Tag Archives: Ground Turkey

Asian Style Turkey Meatballs


I was in an Asian kind of mood for Tapas this month.    I’d planned on making   Sushi and Spring Rolls, and I wanted to also make a protein of some kind as well.  I was thinking  pork, cause let’s face it, pork and sweet and sour sauce or Soy Ginger dipping sauce, it goes so well together.

But as I was rooting around in the freezer, I ran across some ground turkey and a light bulb went on over my head.

OK, so I hit the light switch with my elbow.

sheesh

I wanted to give it some Asian style oomph so I did what any self-respecting cook would do.  I typed  Asian Meatballs with Ground Turkey into a search engine and found several sites.   And they all had something in common,  actually they had a lot in common.

There were two sites who had the same recipe, and not one of them credited the other one.  But I’m not like that, so here are the sites I went to, this one   then this one, with the same recipe.  And the final site I checked out.
They all had turkey, green onions, bread crumbs, sesame oil and an egg in common.

I figured I was on track then.  I had all the ingredients so I went to town.

Well, not really, I didn’t want to go to town, I just wanted to use what I had on hand.
So, I thawed out a pound of turkey, and added an egg, some panko bread crumbs, sesame oil, chopped green onions (scallions if you prefer), chopped cilantro, soy sauce, some grated ginger and a little more sesame oil.    Mixed it all up and fried a little of the meatball mixture to see if I had the seasoning right.

The time to correct seasonings is before you cook it all up, not after.

Believe me when I say I’ve done that before and really regretted it.   That is, cooked the entire recipe  and didn’t taste test it first.

Recipe
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. ginger, grated.  (I keep a ginger root in the freezer all the time, and just use my Microplane on it when I need ginger)

Mix together well, and then take a bit out, fry it and taste for seasonings.   I didn’t add any salt or pepper to this, as there is a fair amount of salt in the Soy Sauce.

After taste testing it and correcting seasoning, in other words, adding a bit more sesame oil, (at least that’s what I did),  use a small scoop or a spoon, or just your hands and form small meatballs from the mix.  I used my littlest scoop and ended up with 24 mini meatballs.   I then placed them on a cookie sheet and baked that at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

They didn’t brown real well, but when I checked the internal temperature, they had reached 165 deg.   So I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool.  (and forgot to take a picture).    I also ate one, just to make sure they were OK to eat.

And after all that, I then decided that maybe, if we had a crowd that I might not have enough.  So I grabbed another pound of turkey out, defrosted that and made another batch.

However, I didn’t realize that I’d used up all the green onions in the first batch, so I pulled a Vidalia onion out of the cupboard and grated up about a quarter of it, and added that to the turkey along with the seasonings.

Then I thought, “hmmm, I wonder if I can make this gluten-free by using some all-purpose gluten-free flour’ along with all the other stuff.  (and yes, I know these are not truly gluten-free as I did not use gluten-free soy sauce, but you can if you like)  And as gray pallid and pale looking the first meatballs were, I decided that this batch was going to be fried.  So I did, frying them in a little EVOO.

And they were good. 

This end had the non gluten-free meatballs, and they didn’t look all that appetizing, I thought.   Tasted wonderful dipped in the
Sweet Chili Sauce, but…

And this end of the dish (complete with note) had the fried, gluten-free meatballs.

I really loved how they tasted, both versions that is, and would do them again.

However, next time, I’m frying them, I think they not only look better, but taste better as well.

Home Made Spaghetti Sauce


Have you ever looked at the labels on commercial Spaghetti Sauce?   Next time you’re out shopping, pick up a can or jar of it and read the label.    Notice how much sugar is in there, whether it’s in the form of sugar or high fructose corn syrup or something else that means sugar.    I don’t know about you but I try not to buy anything with HFCS in it and quite frankly, why do you need so much sugar in something that is basically just tomatoes and herbs?   I started making my own spaghetti sauce years ago and we like it better than any of the commercial brands out there.    I also use it as a base for lasagna, so when I make sauce, I make a lot.   I figure if I’m going to be spending time in the kitchen, I am going to make it count for something.     If you have your own home canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, I applaud you, I don’t so I go to the store and buy tomatoes in several different forms.

As you can see from the picture, I open cans, and then add it to the browned meat, and after that, correct for seasonings.   And I only use the No Salt added tomato products.   We don’t need the salt and certainly don’t miss it either in this recipe.    Check out how much sodium is in those other cans of tomatoes.   I think you’ll be surprised.

 Begin by chopping up a large onion, I like a fine dice.   Throw it in the pan with some olive oil and cook it till it just starts to change color, then add a couple or three crushed and chopped cloves of garlic.   I would say put in as much garlic as you like here.   Cook for just a minute or so, and then remove from heat, and reserve in a separate dish.  If using fresh mushrooms, throw them in the pan and just let them cook just for a minute before you add your meat to the pan, brown it and cook until it is no longer pink.   Break it up a little with your spatula and then add the onions and garlic to the meat, let it cook for a few minutes more, then add the Italian herbs to the meat mixture.
Meat with Herbs and Tomato Paste (sorry for the blurry picture)

I just found a great product called Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs blend. Check the link out here, http://www.gourmetgarden.com/us/  It comes in a tube and you can find it in the refrigerated section of the veggie section in your grocery store.   It is a little pricey, but well worth it for the fresh taste.     Or you can add some dried Italian seasoning to the meat as you’re browning it, this seems to help open up the flavour of the dried herbs.     While the meat is browning open up those cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.   If using canned mushrooms, go ahead and add them with the tomatoes.  Dump the tomatoes into a large pot, mix it up with your spoon until the tomato paste is mixed in and when the meat is ready, add it to the pot.   Taste it here to help correct the seasoning, and if necessary add more herbs.  And if it seems to acidic, add a teaspoon of sugar.  I also add a few tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese and then simmer for about an hour  or two or three over low heat, stirring from time to time.     Cook up your favourite pasta, whether it be spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair and serve the sauce over the pasta or however you like to serve it.    And it makes a lot.   I freeze the rest and pull it out when we’re in the mood for Spaghetti or Lasagna.   If I’m making Lasagna, I add a can of diced tomatoes and then layer it with cheeses and noodles.

Ready for the freezer.

This is also a very company friendly dish.  You can stretch it with a couple of cans more of tomatoes, a tad more seasoning, cook up lots of spaghetti and serve with a green salad and a loaf or two of garlic bread.

Here’s the recipe;

1 lb. lean ground beef (feel free to use Ground Turkey instead)
1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 large. onion, diced
2-5 cloves garlic, minced (to your taste)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced or 2 small cans mushrooms
3  16 oz. cans diced tomatoes, no salt added  (Marzano Tomatoes if you can get them, they really add to the flavour.)
2-3  6 oz. cans tomato sauce, or 1 large can, no salt added
3 cans regular tomato paste
1 can tomato paste with Italian herbs added
3-4 tbsp.  Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs, or 1-2 tsp.  dried Italian Seasoning.
1-2  tbsp.  Amore Double Concentrated Tomato Paste http://www.amorebrand.com/products/tomato-paste
2-4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Sugar, 1-2 teaspoons, optional

Olive oil for browning.