Saturday, May 5, 2012

The good neighbor policy

Photo: Somchai Som
My next door neighbor is one of the sweetest, funniest, kindest, most generous people I know. We share a love of decorating, gardening, animals, and (most of all) eating. That last one is especially important because from time to time she will travel back to the Midwest to visit her daughters and grandkids. I watch her house, water the plants, and in exchange I get whatever is left in her refrigerator.

It's like an episode of "Iron Chef America"--I never know what the secret ingredient will be.

This past week, my friend left once again for "Dorothy-land" and I was left with, among other things, a quart of buttermilk. (Cue dramatic music and wry smile by Mark Dacascos).

I did the obvious buttermilk waffles. Then a batch of buttermilk biscuits. But I still have half a quart left.

What to do?

Well, I love mashed potatoes and will look for any possible excuse to use them as a side dish. What better way to use mashed potatoes than with meatballs and gravy? Here's my version of Swedish meatballs, using ground turkey, and buttermilk in place of the traditional sour cream.

Carb Diva Swedish Meatballs
2 slices firm bread (Italian, French, or any rustic bread)
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 egg yolk
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tsp. olive oil

1 can condensed cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup
1 soup can buttermilk

Into a blender tear bread slices and grind into fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl. Add minced onions. In a small bowl whisk together egg, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper and add to bread crumb mixture. Add turkey and with your hands mix mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
Form turkey mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
In a 12-inch non-stick skillet heat oil over medium heat and brown meatballs, turning them occasionally, until browned on all sides.

Stir together condensed soup and buttermilk. Pour over meatballs, cover and simmer over low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

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