Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meatballs and Mushrooms

If there is one food my husband always consistently loves, it's things made of ground turkey. He loves his turkey burgers and turkey meatloaf and turkey meatballs. Of course it's not my favorite meat. I find it kind of dry and flavorless, but since I can't make these things with beef, I've come up with ways to make ground turkey meals taste better.

The time had come around for a ground turkey meal. I just wasn't feeling burgers and meat loaf. I wanted something else. I thought about Swedish meatballs made with turkey. I have mucked around a bit with different ways of making them -all of them were totally inauthentic. Still, the idea of meatballs in gravy was speaking to me. It seemed like a really nice comfort food for someone who is recovering from a raging infection in her nether bits.

Swedish meatballs are traditionally seasoned with allspice, cooked in a somewhat creamy gravy, and then served with lingonberry jelly on the side. They're also made with beef. I'm dealing with a guy who is lactose intolerant and also claims beef irritates his widdle tum-tum so I leave tradition behind right out the gate.

My meatballs contained dried cranberries and were cooked in a "gravy" made in the style of a traditional veloute`. (Oh look! Last week's Top Chef has influenced me yet again.) I happened to have homemade chicken stock in the freezer, so I lucked out. I have taken to browning my meatballs in the oven because they hold their shape better and cook more evenly.

I added mushrooms and sherry to my sauce for a more complex flavor as well. I love sherry with mushrooms. In order to make these even more health-conscious, I served them over brown rice instead of noodles.

Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce
1/4 cup wholewheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 egg
Olive oil for sauteeting
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 medium-to-large onion, diced (How much do you like onions?)
10 oz. sliced cremini musrhooms
4 cups chicken broth.
2 Tbl sherry
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix togeher crumbs, cranberries, nutmeg and allspice. Give it a taste to make sure you like the seasoning, and then add the turkey and eggs. Mix well and shape into balls. Place on tray and cook 15 minutes.

Cook onion in a large pan until they begin to turn transparent. Add 'shrooms and cook till soft. Remove from pan.

Heat butter in pan with flour and cook until the floury taste is gone, but don't let it get dark. Whisk in chicken stock quickly, and keep stirring until thick. Add sherry and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add mushrooms, onions, and meatballs to the pan and cook till meatballs are heated through.


Bellini Valli said...

These meatballs sound exceptionally tasty. I love ground turkey and chicken if it is seasoned well for a boost of flavour as these are.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love meatballs,
Yes I do.
Meatballs, meatballs,
I love you.

CookiePie said...

That dish looks sooooo delicious - perfect for dinner on a chilly fall night.

Thanks so much for coming to visit my blog -- I love yours and I'll definitely be back!

Emily said...

Mmm this looks so good. I actually like ground turkey quite a bit.

Haha - raging infection in your nether bits.
Sorry, that's funny but not funny. I really hope you're feeling better.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

This is an excellent version of Swedish meatballs. LOVE the dried cranberry idea...perfection! Once a year, I crave Swedish meatballs. I have to say that the allspice is what hubs and I both enjoy. Sherry? Now, that's a great finish! I'm hungry.

Anonymous said...

That's it. Screw roast turkey. I'm making THIS for thanksgiving! Oh my god, it sounds AMAZING!

Steph said...

I've never had ground turkey before. My mom always complains that it's too dry so she won't buy it. I think it's great you made meatballs with them! Nothing beats homemade gravy!

Donna-FFW said...

you have me laughing.. raging infection in the nether bits, gotta love it. Not really, but so funny.

This dish sounds so freaking tasty. I love all aspects and layers to it!!

Sue said...

I love the idea of the dried cranberries. That's really clever. And if you had some old rice hanging around (that doesn't sound that good, does it?), you could substitute that for the bread crumbs.

Adam said...

Infection in nether-reigon... oh goodness that's too bad. Time to stock up on the cranberry juice :)

Love your meatball recipe. This is something my Polish grandmother would be proud of, mushrooms and all. I like your cranberry choice too!

And thanks for the vote of confidence about my new kitchen. I'll have to do a calendar spread or something of "Man in the Kitchen"

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Val - glad you appreciate my seasoning!

Duckie - You are going to have me humming that all day.

Cookie Pie - Thanks so much for stopping by!

Emily and Donna - Don't worry. It was meant to be funny. I seem to be making a full recovery, although I have to double-check with the doc tomorrow.

Debby - Thanks so much for all the kind words. I hope you try this one sometime.

Sue - I do tend ot have old rice hanging around. I always buy more rice without checking to see if I already have any.

Adam - There is no compliment to me quite like hearing someone's grandma would approve!

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a good weekend!

peter said...

I'm with you on the turkey meat thing. Usually I mix in a ton of herbs and sautée them (meatballs, burgers, etc.) in a little bacon or duck fat to give them that certain something. But my spouse is a tad more omnivorous than yours.

Lo said...

OK -- if you can do THAT to ground turkey, you're my hero. :) I have one turkey meatloaf recipe that I LOVE (also well seasoned and contains mushrooms -- coincidence??). All else seems dry and flavorless.

that said -- maybe anything is better when made into a meatball...

The Blonde Duck said...

Thanks for the b-day wishes!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Peter - Now that's a great way to improve the flavor of ground turkey. But you're right, if I could use bacon or duck fat, I wouldn't be needing to use turkey in the first place! ;-)

Complaint Department Manager said...

Damn, what a waste of 'shrooms. I thought you knew better than that.