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Talking Turkey (Meatballs) – Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and Carrot Rice

Meatballs are always a family favorite and provide a lot of versatility when I make then. Typically, they start off with a meal that includes some type of pasta, but the meatballs are also fantastic for meatball subs or meatball parmigiana sandwiches. They also make a great addition to a pizza for pizza night. All of that is perfect when you make meatballs in tomato sauce, but once in a while, I like something that is a little bit of a change. I love Swedish meatballs or meatballs in a gravy and have found that making meatballs using turkey meat gives me the chance to play with all kinds of different flavors and create new meals. I had picked up some ground turkey recently at the store and wanted to make something different for dinner, so I combined these two recipes, one from Martha Stewart for a carrot rice and the other from Julia Moskin for scallion meatballs with a soy glaze.

Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and Carrot Rice

For the Sauce:

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup mirin sweet rice wine, or 1/2 cup sake with 1/4 cup sugar

¼ cup chopped peeled ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 whole black peppercorns

For the Meatballs:

1 pound ground turkey

4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped about 1 cup

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

For the Rice:

Salt

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 carrot, shredded

To make the sauce, bring the sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar melts completely. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander, and peppercorns. Simmer, occasionally stirring, until the sauce is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.

To make the meatballs, mix the ground turkey, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and several grindings of pepper in a medium bowl. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.

In a skillet set over medium-high heat, generously cover the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place the meatballs in the pan and cook them, occasionally turning, until the meatballs are browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange on a heated platter, spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks. If desired, keep warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. Garnish with sliced scallions, if desired.

To make the rice, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and stir, and return the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the rice and cook it until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and top it with the shredded carrot. Let the rice stand, covered, for about 5 minutes, then stir in the carrot and fluff the rice with a fork. Arrange the rice on a heated platter and top with the meatballs and sauce. Garnish the dish with sliced scallions, if desired.

Ground turkey by itself does not have a lot of flavor to it, but when you add the ingredients to the dish with the meatballs and the sauce, you will find that they pack quite a bit of flavor. The scallions and soy shine through nicely, and the meatballs are tender and tasty. The carrot rice is very simple, and the carrots add a nice touch and texture to the rice for something a little different. You can easily just make the meatballs and use them as an appetizer for any dinner, party or buffet you are having as well. I felt the dish was a nice change of pace from the usual meatballs and gives me something different to fall back on when I want to liven the meatball routine up a bit.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Meatballs Run Amok! Pizza Bianca with Kale and Turkey Meatballs

You would think we would have gotten sick of meatballs by now, wouldn’t you? Surprisingly enough we managed to keep on with our meatball theme this week, using another recipe from Giada di Laurentiis that makes use of the classic Italian turkey meatballs I made earlier in the week. For this recipe, just like the one yesterday for meatball paninis, we kept it very easy and decided to go the pizza route. This one is for pizza Bianca, which is a white pie without any red sauce, perfect for those who may not like the acidity or flavor of tomato sauce. You can use some of the meatballs from the original recipe that have not been put into sauce, or just take some of the sauced meatballs and cut them up if you want just a hint of the sauce flavor. In either case, it is a very flavorful pizza.

Pizza Bianca with Kale and Turkey Meatballs

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Pizza:
Extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling the baking sheet and for drizzling
One 1-pound ball pizza dough (store-bought or homemade, such as Food Processor Pizza Dough), at room temperature
3/4 cup coarsely grated mozzarella
8 Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs, halved
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 medium leaves kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the sauce: In a heavy small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the nutmeg, bay leaf and garlic. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until the mixture thickens to sauce consistency and is smooth, about 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and the garlic.

For the pizza: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a heavy nonstick 16- by 10-inch baking sheet with olive oil.

Using your fingers, spread the dough over the prepared baking sheet into a rectangle shape. Drizzle the dough with olive oil. Spoon the sauce on top and spread the sauce evenly across the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the dough. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Arrange the meatballs, cut-side down, on top of the mozzarella and sauce. Sprinkle the pizza with the Parmesan cheese. Bake the pizza for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the kale in an even layer on top of the meatballs. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sprinkle the top with salt. Bake the pizza until the kale is crispy, about 10 minutes longer.

Cut the pizza into squares and serve.

