Kid-Friendly Food: Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro

I don’t know what it is about meatballs, but they seem to be the “it” food these days. I’ve seen recipes for meatball sliders teased on the cover of glossy food magazines and every Food Network personality seems to have a variation; Giada De Laurentis makes Mini Meatball Subs, Rachael Ray has her Spanikopita Chicken Meatballs, and Mario Batali, maybe most tempting of all, has a recipe for Lemon-Scented Meatballs.

Mario’s seem most like the meatballs I grew up eating, the Italian-style ones my mother would make for our Sunday gravy, with the exception that she used beef rather than veal – they were big, tender and simply seasoned with garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese. I still haven’t nailed down her recipe (she never wrote it down, it seems), but these might come close.

I’ve been playing with the traditional Italian meatball ingredients; switching them out for Asian and Latin flavors. After all, every ethnic cuisine includes seasoned meat rolled into balls.

Even better, meatballs couldn’t be more family-friendly; I like to make a big batch and freeze some for a quick and healthy “emergency” meal, served with brown rice and sauteed spinach.

I use ground turkey thigh in this recipe, it’s a lower-fat alternative to beef and the dark meat produces a juicy meatball.

Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro

1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; soak 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, onions, cilantro, garlic, egg, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add breadcrumb mixture and mix until combined; form 1 1/2-inch diameter meatballs.

Heat the oil a 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange meatballs in pan and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, 7-10 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Save This Page on Del.icio.us

Copyright (c) 2008 FamilyStyle Food

Cornish Hen for Two with Cranberry-Thyme Sauce

A meal for lovebirds


Sometimes, preparing a little holiday feast for two is just the ticket – maybe your whole family is stranded in Chicago due to a freaky snowstorm (don’t laugh – the forecast looks iffy), or you and your lucky love bunny are simply planning a cozy Thanksgiving this year.

This recipe is fairly easy and delicious…enjoy.

Cornish Hen for Two with Cranberry -Thyme Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2007

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound Cornish game hen, halved, backbone removed, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 450°F. Blend 2 tablespoons butter, sugar, and 2 teaspoons thyme in small bowl. Pat hen halves dry with a paper towel and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Spread skin of each with half of butter mixture. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hen halves, skin side down. Sear until deep brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, skin side up, and sear 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer hen halves, skin side up, to a small rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet (pan juices will be dark).

Roast hen halves until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Add broth, orange juice, cranberry concentrate, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme to reserved skillet.
Boil until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking often, about 7 minutes. Whisk in flour mixture and cranberries. Simmer until sauce coats a spoon, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer hen halves to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.

Save This Page on Del.icio.us

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Roasted Pork, Tuscan Style

Stick your fork in a juicy slice

You know how people say we talk about the weather when we can’t think of anything else to say? Well, today I want to talk about the weather because that’s all I’ve been thinking about.

I took myself on a walk this morning after dropping the kids at school – it’s such a glorious postcard-perfect day someone needs to take a picture of it (because, obviously, I didn’t).

The sky is pristinely blue, a chilly breeze is blowing leaves around, and the trees are still holding on to their brilliant array of fall foliage. It sounds so sappy, but the sight of it really took my breath away.

And then, I started thinking about what I wanted to eat.

So much of what I find myself craving depends on the weather; like a cool cucumber and ripe tomato salad on a humid summer day or fresh green things in early spring.

Now that it’s so close to Thanksgiving, I love grocery shopping more than ever. It really is the only time of year when I can walk into my favorite store and find an array of food I won’t see again until next year, unless I place a special order for it. The meat department especially draws me in – I’m tempted by fresh duck, goose and quail and big, beautiful pork roasts.

A roasted rack of pork is one of my favorite things to cook and eat. I rub it with olive oil, honey and some of my Tuscan Spiced Salt, and slide it into a hot oven. It turns out so much better than a boneless pork loin ever could – because the rib bones are intact, the meat stays juicy. Plus, it just tastes good.

Roasted Rack of Pork, Tuscan Style

for 4 servings

1 2-pound pork rib roast, trimmed
Honey
Olive Oil
Tuscan Spiced Salt, about 2 tablespoons

*note: I noticed I had “3” tablespoons here – better to use about 1 tablespoon per pound*

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Rub the pork with a little honey and olive oil and the Tuscan salt.
Arrange in a shallow roasting pan and roast about 30 minutes, or until an instant thermometer reads 140 degrees. Remove from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

 

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food