Wednesday, September 29, 2010

mini turkey meatball sliders

i've been craving meatball sliders ever since sis and i went to the brooklyn flea market last weekend. for anyone who has never been, it's a lot like eastern market in capital hill. it's a fun event that showcases vintage pieces, homemade crafts, and my favorite - local grub. sis and i were about to leave when we spotted the meatball sub station. i thought to myself - why hadn't we seen this before we devoured the fish tacos, organic mozzarella/tomato panini, fresh watermelon lemongrass popsicles, dill pickles, and taken over the homemade dip station! cursing myself for being too full/eating like a pig, i decided i would make them once i got home.

i tweaked a recipe from ellie kreiger, using turkey meat and incorporating vegetables in the mix. i was a little skeptical at first because it calls for grated carrots. i was worried they would add too much sweetness and throw everything off, but you could barely taste them. these little meatballs turned out moist, delicious and perfectly satisfying!

1 tablespoon evoo
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil

cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package mini whole wheat dinner rolls
provolone cheese

in a large saucepan heat the evoo over medium heat. saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. add tomato paste, tomatoes, spices and salt. (since i don't like big chunks of tomatoes in my marinara, i used a masher to break them up - totally up to you though.) bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. season with salt and pepper, to taste. while sauce is cooking, make meatballs.

preheat the broiler. spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce.

cut dinner rolls in half and place on another baking sheet. add one meatball to each one and top with small slice of provolone cheese. broil for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. serve immediately with a simple side salad and you have yourself a "that's-a spicy meat ball-a" - sorry had to do it.

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