My BFF Becky and her DH host an impressive Solstice Party every year. There’s a HUGE bonfire, a great group of friends and neighbors, and fabulous food! Becky’s famous turkey balls, swimming in a crockpot of green chili sauce, are the first food item to disappear. Revelers have been know to lurk very near the crock pot and graze on them….until they are gone! (A funny little side note–at least we think it’s funny–Becky’s Turkey balls are also known as Schweatty Balls, in reference to the Alec Baldwin appearance as Pete Schweatty on a SNL skit, Delicious Dish–we crack ourselves up over this every year! Bwahahahaha!)
Becky sent me this recipe and suggested I could “probably greatly enhance it with your awesome skillz.” I say why mess with perfection! Here is Becky’s original recipe, along with her great additional way to use it at the end. I made “THE Balls” for dinner tonight, so I added a side dish–Pepper Jack Mashers.
The Turkey Balls and the Pepper Jack Mashers are super easy-peasy and super yummy–both “my boys” went back for seconds, and it was all I could do to stop at one!
First the Turkey Balls–recipe for one pound of ground turkey. Becky doubles it for Solstice, and I also doubled it for dinner tonight.
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 handful of breadcrumbs–like Progresso (I used Panko, cuz that’s what I had, and ended up adding a bit extra to hold the balls together.)
1/2 cup salsa verde (Becky and I like to use the tomatillo salsa we make, but she says that the La Victoria green salsa works fine.)
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper
Green Chile Sauce (Becky uses 505 Organic Southwestern Green Chile Sauce–medium hot)
Place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the 505 sauce in a bowl.
Form balls approximately 1 inch in diameter–they will be looser than hamburger-type meatballs, but will firm up when cooked. I like to use my small cookie scoop to keep the balls fairly consistant in size.
Place the balls on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes; until light brown on top. They will render a bit around the edges.
Loosen balls from the foil and slide into a pot (crock pot) containing the 505 sauce, stir to coat.
The Turkey Balls, like the Schweatty Balls, tend to be a bit “misshapen”–flattened on one side. If you have them in a crock pot, you are now about to be the Rockstar of the potluck you’re going to. If you’re making them for dinner, try them with this side dish, which you start as soon as the balls go into the oven.
The Pepper Jack Mashers were inspired by the Jalapeno Cheddar Mashers we had at Steamworks in Durango a couple of weekends ago, and the pepper jack cheese Becky uses in her extension of the turkey balls recipe. Here’s what you’ll need for this yummy side dish:
4 medium potatoes ( I had russets in the house–use the equivalent of 4 medium russets)
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup milk
1-1 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (We like spicy and cheesy–I used 1 1/2)
Wash and cube the potatoes into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. We like the skins on in our mashers–if you don’t, peel ’em!
Place in a medium pot, fill with cold water and set over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Watch this pot very carefully–the starch in the potatoes can cause them to boil over and make a big mess of your stove–reduce heat as needed.
When potatoes are fork-tender, drain and place back into the same pan. The residual heat in the pan will dry the potatoes, making for more flavorful mashers! Reduce the heat to low.
Add the butter, sour cream (or yogurt), and milk to the pan. (Substitute cream for the milk for even richer mashers!) Mash everything together using a potato masher or fork or electric mixer. Do not use a food processor–it will make your mashers gummy–blech!
When mixed and smooth-ish (we like them with a bit of texture), add the cheese and mash or mix in.
At this point, taste your mashers and add salt and pepper as needed. Pile some mashers on your plate, add some Turkey Balls, garnish with chopped scallions and voila! Dinner is served!
Oh my gosh was this yummy! The leftovers are calling to me right now–must. keep. working. on. post…..hmmm….maybe a midnight snack……
Here’s the bonus idea from Becky: She uses the same mixture to make Turkey Burgers! 1 pound of meat will give 4 burgers. She pan fries them in a bit of olive oil, stating they don’t do well on a grill, unless you line the grill with foil sprayed with cooking spray. She suggests serving them with sauteed onions, avocado slices or guacamole, and pepper jack cheese on toasted onion buns! Yummy!!!