Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thai Turkey Meatballs with wilted tatsoi

Well, folks, I'm leaving for vacation in a few days for 2 whole weeks! We are heading out to explore Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons. I'm wicked excited, but I won't be cooking or photographing much food (just mountains, wolves and bears, oh my!) so I wanted to get up a post before I go MIA again!

This dish is a staple meal of mine. Even moreso since my favorite local farmers' market, Coventry Regional Farmers' Market, acquired Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm as a new vendor this year. They raise pastured turkey and I buy a package of ground turkey meat almost every week for various purposes - burgers, meatloaf, and of course these meatballs! 

I love thai food because it hits all the marks for me - sweet, sour, salty, spicy. The flavor of these only improves overnight so they make excellent leftovers. I made this version in the spring when the markets were overflowing with greens and tried tatsoi for the first time. I loved it in this dish for it's mildly bitter, mustardy flavor, but you could absolutely use spinach or another green in its stead. And if you aren't a heatseeker like me, feel free to omit the jalapeno.

Thai Turkey Meatballs
with wilted tatsoi

For the meatballs:
5 shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 tsp thai green curry paste
2 tsp minced ginger
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
pinch of sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil 

For the coconut curry sauce:
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp jalapeno, minced (optional)
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1 small bunch tatsoi, chopped, or your choice of greens (such as 2-3 cups packed fresh spinach)
1 13oz can unsweetened coconut milk
3 Tbsp thai green curry paste, or to taste (it will depend on the type of curry paste you have)
1 tsp fish sauce, or to taste
juice and zest of 1/2 - 1 lime

1. For the meatballs: In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the mushrooms and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Remove the stems, chop finely, and squeeze out some of the excess water. Place in a large bowl.

2. To the mushrooms, add the turkey, curry paste, ginger, fish sauce, green onion, sugar, egg, cilantro and garlic. Mix gently until well combined. Using slightly wet hands, form into 1 to 1 1/2 inch meatballs. They will be fairly loose and may not completely hold their shape; that's ok.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the meatballs until well browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside in a large bowl.

4. For the coconut curry: To the same pan add the garlic, jalapeno, ginger and green onion. Sautee, stirring constantly, just until fragrant. Add the chopped tatsoi and stir just until it has wilted slightly. Pour in the coconut milk, curry paste and fish sauce, bring to a simmer and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs and any accumulated juices back to the pan with the coconut mixture, cover and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the greens are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, taste for seasoning and serve with rice or just as-is!

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