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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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Bust Out the Bacon – Bacon Honey Bourbon Turkey Meatballs

Even though the weather is still pretty warm around here, I know that summer is starting to wind down, school will be starting up in a few weeks and before you know it the fall weather will be upon us again. Cooler weather means turning back to using the oven more for meals, but it also can mean things like parties on the weekends for football games and get-togethers and you may even start thinking about your holiday parties for the year. Whether you are looking for a new snack option to try out or want something a little different for dinner, meatballs can be the perfect option for you. Meatballs can be much more versatile than just the standard ones you might throw into some tomato sauce. You can make Swedish meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs or make meatballs using other proteins like pork, sausage, lamb or turkey. I came across this recipe on a blog called Gal on a Mission and the original recipe calls for using ground chicken, but I thought ground turkey would work out just as well and tweaked it a bit to make it my own.

Bacon Honey Bourbon Turkey Meatballs

For the Meatballs:

6 strips of bacon

8 ounces button mushrooms, washed and dried

16 ounces ground turkey

1 Italian sausage link (mild or hot), casing removed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoons chili powder

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

½ cup breadcrumbs

For the Honey Bourbon Barbecue Sauce:

½ cup water

1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, homemade or store-bought

3 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon honey

fresh chopped parsley, to garnish (optional)

For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray or grease a large skillet. Set the pan aside.

 

Pulse together the bacon and button mushrooms in the food processor until they are well blended. Place the mushroom and bacon mixture, the ground turkey and the Italian sausage, salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic, and breadcrumbs into a medium mixing bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are well combined. Scoop the meat mixture using a medium cookie scoop or roll the mixture by hand and place the meatballs onto the baking sheet or in the skillet. Repeat the process until all of the meat has been used.

Bake the meatballs for  about 20 to 25 minutes in the oven until they are golden brown.

For the honey bourbon barbecue sauce whisk together the water, barbecue sauce, bourbon, and honey in a large skillet. Simmer the skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, coat each meatball, and simmer the meatballs over low-to-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Garnish the meatballs with the fresh parsley, if desired,  and serve.

It’s a pretty simple recipe that combines some great ingredients so you end up with meatballs that have excellent flavor. The turkey, combined with the bacon and sausage, give great texture and taste to the meatballs and provide some of the added fat the meatballs need when you use turkey to boost the flavor. the mushrooms help to provide some extra texture, but if you’re not a mushroom fan, I think you could leave them out and the recipe would be fine.  I really liked the sauce for the meatballs. You get the sweetness of the honey with the hint of flavor from the bourbon and your barbecue sauce for a thick, rich sauce that everyone will love. I made the meatballs a little bigger since we were having these as a dinner, but if you make them smaller I think they are perfect to use for any type of party appetizer you might be looking for so you can offer something a little different this year. For dinner, I served them with some rice but they might go really nicely with some German potato salad or roasted potatoes.

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 August 19, 2016 in Appetizers, Dinner, Poultry, Sauce, Sausage, Turkey

 

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A Super Holiday Appetizer – Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze

Finding just the right appetizers when you are hosting a holiday party or having everyone over for a holiday meal can always seem like a challenge. You want to go beyond just having cheese and crackers or chips and dip and want to put out something memorable that makes a great snack before the main entrée or a fantastic addition to a buffet table. One of my favorites is to always do something different with meatballs. You can do so many different things with meatballs and a great sauce and then all you need is a platter and some toothpicks and you have the perfect finger food. I came across this recipe recently from the New York Times and decided to try out the recipe for scallion meatballs with a soy-ginger glaze. I initially made a batch and we had some for dinner that night and I froze the rest to have on hand for appetizers at a later date. They are easy to make, make great use of turkey and the glaze is out of this world.

Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze

For the Sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

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

1/4 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

To make the sauce, bring the brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring the mixture until the sugar melts completely. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the soy sauce, mirin, chopped ginger, coriander and the peppercorns. Simmer, stirring the sauce occasionally, until the sauce has been reduced by about half, about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve to remove the solids and discard the solids.

To make the meatballs, mix the ground turkey, scallions, cilantro, beaten egg, sesame oil and the soy sauce and several grinds of black pepper in a bowl. Roll tablespoons of the mixture together into balls. in a skillet set over medium-high heat, generously coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, place the meatballs in the pan and cook, turning, until the meatballs are browned all over and cooked through inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange the meatballs on a heated platter and spoon a little sauce over each meatball and serve the meatballs with toothpicks. If desired, keep the meatballs in the sauce warm in a 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve.

The meatballs themselves are very tasty with the scallions adding a nice layer of flavor to them, but the sauce is the real winner in this dish. The ginger, soy sauce and mirin really stand out to make the sauce sweet and a little sticky and packed with flavor. I could see using this sauce over a variety of other items, such as a pork tenderloin or pork chops or even chicken pieces or boneless chicken breasts. The meatballs are a perfect appetizer for any type of party and you can make them and keep them warm until you are ready for the party.

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 December 16, 2014 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Holidays, Poultry, Sauce, Turkey

 

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A Meatball Finale – Turkey Meatballs with Raspberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

I took a few days off from blogging to get caught up on some work, but I didn’t forget about my last meatball recipe to share along the way. The classic Italian meatballs sure went a long way and we had them for 4 dinners and a few lunches as well, so we got a lot out of the $14.00 I spent on the ground turkey and turkey sausage. Not only do the meatballs taste great, but you have a lot of things to do with them, including this recipe that Giada di Laurentiis shared on the Food Network for turkey meatballs in a raspberry-balsamic barbecue sauce. Giada’s original recipe offers these up as mini meatballs to use for appetizers, but I changed it around slightly and used bigger meatballs and we had them for dinner when I made them.

Turkey Meatballs with Raspberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
3/4 cup ketchup
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
3 tablespoons packed golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
Zest of 1 small lemon
24 to 36 Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs
For the barbecue sauce: In a food processor or blender, blend together the raspberries, ketchup, raspberry jam, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and lemon zest until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a heavy medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the sauce until it is slightly thickened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Place the meatballs in the saucepan with the sauce and cook over medium heat until the meatballs have cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the meatballs and sauce into a serving bowl and serve.

As I said, Giada makes her smaller to use as an appetizer and threads them on skewers with mango and radicchio, which would make a very nice appetizer if you want to put some out for a party or buffet. I think they worked just as well as a meal on their own over some rice. The sauce had a combination of the sweetness of the raspberries from the jam and the fruit with a bit of barbecue sauce flavor from the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. It was a very nice sauce that tasted great, though I would recommend if you are not a fan of raspberry seeds you really try to find seedless jam to use. Overall, I think it was a pretty good dish and we made this one and some of the turkey meatballs in a simple turkey gravy as well over rice or noodles to finish up the meatballs.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I have some new things to share that aren’t meatballs so I’ll be posting some new stuff next time out I think everyone will enjoy. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Turkey

 

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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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