If I keep this one really short, you’ll forgive me, right? It’s been a long week, and I’m just ready to put my (puffy) feet up and sink a fork into a bowl of these comforting and totally satisfying sweet and sour turkey meatballs. I managed to freeze a meal’s worth of them for when the baby comes, which, apparently, could be any day now.
The days leading up to baby are both exciting and terrifying. Each evening as I go to bed the thought crosses my mind that this could be the last night of uninterrupted sleep for a while. So I pull the down comforter up to my chin, silence my iPhone, and close my eyes, searching for rest.
As circumstance would have it, the night is never without interruption though. I’m in my ninth month and there’s a string of delightful indicators to prove that, yes indeed, this is the most trying stretch.
At least there are turkey meatballs, studded with cranberries, flavored with orange zest, and served over a bed of rice. Meatballs which you should add to your menu soon. After all, everyone could use a bowl of comfort in February.
I’ve been making good use of the slow-cooker again. For this recipe I wanted a sweet and sour dish, but without the usual pineapple chunks and ketchup-like sticky sauce. A quick dig through my freezer and vegetable crisper turned up local cranberries and (okay, not-so-local) oranges and there was my sour and my sweet.
The dish is perfect for serving with a nutty rice pilaf, but the turkey and cranberry pairing is also suitable for serving the meatballs over mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving dinner in the crock pot? Almost.
Yes, it’s a large recipe, but the meatballs freeze well, so pack up half of the batch for the freezer. Alternately, you can cut the recipe in half.
Are you a fan of the pineapple chunks? Go ahead, throw a can into the mix, just don’t leave out those tangy cranberries. They totally make the dish.
|Slow-Cooker Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs||
- 3 lbs ground turkey meat
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup green onion, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 1 cup Panko flakes or breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 6 Tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 orange pepper, cubed
- 1 green pepper, cubed
- 1 large red onion, cut in large dice
- Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil for an easy clean-up.
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Using your hands, gently mix to distribute ingredients throughout the meat.
- Roll ground turkey mixture into meatballs about the size of a Mandarine orange. It should yield about 24.
- Place meatballs on the baking tray and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce.
- In the bottom of a slow-cooker, whisk together orange juice and cornstarch until smooth. Add vinegar, honey, stock, salt, garlic and ginger and stir to combine.
- Remove meatballs from the oven and transfer directly to the slow-cooker. Cover with cranberries, sweet peppers and red onion.
- Gently stir meatballs, sauce and vegetables until ingredients are evenly distributed. Tuck meatballs down under the liquid.
- Cover the slow-cooker and place on Low for 7 hours. Alternately, cook on High for 4 hours.
- Serve over long-grain rice or mashed potatoes.