Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lighter Than Air Meatballs

The 99 Cent Chef has a way with meatballs - riffing by adding spinach with unique 99 cent meat combinations. Mixing breakfast sausage and ground turkey makes a meatball so light that it almost floats off the plate.

99c only Stores carry prepackaged fresh spinach, so it's a natural progression to blend the side dish into the entree -- combining sauteed spinach and meatballs.

For a simple sauce, chop up those once-fresh tomatoes that are going soft hanging out in the bottom of your vegetable crisper and add them to 99-cent canned tomato sauce.

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6)
1 lb. ground 99 cent ground turkey
1 lb. 99 cent breakfast pork sausage
1 6 oz. package spinach
1 egg
1/2 bell pepper (optional) chopped
1 onion chopped
1 stalk celery (optional) chopped
2 tbsp. crushed garlic
2-3 slices toasted bread
2 tbsp. Italian herbs, fresh or dried, including basil, oregano and parsley
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup half-and-half or any milk
1 cup 99 cent cabernet sauvignon (red wine) for deglazing
1 28 oz. can of crushed or diced, tomato sauce and any tomatoes too old for a salad - for
meatball sauce

In a large pan or pot, saute bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic for 5 - 7 minutes in a tablespoon of oil. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, a couple more minutes. 

In a large bowl mix sauteed veggies, ground turkey, pork sausage, egg, milk, and toasted bread. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add 1 tbsp. dried herbs. Form the meat mixture into meatballs, any size you like (I've gone with large ones) and add to the heated pan. 

Brown the meatballs for about 5 - 10 minutes on each side; you may need to do it in a couple of batches. Partially covering the pan helps firm up the meatballs by steaming, thus making them easier to turn without breaking apart. 

Deglaze pan with 99 cents red wine and add chopped tomatoes (optional,) tomato sauce, one tbsp. dried Italian herbs and meatballs. 

Cover and low simmer meatballs in sauce for 1-2 hours until sauce is reduced by half. Serve over your favorite pasta.


Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

How fabulous! I love making meatballs with spinach and turkey. Delicious and, true, much lighter.

Thank you, 99 cent chef!
As my nonna used to say, "Itsa da sowse!"

Pasadena Adjacent said...

But Miss Havisham, do you purchase your turkey from the 99 cent store?

Personally, I'm a tad afraid of purchasing meat products from the 99 cent store: especially fish fillets. I question the length of time these products spend on the shelf (and what about the shelf temperature?) I don't know how many times I've seen refrigerated products (that customers are to lazy to take back) stuffed willy nilly here and there. When staff discovers them I fear they put them right back on the shelf.

Chef, what is the proper temperature that you should cook at to make sure the bugs are dead?

It does look tasty!

99 Cent Chef said...

Well, palm axis, the Chef suspects 99c only Stores are a little lax in the sanitary department but give them a chance to work out the "bugs!"
And, I'm glad you like my meatballs miss havisham. I'd like to see your recipe.

Unknown said...

Very neat pic of the floating meatball :D.

We would like to feature your meatball recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

You can view our blog here:

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