Abstract:
(Future) Dr. Bulldog revisited a tried-and-true meatball recipe with some spicy(?) modifications.

Background:
Somehow I met a surprising number of Italians in my college years. Being an Italian cuisine enthusiast, I had been passed on several incredible family recipes. The most prominent one is this meatball recipe given to me by P.Y. and family (whose name will be kept anonymous, but congratulations on recent engagement!). These meatballs are so good, I would make them at most friends’ gatherings.

Unlike the spicy meatballs and cheesy jalapeno meatballs published by CHeF KUBiAc and Jimmy, respectively, my meatballs have a strong herb flavor due to a generous amount of parsley and basil leaves. The original recipe calls for ground beef, but I decided to use the healthier, leaner ground turkey, and to jack up the spiciness with the addition of jalapeno and habanero. This post is the second part of the President’s Day long weekend series, celebrating the end of midterm week.

Ingredients:
1 lb (454 g) ground turkey (93% lean)
2 slices of bread, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup (59 ml) water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon (3.7 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) pepper
1 ½ teaspoon (7.4 ml) dried basil
2 tablespoon (30 ml) chopped parsley
1 jalapeno, minced
1 habanero, minced
2 eggs, beaten

The bread slices were cubed and combined with water; the wet bread was set aside until the final step of mixing.

Ground turkey, minced garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper, dried basil, chopped parsley, jalapeno and habanero were added to a medium mixing bowl. Eggs and bread were added last. Look at all that green!

meatmix1
meatmix2
meatmix3

The mixture was blended the old fashion way – with fingers. The mixture was a beauty with all sorts of colors.

meatmix4

The turkey mixture was shaped into 12 gigantic balls and laced on a pre-greased cookie sheet.

12balls

See that habanero slice? I so look forward to tasting that.

habanero

The meatballs were placed in a pre-heated oven and cooked for 25 minutes at 191 Celsius. Let the juice run clear. The meatballs were allowed to cool for 2 minutes, and the fat was cut out with a sharp knife. The meatballs were ready to be served.

cooked

Results:
The turkey meatballs were served with freshly-made fettucine and marinara sauce.

final

Discussion:
The meatballs were delicious. As expected, they were very strong in flavor. The parsley and garlic were especially prominent. However, the meatballs lacked heat in spite of the jalapeno and habanero addition. This is not surprising if this recipe is compared with CHeF KUBiAc's (Jan-04-2017 post), in which 3 habaneros, red pepper flakes and hot sauce were added to the same amount of meat. In future experiments, I propose to triple the amount of peppers to match CHeF KUBiAc's boldness.

This is the second time I replaced the ground beef with ground turkey. In my first attempt, a surprising amount of fat was visible after the baking. This observation prompted me to repeat the experiment again with ground turkey of the same fat content. As seen in the above figure, not much fat was present in this trial. It also appeared turkey meatballs are less suceptible to overcooking/blackening. If you are looking for a healthier substitute for ground beef, I would highly recommend turkey.

I am also curious to try out turkey breast (99% lean) instead of ground turkey (93% lean). I expect the meatball texture to change drastically. Only experimentation would determine whether it is good or bad change.

Finally, I saw this new Southwestern Queso flavored of Lays potato chips at Albertson's, and I just had to try it.

lays

I definitely tasted the queso flavor in these chips. Apart from that, they just taste like the BBQ flavored ones. I would not recommend spending money on this; just stick with sour cream and onion.

Until next time! ... Probably not until the end of the quarter, as I need to grade all my minions' lab reports.