Saturday, September 28, 2013

Turkey Meatballs with Lemon-Garlic Yogurt Sauce

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



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


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 saut

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