Everyone loves meatballs- right? These were a healthyish version packed with cilantro and spinach. We ate them over rice topped with dollops of garlicky Greek yogurt sauce with roasted cauliflower on the side. Yum.
My husband was gifted a meat grinder for Christmas. 🙂 This was the first time he used it, grinding chicken thighs for these full-flavored meatballs. He plans to make burgers with blended meats next. Fancy!
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I prepared the seasoned meat about 6 hours ahead of time but it can even sit overnight in the refrigerator so that the meat absorbs the seasoning. I baked the meatballs (in the same oven as the roasted cauliflower) and used red pepper flakes instead of a serrano chile. I also added a yogurt sauce for serving. Fantastic.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound spinach, washed
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I used 5 freshly ground chicken thighs- medium grind)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (I used the zest from 1/2 lemon)
- pinch of ground cayenne
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds (I crushed them using a mortar and pestle)
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
- 1 serrano chile, with seeds, finely chopped or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup soft fresh bread crumbs, from about 4 slices of crustless sandwich bread (I used 3 slices of Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane, crusts removed, pulsed in a food processor)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, milk, or ricotta cheese
- extra-virgin olive oil, for the baking sheet
- lemon wedges, for serving
- cooked rice, for serving (I served the meatballs over white Basmati rice)
- yogurt sauce (or store-bought tzatziki), for serving (see below)
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
- pinch of ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated or pressed through a garlic press
- fresh dill, cilantro or parsley, finely minced, to taste
- freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Blanch the spinach: Plunge leaves a handful at a time into a pot of boiling water. Leave just long enough to wilt, about 30 seconds, scoop out with a spider or slotted spoon and drain in a colander and cool under running water. Repeat until all of the spinach is wilted.
- Remove and squeeze wilted leaves into a ball. I used a potato ricer and squeezed out the excess liquid in batches.
- Using a large knife, roughly chop spinach on a cutting board — you should have about 2 cups.
- Squeeze into a ball again to remove excess water. (This may be done several hours or up to a day in advance and refrigerated.) Again, I used a potato ricer and removed the excess liquid in batches.
- If freshly grinding the chicken, grind into a large bowl using the medium grinding disc.
- Combine the ground chicken, salt, pepper, lemon zest, cayenne, nutmeg, fennel seeds, cinnamon, spinach, cilantro, chile (or red pepper flakes), egg, bread crumbs and cream in a large bowl. Using your clean hands, knead everything together, mixing well. Leave to absorb seasoning for 15 minutes or overnight. (I refrigerated it for about 6 hours.)
- Make the sauce: Combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate for flavors to develop.
- Test for seasoning: Take a small amount and flatten into a thin patty. Quickly cook in a small skillet, about 1 minute per side. Taste, then adjust the mixture’s seasoning if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon, form 19 to 24 rough balls and place on a large plate. (The mixture will be soft.)
- Using a brush, coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
- Lightly form the meatballs and position them on the prepared baking sheet. Along the long side of the pan, I placed them in rows of 5. (I had 19 meatballs.)
- Bake meatballs until well browned underneath, about 15 minutes. Using a stiff metal spatula, pry up and turn over meatballs (they may want to stick a bit). Bake until browned on second side and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each one registers at least 160°, about 4 to 5 minutes more.
- Serve over rice garnished with chopped cilantro, if desired. Serve with sauce (or tzatziki) and lemon wedges.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Greens, Recipes
Tags: baked, chicken, chicken thighs, cilantro, cinnamon, dill, dinner, fennel seed, Greek yogurt, ground chicken, ground turkey, healthy, lemon, meatballs, nutmeg, poultry, sauce, serrano, sheet pan, spinach
The large size of these meatballs prevents them from becoming overcooked in the oven- genius. I also loved the store-bought marinara shortcut. We ate them with an entire loaf of sourdough baguette garlic bread which was essential. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I used ground turkey and modified the proportions. Easy and delicious comfort food. Everyone absolutely loved it!
- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups panko
3/4 cup milk or water
1 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 oz Parmesan, finely grated (about 3/4 cup), plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs ground turkey or ground beef (20% fat) (or other ground meat)(I used 1 2/3 pounds ground turkey)
warm homemade or store-bought tomato sauce (I used 28 oz jar of Rao’s marinara)
basil leaves, chiffonade or torn, for serving
- Place rack in top third of oven; preheat to 425°, preferably on convection.
- Lightly brush a large rimmed baking sheet with oil.
- Using a sturdy wooden spoon, vigorously stir eggs, panko, milk, salt, garlic powder, several cranks of pepper, Parmesan, and remaining 3 T oil in a medium bowl until nearly a smooth paste.
- Mix in one quarter of meat (combining just a small amount of meat in the beginning makes it easier to incorporate the rest without overmixing).
- Add remaining meat and mix well to thoroughly combine, but don’t overwork it.
