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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Turkey Meatballs with Lemon-Garlic Yogurt Sauce





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I am prone to wanderlust. When the siren calls, I seek one of two things. It's occasionally the lure of brighter lights or a bigger city, but more often than not, especially these days, solitude better meets my need to cast away. Silence paves the way for reflection. Insight and serenity follow and they are my fresh air, my cosmic oxygen. My Valentine, bless him, has brought me to Loon Lake for the weekend. At this time of year, our only neighbors are the loons and save for their keening wails, silence and solitude reign supreme. The weather today was glorious and though a front has just moved in, we are warm and dry and very well-fed as we sit in this tiny cabin that teeters on the edge of the world. Bob has the fire blazing and the wind and rain are beating a steady tattoo that will have me sleepy well before my bedtime. I'm mesmerized by the artillery-like barrage that pine cones, loosed by the wind and pelting rain, are making as they bounce off the metal roof. There will be a mess for someone to clean up tomorrow, but for tonight all's right with my world. I have a lemon pie, and a special one at that, waiting to set, but it won't be ready in time for tonight's post. Fortunately, I can share tonight's dinner with you. I suspect many of you have read, or are at least familiar with, Molly Wizenberg's cookbook "A Homemade Life". While her recipes are wonderful, I'm always struck by her facility with language and the restrained power of her words. I have come to love her writing and her blog, Orangette. Hers, is one of the few books that has made from the library stacks to my personal collection. The meatballs we had for supper came from her book. While they are delicious, they are hard to categorize. They are vaguely Greek and definitely have their roots in Mediterranean kitchens. The ingredient list will be surprising to many. While the meatballs are made with pine nuts and raisins, they serve to make the recipe unique and add a texture and sweetness that makes an otherwise ordinary dish special. I mixed and formed the meatballs yesterday and brought them with us to be cooked. That gave all the flavors time to develop and made for a very tasty supper. While I served the meatballs on pita bread, it is not necessary and they do quite well on their own. The meatballs can be baked if you are watching your diet. I prefer them fried, but to each his own. These are very easy to make and can be assembled in less than 30 minutes. I promise you the flavor is unique and the meatballs are delicious. Here's the recipe.

Turkey Meatballs with Lemon-Garlic Yogurt Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Molly Wizenberg

Ingredients:
Meatballs
1-1/4 pound ground turkey thigh meat
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 large egg
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup cup golden raisins (chopped if large)
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon-Garlic Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek-style if possible)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1) To make meatballs: Combine turkey, onion, egg, cilantro, nuts, raisins, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and cumin in a large bowl. Mix just until ingredients are combined and evenly mixed. With wet hands form the mixture into 1 to 1-1/2-inch balls. Set on a tray. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until ready to sauté.
2) To make sauce: Combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
3) To cook: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, and sauté meatballs in batches, so as not to crowd them. As they begin to color, turn them regularly so that they are golden on all sides. They should be done when they are evenly browned and feel medium firm, but not hard when touched. Place on a paper towel to catch excess oil. Serve hot, warm, or cold with yogurt sauce. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs - My Kitchen Adventures
Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatballs - Sydney's Kitchen
Mario Batali Meatballs - Made Famous By
Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs - Being Suzy Homemaker
Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Blue Cheese Dip - My Kitchen Adventures
Swedish Meatballs - The Galley Gourmet
Porcupine Meatballs - The Daily Dish

69 comments:

Alessandra said...

Ciao Mary, how are you?

I just wanted to let you know that I have another giveaway that maybe you or your readers would like :-)
(especially if you like pretty Japanese things!)

http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.com/2011/02/saint-valentines-day-heart-sushi-and.html

good luck!

ciao
Alessandra

Little Inbox said...

Hmm...having meatball in a meal is absolutely delicious! Love it!

muppy said...

How lovely, a weekend away. These meatballs look delicious. Looking forward to lemon pie :)

theUngourmet said...

Your getaway sounds like heaven to me. Have a lovely time! I have been on a meatball kick lately so these are right up my alley. I love this lemon garlic yogurt sauce too. Yum!

Cherine said...

Those meatballs look delicious!
Have a great time!!

JR/Mike said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for visiting my blog. These look amazing, fresh and healthy! I'm always looking for some new things to cook and eat, this will be on that list. I'm looking forward to browsing through your many recipes and attempting some.

