By Seth Fera-Schanes
My grandmother makes meatballs using a mixture of pork and beef. Growing up my mother made turkey meatballs. Two different schools of thought, two different final products but one common result; delicious.
Some people claim turkey meatballs are dry or not worthy of the name. I submit these people haven’t even made an effort to try a turkey meatball. Or if they have, it wasn’t prepared in such a way as to fully appreciate how good they really are. I would also say that with any kind of meatball, the sauce is a crucial component and without that good gravy, the experience might be sub-par.
New York City was going through a meatball craze. It seems to have lessened but there are more than a handful of speciality restaurants serving up these little balls of joy. Many people are familiar with The Meatball Shop which does a good job and has a comfortable restaurant to sit and eat with friends. My favorite is Meatball Obsession which is located between 13th and 14th street on 6th avenue. This restaurant is essentially a 10 foot by 10 foot kitchen with pots of simmering meatballs and a little window for ordering. The meatball in a cup is incredible along with a very delicious sauce and is a perfect food to eat as you have a walking adventure around the city.
Included below is an easy to follow turkey meatball recipe from The Refined Chef. Perhaps we will have a few converts after they try this dish.
Serving size: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4-5 hours
1 lb ground turkey (get the dark and white meat, not breast meat only)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley – chopped
1 garlic clove – minced
2 tbsp – warm water
Salt and pepper
In a mixing bowl add turkey, Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, parsley, beaten egg, minced garlic, warm water, salt and pepper to taste.
With your hands, knead the mixture to incorporate all the ingredients so they are evenly distributed. Do not over mix. With a tablespoon, scoop a heaping spoonful and then with your hands form into a ball. Do not pack the meatball tightly, just enough to form it. Repeat process.
Set meatballs aside.
In a large saute pan, add some olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot but not smoking, add a few meatballs at a time. You want to cook in batches to not lower the temperature of the pan.
Cook for 2-3 minutes on once side or until golden brown and then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side. You do not need to cook all the way through.
Finish cooking the meatballs in a slow cooker with your favorite marinara sauce recipe. To modify your sauce for the crock-pot, first saute onions and garlic in a pot on the stove and then add to the crock-pot. Add your tomatoes and spices and then gently place the browned meatballs in the pot..
Set crock-pot to low and cook for 4-5 hours.