Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spanish Turkey Meatball Stew

Good evening everyone! Long time readers of the blog know that we like to experiment with different flavors and different recipes from around the world. While we enjoy adapting Italian recipes, trying our hand at French cuisine and cooking up some Mexican style dishes - we don't limit ourselves to any one area or style of dish.

When this month's issue of Food Network Magazine came to our doorstep, I was immediately drawn to a cultural dish that we had yet to fully explore - Spain. Based around hearty tomatoes, lean meats and a rich, savory flavor, I knew I had to give this stew a try. Let's get cooking!

The Recipe: Spanish Turkey Meatball Stew
Original Recipe Found In: Food Network Magazine: October 2012 Issue

What You'll Need:
(Serves 4)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Onion (Chopped)
5 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika*
1 Cup Sliced Carrots
14 Ounces Diced - Fire Roasted Tomatoes**
2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 15 Ounce Can Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) Drained & Rinsed
1 - 1.5 Pounds Ground Turkey

*Smoked paprika is common in many Spanish dishes. It's deep earthy flavor imparts a whole different element on a dish than standard paprika. While you can substitute for standard paprika if needed - smoked is preferred.

** Check your canned tomato section at your local grocer. You'll be surprised to find there are a LOT of variations of fire roasted tomatoes. It sounds like a hard to acquire item - but it's actually right alongside all of the other tomato products.

Place a large (12 inch) non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic along with a pinch of salt and cook the mixture until the onions begin to soften. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking. After the onions have softened (about 5 minutes) transfer half of the mixture to a large bowl.

Add the paprika and carrots to the remaining onion mixture in the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute before adding the tomatoes, chicken broth and chickpeas. Stir well to incorporate the mixture. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to simmer until the sauce thickens. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.

While your sauce is simmering, you can begin construction of the meatballs. Add the ground turkey to the onion mixture bowl that you reserved from earlier. Using your hands, evenly incorporate the turkey with the onion mixture. Begin forming the meatballs by breaking off small sections of this mixture and rolling them into balls with your hands. You should be able to get 15 to 20 meatballs (you'll want to err on the smaller side as it will expedite cooking).

Place the finished meatballs in the skillet with the sauce mixture and allow them to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes per side (turning once) until they are cooked through. Top the finished dish with a pinch of pepper and fresh parsley and enjoy!

The Results:

This dish has the best of both worlds - a hearty, rich base formed by the tomatoes, paprika and chickpeas - but it manages to stay lean and light with turkey in place of beef or pork.  This flavorful stew comes in at just under 450 calories per serving, so it's a great low calories option for dinnertime. With a great flavor and no "oddball" ingredients, this dish is sure to please just about anyone in your family!

That's all we have for you this evening. Maggie takes to the kitchen tomorrow night to dabble in her favorite category. See what she's got cooking tomorrow evening! (Side note - Maggie's feeling a little under the weather at the moment, so her night to cook could be bumped back a few days) Until then,


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