Friday, April 29, 2011

Turkey Meatball Parmagiana

1 lb. ground Turkey
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
2 eggs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup Tomato sauce
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp. Parsley
2 tbsp. Oregano
2 soft rolls
salt and pepper to taste
When I was a kid, I would visit my grandmother in Newark, NJ.  I'd sit at the kitchen table and watch her make meatballs.  Then, I'd go home to Queens, and sit at the kitchen table and watch my Aunt Gene make meatballs.  It seemed wherever I looked, there were Italian women making meatballs!  Needless to say I picked up a few things.  While these aren't the classic, secret family recipe meatballs, they are a pretty good representation. 

The first step is to take the ground Turkey in large bowl and combine the onion, red pepper, Parmesan cheese, oregano, parsley, eggs, garlic and breadcrumb (and salt and pepper).  Mix very well.  If you find it to be drying up quickly, add just a bit of water at a time.  You want the mixture moist, but able to be rolled into balls. (Insert Eddie Murphy- Delirious-mama-burger-joke-here!)
Roll the mixture into balls.  I use generous portions, the size of a skee ball.  Set aside.  At this time you should preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat EVVO.  You will want to brown the outside of the meatballs.  I usually brown only 3 or 4 at a time to keep it manageable.  You can roll the meatballs around to get some nice, quick color.  When you have completed the browning of the meatballs, place in a large pyrex water bath.  (I put about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water in the pyrex.  It helps with the moisture of the meatballs.)  Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes- check regularly.
You can now prep the rolls.  Butter both sides and sprinkle a little oregano on the rolls.  Place in the toaster for only 1 minute.  You'll be putting it back in the oven, so this is to get the butter melted and get a nice flake before fully toasting later. 

When the meatballs are ready, remove from oven and slice.  Place meatballs on rolls, and top generously with tomato sauce.  Then, top generously with mozzarella.  Place sandwiches in a new pyrex and put back in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted over the sandwich.  Remove and serve.  We actually ate the Baked Zucchini Sticks  here on Flavors by Four as our side, and it went together very well.


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