Feed the Masses Without Compromise

Curry and coconut sauce elevate the most perfect turkey meatball

While the economy may be up and down lately, one thing is for sure at my home: my kids continue to grow like weeds, and they need to eat. It’s my own secret delight to serve them something special.

And we do eat some terrific food, but I try to keep an eye on cost. Sometimes that leads me back to my turkey meatballs. Last year, turkey prices (frozen and fresh) were the lowest in years. Organic specialty turkeys like free-range, antibiotic-free, and organic turkeys, averaged $3.27/pound. Grade A frozen turkeys sometimes went as low as 82 cents per pound, with all the other variants priced in between. (I sometimes sneak onto the USDA site for trending stats, because I’m an incredible geek.)

That’s amazing value.

And to amp up that value, when you get ground turkey meat, make meatballs properly (small, like the Italians do) and elevate them with my curry/coconut sauce.

Then serve up on fragrant basmati rice, and accompany with gently blistered pita or naan bread. Luxury, health, and a trip to exotic lands. And, above all, it all tastes like home.

Turkey meatballs in coconut curry sauce  

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 1-1/2 lb ground turkey

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • A 1" piece of peeled ginger, minced

  • 2 scallions minced

  • 2 T. fish sauce

  • ¾ cup almond flour

  • 1T. ground cumin

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • Salt and pepper

Now, let's put that together:

  1. With 2 T. olive oil in your EuroCAST high-sided sauté pan, sauté the scallions and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

  2. Add the scallions and garlic to a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients.

  3. Mix well to incorporate all the herbs. Form into 1" diameter meatballs.

Don't wash that pan! 

  1. In that same sauté pan, sear the meatballs in small batches, one layer at a time, in 2T. olive oil until they are brown on all sides but not cooked through.

  2. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Continue until all meatballs are browned.

  3. While the meatballs are browning, prepare the sauce.

FOR THE SAUCE

In your largest EuroCAST Dutch oven, over medium heat (dry skillet):

Start by toasting the spices. Stir for 2-3 minutes using:

  • 4T. curry powder

  • 1T. ground cumin seed

  • 1T. ground turmeric

  • 1/4 t. smoked paprika

  • 1/2 t. red pepper

Add: 

  • 2 t. coconut oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed then minced

  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes

  • Bring to a low summer and cook on low for 15 minutes.

  • Gently add the meat balls to the sauce and cook another fifteen minutes over low heat.

Add:

  • One 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk

  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1 t. salt + more to taste

Serve with steamed basmati rice and assorted garnish. 


LISA'S TIPS

#1   CONDIMENTS: HALF THE FUN

Use your imagination. Here's where mine takes me:

Wafer-thin sliced radish and raw beets, crushed peanuts, and herbs like basil and cilantro. I also love a variety of spicy and acidy elixirs like pickles and peppers, both raw and fermented, such as okra and green beans in vinegar. And, of course:  Lime wedges and toasted naan bread. 

You could dash out a little plain yogurt, too. I find it a great way to calm the zealous, spicy corners of my plate.

#2  TOASTING SPICES

Toasting the ground spices in a dry skillet brings out their individual characteristics. It warms up and rounds out the flavors. It's as though the heat in the pan is like a light switch, turning 'em on! 

 
Paul Ward