- Using oiled hands or a large cookie scoop, form into 12 to 14 large meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs until well browned underneath, about 15 minutes. Using a stiff metal spatula, pry up and turn over meatballs (they may want to stick a bit). Bake until browned on second side and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each one registers 160°, 4–7 minutes.
- Divide meatballs among plates and spoon some sauce over. Alternatively, warm the sauce in a large, shallow pan and place the meatballs into the sauce.
- Top with basil and more Parmesan.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Quick, Recipes
Tags: comfort food, dinner, easy, fast, ground beef, ground turkey, meatballs, panko, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, Rao, sheet pan
My daughter and I really enjoy watching Queer Eye on Netflix together. It is so positive and full of love. She is particularly a fan of Antoni, the chef. We were excited to check out his cookbook! 🙂
This fabulous chili recipe was adapted from Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. I modified the proportions. It was rich, full-flavored, and hearty. We ate it with lots of toppings, cornbread muffins and green salad. I’m planning to make it again to serve on a really chilly evening. Everyone loved it.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Chili:
- 1/3 to 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips (4-5 slices)
- 1 3/4 to 2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
- Kosher salt
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 medium or 1 1/2 large onions, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small cubes
- 3 T tomato paste
- 5 to 8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, seeded (if desired), finely chopped, plus 1 to 2 T adobo sauce (I didn’t seed the chile)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (12-oz) bottle dark beer (such as Guiness or Negra Modelo)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (scant 1/2 cup) (I used 72% cacao)
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp molasses or dark brown sugar
For the Toppings:
- sliced avocado
- chopped fresh cilantro
- grated cheddar
- diced red or white onion
- pickled jalapeños
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- lime wedges
- In a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl.
- Cook the turkey in the remaining bacon fat over high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into small bits with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Season turkey with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, then transfer and any juices to the bowl with the bacon.
- Heat the oil in the same pot over medium to medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then stir in the chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, beer, stock, chocolate, and turkey-bacon mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deeply flavorful, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vinegar and molasses or brown sugar.
- Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot with toppings, as desired.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Pork, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: apple cider vinegar, bacon, beer, black beans, cheddar, chili, chipotle, cilantro, dark chocolate, dinner, ground turkey, Guiness, molasses, Negra Modelo, turkey
My son and I made this dish together for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy while we’re stuck at home! He is a big fan of mashed potatoes, so he made the topping himself. I loved the ridged pattern on the finished crust.
Although the recipe is streamlined to be made in one skillet, it was still a little bit time-consuming. (Thankfully, we had plenty of time!) The plus side is that it can be prepared with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry and freezer. It definitely created less dishes too. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen via The Associated Press. It was originally published in their book, Cook it in Cast Iron. I used a combination of Dutch yellow baby potatoes and red potatoes instead of russet potatoes, ground turkey instead of ground beef, increased the amount of garlic, and modified the method. Great comfort food.
Yield: Serves 6
- 2 pounds potatoes, Dutch yellow baby potatoes (unpeeled), red potatoes (unpeeled), or russets (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1 large egg
- 6 T unsalted butter, divided (4 T melted)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey or 93% lean ground beef
- 2 T tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Cover potatoes with water in large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt, bring to simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes for unpeeled baby potatoes or 8 to 10 minutes for peeled and cut russet potatoes.
- Drain potatoes and return them to saucepan. If using unpeeled baby potatoes, remove the peels at this point.
- Using a potato ricer, process all of the potatoes. (Alternatively the potatoes can be mashed until smooth.)
- In a measuring cup, whisk milk and egg together. Stir into potatoes along with 4 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cover and set aside.
- Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet.
- Add carrots, onion, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly stir in stock and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps.
- Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Off the heat, stir in peas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
- Dollop the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling. Smooth topping with a knife or the back of a spoon, then use the tines of a fork to make ridges on the surface.
- Place the skillet in the oven and broil until topping is golden brown and crusty, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Holiday, Recipes
Tags: carrots, casserole, cast iron skillet, dinner, ground beef, ground turkey, Irish, mashed potatoes, one pan, one-pot, peas, pie, potatoes, savory, Shepherds pie, St. Patrick's Day, thyme, Worcestershire sauce
These sandwiches are a great weeknight dinner. Using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, lamb or pork makes them a little bit lighter as well.
After seeing sandwiches served in taco racks at NYC’s Chelsea Market, I used taco racks to assemble these messy sandwiches. Genius! 😉
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken and added lemon juice, garlic, and herbs to the sauce.
Yield: Serves 4
- 1.25 pounds ground turkey or chicken
- 1/2 white onion, diced small
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley and cilantro
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cucumber, diced large (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 a lemon, more to taste
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 to 4 T minced fresh dill
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise or 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 4 small naan or pitas, warmed
- 1/2 cup fresh mint or cilantro, for serving
- sliced or chopped red onion, for serving, optional
- In a large bowl, combine ground meat, diced onion, chopped parsley/cilantro, cumin and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Using your hands, form mixture into 8 oval patties.
