Hiiiiiii, you cute people, you! You’re looking mighty fine on this sunny Monday morning. Have I told you that lately? Well you dooo….I have some biscuits for you.
Before we continue with talk about zucchini and cheese and butter, can I get emotional on you for a second?
Warning: This might get awkward.
Apologies in advance, but I have to comment on Jennifer Perillo. As many of you know, Jennie, last week, lost her husband. People reached out and asked how they could help. And all she asked from people was to make a peanut butter pie and share it with their loved ones.
And then…something magical happened: everyone did. All of you did. And it was incredible. I’ve never been so proud to be a part of a group of people as much as I was last week. So I wanted to thank you. And tell you you’re all so incredibly beautiful. It can all be ripped from us so quickly, can’t it? So fragile. So delicate. That’s the one commonality we all understood…crystal clear. You all make me believe in the power of good all over again. Truly.
Alright, my tears are wiped…can we talk about butter now? Butter makes people feel better.
I’m on an enchilada kick lately and today I’d like to introduce to you my latest obsession: enfrijoladas. It’s like a bean and enchilada sauce got married and no I didn’t make it up, it’s actually a thing. It’s basically enchilada sauce but with mixed black beans it it and cheese because CHEESE! It feels glorious and filling (duh) and super cheesy but surprisingly not like a gut-buster. That’s probably because there’s no meat in these—they’re veggie all the way.
This weekend is this football game everyone loves called The Super Bowl. Have you heard of it? I don’t know who is playing BUT I will by Friday and when I do, I’ll proceed to do lots of research so I can root for someone. It’s funny, I don’t really watch or pay attention to sports but I love all of the ESPN’s 30 for 30s and have watched the majority of them. Perhaps because they’re story-driven and they highlight some of the most beautiful stories.
Meatballs are the coolest. The ones you see pictured aren’t your typical Italian, breadcrumb-filled, pork and beef meatballs, though they are my first love. These are a little different. There’s so much flavor like mint (whoa!), a good amount of cumin, ground up turkey and zucchini up in these things. They’re topped with a sour cream and Greek yogurt sauce that’s perfectly tart and creamy with little hints of sumac. Very special.
This recipe comes from the upcoming book PLENTY, then you’ll love this, too.) It’s a beautifully laid out book, with stunning pictures, lots of history and vivid descriptions about Jerusalem, the city and its cuisine. I’m pretty excited about it.
In the book these were actually called Turkey and Zucchini Burgers–and if you like, you can shape these into patties–but I figured since the party attending season is coming up, I’d miniature size them and make them appetizer friendly. But you have options!
Welcome to the meal I’ve been eating almost every single day for the last few weeks. I’m obsessed with zucchini noodles. Mainly because there’s nothing I love more than normal Spagehtti and Meatballs, but since I’m trying to cut back on flour, this is sufficing…for now.
There are plenty of zucchini noodles around the web; this is my version, which I’m strangely excited to share.
Let’s start with how to make zucchini noodles. For this post, I used a mandolin, though be careful because they can be a bit dangerous, or you can use a Spiralizer is the only kitchen tool that will make noodles that are spirally and beautiful, like these:
I mean, I can just stare at them all day long. Am I the only one obsessed with how pretty they are?!
1 28-ouncecan of good quality tomatoes like San Marzano
1parmesan rind, optional
4medium zucchinis, ends trimmed and either spiralized or julienned
To a large bowl, add the ground turkey, dried bread crumbs, parmesan, egg and salt.
In a medium sauté pan, placed over medium heat, pour in a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion to the oil and cook until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the minced garlic, Italian parsley, sage and crushed red pepper. Add the onion mixture to the bowl of meat. Mix the turkey mixture until completely combined, but being careful to not over mix. Scoop out two tablespoons of the turkey mixture, and using your hands, roll it into a ball. Repeat until all meatballs are formed.
To sear the meatballs, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan (you can use the same one you just used for the onion mixture–we’re into saving dishes around here). When the oil is hot, gently add the meatballs and sear on all sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer them to a bed of paper towels to drain. Repeat until you’ve seared all of the meatballs, adding more oil, if the pan needs it.
To make the tomato sauce, add the olive oil to a dutch oven or medium pot. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage leaves and crushed red pepper; cook for an additional minute, until fragrant. Pour in the can of tomatoes and add the parmesan rind (if using); mix and cover the pot, allowing the tomato sauce to simmer, over low heat, for 20 minutes.
Remove the rind and using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the tomato sauce until smooth (if you're using a regular blender you may need to do this in batches). Transfer back to the pot and salt to taste.
Add the seared meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
To make the zucchini noodles, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini noodles, cooking them for about 3 to 5 minutes. I say go with what you like. I go a bit under because I like them to have a bit of bite. Add them to a big bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce. Place the meatballs on top and garnish with a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a handful of Italian parsley.