Serious Eats: Recipes

Barbecue Turkey Meatball Sliders

The January/February issue of Everyday Food is dedicated to "Light Done Right" dishes: main course salads, puréed vegetable soups, even brownies that use applesauce in place of butter. Since I just spent weeks stuffing myself with high-fat holiday fare and guzzling festive cocktails, it couldn't have arrived in my mailbox at a better time. After perusing all the recipes, I decided to make the Light Turkey Meatballs from the issue and then turn them into Mini Barbeque Meatball Sliders.

The recipe came together fairly quickly—basically, you throw all the ingredients together in a bowl and mash them up with a fork—but I did find two discrepancies. First, the yield is listed as 35 meatballs, each about 2 tablespoons in size. My meatballs were about half as big, and I came out with only 34. Second, the procedure calls for freezing the meatballs on a cookie sheet for one hour to set their shape, but I found mine needed two hours to really firm up.

To make the sliders, I broiled the meatballs for 10 minutes. Even though I oiled the pan well, they still stuck a bit, but other than that, there were no major cooking issues. I didn't have the requisite potato rolls, so I improvised (that's what cooking's all about) and layered four meatballs into a hunk of baguette. Then I slathered them with a generous dose of my favorite barbecue sauce.

The result was terrific. The meatballs crisped up nicely on the outside yet remained tender and juicy throughout, and I thought the flavors were surprisingly complex given the minimal ingredients. They really held their own against the spiciness of the sauce. After dinner I felt like I had eaten a hearty, lick-your-fingers-and-use-your-bread-to-mop-the-plate meal, and if I hadn't made them myself I never would have guessed they were good for me. In all it was a successful start to my New Year's cooking resolution!

About the author: Lucy Baker is a graduate student in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Before returning to school to pursue an MFA, she was an assistant cookbook editor at HarperCollins. She lives in Brooklyn and is currently obsessed with all things fennel.

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