Three-Cookies said...

A fusion meatball with influences from so many countries/regions. Sounds delicious.

Have a great time, sounds fun where you are.

Rita said...

Ground turkey can be kind of bland, but these sound so good.

foodie and the chef said...

Oh nothing in the world beats meatballs for comfort food, I will be sure to try these :)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

This sounds great Mary, I'd like to give it a try! I haven't stopped by Orangette in a long time, think I'll see what she's up to:@)

bellini valli said...

The flavour profile here resonates deep within me since I love Meditterranean flavours Mary.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

The perfect meal for a Sunday evening. Yum yum. Diane

Sunanda said...

Looks very tempting.. nice click

Lucie said...

The golden raisins sound great with the other ingredients. And a lemon pie sounds like the perfect pairing!

Design Wine and Dine said...

MAJOR POINTS for your Valentine! Sounds absolutely like where I want to be right now! Cabin, fire, rain, cooking = heaven!

You deserve points too for forming and bringing these along! I am a big fan of turkey and/or ground chicken meatballs. The sauce is something I would not have thought of...how great!

I might do a similar sauce today on lamb chops??? Wonder if that would work as I have the greek yogurt and everything else. We'll see.

Enjoy your getaway!!!

Clint said...

This is what I consider comfort food of the first magnitude. These babies can be eaten in a dignified manner as well as the way I do it---by attacking them either with mashed potatoes or in a sub. Ummm.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Valentine's weekend at Loon Lake sounds like the perfect way to reflect and celebrate! Love the idea of adding raisins and pine nuts to meatballs. Happy Valentine's to you and yours. Blessings, Tanna

PS the qualities of Molly's writing are the ones I admire in yours.

whozyerdanny said...

My kind of dish! Enjoy your time together! Thank you

From the Kitchen said...

Ah delicious--the meatballs and the weekend at Loon Lake. I find just reading about rain on the tin roof and the roaring fire is relaxing me. Enjoy!

Best,
Bonnie

Leyla said...

Hi Marry
the meatballs look delicious
have a lovely time
leyla

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Our local grocery store just had a super good deal on ground turkey, so I bought up a few lbs..perfect to use with this recipe :-)

Martha said...

These look good!

Katrina V. said...

Those look lovely!

Gloria said...

Mary!! I love grinde turkey and always I have this is a lovely idea now I go for some days to the beach, Have a happy Valentine day!! gloria

The Words Crafter said...

What a wonderful meal to have on such a fantastic evening. I love rain and your imagery....ah, I wanted to be right there!

From the Kitchen said...

P.S. I just couldn't resist making and showcasing your sweetheart shortbread cookies from last year for today's post. We love them!

Best,
Bonnie

Ari said...

I make very often meatballs, never thought to serve them with this perfect lemon-garlic yogurt sauce .. great combination. I just wait to make to my family!

June said...

Oh Mary, it sounds like a fabulous weekend...and what's better than warming up a cabin with delicious smells. How thoughtful of your Silver Fox to take you away from it all. Hope you have a great weekend!

Kim said...

These meatballs looks very good, and I feel like bying Molly's book!

Beth said...

It sounds like you're having a wonderful weekend. Thanks for reminding me about Orangette. I haven't read her blog in a while, and I should definitely check out her cookbook!

PeggyR said...

Those look wonderful!

nanny said...

Your getaway sounds perfect...very nice gift from your valentine. I would love to see the lake and the loons!
I think the meatballs served on pita will be delicious..your picture belongs in the cookbook.
Thanks for the tip of Orangette's blog....will visit her now!

Lulu B said...

Wow mary just when i thought your recipes could not make my mouth drop anymore! i nearly dribbled these look and sound so good! Definately one im going to have to cook up! Thanks for visiting my blog as well :o) xx

Carol said...

The meatballs look fantastic! What a sweet Valentine you have, enjoy your weekend!

Priya said...

Feel like grabbing that whole plate and finishing rite now...sooooo delicious!

StephenC said...

Peter and I love using ground turkey. Your recipe has me hungry way before meal time.

All Things Yummy said...

I love her book as well and the meatballs look delicious.

Mateja ^_^ said...

