Sunday, October 21, 2012

Turkey Florentine Meatballs

When I moved into my first apartment right after college, my mom gave me this recipe binder cookbook. She filled it with a bunch of her recipes that she knew I loved and she also left room for me to add recipes of my own as I started to learn and appreciate the art of cooking. At the time, the extent of my cooking skills were pretty limited to boxed macaroni and cheese, pasta with jarred tomato sauce and stove-top grilled chicken. However, as I've grown in the kitchen, this has become one of my most prized posessions and one of the many, many things I appreciate so much about my mother. She was so thoughtful like this. I know she would be happy that I've started to find as much joy in cooking as she always did.
One of the recipes my mom included in the book was Turkey Florentine Meatballs. (I believe she got this from watching Rachael Ray on the Food Network, but I still like to consider it one of her own!) Raising 3 kids who were involved in a million activities, she loved finding recipes she could prepare ahead of time, freeze, and use as a go-to when she was short on time, but still wanted to feed us a homecooked meal. This is exactly one of those recipes. Try it and let me know what you think!

  • 1-1.5 lbs. ground turkey breast (1 package)
  • 1 box frozen spinach
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmigian cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Defrost spinach and squeeze out liquid.
  3. Place turkey in bowl, make well in middle.
  4. Add spinach, onion (except 3 tbsp. and set aside), garlic, egg, milk, bread crumbs, grated parmigian cheese, and salt/pepper. Mix well.
  5. Form into approx. 1" meatballs, place on cookie sheet and drizzle with EVOO.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in 400 degree heated oven.

I served with pasta and tomato sauce, but my mom (and Rachael Ray) suggest serving with a cream sauce as follows...

Cream Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. onion, chopped
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 package (10 oz.) of provolone or italian blend cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add EVOO, butter, onion, and whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute.
  3. Add milk and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add shredded provolone/italian blend cheese.
  5. Garnish meatballs with sauce and parsley.

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