Monday, November 19, 2012

236. Turkey Stuffing Meatball #Thanksgiving


It's a crazy idea, but I did it.  I took some of my favorites from a traditional turkey day meal and combined them into one huge meatball.

So what was my inspiration?

Willy Wonka, of course.

Do you remember the Three Course Chewing gum: tomato soup, roast beef and blueberry pie?

Don't worry you won't turn into a huge cranberry but you can taste the blended flavors of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

There are several ways you can do this.

1.  Make the meatballs only with the ground turkey, seasonings and stuffing.  Shape them into smaller meatballs and bake them until done.

2.  Make the meatball and stuffing mixture and then add a warm cheesy center.  I combined mozzarella cheese (this makes it stringy cheesy), cream cheese (creamy) and cranberry sauce (flavor and color).

3.  The final option is to serve them with or without the thinned down cranberry sauce.  Personally I think it adds moisture and flavor to an already yummy meal.

The first option is the easiest and the quickest.

The second option is a bit more involved and takes some patience and time to form the meatball with the cheesy filling (I will give you some tips to help with this)

I thought of this idea because I was thinking of my friends that are empty nesters, living alone or don't have time or money to buy and prepare a huge meal.

With this meatball they get a few of the wonderful flavors of the Thanksgiving holiday and a few leftovers too.  The turkey meatballs without the cheesy filling also freeze well.

You will notice that none of the pictures include an inside shot of the cheesy inside, this is because it just would not photograph well…LOL  The cranberry makes the cheesy center a mauve color.

I hope you enjoy this twist on a quick turkey day meal.


Recipe:  Turkey Stuffing Meatball

1 pound of ground turkey, thawed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
2 cups of boxed cornbread stuffing (I used a gluten free brand) (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
See below to make the cheese meatballs and cranberry sauce versions

NOTE:  The way I scooped my 2 cups of stuffing from the box was to take off the top cubes of cornbread and use the bottom, this is where all of the seasonings are.  If you use homemade cornbread then you will want to add your own stuffing seasonings like: sage, celery salt, dried parsley, onion salt and chicken bullion.

To make the meatballs:  Combine the above ingredients.  Let the turkey meat sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.  This allows the stuffing to get softer, it will still be firm in places.

Scoop into small meatballs and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until done.

To make the Cheese Filled Meatballs: Make the meatballs above and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add together in a small bowl:

1/4 cup of cream cheese, not too soft
1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons of cranberry sauce

Mix well and put in the refrigerator until the meat is done.  The cheese is easier to handle if its cold.



Remove the meat and cheese from the fridge and start making the meatball.  I took a golf ball size of meat/stuffing mixture and flattened it on my hand, scooped a small amount of cheese into the center and wrapped the meat/stuffing mixture up around it.  I did have to reach for a bit more meat/stuffing mixture on a few.  The idea is to totally surround the cheesy inside with the meat.

I was able to get 6 large meatballs from this recipe, it all depends on how big your meatball ends up being to how many your will have.

The final step for the stuffed meatball is to seal it with egg and breadcrumbs.

I used:

2 eggs
1 cup of breadcrumbs, panko ( for the gluten free version I used brown rice flour or almond meal)

Roll each meatball in the egg and then breadcrumbs.

Add to a cooking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.  They will be firm to the touch and some of the cheese may cook out, this is why you don't want to over cook them.

To make the cranberry sauce:

I added a can to a small pan, added a touch of water to thin and whipped the two until a thin and warm sauce was ready to serve with the meatballs.

These meatballs have been rolled in a combination of almond meal and brown rice flour because I have to eat gluten free.  Use regular bread crumbs or panko crumbs if gluten is not a problem for you.
  


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