Wow, I would like some, anything left? The photo with meatballs on pita looks extra yummy, thank you for sharing :)

Dionne Baldwin - Try Anything Once said...

I love turkey meatloaf and turkey is great when it's mixed into things...I cannot WAIT to try these turkey meatballs with this sauce. This sounds absolutely delicious.

Pondside said...

These look delicious!
Last night I treated The Great Dane to your Blue Mussels - wonderful!

Joanne said...

Sometimes it really is nice to get away from everyone and spend some time alone with the one you love, surrounded only by nature. I love the sound of that sauce paired with the meatballs. Delicious.

Victor said...

This looks so mouthwatering and appetizing. It looks a lot like a dish that I made before with lamb meatballs served with raita. I bookmark this recipe. Thanks Mary.

Julie said...

This sauce sounds so delicious. I love meatballs and the fact that these are made with turkey is even better! Another wonderful dish, Mary!

mia maria said...

What a wonderful meal, Mary!
I also loved your Lemon Mousse Parfaits! Have a great week!

teresa said...

what a fabulous getaway! the meatballs look incredible, especially nestled in that pita, delicious!

Ginny said...

Loon Lake, I would love to hear the call of the loons!! Did you take any pictures? What an unusual meatball recipe, it looks really good with the sauce and the way you are serving it!

Tasha said...

I am a fan of Orangette as well. There is something about her way with words that makes me wish I knew her in real life, or at the very least had the pleasure of spending an afternoon in her company (not unlike yourself). These meatballs sound phenomenal and a must try.

A Pretty Life in the Suburbs said...

These look delicious! I'm a new follower!
Jo-Anna

Linda Starr said...

I just had dinner, but I could definitely eat some of these right now they sound delicious and pine nuts I love them.

Reeni said...

The cabin sounds like a cozy retreat Mary! Enjoy! I am about halfway through Homemade Life right now - I can't wait to try some of her recipes. The meatballs look wonderfully delicious with that lemon sauce to brighten them up!

Angela said...

These look fantastic. I love the idea of putting a sweet element in the meatball. Genius!

Julie said...

Looks fresh and wonderful. I'd love to have this for dinner any night :)

scrambledhenfruit said...

Mary, These look so flavorful and delicious! (And I love the sauce you've made with them.) Loon Lake sounds like a wonderful getaway. :)

penny aka jeroxie said...

These meatballs looks so juicy! Just my thing.

yummychunklet said...

These meatballs look delicious and juicy, which is an accomplishment because turkey can be very dry sometimes!

Rhonda said...

Definitely Mediterranean in flavor. I love that you served them in a pita, I wonder how some feta cheese and cucumber would pair with them? guess I'll have to make them myself to find out.

Eliana said...

Love the Mediterranean flair of these meatballs. They look delicious.

Monet said...

I love the unique components of this meatball recipe. I am hankering to give it a try. Anything with pine nuts has to be amazing! I'm glad you are having such a nice getaway. I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. Take time to love yourself and those that are dearest to your heart!

That Girl said...

What a sweet Valentine! I love weekends away.

My Little Space said...

Love how you serve those meatballs and thanks for sharing it.
Cheers, Kristy

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What a flavourful dish! I love the sound of turkey meatballs (I've eyed off a few recipes in Nigella Lawson's Kitchen) but I'm yet to try them.

highplainsdrifters said...

just made something very similar, but instead of turkey meat, used half ground beef, half garbanzo beans. sort of a faux falafel. cheers!

Diana (Di) said...

Mary, these sound delicious and coincidentally I happen to have some ground turkey for this evening's dinner. Shall I make my favorite turkey burgers or this? We could have turkey two nights in a row. ;)

I hope you and the Silver Fox are enjoying your special Valentine's Day. :)

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

these look and sound fabulous! Thanks for the link up too!

Lauren said...

The golden raisins are particularly intriguing... I would love these turkey meatballs, and the yogurt sauce sounds like the perfect finishing touch.

Elaine said...

What an interesting combination of ingreadients. I really want to try this recipe.

Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

This looks fantastic, Mary!

Candace said...

Oh, I wish I had a pita full of these tasty little meatballs right now. They look delicious, Mary!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes said...

This is just the thing I was looking for! Thank you!

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