NO PLAIN BALLS FOR ME! ##JERK TURKEY BALLS!!

It has been quite a while since I’ve consumed the feathery one in the form of chopped turkey. You see, I’ve been quite busy ‘surfing’ with salmon, shrimp and other seafood. So, since I’m back on the turf-side of things I thought I would pay a much-needed visit to dear turkey.

I’m an equal opportunity kind of gal; so, I thought I would apply some of the treatment I generally dole out to chicken and meat and render same to some chopped turkey. There’s no doubt, I love a good dish of jerk chicken. So, seeing that turkey is from the poultry family, I thought I would go there with my balls (jerk turkey balls). And, that’s what I did.

Because turkey breast is somewhat bland, I decided to infuse added flavors and spices in order to make my balls standout. No deflated balls for yours truly. As a result, some of the ingredients that were added were:

FINELY CHOPPED SAUTEED VEGGIES FOR JERK TURKEY BALLS
FINELY CHOPPED SAUTEED VEGGIES FOR JERK TURKEY BALLS

Ingredients:

  • Jerk sauce – 1 teaspoon (a little goes a far way)
  • Celery – 2 stalks
  • Carrot – 1 large
  • Scallion – 1 stalk
  • Onion – 1 medium
  • Ketchup/paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Eggs – 2 medium
  • Olive oil for browning
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • Dried Basil – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Thyme – 1 teaspoon
  • Parsley – 2 tablespoon
  • Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup

Method:

  1. Vegetables were finely chopped and softened in a drizzle of olive oil. Then cooled.
  2. Cooled veggies were added to chopped turkey along with jerk sauce and squeeze of ketchup.
  3. In addition to black pepper, pinch of dried basil, finely chopped parsley,eggs, bread crumbs were added and folded without overworking .
  4. Balls were made and placed inside refrigerator in order to set.
  5. After balls came to room temperature, they were browned in skillet with a few teaspoon of olive oil. Then, they were placed in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes so as to be cook internally.
  6. After completion in oven, turkey balls were drizzled with sweet and sour sauce and topped with julienned veggies that were stir-fried and soaked in sweet/sour sauce.

Jerk turkey balls were served over a bed of steamed Jasmine rice cooked in chicken broth and a pat of butter. The sweet and sour provided a beautiful contrast to the spicy jerk turkey balls. Moreover, the veggies had a delicious crispness to them.

JERK TURKEY BALLS ON A BED OF JASMINE RICE TOPPED WITH SWEET/SOUR VEGGIES
JERK TURKEY BALLS ON A BED OF JASMINE RICE TOPPED WITH SWEET/SOUR VEGGIES

Jerk sauce can be purchased at any Caribbean (especially Jamaican) store as well as some supermarkets in the international/ethnic aisle. In regards to the sweet and sour sauce, I also got a little help from the store-bought version. To that I added a few ingredients of my own in the form of ketchup, honey, grated ginger, soy sauce and salt, black pepper.

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BALLS THAT WON’T DEFLATE– ##TURKEY BALLS IN AN ORANGE/GINGER/BRANDY SAUCE

Because I indulged in a beef dish a day or two ago, I decided to go ‘turkey’. These turkey balls are just in time for the Superbowl week-end. They are made with chopped turkey breast which I had in-house for about a couple of weeks. And because it’s not consisted of much fat, I opted to incorporate same with added flavors to let my balls stand out.

I love fresh root ginger and so I grated a generous teaspoon full that was divided between sauce and turkey.  A little goes a long way. The other ingredients were:

THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR TURKEY BALLS
THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR TURKEY BALLS

Ingredients for Turkey Balls:

  • Chopped turkey (1.3 lbs)
  • Onions (Med-1/2)
  • Scallion (2 stalks)
  • Thyme (1 tsp)
  • Parsley (2 tbsp)
  • Celery (1 stalk)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Diced carrot (1)
  • Dried Basil (1/4 tsp)
  • Dried Oregano (1/4 tsp)
  • Ketchup (generous squeeze)
  • Bell pepper (section)
  • Crushed garlic (3 cloves)
  • Eggs (2)
  • Bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
  • Sugar (1/4 tsp)

Ingredients for Ginger/Orange Sauce:

  • Fresh orange juice from 2 oranges
  • Light brown sugar (1/3 cup)
  • Splash of house vinegar
  • Squeeze of ketchup
  • Pinch of salt/pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of grated ginger
  • Corn starch (1 tsp)
  • Splash of brandy

Method for Ginger/Orange Sauce:

  1. In a small sauce pot, I combined all ingredients (except corn starch)  and simmered on low to medium heat.
  2. Cornstarch was placed in a cup with a splash of water so as to dissolve.
  3. Cornstarch solution was added to sauce and stirred to a smooth consistency so as to form no lumps.
  4. After thickening, it was removed from heat and set aside.

Method for Turkey Balls:

  1. Finely chopped onion,parsley,celery, bell peppers, were sautéed in a drizzle of olive oil along with salt, pepper, and crushed garlic.

    TURKEY BALLS READY FOR BROWNING
    TURKEY BALLS READY FOR BROWNING
  2. After cooling, this was added to chopped turkey along with other dried seasonings incl. salt, pepper, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, sugar, a half of the grated ginger and orange rind.
  3. All ingredients were folded and combined but not overworked.
  4. An ice cream scoop was used to make uniformed sized balls. These were covered with plastic wrap and placed inside the fridge for an hour so to further set.
  5. In a skillet, oil  was heated and balls browned on all sides.
  6. Browned turkey balls were then placed in ginger/orange sauce and then slowly simmered on low heat in order to soak up all the amazing flavor.

My turkey balls were firm and had a beautiful orange/brown hue with specks of herbs visible. The flavors and spices were perfectly synchronized, though different, they worked beautifully together. My taste buds were surprised yet excited to partake of the spicy flavor of the ginger, the sweetness and the tart from the other ingredients.

Guys, the dish was a TOUCHDOWN!!