Blueberry Balsamic Turkey Meatballs with Molten Goat Cheese Centers

by Kelly on June 29, 2011

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.

Meatball-1

Blueberry Balsamic Turkey Meatballs with Molten Goat Cheese Centers
Yields 22 meatballs

Ingredients:

Sauce
-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

Meatballs
-1/2 pound ground white meat turkey
-1/2 pound ground dark meat turkey
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
-1 egg
-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.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 29, 2011 at 8:37 am

This recipe literally combines 3 of my favorite things – goat cheese, blueberries, and meatballs. Simply amazing and genius.

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natalie (the sweets life) June 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

what a fabulous recipe! I recently had some pork meatballs with blackberry jam at a restaurant that were wonderful—this sounds similarly delicious!

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Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living June 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

Wow… I was sucked right in with the recipe title! Molten goat cheese sounds like a dream come true, and I love fruity balsamic creations. Boston Olive Oil Co. sells a blueberry balsamic vinegar that is crazy good, but this sauce sounds perfect as is. Great contribution to the “good” appetizers for the party!

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shannon June 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm

oh my gosh, i totally need to make these. this is genious, and i need to stop eating my fruit so i can do fun things like this!!

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Maris (In Good Taste) June 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Very interesting to add the blueberries. They sound really good!

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Kerstin June 30, 2011 at 11:57 pm

A blueberry sauce and goat cheese centers, wish I was at that party… :) These look amazing Kelly!

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Esi July 3, 2011 at 3:38 am

These sound delicious! I am loving all the blueberry posts

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Roz July 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

OMG….this looks INCREDIBLE!!! I have so bookmarked this and will be making them soon. LOVE blueberries and am getting so many great ideas for them! Have a very happy July 4th!

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shannon July 6, 2011 at 10:41 am

made these monday and they were amazing!! we all loved them :)

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Kelly July 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Shannon,

Awesome! Glad to hear it. They really are one of my new favorite eats.

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Elina (Russian Bites) July 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Ooh yeah, I’m sure these were a big hit. When can blueberries, balsamic and GOAT CHEESE in meatball form (like I’ve ever had that, lol) be bad? So creative! Awesome :)

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To Kiss the Cook July 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Kelly- #1 I’m so glad you could make it! #2 And bring these delectable little morsels filled with our shared fluffy while addiction! #3 And that you were so thoughtful to bring the Le Creuset pot that matched my tablecloth! If only I had laid off the sauce long enough to take the photo! Seriously though, these were divine and I’m thrilled to have the recipe. Also, I finally found a source for raw milk if you’re still in the market…

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