One thing I did differently with this recipe, since I did not have any kale on hand, was that I used some spinach instead. Sean and Michelle both like spinach better anyway so this worked well for us, but if you really want the kale I would think it would turn out nice and crispy and taste great on the pizza. Everyone loved this pizza, not just because of the meatballs but because of the white sauce as well. The sauce had just that hint of nutmeg to give it a really unique flavor and it just seemed to go really well with the meatballs and spinach. Sean asked that I make this one again and maybe try another pizza combination with the sauce from this recipe, which sounded like a good idea to me.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Meatball Frenzy Week Continues – Turkey Meatball Panini

So now that I had all of these meatballs I needed to find things to do with them. Luckily, Giada didn’t let me down and I supplied several other recipes in ways that you could use these great turkey meatballs. The best part about all of them is that they con convert into really easy meals that only take a few minutes to create and you have something entirely new to enjoy for the night. The first up was this really simple meatball panini recipe. I have a panini maker, but you can just as easily do this with a grill, grill pan or skillet with a little bit of effort and it will come out great too. This recipe makes use of the meatballs and a few other simple ingredients to make awesome paninis for the family to enjoy.

Turkey Meatball Panini

1 red onion, peeled, cut into eight 1/4 -to 1/2-inch-thick rounds

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 ciabatta rolls, halved horizontally (or other bread of your choice)

1 cup tomato sauce (homemade or your favorite jarred brand)

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

1 1/3 cups arugula

12 Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs, halved

8 thin slices prosciutto

8 slices provolone cheese

Preheat a grill pan or a panini maker. Brush the red onion slices on both sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle the onions with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill the onion slices until they are tender and lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Set the onions aside to cool

Pull out and remove some of he bread from the ciabatta rolls from each half of the rolls. This will give the meatballs a better place to sit in the sandwich. Spoon half of the tomato sauce over the bottom halves of each of the rolls. Sprinkle the sauce with red pepper flakes, if using. Add the arugula, the turkey meatballs, the prosciutto slices, grilled onions and the remaining sauce to each sandwich. Top each sandwich with two pieces of cheese. Add the tops of the rolls and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Using a pastry brush, brush the olive oil evenly over the tops of the rolls.

Place the sandwiches in the panini maker and lower the press and cook until the cheese has melted and the meatballs are heated through, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, place the sandwiches on a grill pan or in a heated skillet and place a cast-iron pan or other heavy pot (anything heavy will really do) to press the sandwiches down and cook through until the cheese is melted and the meatballs are heated through.

Cut the panini in half and serve.

The great thing about paninis, or any sandwich really, is that you can put whatever you like best on them. If you don’t like provolone, use your favorite cheese on it instead or no cheese at all (which is how I eat it). If you don’t have prosciutto, use any type of ham that you like (which I did for Sean; I used Black Forest Ham). you can use any type of other toppings that you really like or use different meatballs and still get good results (those these meatballs are really good and you should try them out). I had mine with just the grilled onions, meatballs, red pepper flakes and arugula. Michelle had hers with the meatballs, arugula, grilled onions and provolone. Sean had his with the meatballs, Black Forest Ham and prosciutto, no onions or arugula. They all looked really good and everyone really enjoyed the sandwiches. It was a great way to re-purpose some of the meatballs for a quick meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Poultry, Sandwiches, Turkey

 

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It’s a Meatball Frenzy Week! – Giada’s Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs are one of those things that everyone seems to have their own way of making. Just like it is with meatloaf, meatballs can have just about anything in them and can be all types of meat combinations depending on your preferences. I have tried a bunch of different recipes in the past, including recipes from Giada di Laurentiis, who this particular recipe is from. Not that long ago an episode of her show features several meatball recipes, including the basic one for turkey meatballs that you start out with and then other recipes you can use the same meatballs for. I decided to start out the week with the basic class turkey meatball recipe and then build out from there.

Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs

For the Meatballs:

1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon ketchup, optional
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2  eggs, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey meat (dark meat if you can get it)
1 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
For the Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1  onion, finely chopped 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons finely ground fennel seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, ketchup if using, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic and onions. Using a wooden spoon, stir the ingredients until they are blended. Add the ground turkey and the turkey sausage meat. Using your fingers, gently mix all the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.

Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop or a small ice cream scoop, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (22 to 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy nonstick baking sheet, spacing them apart. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

For the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet with high sides or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables until they softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the basil, the fennel, oregano and crushed tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook the sauce over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of basil. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer until the meatballs are heated through, about 10 minutes. Thin the sauce with chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time, if needed.

Serve with grated Parmesan alongside.

I have to say that of all the meatball recipes I have tried recently, I think this is the best one and since it uses only turkey meat, it might be the healthiest alternative of the ones I have made. The texture of the meatball is perfect and the flavor you get from the mix of the turkey meat and sausage along with the spices is just perfect. Throw it all in a simple sauce and you have a great meal. I actually doubled the recipe and made a lot of meatballs with this recipe to use for the other meatball recipes Giada tried on that episode, so I’ll be posting meatball options all week with what we had leftover. Of course, you can always just freeze some and use them when you want them. I left about half out of the sauce to use for some of the other recipes.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Sauce, Turkey

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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