Wednesday, June 04, 2008

turkey kefta & carrot rockin' summer

Holy crud it's June! And I am SOOO not in swimsuit shape. Time to start panicking and start some crazy celery and beef jerky diet? Nah...but some lighter fare won't hurt.

Last night I tried out Cooking Light's Turkey Kefta with sweet onion and raisin sauce. I veered a little of course. In my shopping, I forgot to get onions, so instead of "4 cups" of onions, I had a small red onion and a shallot...The link goes to the original recipe, I'll try my best to represent (yo) how I made the turkey kefta:

1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 14 oz. cans low-fat, less sodium chicken broth
1 cup raisins
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout*

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Ras el Hanout*
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 eggs, beaten
2 lbs. ground turkey
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Combine first 7 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Combine chopped fresh parsley and the next 6 ingredients (through ground turkey breast) in a large bowl; shape mixture into golf-ball sized balls. Place meatballs on top of onion mixture; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until done. Sprinkle evenly with slivered almonds.

Serve over Jasmine rice.

*Cooking Light's Ras el Hanout Recipe:

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

This was a tasty for the most part, although the turkey balls will need tweaking. They were a bit dry, and could use more flavor...It's ground turkey, needs more help! I'm wondering if using the gelatin trick from Cook's Illustrated meatloaf recipe (the recipe I use for meatloaf cupcakes) would help keep these moist? Like I said...needs tweaking, but this recipe has potential. The flavor of the raisin and onion sauce and the Ras El Hanout was wonderful over Jasmine rice.

As a side veggie, I turned to Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food, where I became smitten with (among many other recipes & writings) the Moroccan carrot with Ginger salad. It's simple! Carrots, fresh ginger, a few be exact:

5 medium carrots, shredded (the recipe called for 4 large carrots to be cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks...I have a new toy...a Benriner mandolin, and I didn't have time for the recommended overnight I though shredding would be fun and make up for the lack of time)
About 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cumin
Mix all those together and let marinate in the fridge for an hour or more. Before serving, stir in:
Juice from ½ a lime
2 Tbsp. olive oil

This salad will most def. make more appearances this summer. So...dare i say it...simple...and so yummy! I like the shredded texture, too. It was so...scoopable! and marinating it for an hour was certainly sufficient that way, too!

So Moroccan meals = roccin' body? Perhaps not quite...but it doesn't hurt. Now to get hooked on running, push-ups and crunches...then maybe the turkey balls will make a difference.

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