This meal was Thanksgiving on a weeknight. Which probably makes it odd to blog it in April, but here I am nonetheless. We both loved it, and it’s super easy to pull off too. I found both recipes in “The Meatball Shop Cookbook”. Believe it or not, we actually enjoyed the side dish more than the meatballs (not that the meatballs aren’t great). It was just incredibly delicious! The dish was perfectly balanced, with a slight bitterness from the sprouts, a tartness from the apples, and the sweet crunch of the pecans. It’s definitely making an appearance the next time I host Thanksgiving for real. Enjoy!
2 tbs EVOO
2 lbs. ground turkey, not extra-lean
2 cups garlic croutons or stuffing cubes, ground to coarse crumbs (my grocery store sells bags of pre-made garlic croutons, yours may as well)
1 cup dried cranberries
2 large eggs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs chopped fresh sage
2 tsp salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Drizzle the EVOO into a 9×13 inch baking dish, using your hand to coat the entire surface. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, croutons, cranberries, eggs, bread crumbs, sage, salt and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly by hand.
Roll the mixture into round, golf-ball-sized meatballs. Place the balls into the prepared baking dish, lining them up snugly in rows. They’ll be touching each other, which is fine.
Roast for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. A thermometer inserted into the center of one ball should read 165 F.
Allow them to cool 5 minutes, then serve.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH APPLES AND PECANS
1 cup pecan halves
2 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 large onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup EVOO
2 tsp salt
2 baking apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Fresh cracked black pepper
First make the pecans. You want to do this a little bit ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Place the pecans on a rimmed, greased baking sheet. Drizzle on the honey, add salt, toss to coat.
Roast, tossing every 5 minutes, until the pecans are deep brown and smell toasty, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool before using.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 F. (You can cook this dish alongside the meatballs).
Place the brussels sprouts and onions in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Add EVOO and salt, and toss to coat.
Roast until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the apples, mix and return to the oven. Continue roasting, turning every 10 minutes, until onions and sprouts are cooked and tender and apples are tender but not mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven, add the vinegar and toss to incorporate. Season with additional salt if need be, then transfer to a platter. Sprinkle the pecans on top along with a few generous grinds of black pepper. Serve immediately.