Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs in Mushroom Gravy

Don't want to go all-out with turkey and the trimmings? Here's a more homely, every-day alternative that brings together most of the flavours of a traditional turkey dinner. Serve it with a green vegetable and Stuffing Bread for the complete experience. 

4 to 6 servings
45 minutes prep time

Make the Meatballs:
500 grams (1 pound) ground turkey
1 large egg
1 cup finely cubed or crumbled breadcrumbs
1 recipe poultry seasoning
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Make up the recipe for poultry seasoning, or use about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of prepared poultry seasoning.

Put the turkey in a mixing bowl and add the egg, breadcrumbs, poultry seasoning and cranberries. Mix well; the easiest way is to do it with your hands, until thoroughly and evenly combined. Form the mixture into about 24 equal-sized meatballs, setting them on a plate or board as you work. Best to divide the mixture into 4 equal parts then use each part to make 6 meatballs.

If you are serving these with mashed potatoes, have the potatoes cleaned and cut into chunks, in the pot, covered with water and turned on to start cooking 10 minutes before you finish the dish. 

Finish the Dish:
250 grams (1/2 pound) button mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cups chicken or turkey stock
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
1/2 cup light cream

Clean and trim the mushrooms and cut them in halves or quarters. Heat the butter in a large skillet. When it is melted and foamy but not browned, add the mushrooms, stirring them in well to coat them as evenly with the butter as possible. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or so, until browned and softened.

Add the turkey stock and bring up to a boil. Drop in the meatballs (carefully!) and simmer for 10 minutes, turning to be sure they cook evenly.

While the meatballs cook, drain and mash the potatoes with butter and milk, salt and pepper when they are done. Keep warm until the meatballs are ready.

When the meatballs are cooked, mix the cornstarch or arrowroot with the cream in a small bowl, being sure there are no lumps - it's best to mix in a small quantity of liquid to make a smooth paste, then slowly mix in the rest. Stir this quickly into the gravy. Simmer for a minute or two more, until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve over the mashed potatoes.

Last year at this time I made Squash with Roasted Squash Seeds.

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