Recipe for North African harissa turkey meatballs
My love affair with turkey meatballs continues, as intense as ever, this time under the exotic influence of Morocco and Tunisia. Cumin, coriander, parsley and harissa -- fundamental flavorings in North African cuisine -- turn a basic meatball recipe into something exciting, like a love affair should be. Even if you usually don't eat spicy food, please don't omit the harissa, a fiery hot pepper paste that includes chile peppers, coriander, cumin, caraway and garlic; a small amount, balanced by the cooling Greek yogurt and bland flavor of the turkey, will feel just right. And if you're a hot food lover, go ahead and add a bit more spice to your life -- I mean, add a bit more harissa to your meatballs!
North African harissa turkey meatballs
Makes 12 giant meatballs. Serves 6.
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% fat)
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp harissa, or more to taste (I use 1-1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped parsley, or 1 large finely chopped scallion (or both)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone liner), aluminum foil or parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. With your hands, mix until well combined, with the breadcrumbs, chiles and yogurt evenly distributed throughout. Do not overmix.
Using an ice cream scoop with a release (called a "disher", if you buy at a restaurant supply store), form 12 large meatballs, and place on the prepared baking sheet. (If you prefer walnut-sized meatballs, form them by hand.) Bake in the upper third of the oven for 18 minutes, until just slightly brown. Taste one to be sure they're done; the yogurt will keep the meatballs fairly moist.
Serve with pita bread and shredded lettuce and cucumbers, and a bit of plain yogurt.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Greektown turkey meatballs
Curried turkey meatballs
Green chile turkey meatballs
Chipotle turkey meatballs
Turkey, cranberry and basil meatballs
Quinoa turkey meatloaf
Turkey mole chili
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Asian lettuce cups (or wraps) with spicy ground turkey filling, from Kalyn's Kitchen
New Mexican stew with ground turkey and green chiles, from Gluten-Free Goddess
Chinese noodle soup with ground turkey and pickled mustard greens, from Wandering Chopsticks
Ground turkey pasta bake, from Erin's Eats
Black-eyed pea, ground turkey, and chard stew, from We [Heart] Food