Sunday, May 1, 2011

Turkey (and Chicken) Ricotta Meatballs

It is starting to be that time in my rotation, the time when I need to start emptying my fridge in preparation of moving.  Yeah, it's two months away, but I have half of a 10 pound bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in my freezer and bottles of half full sauces and salad dressings in my fridge.  And two months to use them or throw them out.  I hate throwing food out. 

I have been wanting to try out grinding meat in my fancy dancy birthday present food processor for a little bit now.  Random, yes, but something I wanted to try.  So I started digging for recipes.  I remembered seeing chicken meatballs somewhere in my myriad of food stuff, I just had to find where.  It eventually surfaced under the alias Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs in Cooking Light's tome, Way to Cook.

As luck would have it, keeping the chicken breasts company in my freezer was some ground turkey that had been frozen for awhile.  I won't admit how long it's been there.  There was only about half a pound, so I would either have to half the recipe or grind up some chicken breasts to fill out the whole pound.  It wasn't that much of a decision. 

The cleaning out of the fridge continued as the recipe also called for half a cup of ricotta cheese, which I had left over from my muffin making mission.  With only 4 other ingredients to add to the bill, only one I had to buy, we were good to go.  There was just no downside.

The meatballs were very yummy, in a turkey/chicken meatball kind of way.  But they absolutely needed some kind of marinara sauce to be smothered with.  Which I oh-so-happened to have half an open bottle of in the fridge.  I assume the rest of the meatballs will take care of that as well.  I am almost too good at this fridge cleaning out business.   

Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs
Adapted from Cooking Light's Way to Cook

1 lb. ground turkey breasts
1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil (I want to try this with oregano instead!)
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Form into 18-24 meatballs.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat skillet with cooking spray.  Add meatballs and brown on all sides (I had to do this in two batches).

Remove meatballs from skillet.  Transfer to broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until done.

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