Grilled Wild Turkey Skewers with Asian Style Slaw and Cashew Sauce. A mouthful to say. A mouthful to eat. A trifecta of flavor.
So, I don’t want to brag, but um, I’m sharing not one, not two, but THREE recipes today. Say whaaaaaaaaaat? A 3-for-1 post; a three-fer! Grilled Wild Turkey Skewers with Asian Style Slaw and Cashew Sauce. Make one, make two, or get really loosey goosey and wild turkey and make ALL THREE! And don’t worry: after all this bragging, I bring myself back down to planet earth with a somewhat humorous, self-deprecating story from my past at the very end.
OK, let’s break this down.
Wild Turkey Skewers with Asian Style Slaw and Cashew Sauce
You will have more cashew sauce than needed for the skewers and slaw. This, my friends, is a spectacular thing, because guess what? This sauce doubles as an amazing vegetable dip. This is my first year growing celery, and holy cats does cashew sauce go well with it! It’s basically like Thai-inspired ants on a log. You can make it ahead of time, but you might eat it all before it ever sees a turkey skewer. Just sayin’.
Asian Style Slaw
The star of this slaw is clearly the stunning ‘Kalibos’ cabbage. As I’m sure you noticed from the multitude of photos, she has captured my heart. A European variety, her flavor is mild and sweet, and she is oh-so beautiful. Almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. The rest of the supporting players all come from the garden as well. We have extremely hot summers, so I grow ‘Calypso’ cilantro, which is slower to bolt. If you can’t find Thai basil, regular will work. If you’ve ever considered growing it, I’m a big fan of Siam Queen Thai. You can prep the slaw ahead of time, but don’t dress until before serving. The marinade doubles as the dressing, so consider the step of making the dressing a freebie.
Wild Turkey Skewers
Wild turkey, as in the bird, not the booze. Use it if you got it, but if not, domestic turkey or chicken would also be swell. Like I said up der, the sauce for the slaw doubles as the marinade, so you’re just a few hours and skewers away from a partay. Don’t stress too much about the marinade time; however long is convenient for you will be just fine.
And about that story? Well that also has to do with Wild Turkey. Wild turkey, as in the booze, not the bird. My first experience with Wild Turkey, the booze not the bird, was at an age that I’m not at liberty to share. I was with two (or three?) friends whom I will not name to protect the innocent . . . especially the third friend, because I cannot remember if she was there or not.
For the life of me, I also can’t recall where the heck we were going, but it was a small town, we had never been there before, never returned, and I think camping was involved. For whatever reason, I want to say it was something called Apple Palooza, but when I Google it, all I find is Tub-A-Palooza on the Apple River. Maybe the kids call it something different these days. Maybe, maybe not.
The plan was to pick up some beer as we neared our destination, because um, drinking and driving is lame, and we were obviously very responsible. OK, at the time, we were semi-responsible beer-drinking girls, which is funny now, because I’m a very-rarely-beer-but-definitely-wine-and-whiskey-drinking gal now. I guess you could say I’ve matured.
Anyway, the problem with this plan was that we got to our destination (wherever that was) but had passed the last gas station quite a while back. However, there was a nearby bar, so my girlfriend M put on her best beer-buying lipstick and went in to test her luck while we waited.
Beer-Buying Lipstick: Lipstick you wear to look older than you actually are; usually a dark shade like maroon or mocha. As I said, we were very semi-responsible.
Error of Our Ways
I will never understand the rationale behind the bartender that day, but the ONLY thing he/she would sell her was a partially-full bottle of Wild Turkey. Whoah, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore. But alas, beggars cannot be choosers, so we went on our merry way to find something to mix that god-awful stuff with on our yellow-brick road of fun. (And by god-awful, I mean strong . . . which was god-awful to someone who’s drinking experience was limited to beer at that point, which also didn’t taste all that great).
And as young people often do, a couple of us had a bright idea as the sky went dark and the liquid courage arose that night: skinny dipping. So we ran and tossed and tossed and ran until we realized the error of our ways.
The water was not getting deeper.
At its greatest depth, it barely touched our kneecaps! And then it happened. What’s that light? Is there a light show tonight? Nope, those are flashlights shining to see the dumb@sses who decided to walk around naked in the shallow creek. #skinnywading except for this was when a hashtag was called the pound sign and entertainment was playing tic tac toe on that $hit. Thank God the only thing people were capturing on their phones back then was that tiny dot on the snake game.
Luckily, M was right behind us with towels and blankets to wrap up in as we gathered our skivvies and picked up our pride. I have no idea where she found those towels or how she did it so quickly. Then again, our outer appearance can affect the way we feel on the inside, and she was wearing mature, beer-buying lipstick after all. It must have made her slightly more semi-responsible than the rest of us.
Moral of the story? Don’t drink Wild Turkey and have bright ideas. Do eat Wild Turkey Skewers with Asian Style Slaw and Cashew Sauce.
Turkey Skewers with Asian Style Slaw and Cashew Sauce
- Skewers soaked if wooden
- 1 pound turkey breast sliced into thin strips
- 1/3 cup neutral-tasting oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon mild white miso paste not all brands are GF
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove smashed
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 –2 teaspoons crushed dried chilies
Asian Style Slaw
- 4 cups cabbage shredded
- 3 medium carrots julienned
- 4 scallions sliced thinly on the bias at an angle (green and white parts)
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped coarsely
- 1/4 cup Thai basil chopped coarsely
- 2/3 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut crystals
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- For the marinade/dressing, blend oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, miso, ginger, garlic, lime juice, sesame oil, and chilies in blender until mixed together. Reserve at least 1/2 cup; this will be your dressing for the slaw. Place the remaining marinade along with the turkey in a Ziploc bag or container. Marinate for 4–6 hours.
- Meanwhile, combine cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro, and basil. Toss with reserved dressing shortly before serving.
- For the cashew sauce, place cashews in food processor and process until smooth. Add coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice and process until smooth. Leftover sauce should be refrigerated.
- Preheat grill over high. Remove turkey from marinade, and thread onto skewers.
- Grill turkey skewers for 2–3 minutes per side. Transfer to aluminum foil tented plate to rest. Once rested, serve over slaw and drizzle with cashew sauce.