Thursday, February 3, 2011

Madras Meatballs

So I just bought my first domain name - - and that was exciting. It got me to poke around and look at other foodies' blogs. I stumbled across nomnivorous, which I think is a nicely written, personable blog, and saw this recipe for Tikka Masala Meatballs (which in turn was inspired by Big Girls, Small Kitchen and Pretty Girls Use Knives). To me, cooking is about expressing yourself and trying new things. And like nomnivorous, I very seldom follow a recipe exactly. Besides, I typically stay in the European (French, Italian, German, Spanish) and Latin American cuisine genres - very seldom do I experiment with more Asian flavors. So - mainly because I didn't have exactly the same ingredients - I've tweaked the recipe very slightly. Here's my take on the recipe, which I'm calling Madras Meatballs. With some brown rice, the recipe makes four decent sized servings for dinner - but you could get away with six servings if you had a side dish or appetizer.

Ingredients Meatballs
  • 3/4 c. oats
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast (you could also use ground chicken breast)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 2 t. dried cilantro (or chopped fresh - 2 T.)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (or equivalent pre-minced)
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 T. canola or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (or equivalent pre-minced)
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 2 t. dried cilantro (or chopped fresh - at least 2 T.)
  • 1 - 2 t. hot curry powder (I used McCormick Hot Madras Curry powder) - use as much as you would like, depending on taste. E's not crazy about heat so I kept it closer to 1 t.
  • 1 1/2 t. ground ginger (you can use fresh if you have it)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles (I used Trader Joe's fire roasted tomatoes with chiles)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. light coconut milk
  1. (Note: This recipe works really well if you use a food processor, but it's optional. My directions will assume you're using one.) Turn on your oven's broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
  2. Place the oats in the food processor and pulse until they look like coarse flour. Pour the oats into a bowl for now.
  3. Peel and quarter the onion. Place the onions in the food processor and pulse until they are minced.
  4. Add the turkey, the processed oats, the egg, tomato paste, salt and spices to the onion mixture in the food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. You can make the meatballs any size you would like, I made smallish ones using a small cookie dough scoop. You could use an ice cream scoop, spoons, or your bare hands to shape the meatballs.
  6. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet (I ended up with 40 small ones) and cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, watching to ensure they don't burn.
  7. Wash out the food processor, you'll need it for the sauce! Peel and quarter two onions; remove the ends from the carrots, and peel if you'd like to (I didn't, I just washed them) and cut the carrots into 1-inch chunks. Place the onions and carrots in the food processor and pulse until they are minced. In a skillet, heat 1 T. canola oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and carrots. Add the garlic and other spices, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine and heat up a bit.
  8. Add both cans of tomatoes and the coconut milk, stir to combine, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for another 15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through (they should have cooked pretty well under the broiler).
  9. Serve over brown rice (I like to use Trader Joe's microwaveable pre-cooked brown rice). Have some plain yogurt on hand in case you went a little overboard with the spice - it'll help balance that heat.
Per serving: 319 calories, 9 g fat, 29 g carb, 32 g protein, 6 g fiber

Notes on this recipe:
  • If you don't have diced tomatoes with chiles, you can use regular diced tomatoes and add chopped jalapenos, or crushed red pepper, or a pinch of cayenne, or just up the curry powder.
  • If you don't have coconut milk, you could use regular milk, or you could just go all-tomato.
  • You don't have to use diced tomatoes, you can use crushed or whole peeled and break them down yourself.
  • Fresh herbs and spices or dried? Usually 1 t. of a dried herb is about as powerful as 1 T. fresh. Use your taste buds to guide you here.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE not exactly following a recipe too - but your cooking is a lot better!