Because She Swims

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Chicken and Turkey | 0 comments

Accommodating our girls at dinner can be tricky. We love Mac n Cheese ‘my way’ and pasta works but, it isn’t the healthiest choice.  More often, I cajole Izzy to have a go at brand new dishes (and incidentally enjoy her meal).  Jules, the adventurous albeit unpretentious sister watches diminishing platters and serving bowls like a famished outlander—or a Returned.









After whisking up a double portion of vinaigrette for bushels of tender lettuces, she lands in her seat; then conversation begins.

"You’re not going to eat all that, are you?”  Jules asks us, nodding toward serving dishes.








“ No.” we each say over our forks.

Jules continues to keep MP within sight and range.











Another version of turkey meatballs... here is how I made them.








One giant shallot or two large shallots and two cloves of garlic were sautéed in a tablespoon of olive oil with a pinch of crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste as usual.








When the shallot mixture was cool, I added it to the ground turkey with an egg and two scallions for color and more texture.








I shaped the meatballs into 8 large rounds (about 3 ounces each).  Chill them in the refrigerator; this will help them keep their shape without adding breadcrumbs.









In a bit of oil, caramelize the lemon slices and set aside.








Add the turkey meatballs and brown them on one side.  Make sure not to mess with or move them around-- they will fall apart. The meatballs will release from the skillet to let you know when to gently turn and brown the other side








Set the meatballs aside with the lemons and deglaze the pan with 1/2- 3/4 cup turkey or chicken stock.








Stir in the chopped Kale.  I made these two times, once with flat Tuscan Kale and another time with curly Kale.  I prefer the flat variety.











Plop the meatballs and lemon slices back in the skillet and cover simmering 10-12 minutes or until done.  Stir 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into one tablespoon Citrus Yuzu Ponzu or soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of water to combine.








Stir the mixture into the simmering meatballs and cook until lightly thickened.








Such a meal we prepared and shared--inevitably gathered around our crowded kitchen island rather than a dinner table.  A mountain of salad and double-sized Turkey Meatballs with Caramelized Lemon and Kale-- gone; pronounced a winner from a surprised Izzy-- who nearly went for another...meatball. The lemon slices add a citrusy aromatic note to the sauce and are chefy -- but too bitter to eat.

Turkey Meatballs with Caramelized Lemons and Kale


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 scallions (white and some green) thinly sliced
  • 1 thin skinned lemon (preferably Meyer), thinly sliced
  • ½-3/4 cup of chicken or turkey stock, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Citrus Yuzu Ponzu or reduced-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Saute the shallot and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil with a pinch of crushed red pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the skillet and let cool.
  2. Add the sautéed shallot mixture to a bowl with the turkey, egg, and sliced scallion. Gently combine meat mixture with a large fork and shape into 8 evenly sized meatballs. Refrigerate and let set for up to 4 hours or covered overnight.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and caramelize the lemon slices; set aside. In the same skillet, (adding a little more oil if needed) brown meatballs on one side until they release and turn gently. When the second side is browned, set aside with the lemon.
  4. Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with stock, scraping up any browned bits. Add the chopped kale and return the meatballs and lemon slices to the skillet. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, stir the ponzu or soy sauce with water and cornstarch to combine. Add to the simmering meatball mixture and cook until slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings.
  6. Serves 4
  7. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved





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