Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recipe thuRsday: Turkey Meatballs

I usually write these posts a couple of weeks in advance and then schedule them to post and as I was writing and blogtrolling Wednesday evening, I realized I had forgotten to set up the post for this week!  Since Thanksgiving is only two weeks away (yeah, that bit me too), I'm going to share a turkey dish with you.  Next week I'll offer a side to go with it!

Michael and I discovered this dish in a magazine style cookbook we bought at Newflower Farmer's Market.  There are TONS of other recipes in this mag that we will be trying (and have already tried) and this one is a new family favorite.  It could definitely be something different to try instead of the traditional roasted turkey this year!

Turkey Meatballs and Cranberry Gravy
For the meatballs:
1 1/4# of ground turkey
1/2 panko mixed with 1 TBSP of Ana's Herb Mix (or italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
a few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (if you use the Ana's herbs, skip this ingredient)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 chicken broth

For the sauce:
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup chicken broth
1/4-1/2 cup sugar

1.  Preheat your oven to 450F and place a skillet (NOT a non-stick skillet) with some olive oil in it to heat.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the panko, cheese, and spices and mix together.  Add in the turkey and mix with your hands until they are combined well.
3.  Add the milk and 1/4 cup broth, stir to combine (or just use your fingers).
4.  Shape into 1"-2" balls and set onto wax paper.  I typically make about 24 with a pound of meat.
5.  Pull out a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.
6.  Working in small batches, brown the meatballs on all sides in the skillet.  Once they're seared (but not cooked all the way through) remove them and place on the cookie sheet.  Continue to do this until all the meatballs are browned.  DON'T turn off the skillet yet or clean it yet!
7.  Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 10-12 minutes to finish cooking the meatballs.
8.  In the skillet, combine the cranberries, orange juice, remaining broth, and sugar.  Yes, on top of and in with the brown bits and oil from the pan.  You want to savory brown bits to mix with this gravy.
9.  Simmer the mixture over high heat until the mixture has reduced by half and the berries have popped.  This usually takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
10.  Serve up your meatballs and gravy and enjoy!

TIPS:  I actually use a mini muffin tin for my meatballs (hence the 24 count!) and it works really well with controlling the grease that leeches off during the baking.  Also, it's ok if you don't use all of the milk and broth in the meatballs. When I made these Tuesday night, I seemed to have too much liquid for the amount of meat, so I had to add more panko.  If you cannot find Ana's Herbs and don't want to use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, mix together rosemary, crushed red pepper flake, a little kosher salt and pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, and garlic (those are the ingredients off the side of the bottle, I swear!).   And if you're not sure what panko is, it's Japanese bread crumbs and can be found in the Asian foods or baking aisle of your grocery store.  They last forever and can be used for many different things.

Next week, TWO different versions of mashed potatoes to serve with this dish!

Bon apetit,

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