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Monday, May 2, 2016

More-Than-a-Mouthful Meatballs

The Ingredients (for 20 meatballs):

  • 340 g (or ¾ lb) of Italian pork sausage
  • 85 g (or 3 oz) of prosciutto
  • 560 g (or 1¼ lb) of ground turkey
  • 100 g (or 3½ oz, 1 cup) of quick cooking, whole-grain rolled oats
  • 110 g (or 4 oz) of a hard cheese (I used Pecorino Romano)
  • 45 g (or 1½ oz) of a combination of fresh herbs (I used Italian parsley, basil, and oregano)
  • 4 g (or ½ teaspoon) of salt
  • 5 g (or 2 teaspoons) of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 g (or ½ teaspoon) of ground Cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of cooking grade olive oil
  • 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of dark soy sauce
  • 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of Worcestershire sauce

    The Method:
    1. Heat the oven to 205°C (or 400°F).
    2. Remove the sausage meat from the casings by pinching each sausage in the middle, twisting, then pressing the meat on one side through the open end of the casing. Then wind the empty part of the casing around one finger and press the rest of the meat through the opposite open end of the casing.

    3. Slice and dice the prosciutto into small pieces.
    4. Place the sausage meat, prosciutto, and ground turkey into a large mixing bowl and blend them thoroughly using a potato masher or your own hands.
    5.  In a blender or food processor, grind the rolled oats until they are fine crumbs, no flakes, and add them to the mixing bowl.
    6. Grate the cheese finely and add it to the mixing bowl.
    7. Finely chop the herbs (I use the same food processor as for the oats) and add them to the  mixing bowl.
    8. Add the salt, pepper, and Cayenne to the mixing bowl.
    9. Incorporate all of the additions from steps 4 through 7 into the meat mixture using a potato masher or your own hands, making sure they are evenly distributed.
    10. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, place the eggs, olive oil, dark soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
    11. Lightly beat the egg mixture with a fork until the eggs are broken up and the mixture is homogeneous.
    12. Incorporate the egg mixture into the meat mixture using a potato masher or your own hands until the mixture is the same consistency throughout.

    13. Prepare a baking sheet, either non-stick or lined with parchment paper, at least the size of a standard broiler pan.
    14. Using a suitable size spoon, shape meatballs that are approximately 5 cm (or 2 in) in diameter and place them on the baking tray.
    15.  Bake the meatballs for 40 minutes in the 205°C (or 400°F) oven.

      The Story:

      Sometimes it's just good to have a meatball that is too big to fit in your mouth. Searching for a turkey-based meatball recipe, I came across this one by Ina Garten. I substituted rolled oats for bread cubes to lower the glycemic index, and added soy and Worcestershire sauces, which I find bring out a more meaty flavor in the ground turkey. Great with Tolerant green-lentil-flour penne and a simple tomato sauce.

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