Saturday, March 21, 2015

March Maple Madness!!! Maple Meatballs Recipe

Today, March 21, 2015, from 10 am to 5 pm, we received many visitors to The Buttonwood Inn for the annual March Maple Madness inn-to-inn tour.  In order to win the grand prize, we provided them with answers to questions and a piece to solve the puzzle.  The participants also sampled maple inspired treats, either sweet or savory, at each stop.  Check out our package and book on-line or call us at 1-800-258-2625 for next March 2016! 

I created a low fat recipe of Maple Meatballs that are my riff on Swedish Meatballs made with ground turkey.  I've been obsessed lately with incorporating toasted and mashed juniper berries in sauces for various meats and fish.  When toasted and mashed, juniper berries are complex and smell like the forest with honey, pine, berry, and bitter at the end.  I added them to the sauce, while adding garam masala to the meatballs.  Here's the recipe which is great as an appetizer or entree served with creamy polenta, rice, or pasta.

MAPLE MEATBALLS                                           Yield:  About 50 1-inch size

2 pounds ground turkey
½ cup plain bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon juniper berries, toasted and mashed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon corn starch
3 tablespoons water
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Form into 1-inch meatballs and drop with a 1” cookies scoop into a hot saucepan in 2 tablespoons of canola oil until browned on both sides.  Fry in several batches (may need to add more oil to the pan) and place on a sheet pan until all are done.

In the empty sauce pan, add chicken broth, maple syrup, juniper berries, bay leaf and bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile mix the corn starch and water until dissolved and add to the pan to thicken the sauce.  Salt and pepper the sauce to your taste.  Then add meatballs and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes until completely cooked.