Later this morning, our family from up North will crowd around the small dining table here at the log house for coffee and juice and fried eggs, and Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon. My husband Ted requested a Canadian recipe for my latest e-book, A Flock of Meatballs: Easy turkey recipes with around-the-world flavors, and when I asked him what, exactly, a Canadian meatball might contain, he didn't hesitate: "maple syrup, bacon and beer!" These turkey meatballs coated with a maple-bacon-(non-alcoholic)-beer glaze have it all, and happily take the place of bacon and sausage on any breakfast menu. They're actually quite good atop a green salad, too, so don't limit your meatball intake to first thing in the morning. You can make the basic meatballs ahead and keep them in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to serve, defrost the meatballs and boil the glaze, which takes only a few minutes on the stove top.
Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon
Makes 12-14 large meatballs; serves 6. Meatballs (without the glaze) can be made ahead and frozen.
For the meatballs:
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (93% fat-free)
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp maple sugar or maple pepper
For the glaze:
4 strips of center-cut bacon
1 cup maple syrup
6 oz + 3 Tbsp nonalcoholic beer, divided
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs. Use your very clean hands to mix the ingredients, making sure the seasonings are well distribute. Do not overmix.
Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned.
While the meatballs are making, make the glaze: In a small nonstick frying pan, cook the bacon until it is browned but not over-crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. When it's cool enough to handle, chop the bacon roughly.
In a deep-sided frying pan, wok or sauce pan, combine the maple syrup, 6 ounces of beer, and salt over medium heat. When the mixture begins to boil, stir frequently to keep it from boiling over as the water releases. Keep stirring, and the glaze will turn darker. When it gets to be the color of cappuccino, and has reduced quite a bit, remove it from the heat, and add the chopped bacon.
Immediately the mixture will begin to set (just like making candy). Off the heat, stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of beer, to loosen the glaze again.
When the meatballs are cooked, set them on a serving dish. Pour the glaze over. Allow the meatballs to sit for 5 minutes; use a spoon to glaze them with the accumulated liquid in the platter.
Serve warm, with a couple of fried eggs.
More ways to use that jug of maple syrup:
Maple walnut waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Candied maple bacon donut, from The Novice Chef
Bacon-banana pancakes with buttery bourbon maple syrup, from Bake at 350
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