Thai Green Curry Turkey Meatballs and Veggies

Let's just get this out in the open right off the bat: I REALLY FRICKING LOVE PINTEREST.  I don't think I can say enough times how much more awesome, organized and inspired it has made my life; especially, in the kitchen.  If you're in any kind of cooking rut, get on Pinterest right away and go nuts pinning/re-pinning/testing/tasting/trying new recipes. Whether they're from home cooks, foodie bloggers or major institutions, there's a wealth of recipe gold available that's yours for the taking. Case in point, this Thai Green Curry Turkey Meatball recipe. I re-pinned it from Whole Foods, but it's originally from a website called Minnesota Monthly, under their Twin Cities Taste blog. I would never have found this recipe, unless maybe I was suddenly struck with a craving for Thai flavored turkey meatballs, which would never have happened before tasting these meatballs. But will now definitely be happening. During the weird Winter-to-Spring transition, I crave cozy but light fare, and this dish hit that nail smack on its flavorful head.

In summary, Pinterest = land of magic and endless culinary inspiration that will make your life extra tasty.

Recipe adapted from Minnesota Monthly

Turkey Meatballs (makes 6 servings)

2 shiitake mushrooms + 3 large white button mushrooms, finely chopped 1½ lbs. ground turkey (1/3 white meat, 2/3 dark meat) 2.5 tsp. fresh ginger, minced 2 tsp. Thai green curry paste, or more to taste 1 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce (nam pla nuoc nam) 1 Tbsp. soy sauce 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten ¹⁄3 c. green onions, white and green parts finely chopped ¼ c. chopped cilantro 4ish Tbsp. olive oil (basically, use as much or as little oil as needed to cook all of the meatballs without making a burnt mess at the bottom of your pan!)

--> In a medium bowl, combine mushrooms, turkey, ginger, curry paste, fish, soy and Worcestershire sauces, sugar, egg, green onions, and cilantro. Mix until well blended.

*Remember not to overcrowd the pan so that they all cook evenly, quickly, and so you have enough room to flip them without making a mess. Also, I found that they really cooked best when they were shaped like itty bitty patties, versus balls.

--> Heat the oil in a large, stainless steel (or nonstick if that's what you've got) skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook in batches until all sides are nicely browned, about 10 minutes total.

Curry Sauce with Veggies

1 cupish of chicken stock (I'm not really sure on the exact amount as I eyeballed the adding of the stock based on what my vegetables asked me to add. Yes, I am a vegetable whisperer.) 1 medium onion, chopped 2 medium garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias 1 large red pepper, chopped into pieces roughly the same size as the carrot slices 3-5 white button mushrooms, roughly chopped optional, if they're in your pantry: dashes of coriander and Chinese 5-spice 1/2-1tsp. Asian chile sauce, such as Chinese chile/garlic paste or Thai chili sauce (Sriracha) 3 tsp. Thai green curry paste 1/4 cup of lime juice, plus about 1 tsp. of zest 13.5oz can light coconut milk (Trader Joe's is great for cheaply stocking up on this ingredient) splash of soy sauce, to taste 1 Tbsp-ish of flour

--> Once meatballs are done, remove from pan and set aside. Add a healthy splash of chicken stock to the pan to scrape up all the bits of flavor stuck to the bottom of the pan, then add the onions, garlic, ginger and optional spices to the liquid in the pan.

--> Over medium heat, cook the mixture for about 3 minutes, then add the carrots, peppers, 1tsp green curry, 1 tsp of your spicy ingredient, and another 1/2 cup or so of stock. The liquid should come to about half-way up the vegetables so that they're getting a bit of a braise while they cook. Continue cooking for another 7 minutes, then add your mushrooms and another tsp. of green curry, and toss that all around for a couple minutes.

--> Pour in the coconut milk, lime juice and zest, the last tsp. of green curry and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so you've got a healthy simmer going,in order to reduce the sauce. I added about 1 Tbsp. of flour after a few minutes to help the thickening process along, as well as a splash of soy after tasting, realizing that I hadn't added any salt to this dish! Once the sauce is almost as thick as desired, put the meatballs back in the pan to bathe in the curry and re-warm them.

--> I served with Trader Joe's AWESOME microwavable organic brown rice, which you can find in their freezer section. This was immediately delicious, but tasted even better as leftovers today... Jane went absolutely NUTS for it, politely stole some of my lunch, and then insisted I post it to the blog at once!


Happy cooking (and pinning), friends!!