When the going gets

by CSWSmovie

Some weeks are roller coaster rides, and this past one fit that bill for me. But if you’re lucky enough to have some good people around you, and some good food at hand to boot, it can make the up parts of your generally not-so-up week much, much better. Including:

– standing around a kitchen counter with friends eating dinner consisting of of lemon cake, prosciutto, artichoke hearts and pickles.

– having a catch-up meal with my two sisters over dragon fire rolls and sangria, while they dispersed good advice and immature jokes.

– roasting my first whole chicken over the weekend, and staying up late that same night with tea and company while watching old Russell Peter routines on youtube.

– making the below, a recipe from Orangette that despite having been long bookmarked and over-hyped up in my head, still met every expectation.

Any recent food highlights for you all out there?

Turkey Meatballs with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt Sauce

mildly adapted from Molly’s friend Doron

1 pound ground turkey*
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 egg
handful of finely chopped cilantro
½ cup toasted pine nuts**
½ cup golden raisins (chopped if they’re large)
½ cup fine bread crumbs
A few pinches ground cumin

A pinch of cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
A few pinches freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Lemon-and-cumin yogurt sauce (see below)

* Molly suggests using 1/2 pound of ground white turkey meat, and 1/2 pound of dark turkey meat. I don’t have that option at my local grocery store (and didn’t feel like grinding my own meat) so I just used the lean ground turkey that was available, and added a tablespoon or two of canola oil and a little bit of extra salt to the mixture.

** Pine nuts can be insanely expensive, so if you have some chopped roasted peanuts or chopped toasted walnuts at hand, those could be a nice, inexpensive substitution – they’re mostly there for the texture.

Mix all ingredients except olive oil and yogurt sauce together in a bowl, preferably using your hands. You don’t want to overwork the meat—that would make your final product tough—but you do want all ingredients to be evenly mixed. Form the mixture into balls of whatever size you like (mine were about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches). Heat a thin film of olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, and sauté the meatballs in batches, so as not to crowd them. As they begin to color, turn them regularly so that they are golden on all sides. They should be done when they are evenly browned and feel medium firm—but not hard—to the touch. Place on a paper towel to catch excess oil. Serve hot, warm, or cold with yogurt sauce.

Lemon-and-Cumin Yogurt Sauce

Nonfat plain yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
Garlic, finely chopped
Ground cumin
Ground chili

Mix ingredients to taste in a bowl, and keep chilled until serving.