SECRET INGREDIENT TURKEY MEATBALLS

served22No worries, I won’t take my sweet time to divulge it.  The secret ingredient in the meatballs is… rolled oats!   And, I have one word for you:  WOW!  I loved their texture and taste, no way you can detect oats in them (not that there’s anything wrong with it… ;-)). They are soft and tender, very light and flavorful. The meat? Ground turkey, white meat only, not the mixture of 50/50 white and dark I normally go for. Ginger and lime tie it all together.  Smoked paprika adds some warmth.

TURKEY MEATBALLS WITH ROLLED OATS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by my niece Raquel)

1 to 1 + 1/2 pounds ground turkey meat
1 egg white
1/2 cup dried quick oats
2 tsp grated ginger root
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
ketchup for brushing (optional)

Place the ground turkey in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, then add all other ingredients.  Mix well with your hands,  but do not squeeze the meat too much.

With wet hands, form large balls and place them in a muffin tin or on a roasting pan covered with parchment paper.  Brush the surface with a little ketchup, if you want.  Cook the meatballs in a 375 F oven for about 30 minutes, turning them midway through cooking time and brushing the top again with ketchup.  Serve them right away, or simmer gently in the sauce of your choice for 10 minutes.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here
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Comments:  I made these meatballs on a Saturday to freeze and enjoy later in the week.  I thought they would go well with plain rice and a simple salad.  But then, Phil saw them thawing in the fridge and got all happy about “spaghetti with meatballs”.  Some major change of gears was needed, so I prepared a simple tomato sauce with some orange zest added to it. Simmered the meatballs in it for a few minutes, cooked some whole wheat pasta, and we were all set. Unexpected fusion of east and west…

I must thank my niece Raquel  who raved about meatballs with oats and urged me to make them. A softer texture than breadcrumbs, they end up more like the traditional meatballs prepared with bread soaked in milk. But, of course, considerably lighter in terms of calories.  Next I will be adding rolled oats to my meatloaf, I bet it will be equally awesome!  And, by the way, feel free to add onions and garlic to your meatballs, by now those who follow my blog know that we use those ingredients sparingly.

ONE YEAR AGO: Swedish Meatballs and Egg Noodles

TWO YEARS AGO: Italian Easter Pie

THREE YEARS AGO: Black Olive Bialy

SPANAKOPITA MEATBALLS: NO SECRET!

Four months ago I joined “The Secret Recipe Club”, and my first assignment was making a recipe from the moderator of our group, Tami’s Kitchen Table Talk.   I picked this recipe as my first choice, but her “Spanakopita Meatballs” were a serious contender.  First, the meatballs seem perfect for a light dinner or even for an appetizer, if made small and served with toothpicks. Plus,  I love the name spanakopita…  spanakopita…  a happy word, always makes me smile! 😉
I  combined Greece with Italy and enjoyed them with pasta in tomato sauce perfumed with orange zest.
SPANAKOPITA MEATBALLS
(adapted from Tami’s Kitchen Table Talk)

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Defrost the spinach in the microwave, then place in a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove all the excess water. Place in a large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well, but don’t over mix, or the meatballs will get tough.

Roll into balls the size you prefer (I made 16 balls 1.5 inches in diameter), and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or foil lightly sprayed with olive oil).  Bake for 12 minutes, turn them around and bake for 15 more minutes, or until cooked all the way through (it will depend on the size of the meatballs).

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I don’t even remember the last time I fried a meatball.  Using the oven is soooo much easier, all meatballs are ready at the same time, there’s no extra oil added to the recipe, and clean up is a breeze if you protect your baking sheet with foil.  Sometimes I use a rack like you see in this photo (these are pork meatballs with fennel, by the way), to encourage browning all around, but it’s not mandatory.  I’ve been on a meatball kick lately, trying all sorts of recipes and improvising a bit too.   But the “Happy Spanakopita” are still at the pole position. And, by the way, did you know that the term pole position originated in horse racing?  Live and learn…

ONE YEAR AGO: Saturday Morning Scones

TWO YEARS AGO: Pain de Mie au Levain

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TURKEY MEATBALLS: HEALTHY, QUICK, AND TASTY

Every Tuesday at 7:30 pm I meet with my wonderful Chinese tutor. So, dinner and the dishes must finish in time to drive to her home.  Ideally,  I plan the meal the preceding weekend, but sometimes the ideal and the real diverge.  This past week I was eating a rushed lunch in the office when panic hit: what am I going to cook tonight? Without cookbooks handy, the internet came to the rescue.  I had some ground turkey in the fridge, so I “googled” it and found a recipe in The Perfect Pantry.  If you don’t know this blog, make sure to stop by, it’s a life-saver for designing meals with ingredients that are often in your cupboard.



TURKEY MEATBALLS

(adapted from The Perfect Pantry)

1+ 1/4 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (do not omit this step!), and reserve.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, working the mixture well with your hands until thoroughly combined. Wet your hands with cold water and form the mixture into balls, either as bite size (for appetizers), or larger (for a main dish). Place them on the prepared sheet and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on their size. When done, they’ll be a nice golden brown on the surface.   You can carefully move them around after they’ve been baking for 10 minutes or so. Cut through one of them to judge if they are fully cooked, and serve.

ENJOY!


to print the recipe, click here


Comments:
In her post, Lydia mentions that she prefers roast chicken to roast turkey. However, she’d rather use ground turkey than ground chicken. I’d never considered it in those terms, but… I’m on the same team!

The addition of yoghurt is a great twist on this simple recipe, giving it moisture and a tangy flavor. A quick saute’ of shredded zucchini with a salad and a slice of bread was all we needed for a delicious Tuesday dinner, even if it was a little rushed.

Note added after initial publication:  It is a good idea to spray the parchment paper with some olive oil, as the meatballs can stick to the paper and be hard to move around (see comment by E Brandler below).

Note to self:  spinach might be excellent mixed in with the ground meat.

One year ago….  Focaccia

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