I pulled some ground turkey from the freezer this morning and imagined what to do with it during the work day. My family usually complains about dinners made with ground turkey, so I sought to surprise them with a hearty, comforting meal. Inspired by Smitten Kitchen's recipe for meatball subs, I picked up some Gruyere cheese and hoagie rolls at Trader Joe's on the way home and got to work. My guys were charmed, and I was once again a hero at the dinner table.
Turkey Meatball Sandwiches
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1 jar your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup baby bell peppers, halved
More cheese for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the turkey, parsley, shallot, egg, milk, hot red pepper flakes, milk, bread crumbs and cheese. Form into 1.5-inch meatballs; place on a piece of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. On another cookie sheet, toss the sliced onions and peppers with a generous amount of olive oil; salt and pepper. Roast the meatballs and the peppers in the oven until the meatballs are cooked and the peppers and onions begin to caramelize. Meanwhile, heat the spaghetti sauce in a large saucepan. Remove the meatballs from the cookie sheet and simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes or until the flavors meld. While the meatballs heat up in the sauce, open up the hoagie rolls and pull some of the excess bread out of the middle of the rolls. Place three meatballs on each roll, nap with some of the sauce, and top with the roasted peppers and onions. Garnish with a bit more cheese. Serve with salad.
Leafing through Martha Stewart's latest Living last night, the "What's for Dinner" section caught my eye. An easy, curry soup and some delicious shrimp toasts. I already had a half baguette and some basil in the pantry; I added some fresh chicken to the soup to make it a little heartier.
Even better, Maddy helped me make dinner tonight, toasting the bread for the shrimp toasts. Which made the meal that much more enjoyable.
I learned how to cook souffle from my friend Alice. Actually, Alice taught me that I shouldn't be afraid of souffle, because it is a lot more forgiving that it sounds, and it is delicious. A dollop of butter and a few tablespoons of flour, a scant cup of milk to make a bechamel, a handful of cheese and a few eggs, and you are set.
I learned how to cook artichokes from my husband, whose mother used to serve them when he was a kid. Artichokes are the ultimate "involvement" food, demanding that the diner pick and dip, working down to the prized heart, buried beneath layers and layers of leaves and the forbidding "choke." We especially enjoyed my husband's ritual retelling of his famous artichoke joke, as we nibbled on leaves and savored rich spoonfuls of cheesy souffle.
I love the fresh "English" peas that are sometimes available at Costco, and I buy them whenever I can. I had some in the cooler that were going to turn soon, so I invented this delicious, light pea puree to serve as a lovely green bed for some fresh salmon that I picked up on the way home from work.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil and the 1 tablespoon of the butter. Saute the shallots for a minute until fragrant. Add the fresh peas and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and cook until the peas are done. (If using frozen peas, cook until just warmed through.). Add the juice of one lemon, the remaining butter, and the tarragon. Puree the pea mixture until smooth in a blender; loosen with more stock if necessary.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the new potatoes and toss with some olive oil on a large sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and push the potatoes to one side. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and place on the pan. Return to the oven and cook for 15-20 more minutes or until salmon is done and potatoes are cooked through. Serve skinned salmon on top of a large dollop of pea puree with roasted potatoes on the side.