The inspiration: The August Kosher Connection Recipe Challenge
Every month, the Kosher Connection features a Recipe Challenge. An ingredient or style of cooking is chosen at random and the bloggers who participate (all kosher food bloggers are welcome) need to create a recipe featuring that. For August, because Rosh Hashanah is about 3 weeks away, the ingredient is apples.
The innovation: A sweet meatball that highlights apples
I wanted to do something a little bit different. While going through my fridge and freezer to see what I have on hand, (I’m elbow deep in preparations for the upcoming High Holidays) I came across a pack of frozen dark turkey meat, a couple of packages of white stuffing mushrooms, a small amount of sage, and a few other odds and ends. Looking at all the ingredients, I realized that by adding apples to the list, I had my recipe.
My interpretation: Turkey Apple Sage Meatballs (Two Presentations)
Recipe for Turkey Apple Sage Meatballs
1 and 1/2 lbs ground dark turkey meat
3 Early Apples (remove core)
1/4 Spanish onion
2 packages of large white button mushrooms (remove stems and peel outer layer off caps, chop stems and reserve caps.)
6 large fresh sage leaves
1/2 bunch of parsley (leaves only. Get one small bunch at the store. Leave the band on. Cut half the top off. Save rest for your stock pot or something else.)
12 to 14 fresh tarragon leaves
3 cloves fresh garlic
3 3 fingered pinches of salt
1 3 fingered pinch of coarse ground black pepper
Add the salt and pepper to the ground turkey, then set aside in fridge. Take 1 apple (cored), the mushroom stems and the remaining ingredients and mince together well. Mix with ground turkey. This recipe makes 14 medium stuffed mushroom caps and 12 meatballs. See below for preparation suggestions.
Recipe for Homemade Tomato Raisin Sauce
4 lg carrots, chopped
4 lg cloves garlic chopped
1 lg Spanish onion rough chopped
4 fresh sage leaves rough minced
1 small handful fresh tarragon leaves rough minced
8 fresh basil leaves rough minced
Olive oil for sauteing
5 lb ripe Roma tomatoes (look for ones that are bright red and only the slightest bit soft or not soft at all) cut into quarters
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (look for a can that says Imported from Italy)
1/2 of 750ml bottle of dry white wine ( I prefer Chablis)
8 oz golden raisins ( I prefer Dole brand)
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Heat olive oil in the bottom of a 10Qt or larger stock pot. Add carrot, garlic and onion, cook on high heat til they just start to color. Lower heat, then add fresh herbs with the white wine, cover with lid and leave sweat for at least 30 mins, or until vegetables look more tender. Add fresh and diced tomatoes, as well as the raisins, season with salt, pepper and sugar (use a little now, adjust later as needed) and let cook covered at a low simmer for at least 2 and a half hours. The vegetables should be tender, and there should be a significant amount of liquid in the pot. At this point, take a immersion or hand blender and blend everything into the pot together very well, til mixture is thick and mainly smooth. Cook a bit longer, about 30 mins, then turn off heat and allow to cool completely before storing away. This will make a large quantity of sauce – I filled 4 2lb deli containers.
Stuffed Mushrooms: Using reserved mushroom caps, fill entirely with a bit of the meatball mixture, garnish with a slice of apple. Bake at 350F for about 30-35 mins. Check for doneness by sticking a butter knife into the meatball. If it comes away smoothly, very hot and completely clean, it is done.
With tomato -raisin sauce: Form the turkey mixture into meatballs the size of a golf ball. Taking a small portion of your tomato sauce in a separate bowl (see recipe above) use a plastic soup spoon and cover the top of each meatball with the sauce. Bake at 350F for about 30 mins. A knife stuck through the center should come out smoothly, very hot and completely clean.