Classic Homemade Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti

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It’s been a while since I last posted but there is so much material I have stocked up that I hope it makes up for my absence.

After coming back from my 2 month long relaxing India trip, I am really pumped up to try new things at home. Both me and my husband are really fond of meatballs. It’s one of our staples that we like to have at least once a week. My husband generally avoids red meat so we mostly go for Aidell’s caramelized chicken meatballs from Costco. I always had the impression that meatballs are very complicated to make at home, but surprisingly they are pretty easy and I got them right on my first try (which is a very rare event..:P).

So here is the process-

Total time: 40-45mins

Makes 25-30 meatballs depending on the size.

Ingredients:-

Meatballs

  • 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup, optional
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1.5 pound ground dark turkey meat
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to season
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1.5 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Recipe:-

For the meatballs:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, ketchup, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic and onions. Mix well using a spatula. Add the ground turkey. Gently mix all the ingredients using your fingers until thoroughly combined.
  2. Form the meat mixture into balls (25-30 meatballs approximately). Place the meatballs on a nonstick baking sheet, spacing apart. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

For the tomato sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the basil, the fennel, oregano and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer until the meatballs are heated through. Thin the sauce with chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Serve with grated Parmesan alongside and some slices of freshly toasted french bread.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/classic-italian-turkey-meatballs-recipe.html

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Thai Red Curry

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One of the most popular Thai dishes which is really easy and quick to make. Spicy, healthy and light, it’s very rare that a dish fits in well in all these three categories which is what makes it so popular. So here you go:-

Serves – 4

Ingredients:

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Red Curry Paste – 2-3 tbsp (you can follow this recipe to make it at home)
  • Coconut Milk – 1 can (14oz/400ml each)
  • Thai Chilies – 2 finely chopped
  • Brown Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce or Fish Sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Baby corn-1/2 cup
  • Red Bell Pepper – 1/4, sliced
  • Green Bell Pepper – 1/2, sliced
  • Mushrooms – 1/4 cup
  • Broccoli –  1/2 cup
  • Tofu or Chicken Breasts- 1/2 cup
  • lemon grass -1 stalk finely chopped
  • Green Onions – 5 stalks finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves – 3-4 minced
  • Basil Leaves – 1 bunch and some extra for garnishing

Method:

  1. In a pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add garlic and chilies and sauté for a few seconds. Add in the red curry paste and mix well.
  2. Add the coconut milk and mix again. Then add in the sugar, soy sauce or fish sauce.
  3. If you are making a non-vegetarian dish, then add the chicken now, cover and allow chicken to cook partially.
  4. If you are making it a vegetarian dish, skip steps 3 and add the vegetables to the gravy. Add baby corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, lemon grass and mushrooms. (Leave broccoli at this stage.)
  5. Let it cook for a minutes and then add tofu.
  6. Add the basil leaves and cook for another 3-5 minutes. And then add broccoli.
  7. Cook till chicken / tofu is cooked.
  8. Garnish with a few more Thai Basil Leaves and serve hot with some steamed rice.

Couscous with Italian Sausage and Fennel

DSC_0787I had never used fennel as a vegetable before, so I was eager to try it out in a recipe that would compliment it well. Couscous, by virtue of being adaptable to different flavours, was a perfect fit for this recipe. To satisfy our carnivorous souls and also to enhance the flavour, I decided to combine these with some fresh italian sausage.

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced olives
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8½ ounces mild italian sausage, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large fennel bulb chopped (keep some fronds for garnishing and discard the rest)
  • ½ teaspoon harissa paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 cup couscous
  • salt if needed (depends on the chicken stock you are using, low sodium one would require additional salt on top)
  • freshly chopped basil or fennel fronds for garnishing

Method:

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic. Saute for a few seconds and add the fennel.
  2. Once the fennel turns soft, add the sausage and stir-fry on medium to high heat for a few minutes.
  3. Add the harissa. When the sausage starts leaving oil and turns dark brown, add the olives, sundried tomatoes, oregano and chili flakes. Cook for a few seconds and then add the chicken stock and salt if required.
  4. Once it comes to a boil, add the couscous, stir well, and turn off the heat. Cover the pot immediately and let the dish steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Fluff the couscous with a fork. It should be soft and fluffy, if not, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of boiling stock or water over it, cover, and steam for a few minutes. Be careful not to add too much water as it can easily overcook. Garnish with freshly chopped basil or fennel fronds

Serve hot with Tzatziki Sauce(optional). You can find the recipe for Tzatziki here.

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4pm Hunger Bug

Tomato-Basil-Cottage Cheese Toast

The healthiest 4PM snack ever.

I had been struggling with my 4pm hunger bug since a very long time and used to end up having crappy junk food.

Finally I came up with this recipe to do justice to my taste buds without having the guilt of consuming unnecessary calories. This recipe is ready in minutes and is also a great snack if you ever have surprise guests over.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take a few slices of any loaf (preferably rosemary-olive oil or Garlic) and spread cottage cheese generously. I used the unsalted one, so I sprinkled some salt and chili flakes on it.
  3. Put these slices in the oven for 2-3 mins or till you see the cheese melt.
  4. Take them out of the oven and add sliced cherry tomatoes, freshly chopped basil and sprinkle few drops of olive oil(optional).

Enjoy your toast…:)

The tanginess of tomatoes, the punch of freshly chopped basil blended with the soft cheese will take your tastebuds for a roller-coaster ride.