With temps getting as low as the mid-70s here in Miami (crazy town!), I’m breaking out my sweatshirts and craving some warm and cozy comfort food. Please don’t roll your eyes but I take dinner request from my 8 year old boys nearly every day. Some I disregard, like “homemade Shanghi soup dumplings please.” But this past week, they put in a reasonable order that was right up my alley: meatballs in red sauce over spaghetti.
In an effort to lighten them up and make them a wee bit healthier than your typical delicious red meat kind, I thought about making them with ground dark turkey meat or ground light chicken meat. Feeling ambivalent about using 100% of either (the turkey is still dark and relatively heavy and the light chicken might be too bland), I got a pound of each and decided to make up a new CP special: Bi-Polar Meatballs (get it?? they can’t decide if their are Turkey or Chicken / light or dark, lol lol 😉 apologies if that’s offensive to you, but, as the daughter of a psychiatrist, i couldn’t help myself).
In addition to the poultry, I got sneaky and threw in some vegetables knowing my kids wouldn’t even notice. Although the pictures don’t do them justice, they were pretty delicious. I served the meatballs in my red sauce (recipe for another day) over spaghetti for my kids and for myself, decided to try out this Organic Black Bean pasta (in picture below) that turned out to be pretty good!
Here’s the new and improved Bi-Polar Meatball recipe.
1 lb ground turkey / 1 lb ground chicken (both organic and from a trusted butcher)
1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 leek, white to light green part thinly sliced
1 cup grated raw organic zuchinni
1/2 to 3/4 cup fine almond flour
1 tablespoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Minced fresh tarragon
Salt and peppa to taste
Sauté the mushrooms until nice and soft. Cool slightly and chop into fine chucks. While cooling, lightly saute the leeks just enough to soften and bring out the flavor. Cool slightly. Add both vegetables along with the rest of the ingredients to the ground meats and smush that up with your hands only until throughly incorporated. Roll into meatball size of your choice, however, too small and they will get dry in next step, too large they will either fall apart in next step or not cook through (no bueno with poultry).
The texture of the mixed meat will be wetter than your average ground red meat. Feel free to add more of the almond flour, but not too much. Play with proportions to get it right, but do NOT add egg. This will make it impossible to form balls because it will become TOO wet.
This is important, in the same cast iron skillet I used for the veggies, I sauté the meatballs gently in EVOO over medium heat being very careful when turning them so that they are brown all over. Once the meatballs are fairly firm to touch I add them to my simmering red sauce so that they continue cooking threw, but in the sauce. I might even leave the whole thing pot, red sauce + balls, on the store on very very low heat for another hour so that all the flavors marinate together.
Serve over your choice of pasta or not even! I had them for lunch the next day over my seed bread and was in a South-Floridian-mild-weather-cozy-heaven!