Summer Supper

I almost forgot to tell you about these turkey meatballs. The original plan was to try a new recipe for dinner that would satisfy both myself and the two carnivorous men in my house (one fiancé, one brother) who I feed a few times a week. (The rest of the time I’m not sure how they subsist because it appears they grocery shop once every four months and routinely open a bare cupboard while staring at me with despair). I also planned to take an irresistible close-up picture of these meatballs and post it right here. And you know, I actually doubled the recipe so we’d feast for at least a week. It was to be a whole meatball experience.

Alas, I have no picture for you and indulged in a grand total of two meatballs.

The entire double batch disappeared. It was like they never happened. But I swear to you they did and they were delicious. I’ve investigated the disappearance and received testimony that “there weren’t really all that many” which I can attest is a lie as I hand rolled at least 30.

While cooking I did have two revelations: golden raisins and yogurt sauce. Golden raisins taste a bit milder to me and less intense, sort of the way white wine feels calmer than red. In short, golden tastes different than dark and I like it. Mixed into the meatballs, they lend a yummy sweetness. And the yogurt sauce! I’ve never made yogurt sauce before and haven’t a clue why I assumed it was complicated, but it’s dead simple and light for summer.

This recipe is from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life. It’s named “Doron’s Meatballs with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, and Golden Raisins,” and while “Fleeting Meatballs” seems more appropriate, I’m sure that’s already a Fleetwood Mac cover band.

These were great served with wild rice. Probably unnecessary, but I also threw the pine nuts into a ziplock and pounded with a meat tenderizer to break them up a bit. The only thing I might do differently next time is make the meatballs smaller, under one inch, so they cook through faster.

Please let me know how they taste for lunch the next day. I’d be thrilled to know.

Doron’s Meatballs with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, and Golden Raisins
a recipe from A Homemade Life

Yogurt Sauce Ingredients:

1 c. plain yogurt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. salt

Meatballs Ingredients:

½ c. minced onion
¼ c. fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
½ c. pine nuts, chopped
½ c. golden raisins, chopped
½ c. fine bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. cumin
⅛ tsp. black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey, chicken, or lamb
4 tbsp. olive oil plus more as needed

Making the Dish:

1. Combine the yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk gently to make a smooth sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time for serving.

2. Mix all the meatball ingredients in a deep bowl and use your hands to squish them together to make a uniform mass. Don’t work the meat too hard or you will have a paste, leave some of the meat ‘grind’ intact.

3. Make 20 to 30 meatballs and place on a platter. Chill until ready to cook them.

4. Warm 4 tbsp. olive oil in a fry pan and add half the meatballs when it is quite hot.

5. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides and firm (but not rock hard, as Molly says).

6. Remove the cooked meatballs to a warm platter and cook the second batch of ten or so meatballs. Add a bit more olive oil if the pan seems too dry.

7. Garnish the platter with a bit more chopped cilantro or parsley and have the cool yogurt dipping sauce in small bowls at each place setting.

8. Meatballs can be served hot, warm or even cooled.

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