I've worked in the hospitality industry since 1996. In that time, I have planned thousands…
SWEET & SPICY TURKEY MEATBALLS
I think for most of us while grocery shopping, we spend more money on protein than anything else. When I lived in Northern Virginia, there was a fabulous butcher that had the most amazing seafood, steaks, pork, you name it- they had it. And it was about 1/3 of the cost of the big name grocery stores. Now that I have recently moved, I am in search again of such a place.
In the meantime, I have a method to finding deals and I’ve been pretty lucky. Ok, it’s not really a method so much is that I go to the store almost daily. Two of my local stores deeply discount chicken, pork and red meat items during the week. I recently bought 1lb of angus beef kabobs normally priced at $10.98 for $.99. Yes, you read that correctly. I bought all that they had and froze it. (I may need to look into getting a deep freezer).
Last week I found 1lb packages of ground turkey normally $4.98 each marked down to $.99 each. I bought quite a few and froze them. Typically I’ll just brown the meat and throw it in with some sauce and spaghetti squash. I wanted to try something different and make an appetizer- specifically a turkey meatball. This is somewhat ironic because after being in the hospitality industry for quite some time, I came to loathe the cocktail meatball.
You see, I’ve planned thousands of events and hundreds of weddings and I could never understand why someone wanted to butler-pass a messy meatball. As much as I discouraged it, some prevailed. They wanted that meatball, on a platter. I’m sure some liked the price point as well. It’s something that most people like to eat, it’s somewhat filling, you can control the quantity, and it’s cheap. Fair enough.
Now I strongly recommend serving your cocktail meatballs in a chaffing dish or small crockpot- they hold up pretty well and of course, stay warm. I like to be a little fancy sometimes so I have made here for you, Sweet & Spicy Turkey Meatballs. Beware, it is messy but so delicious. Next time I’ll spruce it up with a fancy cocktail pic. In the meantime, enjoy fresh out of the oven on a platter. For those that also like to be a little fancy, you can find some amazingly beautiful platters that are heated. They look like a piece of marble, stone, bamboo, stainless steel- but they are heated and very aesthetic. If you entertain frequently, it might be a good investment.
So here’s a tribute to all of the events I’ve planned over the years that wanted that messy meatball on a platter. I hope you enjoy my Sweet & Spicy Turkey Meatballs as much as I do.
- • 2lbs ground turkey
- • 2 eggs
- • 3 cloves garlic, minced
- • ¼ sweet Vidalia onion, minced
- • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon pepper
- SWEET & SPICY SAUCE:
- • ½ cup Frank’s hot sauce
- • ¾ cup raw honey
- • 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
- • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Line two sheet pans with silicon pads or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs (best to use hands). Shape the mixture into 2’ round meatballs and place on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While meatballs are cooking, prepare sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool and thicken.
- Using tongs, dip each individual meatball into the sauce and place back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a platter or warming plate with a bamboo toothpick in each one or place on in a crockpot for serving.
2. Sauce can be made ahead and reheated