The blueberry love continues with yet another savory dish incorporating my favorite summertime fruit. On Saturday Jessi of the fabulous To Kiss the Cook held a fabulous Garden of Good and Evil themed party with appropriately, “good” appetizers and “evil” desserts.
Since I’ve always been more of a savory girl, immediately I knew I wanted to make an appetizer and meatballs sprang to mind. Meatballs are always such a party favorite and travel well, so I knew they would be a big hit. But knowing there would be other foodies in attendance I didn’t want to do any standard meatball. I did, afterall, have to do the theme justice. For me, good = healthy, so I decided to start with a turkey meatball as my base. My version uses both white and dark turkey meat for moisture and flavor along with the usual suspects of bread crumbs, egg and spices.
And that was all well and good, but for me, meatballs are all about the sauce and this one doesn’t disappoint. Cooking the meatballs in these this blueberry balsamic sauce makes for ultra moist and flavorful meatballs. I loved how the dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce added depth to the sauce while the brown sugar gave it a slight molasses flavor that made it almost taste like BBQ sauce. I couldn’t help but think it would be equally delicious as a condiment for a hamburger or even as a dipper for some sweet potato fries.
And for good measure I decided they would be even better with a hidden ball of goat cheese in the middle. If you know me you had to see that coming. When do I not put goat cheese in anything? But honestly, it’s perfect in these meatballs. It becomes molten once they cook and provides the perfect balance to the sweet and sour sauce.
These were a huge hit at the party and have definitely convinced me that I want to play around with more savory applications using blueberries.
Yields 22 meatballs
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped shallot
-1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
-1 cup chicken broth
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon dijon mustard
-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/2 pound ground white meat turkey
-1/2 pound ground dark meat turkey
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, chilled
Heat oil over medium heat and sauté shallot until translucent . Add blueberries, chicken broth, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, assemble the meatballs. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the turkey meat through cinnamon. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
Roll goat cheese into 22 equal sized balls, about ¼-inch in size (about the size of a large pebble).
To make the meatballs, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture int your palm. Flatten and wrap around one of the goat cheese balls and roll until it’s round, smooth, and perfectly sealed. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the turkey mixture.
Add the meatballs to the sauce, being careful not to break them. Cook for five minutes, then turn the meatballs with a spoon, and simmer for another 5 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce takes on some of the flavor of the meatballs. (Don’t worry if some of the goat cheese leeks out during the cooking process. The meatballs will still taste good.)
Serve meatballs immediately.
I’m submitting this as another entry to the blogger recipe contest sponsored by the US Highbush Blueberry Council since I love the fruit so much I can’t seem to stop experimenting. But as always, the opinions and recipes are my own.