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updated: 9/7/2012 11:25 AM

Asian-Style Turkey-Wheat Berry Lettuce Wraps with Coconut-Tomatillo Rice

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  • Michael Pennisi created turkey and lettuce wraps with wheat berries, and coconut lime rice with tomatillo.

      Michael Pennisi created turkey and lettuce wraps with wheat berries, and coconut lime rice with tomatillo.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer


Editor's note: This recipe has been updated with the correct amount of ground turkey.

Wheat Berries

cup red wheat berries

cup 365 Everyday Value coconut milk

cup water

Coconut Rice

1 cup (or the rest of the can) 365 Everyday Value coconut milk

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

1 cup jasmine rice

2 thumb-sized pieces peeled ginger

1 sprig lemon grass, scored (slashed) lengthwise 2 teaspoons lime juice

teaspoon salt

3 medium (golf-ball sized) tomatillos, diced -inch (for cup)

Finishing sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon lime juice

Turkey and sauce

cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon rice wine or white wine

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon peanut oil or substitute vegetable oil

1 pound ground turkey

3 chopped scallions, mostly white part

2 cloves of minced smoked garlic or regular garlic (see note)

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

To serve

3 sprigs of lightly chopped cilantro

12-16 romaine lettuce leaves

cup shredded carrots

For the wheat berries: Combine the three ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil then simmer for 25-30 minutes until wheat berries are soft and tender. Remove from heat and let them sit until it is time to add them to the turkey.

For the coconut rice: In a medium pot, stir the coconut milk, stock, rice, ginger, lemon grass, lime juice, soy sauce and salt; bring to boil then reduce to a simmer 10 minutes. Stir in diced tomatillo and simmer, covered, 10 more minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove the lemon grass and ginger pieces before serving.

For the finishing sauce: Combine all eight ingredients in a medium bowl; stir until well combined and the sugar dissolves.

For the turkey and sauce: In small bowl combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, rice wine, brown sugar and lime zest. Set aside.

Add peanut oil to a frying pan and brown the turkey until cooked through. Drain fat if necessary. Add the scallions, garlic and ginger and heat over medium-low heat for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the turkey sauce and wheat berries then heat for 1 more minute.

To serve: Spoon rice onto plate and garnish with cilantro. Fill romaine leaves with a scoop of turkey-wheat berry mixture and top with shredded carrots. Serve wraps on top of rice and drizzle with finishing sauce.

Serves four.

Cook's note: You will need two small or medium pots and a frying pan to prepare this meal. My strategy is to get the wheat berries and rice simmering and then focus on the two sauces and cooking the turkey. Then everything assembles quickly at the end.

To prepare smoked garlic, I cut garlic bulbs in half, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the cut ends and smoke them at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Store the peeled cloves covered in olive oil in the fridge.

Michael Pennisi

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