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Monday, February 6, 2012

Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs

When I was first getting acquainted with this whole cooking thing a few years ago, I stuck to the basics. If I didn't recognize a name in the ingredient list, I immediately passed over the recipe. If there was any way to simplify the recipe, I took advantage of it. My horizons have significantly broadened since then, so much so that I now get excited about cooking with new ingredients or trying a challenging recipe.

Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are one of those previously ignored ingredients that I now use frequently. My first time purchasing them, I was confused...they came in a medium-sized can but my recipe only called for one. Huh?! After throwing away a can or two of them, I finally decided to start freezing the leftovers. I highly recommend this solution--just stick your extras in a small tupperware or freezer-safe container. When a recipe calls for them, I either thaw the container and pull out what I need, or I chop off a frozen chunk and let them thaw before using (alternately, you could freeze smaller amounts in an ice cube tray).
The chiles were the highlight of this meatball recipe. They were the perfect spicy complement to the honey in the sauce. Made with ground turkey, I was worried these meatballs would be dry and flavorless. They were neither, thanks to the seasoning in them and the sauce. If you prefer lots of sauce, I'd double the recipe for a heavier coating.

We ate these with sauteed spinach and a rice dish that I'll soon share, but you could also top a salad with them or eat them on slider buns. They'd also be a fun party food--just stick a toothpick in them!
(need other ways to use up those chipotle chiles? try Southwestern Potato Salad, Turkey Quinoa Chili, Slow Cooked Smoky Chipotle Brown Sugar Chicken, or Slow Cooker Tequila Turkey Chili!)

One Year Ago: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs
from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2012

-1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
-1/2 yellow onion, diced small
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ground pepper
-2 tbsp honey
-1-2 tbsp chopped chipotles chiles in adobo sauce
-2 tsp cider vinegar
-1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, mix turkey, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined. Be careful not to overmix. Form into 16 meatballs.
2. In a small bowl, combine honey, chiles, and vinegar.
3. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, 10-12 minutes.
4. Transfer skillet to oven (or transfer meatballs to an oven-proof dish) and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and pour honey mixture over the meatballs, swirling the skillet to coat. Bake an additional 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced and meatballs are glazed (swirl halfway through).