Mini Turkey Meatballs

November 7, 2009


Nothing can beat a steaming plate of hot cooked spaghetti slathered in delicious marinara sauce… and then topped with delicious meatballs! This recipe is so versatile, you can either enjoy these meatballs with pasta (the traditional way). Or you can serve them as individual appetizers with variety of sauces; although I must add that these meatballs are very flavorful on their own. For healthier option, I used ground white turkey meat mixed with turkey sausages (for flavor). The mixture was also very soft, so I thought that baking them may make it easier and help the meatballs hold their shapes better. I baked these meatballs for about 30-40 mins at 350 degree. It was also a lot more convenient than trying to fry them in a pan several batches at a time. I put them on to two baking sheets (because I doubled the recipe), and rotated the pans halfway through. Finally, I had some leftover spinach, so I threw a few handful of that as well in my marinara sauce. I used my favorite jarred marinara sauce, Rao’s.

Adapted from Giada deLaurintiis, as seen in Food Network


1 small onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground dark turkey meat
3 tablespoons olive oil
26 ounces store-bought marinara sauce


Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce, about 3 cups. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the meatball mixture to a serving bowl.


Welcoming Summer. Turkey Burger!

March 21, 2009

With the weather warming up, we wanted to give our oven a little break from … cooking dinners. Of course, I would still be using it to bake my fave baked goods, like… banana bread for example. But we really miss our grill from a long winter of rest! I used Rachael’s Ray recipe for making the patties, but used regular buns instead of Portobello mushrooms. I think the the baby mushrooms really gave the normally bland ground turkey a lot of moisture and character. I couldn’t find smoked mozzarella, so used regular type. Yum!!

1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
Salt and pepper
6 crimini mushrooms (baby portobellos) stems removed and finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, smashed away from skin and finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Combine meat with salt and pepper, chopped crimini mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, chopped onion, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire, crushed red pepper flakes, cheese and parsley.
Score and form meat into 4 large patties, 1 inch thick.
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on top the patties, grill each side for about 3-4 min.
Place sliced mozzarella on top of the burger just before you remove from the heat.

Perfect Roasted Turkey

December 14, 2008

I really haven’t had the time to post all of the delectable recipes we tried for Thanksgiving this year. But we finally survived making our very first turkey! The turkey breast was tender, moist, and flavorful. We decided to brine it using Martha Stewart Perfect Roast Turkey.

Roasted Brine Turkey

1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), brined
Turkey Brine – see recipe below
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine.
  2. Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Place, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position.
    Fold a piece of cheesecloth (about 3 feet long) into thirds, place inside turkey cavity, and open up to create a pouch.
    Loosely fill cheesecloth pouch with stuffing (do not pack tightly), and tuck in ends of cheesecloth to close.
  5. Tuck wings underneath the turkey, and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
    Brush turkey all over with butter, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast turkey, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes and rotating the pan after 2 hours, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
    Remove stuffing pouch, and then empty it into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
    Cover if desired, and return stuffing to oven; bake until it registers 165 degrees, about 30 minutes more.
    Transfer turkey to a platter, reserving pan juices for gravy.
    Let turkey stand for 30 minutes before carving.

Turkey Brine

  • 7 quarts (28 cups) water
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing
  • 1 bottle dry Riesling
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

Turkey Brine Direction

  1. Bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.