There’s an old saying: “How do you define eternity?” “Two people and a ham.”
To that, you can add “or a turkey.”
Last week, I bought two turkeys for a photo shoot for a story I did that appeared in the Star Advertiser Wednesday on vinha d’ahlos turkey (turkey marinated in the Portuguese style).
This left our household of two with 20 pounds of roasted turkey and a freezer that’s already hard to close the door on. To make room, I had to make cookies with some coconut I had in there.
I boned both turkeys, put one in the fridge and froze the other in zippered plastic bags. That one is for Thanksgiving.
But that still left me with 10 pounds of bird. A challenge!
Here’s what we’ve eaten so far: Roast Turkey. Creamed turkey with peas. Turkey sandwiches with cranberry dressing. Turkey tacos. Linguine in turkey-tomato sauce. And tonight?
Turkey in disguise, I hope: polpette, meatballs in the Italian style. Turkey ground in the food processor (mostly white meat because the dark meat is pretty hard and dessicated a week later); probably about 1 1/2 cups. Soft bread crumbs dampened with milk (the inside of a loaf of French bread and perhaps 1/2 cup milk). Grated Parmesan (1/2 cup). Minced parsley (a handful). A few sprinkles of nutmeg. Pepper. Salt. Two eggs. Lightly mix together (don’t press or mash; lift and toss). Form into 1-inch balls. Fry in olive oil until golden-brown, turning gently with two spoons. Cover with gravy and bake at 325 degrees half an hour or so, until the gravy is bubbling.
For this, I used leftover turkey gravy — it was a very intensely flavored sauce made with the turkey drippings. I thinned it with cream and water, simmered it briskly for 20 minutes or so and poured it over the meatballs. Wow: light delicately flavored meatballs napped in creamy sauce over rice.
Yum!, said husband. What is this? Turkey meatballs, I said. For real?, he asked. Success!
My mother makes beef and veal meatballs in a brown sauce in much the same way, only she adds minced onions, as well. She pours beef broth over the meatballs, bakes them slowly for 45 minutes and the meatballs absorb the broth. This she serves in a white sauce in the Swedish style. I LOVE my mom’s meatballs.