Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Light Turkey Meatballs

"How do you spend so little on groceries?"

"Well, I buy groceries based on what is on sale that week, and I plan meals around it."

"That's too much work."

FINE THEN, don't take my advice!

It really is the simplest way to save money when you are trying new recipes - just wait until the main ingredient is on sale.  For example, today I am posting about turkey meatballs.  Usually turkey is $5.99 for a 20 ounce package.  At Safeway, I received a special promotion with my club card, making the package only $1.99.  Of course I'm going to plan meals around the promotional price of ground turkey, and you'd be a fool to turn that price down - ground turkey never seems to get that cheap.

Now that my preaching is out of the way...

Everyday Food had a recipe in November for Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice.  I was tempted to make these meatballs, but I am not a fan of hot sauce, so the amount of Siracha scared me.  I turned to other Martha turkey meatball recipes and discovered an Everyday Food recipe for Light Turkey Meatballs.  Unfortunately, this recipe only shows you how to make the actual meatballs, but they did link up to meatballs with tomato sauce over whole wheat pasta, which provided the instructions on how to cook the meatballs.  The instructions also said to use jarred pasta sauce, which would be faster, but I found the perfect excuse to try another tomato sauce recipe (coming soon!)

I found the meatball recipe to be extremely easy.  Easy is our friend.  They did seem a bit wet, and I cut myself cutting the scallions (darn ceramic knife!) but I really liked the taste.  Mr. UoC said they were a bit dry, and I admit I overcooked them (oops) but better safe than sorry sometimes, right?  I made the meatballs really large (I wound up with 20) so next time, make them much smaller! 

See what I mean about them being a bit too large?  Meatballs in a pot are never attractive, are they?

Light Turkey Meatballs from Everyday Food, January/February 2008.
Light Turkey Meatballs over Whole Wheat Pasta from Everyday Food, January/February 2008

  • 3 slices whole wheat (I used whole grain white) sandwich bread
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1.5 pounds of ground turkey, 93 percent lean, dark meat (I only used 1.25 pounds)
  • 3 scallions, finely choppd
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I cheated, used dried parsley)
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
1.  Place bread in a food processor, pulse until fine crumbs form.  In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs with milk, set aside at least five minutes.  (You can also rip up the bread by hand and almost grind it into fine pieces if you don't want to use a food processor.)

2.  In a large bowl, combine turkey, scallions, garlic, egg, 1.5 teaspoons of salt, 0.5 teaspoons of pepper (eyeball those two last measures) and breadcrumb mixture.  Mix gently with a fork.  I used my hands.  (I also wore gloves because I'm a wimp like that.)

3.  Using your hands, shape into balls, about 2 tablespoons each.  You can also use an ice cream scoop to make your life easier.

4.  (Now going onto the second recipe)  In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside.

Tomorrow, we move onto the sauce!  And the final results!

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