Monday, September 29, 2008

Meatballs Times Two

I have mixed feelings about Food Network. There is a part of me that thinks it's crap. I mean, Sandra Lee, Guy with sunglasses on his neck, crummy specials. Sometimes it's really hard to watch. Yet I appreciate what Food Network has done around our country, inspiring home cooks and opening people up to new tastes and ideas. I think I lean more towards the positive side, and I even have some shows I enjoy watching (I love Giada for everyday cooking, and Ina Garten is fantastic!). A couple weekends ago I was being lazy on Sunday morning, and got sucked in to watching Danny Boon- The Rescue Chef.

First off, he is an obnoxious flirt. Seriously, I wanted to smack him and tell him to stop trying so hard. But I could tell from watching his knife skills and listening to him talk that he did have some skill that I could learn from. And what really pulled me in is that we was making turkey meatballs, something I love but have yet to find a good recipe for. He added some interesting ingredients-- pine nuts and golden raisins-- and put the meatballs into a soup instead of just using them with spaghetti. I was sold, and made this recipe that very night.

While I don't think I found my All-Time Perfect Golden Turkey Meatball recipe, I do think I got some good ideas to put towards that perfect recipe. First, I loved the slight crunch of the pine nuts and the surprising sweetness of the golden raisins. I also thought it was a great tip to lightly dredge the meatballs in flour before frying. It made the meatballs crispy and not at all mushy, which was something I'd struggled with during past meatball making experiments. The soup wasn't bad, but I don't know if I'd make it again. But the meatballs were a good recipe, and I enjoyed using them for multiple, very different dinners.

Turkey Meatballs from The Rescue Chef on Food Network

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 cups dry broken-up white bread
1 cup milk
1 pound ground turkey meat
2 large eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup golden raisins, hydrated in warm water
1/2 cup pine nuts, slightly toasted
1 cup vegetable oil

In a heated skillet add olive oil and onions. Slightly cook them for about 5 minutes (we want the onions softened not colored). Place into a bowl and let cool.

Take the 2 cups of broken up bread and place into a bowl with the milk. Let the bread soak for 5 minutes. Squeeze and drain the bread then place it into a large mixing bowl. Add the turkey meat, beaten eggs, chopped parsley, salt, black pepper, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts.
Fold all ingredients together. Do not over work the turkey meat.

Fill a Dutch oven with vegetable oil and place on low heat. Dust a baking sheet with about an inch of flour.

In your hands scoop up a two-finger portion of the turkey mixture and with the palm of your hands shape the balls a little larger than a golf ball. As you make the balls add them to the baking tray with the flour and roll them until evenly coated.

Carefully add the meatballs to the oil and brown for about 6 minutes. Transfer turkey meatballs to a plate and set aside for bean soup. Pour excess oil into a bowl.

If you want to try the soup, click here for the recipe.

I used my homemade marinara sauce with the pasta. You can find my recipe here.


Snooky doodle said...

these look nice and delicious :-)

Darius T. Williams said...

I love a good meatball...this looks like a great recipe. I love that Rescue Chef guy...