Normally, I don't cook with raw meat a lot. I don't like touching it, I don't like washing my hands every three seconds when I'm mixing it, and I still have some minor guilt complex when eating too much meat after all my reading about why vegetarianism is the healthiest diet (luckily for the cattle industry, I'm still easily swayed by the savory scent of a juicy cheeseburger.)
However, flipping through the Gwyneth cookbook reminded me that at some point I'm going to have to cook each and every recipe in there, regardless of protein source. These looked easy enough (they were) and tasty enough (they were) to warrant trying early on in the challenge.
Having made the full recipe and frozen almost a dozen of these puppies for leftovers during last week's workweek, I can attest to their scrumptiousness and their ease of preparation. I think we have another winner here, folks! Find out how to make them inside the rest of this post...
First, you have to make sure you have all of the necessary necessaries.
__________ Ingredients: (makes about 2 dozen meatballs, depending on size) 1 lb ground chicken or turkey 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, finely minced 1 tsp freshly grated ginger 1 tbsp soy sauce 2 tsps maple syrup (the good stuff!) 2 tbsp neutral oil (I used canola but you can use grapeseed or safflower too) Lee's Hoisin Sauce (another Gwyneth recipe - I used store bought this time) __________
Step 1: Mix the ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Step 2: Mix the ground chicken (turkey, in my case) into the "sauce" until the chicken/turkey/whatever is thoroughly mixed up. This is flavoring, y'all!
Step 3: This is my least favorite part, but it can be super fun if you're cooking with kids or want to make weird shapes or something -- shape your meatballs into golf-ball sized (or smaller, if you like) bits!
Step 4: Cook by grilling, roasting, broiling, or pan-frying until they're cooked all the way through. I chose to pan-fry mine since I'm not quite sure how else to monitor the cooking otherwise, but I may try to bake them sometime in the future.
If you're pan-frying them like I did, add a teeny bit of the "neutral" oil to get things started - but you don't have to add too much, because the meat will naturally have some oil in it that will grease up the pan too.
Flip them around (I tried to make it so there were "6 sides" but really they ended up with 3-4) to ensure smooth cooking and cut into one to check if you have to - it'll still taste good, don't worry.
Step 5: Let dry a bit on a paper towel, and then plate.
Step 6: Serve! Try not to eat them all at once, I dare you.
These are a great basic recipe to have under your belt, as the flavor is different enough to be interesting but simple enough to mix with other things. I had the idea to dip these puppies in tomato soup at one point and it wasn't half bad! The combinations are endless.
So, just go make them already!