cilantro, and a splash of fresh lime juice. But the star of this particular salsa is the crunchy, slightly tart, slightly sweet granny smith apple. I combined the other ingredients first to give them time to develop flavors together, then stirred the apple in before serving. This helps keep it super fresh and crisp—and avoids the browning that apples are prone to.

Makes 8 5-inch tostados

  • 1 large or 2 small jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 3 tsp fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • sea salt
  • 8 5-inch corn tortillas
  • olive oil, for brushing, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 lb ground turkey thigh
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium-large granny smith apple
  • shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving 
Salsa Ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the jalapeno, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, 2 teaspoons lime juice, and chile flakes in a medium bowl and season with salt. Set aside.
  3. Working in 2 batches, lay 4 tortillas on the prepared baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Bake 5 minutes and turn. Continue baking until crisp and golden, 2-3 minutes longer. Remove and let cool. Repeat with the remaining 4 tortillas. 
Combined Ingredients
Tortillas Ready to Bake
After Turning
Baked Tortillas
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirling to coat. Add the ground turkey, garlic, onion, cinnamon, and chile powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat, until just cooked through and the liquid is absorbed, 8-9 minutes.
  2. While the turkey cooks, core the apple and dice into very small pieces. Stir the apple into the salsa, along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Re-season with salt.
Turkey Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Turkey Mixture
Diced Apple
Spicy Apple Salsa
To serve, divide the turkey mixture on top of the tostadas. Top each with salsa, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. (Alternatively, serve the ingredients separately and let your guests build their own tostadas.)

Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Apple Salsa

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