Before I start raving about these baked turkey meatballs with spicy brown sugar glaze, let me take you a little beyond the food, kitchen and recipes.
After all, life has more to it than just cooking, right?
Of course, I can go on and on about these tasty and easy turkey meatballs, how the fiery brown sugar glaze adds an extra oomph to these ground turkey meatballs, but I will control myself (for the time being) and save that for the end of the post.
But, before I get into the recipe, I am going to talk to you about a very valuable life lesson that my 10-year-old Sonshine taught me.
Last weekend, I got a gentle poke from Sonshine, about what is important in life. We all know this, but then life gets so competitive that we tend to forget it at times. So, a gentle reminder is good - it doesn't matter whether it is coming either in the form of wise words from a 10-year-old or from a blog post.
This last weekend was a big one for Sonshine and his Lego Robotics team. They were going to be a rookie team in the state championships. They had been practicing quite a lot for the big day with the help of their awesome mentors and coaches (I cannot thank the coach's family enough for everything they have done).
The day of the tournament, we reached the venue pretty ahead of time. They had three practice rounds, of which first one bombed considerably. I could see the disappointment in Sonshine's eyes, but did I also see a glimpse of determination? I bet I did.
The second round was much better than the first one. And the third one even better than the first two.
Then, later in the afternoon, they had the competition rounds. Almost 70+ teams competing? What chance did this rookie team have? From the bleachers, I prayed to all the various gods to give them strength, courage and focus. And that was all I could do at that point in time.
There are three rounds in the competition round too. The first round did not go as planned. They misjudged some of the things and their score was not high. They were in the bottom 15.
Come second round, I was on the edge of the seat. How will they fare? Will it go well? Happy to say that they did better than the first round. But one of their missions failed and they could not recover the mission in the given time (2.5 minutes).
From the bleachers, my heart was crying out loud, I was virtually pulling my hair out, trying to figure out what other teams are doing (with no clue at all). I was getting ready for a meltdown after the tournament. Thinking of the words to pacify Sonshine and trying not to sound hollow.
Third round. They surprised me. Their team did wonderfully in the third round and they came in the first 20 teams.
They did not win any coveted awards or accolades, and hence, I was still expecting to console Sonshine on the drive back home.
This is where he stumped me with this wisdom and reinforced the life's valuable lesson, which I am guilty of ignoring some of the times.
He was telling me how they improved with each round and they were trying to do better compared to their own previous rounds.
Whoa! They were competing with their own self (previous rounds) and not with anyone else.
I was thinking that he would be disappointed about not winning any awards, but he was happy that all the missions they picked had worked exactly like the way they wanted it to work!
My baby has grown up!
This mama could not be any more prouder!
So, over the weekend, my Sonshine reminded me of these following lessons
- Mistakes happen (it is OK), buckle up, and keep going.
- Do not compare yourself with others, compete with yourself to make you a better person.
- Set achievable goals and be proud of yourself when you meet them.
Now that I have poured my heart out about the valuable life lessons, I can happily tell you all about this turkey meatballs recipe.
Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spicy Brown Sugar glaze
If you are a non-vegetarian, I am sure you won't regret making these turkey meatballs. And since they are baked, they do not have the bad-for-gut oily feeling. They come together in a jiffy (as you will see in the recipe - don't be alarmed by the 50 minutes cook time. Most of the time, it is just the glaze simmering to get all of that flavor from the ingredients.I have also given the make ahead tips in the recipe, which makes this an ideal appetizer for parties. yes, peeps, this is a great meatball appetizer for your parties. And you what else makes it the PURRFECT appetizer recipe?, you can do most of the work in advance and that gives you lot of freedom on the day of the party to do other stuff.
To make it scrumptious, coat them with the fiery red glaze made with brown sugar, sriracha, and some cran-pom juice.
The recipe for glazed meatballs is simple.
Mix ground turkey, egg, spices and some bread crumbs to hold it together. Mix with your hands taking care not to over mix. Roll the ground mix into equal sized balls to ensure even cooking. If you find the mixture sticking to your hand while rolling, grease you palm with a little oil (water works too).
Bake the meatballs (keep in mind not to over-bake them).
Don't forget the glaze. This glaze is absolutely delicious. Lip smackin' good. And guess what? You can make it ahead of time and you can also serve it as a dip for the turkey meatballs. I used some gooseberry jam from IKEA in this recipe. You don't have to go to IKEA just to buy the gooseberry jam (well, I won't blame you if want to go, I can spend hours and hours there). The glaze recipe is adapted from this beautiful blog - Little Spice Jar.
Your appetizer is ready.
Make some for your next party (are you hosting a super bowl party soon?) and get ready to enjoy compliments.
- 1lb (about 0.45 kilograms) ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric/haldi
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander/coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
Spicy Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1 cup cranberry-pomegranate juice
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup Sriracha hot chilli sauce
- 1-2 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
- 1 clove garlic; minced
- 1 tablespoon gooseberry jam (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Bring the cranberry-pomegranate juice to boil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the juice simmer (for about 20-25 minutes) and the quantity reduce to about ⅓ cup.
- Add rest of the ingredients listed under the "Spicy Brown Sugar Glaze" and bring to another boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Preheat the oven to 475 Fahrenheit (about 250 degree Celcius). Line a baking tray with Aluminum foil (or parchment paper if the parchment paper can withstand the temperature).
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients listed under the heading "Turkey meatballs". Divide the mixture into 24 equal sized balls, and place them on the baking tray leaving a small gap between each meatball.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl. Pour about ¼ cup of the spicy brown sugar glaze and toss to coat all the meatballs well with the glaze.
- Transfer the glazed meatballs back to the baking tray and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot with the remaining spicy brown sugar glaze as a dipping sauce.
1. When you mix the turkey meatball mixture, make sure you do not over mix. Over-mixing results in drier meatballs.
2. if you are not using the gooseberry jam (while preparing the spicy brown sugar glaze), add additional sugar to your liking. Increase or decrease the hot sauce and/or sambal oelek to suit your spice level.
3. I use only a portion of the glaze to coat the meatballs. Rest of the glaze I use as a dipping sauce.
4. The spicy brown sugar glaze can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about a week. Leftover glaze can be stored in the refrigerator too.
5. The meatballs also can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
6. If you find the meatball mixture sticking to your hand while rolling, grease you palm with a little oil (water works too).
7. The spicy brown sugar glaze may thicken on cooling down, reheating will help in loosening it a bit.
Some ingrdients you may want to buy to make these baked turkey meat balls with spicy brown sugar glaze.
If you are wondering about some ingredients like Sriracha hot chilli sauce and Sambal Oelek etc., here is the Amazon links (and no, it is not an affiliate, I am just showing you the products I use).
Gooseberry Jam (I bought this from IKEA, but I found it on Amazon too)
Let me know if you need any help in finding the other ingredients listed.
A final note....
Liked the recipe? Don't forget to share your feedback in the comments. We L-O-V-E to hear what you think about the recipe.
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