I can now soften butter for baking, defrost frozen meat in 10 minutes rather than 24 hours, warm milk up for a coffee in the actual mug (saving washing a pot up) and reheating leftovers are so much easier now for snacking! But the defrosting meat in minutes feels like such a revelation. The possibilities which are open to me as an unorganised cook during the week are now endless if I have a well stocked freezer and pantry. To say I'm excited is an understatement!
Early in the week I defrosted (still a novelty!) some turkey mince which had been floating around our freezer for a while as I never was quite organised to take it out the night before and I didn't feel like tackling a huge turkey ice cube in a frying pan to make some sort of sauce. I knew there were two recipes I have been wanting to try and it all depended what other ingredients I needed and had to which one I was going to make. Unfortunately I didn't have most of the ingredients for either recipe but with my now defrosted turkey mince and turkey meatball on the mind I thought stuff it. I can do this without a recipe.
Starting with a simple tomato sauce I fried off an onion and some crushed garlic in olive oil until soft then adding a splash of red wine which we didn't finish from the weekend and a can of chopped tomatoes brought it to a simmer. Adding a pinch of salt, pepper and half a teaspoon of sugar, I let it bubble away while I got on with the turkey-balls.
I placed a small brown onion, a couple of garlic cloves, a big handful of home grown parsley - stalks and all, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a good splash of extra virgin olive oil into a small food processor and blitzed until it was a rough paste. Emptied it into a mixing bowl then used the same food processor (no need to wash it) and threw in some stale bread that had also been floating around my freezer and gave it a whizz to get some rough breadcrumbs. I then put the bread crumbs into the mixing bowl along with the (defrosted!) turkey mince, an egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mixed it all together then rolled them into golf ball sized balls ready for frying.
I panfried these in some olive oil on a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until they were dark golden all over and cooked through. I always have to open one up to make sure (I have a fear of serving raw meat) but I never mind because it also means you get to have a quick taste - a little reward for the cook. I served these with pasta and a good snowing of parmesan cheese but these would be great with some fresh crusty bread if you don't want another pot to wash up. They didn't take very long to cook, in fact the washing up took longer I think so if your blessed with a dishwasher I envy you :) ... the next appliance on my wish list... just need a bigger kitchen/apartment first!
Turkey meatballs with a simple tomato sauce.Serves 4 (approx. 20 balls)
1 small brown onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
a hefty handful of parsley, stalks and all
juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 slices of stake crusty bread
500g turkey mince
a good pinch each of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons regular olive oil (or vegetable oil), for frying
Simple tomato sauce:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 clove garlic, crushed
a good splash of red wine - optional
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
Pasta or fresh crusty bread
and parmesan cheese, to serve
- Start with your simple tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan then add your onion and garlic and fry until onions are translucent. Add your splash (or two) of wine, let it bubble then add your canned tomatoes and sugar. Bring to a simmer and let cook away wile your prepare the turkey-balls. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small food processor put the onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and give it a good whizz until it becomes a rough paste. Empty into a mixing bowl. Next add your stale bread to the food processor (no need to wash the food processor) and whizz until it becomes rough bread crumbs. Pour that into the mixing bowl along with the turkey mince, egg and salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix using a fork making sure you don't have clumps of any ingredients anywhere.
- Form mince mixture into golf ball sized balls. This will make about 20.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add your turkey-balls, turning regularly so they cook even and until golden on all over and cooked through.
- Serve them along side the simple tomato sauce with pasta or some fresh crusty bread, a sprinkling of parsley and a generous snowing of parmesan cheese.