Monday, June 5, 2017

Turkey Meatballs in Yogurt Sauce Smothered in Melted Gruyere

Creamy yogurt sauce and rich, nutty tasting gruyere cheese make this baked seasoned turkey meatball casserole dish a winner. The dish is light enough for warm weather dinners or hearty enough for cold weather months. I love a flexible recipe.

If you prefer, replace the ground turkey with ground chicken, veal or pork.  The turkey meatballs are mixed with chopped red onion and seasoned with fresh garlic and oregano.

This recipe contains schmand, a creamy mixture, not easily found outside of Germany. A quick version of schmand is very easy to make. The simple recipe is included below.  The schmand is mixed with Greek yogurt to provide the creaminess in the recipe. 

You can  substitute sour cream, full fat or a lighter version. for the schmand or omit it completely and use 1 +3/4 cups of yogurt.

Make this dish in a casserole dish, or if you have smaller individual casserole dishes, use four of them for individual servings. 

Turkey Meatballs in Yogurt Sauce 
Smothered in Melted Gruyere
Prep Time: 25 minutes 
Cook Time: 20 minutes 
Yield: Serves 4
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 & 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, plus more for garnish if desired 
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 + 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 cup full fat regular or greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup schmand (recipe below)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese 
  • Peel the onion and chop into small pieces. 
  • Peel the garlic clove, push it through a garlic press or use a small sharp knife to mince. 
  • Mix the ground turkey meat with the chopped onions, garlic and oregano.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and two beaten egg yolks and mix until throughly combined. 
  • Season with the kosher salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degree F. 
  • Coat the inside of a casserole dish with canola or vegetable oil. 
  • Use your hands to form the ground turkey mixture into small 1+1/2 inch balls. Place them next to each other in the oiled casserole dish. 
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the chicken or turkey broth. 
  • When the broth is boiling, remove from heat and pour it over the turkey meatballs. 
  • Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and place in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. 
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, schmand and egg yolks. Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Discard the aluminum foil. 
  • Pour the creamy sauce evenly over the meatballs, sprinkle the shredded gruyere evenly over the top and place back in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbling. 
  • Sprinkle additional fresh oregano, if desired, over the top before serving. 
To make schmand:
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz full fat cottage cheese 
Place the cottage cheese and cream cheese in a food processor or blender and process until combined. The mixture should be completely smooth before using as an ingredient to any recipe.

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