Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Supper: Homemade Life's Turkey Meatballs

Cayenne & Carob's Sunday Supper: versatile Turkey Meatballs from Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette Blog.
I have a fantastic recipe for you today - turkey meatballs. These guys were debuted at a dinner party my friend, and fellow foodie, AA and I threw in celebration of our other friend JLR's super fabulous PhD defense. There were many stars at this shindig including an anise-flavored beet salad and a delicate tres leches cake with blackberries. I am not sure what recipe AA used for the tres leches cake but this one from Sunset/Myrecipes looks similar. Somehow no pictures exist of the beet salad but it definitely worth making again and next time I'll take pictures so I can post the recipe.

Now back to our main course: turkey meatballs. You have just enough time to test this out for the biggest turkey-eating day of the year. I will speak from experience that this recipe is easily doubles (or triples) and transitions into crowd finger food with the addition of toothpicks. Four days after our dinner party TEB and I made a double batch for a gathering in Alaska (more on this later). The only time consuming part was baking 2 batches in the oven. In my sister's normal-sized oven we could only cook 2 cookie sheets worth of meatballs at a time.

I suggest that you brown the meatballs in a cast iron pan on the stove and then freeze the meatballs if you are making them for Thanksgiving. You should be able to make them weeks in advance. Then the day of the party just throw the frozen meatballs in the oven until they are warmed through.

Turkey Meatballs with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts with Lemon-and-cumin Yogurt Sauce
By Molly Wizenberg, Homemade Life, blog post A Man Who Knows Meatballs

3 lb. ground white-meat turkey (or 1:1 light to dark meat)
3 small yellow onion, *FINE* mince
3 eggs (or more depending on how dry the mix is)
¾ cups finely chopped cilantro or parsley
1 ½ cups toasted pine nuts
1 ½ cups golden raisins (chopped)
1 ½ cups fine bread crumbs
A few pinches ground cumin (3-4 pinches)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
A few pinches freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Lemon-and-Cumin Yogurt Sauce
1 cup Nonfat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (save zest)
1-2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 pinches ground cumin
1 pinch ground chili

Preheat the oven to 350-375 degrees.
In a large bowl mix all ingredients except olive oil and yogurt sauce. You need plenty of room for mixing (especially if you double this recipe as we did) with your hands. Depending on how fine you mince the onions will determine how easy it is to form the meatballs. If you go super-fine then you might be able to use two teaspoons to gently roll the meat mix into a ball form. If your onion is in larger chunks then use your hands to make balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Of course the larger you make them the longer they will take to cook.

Coat cookie sheets with olive oil and place your round meatballs in rows. Don't crowd them or they will not cook evenly. Bake for 25-45 minutes (depends on the size of your meatballs).

Meanwhile, make the Lemon-and-Cumin Yogurt Sauce. Mix ingredients to taste in a bowl, and keep chilled until serving. For large parties have toothpicks handy and make the meatballs small enough to be bite-size. As a main course for our 6 person dinner party the average was about 5 meatballs per person. These make great leftovers and if you get tired of cooking meatballs the meat mix can be freshly cooked the following day.

photo credit: Cayenne 11.01.09 and 11.05.09

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