Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost Like Thanksgiving

I've had a couple of cravings lately. The saying in my house is, "If Mama has a craving, everyone benefits." Every now and then I would love to have a Whataburger, but I can't get one of those. Trust me, if I could, I would buy one for everyone. One of my hankerings got me thinking, and a blog post was born. Today's topic: meatballs.

One of the easiest things to do is make meatballs. You throw some stuff together with some ground meat and there you go. You can use ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey. You could even mix them. You could use chicken, which can be dry, and add a little ground pork or ground beef. Or not. If you don't make meatballs, find a frozen brand you like. I would prefer you didn't, but that's just me. The recipes today are turkey, but you could change them to anything. These both came out of a recipe magazine that I do not know the name of. They came to me already cut out so I don't have any info. If you know where they came from, I would love to share.

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce:

1 lb turkey meatballs, cooked
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 can (16 oz.) jellied cranberry sauce
1 tsp soy sauce

Cut cranberry sauce into slices. Place into bottom of crockpot. Add BBQ sauce and soy sauce. Top with meatballs. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-4.

It really is that easy. I don't precook my meatballs. If the crockpot is going to run for 4-6 hours, it can cook those, too. If you want to cook them, place them in a shallow baking dish in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. They may not be done all the way, depending on the size of the meatball, but it will finish in the crockpot. You can use any meat for this. I like the turkey, but I have a feeling ground pork, or a mix of both would be good with this. Use your favorite BBQ sauce or make your own. As I write this, I realize that I should post a recipe for the meatballs. I will post a link to this site that is great and free. I have never had a bad recipe from here.

This one we really like when the weather gets cool. It tastes sort of like fall. The turkey with apples and dried fruit just sort of sets the mood. It is good any time of the year, though.

Apple Cheddar Turkey Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 egg
1 tsp kosher salt, ground black pepper, and onion powder
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries

Mix ground turkey with all ingredients. Make golf ball size meatballs and drop into crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, 5-9 hours on low.

I have to admit that I change this one quite a bit. Each time we've had this, I've had to tweak it a little more. The last time was good, though. First of all, use a flavorful apple. If you like a granny smith, that's a great one. I'm not a big fan, but I like them in this. Second, if you can invest in some really good kosher or sea salt, please do. It really makes a difference in taste. And you need more seasoning than that. 1/2 tsp for that much ground turkey leaves you with blandness. I add at least 2 tsp of each. I add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. You don't have to cut them too fine, just not big hunks. It helps with the flavor. I would suggest the addition of some onion as well. Up the cheese to 3/4 cup if you like. I don't like cranberries, which I discovered when I made this the first time. You could substitute raisins, golden raisins, craisins, anything like that. Golden raisins are yummy. You could use this with the previous recipe.

Please make sure that before you cook either of these that you oil you crockpot. It helps prevent too much stickage. The cranberry and BBQ sauce can get quite messy. Enjoy!

Have a great day.


Mermie said...

niremember the Thanksgiving that you and I couldn't wait, so the weekend before we cooked a turkey and dressing and whatever else and then turned around on Thanksgiving and did the same thing again??? How crazy was that. Love...........

Cristy said...

Love me some turkey, but I love Mermie more...