Lockdown 2020: Adventures in Cooking

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Image by RitaE from Pixabay

With a lack of anything better to do (I’m still furloughed and bored bloody rigid, folks) I’ve been cooking more and more. I’ve started making lunch for me and my mum every day – she’s still working because she’s a teacher, so she’s giving lessons to her pupils via Zoom every day.

I’ve been getting more adventurous with my cooking. Things I’ve managed to make that haven’t tasted hideous include egg muffins and sausage ragu. But I’m going to share with you my recipe for turkey meatballs, which I made last night and they taste amazing.

Turkey Meatballs

Makes eighteen meatballs.

Ingredients:

  • 400g turkey mince
  • half a large onion, diced
  • Herbs – one teaspoon each of basil, parsley, oregano
  • One large egg
  • Breadcrumbs – fresh is best, I blitzed a slice of white bread to make these

For the sauce:

  • 400g passata
  • Herbs – one teaspoon each of basil, parsley, oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Pinch of sugar

For the topping:

  • 2 large balls mozzarella cheese

Equipment:

  • Frying pan
  • Baking dish – ceramic or pyrex, just make sure it fits all your balls!

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (gas mark 6, 200c for non fan ovens)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey mince, herbs, egg, onion and breadcrumbs until they are all mixed together evenly. The mix is quite sticky so I’d recommend wearing gloves.
  • Form the mixture into eighteen balls that are roughly the same size. If you want bigger meatballs, or smaller ones, by all means do so.
  • In the frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Fry the meatballs on a medium heat until a nice crust forms on the outside. Don’t forget to turn them over so they crisp up on all sides! This will take about five to ten minutes and you will also end up partly cooking the meatballs, which reduces the overall time they’re in the oven for.
  • Put the meatballs into the baking dish.
  • In the frying pan you just used to brown them in, add the ingredients for the sauce.
  • Stir the sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up any leftover crusty bits from the meatballs, and pour the sauce over the meatballs in the dish.
  • Slice the mozzarella balls and lay the slices over the meatballs and sauce. The cheese should cover all the meatballs.
  • Cook for 30 to 45 minutes until the cheese is nice and crispy and the meatballs are cooked. There will be some variance in the cooking time depending on how big your meatballs are and how crusty you like your cheese.
  • Check the meatballs are cooked by slicing one in half (sorry, there is no other way).
  • Serve with salad, pasta or rice.
  • Enjoy!

We had leftovers of these for breakfast this morning. Mmm mmm mm! If you plan on reheating them, it’s best to do it in the oven. They take 25 minutes, and you might want to add some more passata for extra sauciness and some extra cheese on top because you can never have enough cheese.

I’m hoping to invent more recipes during what’s left of lockdown. Stay tuned to see what else I can create!

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