Turkey Meatballs

So my good buddy MERRILL (one of the few people who actually reads this blog . . ) turned me on to this recipe by making her own lamb-based version of this and blowing John and my MINDS. However, I had some frozen turkey from my CSA I needed to use, so I went back to the source– the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Is it better with lamb? What isn’t, really? But I very much recommend this recipe!

imageI made a little side salad with cucumber and red onion with balsamic vinaigrette and a yogurt with greek yogurt, lemon juice, and parsley.

Sesame Spiced Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from 1 to 2 slices sandwich bread)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp Aleppo pepper (just did a little cayenne instead, but I’m thinking about investing in some Aleppo pepper–it’s real neat!)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or ¼ tsp Aleppo red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted (i skipped this but I bet it’s good)
  • Olive oil, to coat the pan
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork, breaking up the clumps of meat until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Form turkey mixture into 1 ½ inch, or golf-ball-sized, meatballs, and arrange them on a tray. (Perelman recommends first wetting your hands, making it easier to form the meatballs and keep them from getting sticky.)
  2. Heat a generous slick of oil in a large ovenproof saute pan with a lid. Brown the meatballs in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan or nudge them before they are nicely browned. These meatballs are soft, so use a gentle hand. Transfer the meatballs to a paper-towel-lined tray, and continue cooking in more batches until they are browned.
  3. Discard the oil, and wipe all but a thin layer from the pan. Return all of the meatballs to the pan, and transfer to preheated oven. Bake until a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 160 to 165, or about 10 to 15 minutes.
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