Photo: Courtesy of the California Dried Plum Board
"I created this recipe about two years ago, and one of the best things about it is that I can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them, as well as use up some of the fresh herbs from my garden. I always have both on hand for a quick dinner when I’m too busy or tired to cook, or when company drops by unexpectedly." Click here to read the rest of Natalie Coughlin's Sunday Dinner story.
ingredients: Add all to shopping list
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup dried plum puree (1 1/3 cups pitted dried plums plus 6 Tbsp water pureed in a food processor)
1/4 cup chopped canned water chestnuts
3 Tbsp finely chopped green onion
2 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sriracha sauce (available at Walmart and large supermarket chains)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 baguette sandwich rolls (8 to 10 inches long)
2 jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced (seeded, if desired)
20 sprigs cilantro
Sriracha mayonnaise (see Cook's Note)
Carrot and daikon pickles (see Cook's Note)
At a glance:
1 hr 10 min (includes refrigeration time)
1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, plum puree, water chestnuts, green onion, fish sauce, garlic, sriracha, and salt. Chill for 30 minutes to make it easier to form into balls.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide meatball mixture into 20 portions. Wet fingers and gently roll meat into balls. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake meatballs about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Cut rolls in half horizontally and pull out enough bread to make room for filling. For each sandwich, spread both halves of roll with a little mayonnaise. Layer bottom half with a few jalapeño slices, 4 meatballs, 4 cilantro sprigs, and 2 Tbsp pickles. Cover with top half.
- For the sriracha mayonnaise, stir together 1⁄2 cup low-fat mayonnaise and 1 tsp sriracha sauce. Cover and refrigerate.
- For the daikon pickles, place 1⁄2 cup julienned carrots and 1⁄2 cup julienned daikon (Japanese white radish, available at Asian food markets and specialty shops) in a glass bowl. In a small saucepan, heat 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp kosher salt just until sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature and pour over carrots and daikon. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate, covered, overnight. Drain before using.
- To freeze meatballs, arrange them in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and place in the freezer. Once they’re frozen solid, transfer them to a ziptop plastic bag and return to the freezer.
- Use the leftover dried plum puree in baked goods like brownies to add moisture and sweetness.