- In a medium bowl, toss together cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and dill; season with salt and pepper. Add additional lemon juice, if desired.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium to medium-high. Cook patties until browned on all sides and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. (I cooked the meatballs until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees.)
- Divide patties and tomatoes among warm naan or pitas. (I assembled the sandwiches in taco racks.)
- Top with cucumber-yogurt sauce and mint or cilantro. Top with red onion, if desired.
- Fold to enclose (if not using taco racks) and serve.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Quick, Recipes, Tacos
Tags: cilantro, cucumber, cumin, dill, dinner, Greek yogurt, ground chicken, ground turkey, kofta, lunch, meatballs, Middle Eastern, mint, naan, parsley, pita, sandwiches, tomatoes, yogurt sauce
I have gone to a hair salon owned by a lovely Greek family for many years. Beyond being a relaxing experience to just be there, we often discuss food and new restaurants- it’s great. After hearing about this Greek Thanksgiving stuffing for almost as many years, I finally got the treasured family recipe. 🙂
This dish is reminiscent of one of my son’s favorite rice and meat dishes, Thai One-Pot, with a Greek twist. It incorporates cinnamon, raisins, roasted chestnuts, as well as pine nuts.
My friends eat it as part of their Thanksgiving feast, but it is also hearty enough to be served as a main course. We ate it for dinner with roasted broccoli on the side. I modified the original recipe by using fresh mushrooms and ground turkey instead of ground beef. It was very unique and delicious!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a main dish
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup flat parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 24 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup white Basmati rice
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 13 oz organic roasted, peeled chestnuts, crumbled lightly
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 1/4 pound ground turkey or ground beef
- 1 turkey liver or 2 chicken livers, finely chopped
- 1-2 T ground cinnamon
- coarse salt
- 1/2 T freshly ground black pepper
- Melt the butter in a 14-inch skillet.
- Add the chopped celery and onion; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley, and continue to sauté for another minute.
- Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice: In a medium pot, bring chicken stock, rice, and 1/2 tsp salt to a simmer. Add the chestnuts, crushed tomatoes, pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon stick; mix. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. (I used an enameled cast iron pot so that I could use it to finish the dish.)
- While the rice is cooking, add the olive oil to the hot 14-inch skillet, followed by the ground meat and chopped liver.
- Season the meat with 1 T salt, 1/2 T black pepper, and 1 T ground cinnamon. Cook until no longer pink, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- When the rice is tender, remove the cinnamon stick.
- Add the onion, celery, and mushroom mixture to the cooked meat, followed by the cooked rice mixture. Stir to incorporate.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Recipes, Thanksgiving
Tags: Basmati, beef, chestnuts, chicken liver, cinnamon, dinner, Greek, ground beef, ground turkey, mushrooms, one-pot, pine nuts, poultry, raisins, rice, stuffing, Thanksgiving
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This recipe is absolute GENIUS. It was a genius idea for me to make it on Super Bowl Sunday too. I am usually cooking while my family is watching the game- and commercials- in another room. This year, the meal was cooked and ready to go; it was kept warm in the pressure cooker with the lid in place while I was sitting on the sofa with everyone. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I increased the garlic and used ground turkey and whole wheat spaghetti. I also made it in my stove top pressure cooker instead of an Instant Pot. We enjoyed it with garlic bread and Caesar salad. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 basil sprigs, plus more thinly sliced for serving
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (not thin spaghetti), broken in half
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1 cup ricotta (optional)
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground turkey (or substitute veal, pork or beef)
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a stove top pressure cooker or Instant Pot on sauté. Stir in garlic, red pepper and black pepper, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt and basil sprigs; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the meatballs: In a large bowl, mix together ground meat, bread crumbs, Parmesan, chopped basil, egg, salt and garlic. Roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. (I used a large cookie scoop and placed them on a large plate, shaping them into balls when I placed them into the pot.)
- Pour 1 cup water into sauce in pot, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pot.
- Scatter uncooked spaghetti over the sauce.
- Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over spaghetti, stirring gently (try to keep the spaghetti on top of the sauce), then top with meatballs.
- Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Manually release the pressure, then remove the cover and stir to separate the spaghetti.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
- At this point, the pasta will be almost but not quite cooked through. Place the top back on the pressure cooker (loosely) and let it sit for 3 to 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and spaghetti is al dente but not mushy.
- Serve dolloped with ricotta, if using, and sprinkled with thinly sliced basil and more Parmesan if you like.
Posted in Holiday, Pasta, Pressure Cooker, Quick, Recipes
Tags: basil, dinner, ground beef, ground turkey, Instant Pot, Italian, meatballs, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, pasta, pressure cooker, ricotta, spaghetti, Super Bowl, whole wheat
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