I am sure some of my Italian relatives would roll in their graves over this one, but I made turkey meatballs for dinner last night. Traditionally, “real” meat would be used – some combination of pork, veal, beef…..but, I had ground turkey in the fridge, and it’s healthier.
It was white meat, so I knew I had to add something to keep it moist and I had to add a lot of flavor to compensate for the lack of fat. I started by chopping up an onion and a carrot in the food processor to a mince. I started that mixture sautéing in a skillet over high heat to caramelize. I added 3-4 cloves of minced garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, sage, red pepper flakes and basil. After about 10 minutes, I dumped that into a big bowl to cool. I stuck ¼ of a baguette into the food processor to make bread crumbs and then poured some milk over them to moisten.
I added the breadcrumbs, 2 packs of ground turkey, 2 eggs and some salt to the bowl with the veggies in it. I decided I still needed more flavor, so I added ½ cup of grated romano cheese – this would be the fat that I needed.
Rolling into small balls (I had a dinner guest coming in an hour, so they needed to cook fast!), I fried them in a non-stick pan over high heat for about 5 minutes per side. I was not worried about keeping them in a ball shape, though they did ok. As each batch browned, I then put them on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until the rest were browned. Once they were all cooked through in the oven, I dumped them into a simmering pot of red sauce. There were A LOT of meatballs, clearly I only needed one pack of turkey, but now I can freeze some.
I must say, they were amazing. They in no way tasted “healthier” or less indulgent than regular meatballs, so I am pretty much a convert. My 2 guests also agreed : )