Technology, she laughs at me. In spite of the heavy week I have had, and the ridiculous struggle between stomach bugs and long fasts, this tempestuous maiden of the modern world prefers to kick me where it hurts and completely erase an entire draft of this post, nearly finished but evidently not backed up. Alas. I had this brilliant post marveling in the magnificence of human athleticism that is the Olympics, leading to the trials of fasting through Olympics, and if you can believe it I had some kind of delicate turn oh phrase that led quite seamlessly to these kabobs.
Humph. You don’t get to read that now. But that’s okay, what does it compare to the mind-blowing skills of the amazing US women’s 4×200 m Medley. Olympic records being broken left and right. Wow! I guess you could say my personal Olympic challenge would be in the realm of cooking–that is, trying to make the tastiest kabob out of the medley of ingredients found in my sister-in-law’s kitchen with nary a taste to guide me! (Not quite as seamless, but good enough)Somewhere in her treasure trove of spices I came across a Thai Green Curry seasoning blend, and the merest wave threaded the distinct tangy spices of Cumin and Coriander, Basil and Garlic, and oh that Lemongrass. I can’t really think of a substitute for this blend unless you have lemongrass on hand. So just go get ye to the grocery, and supply your pantry with a Thai mixture of some kind. Just do it.
This came about because I finally rose above the horrors that are stomach clenches and fits of unease characteristic of a stomach bug. I wanted to mark my triumph with something new, something fun, something healthy and protein rich. What’s that? Ground turkey breast at home? Works for me! Should work for you too. My only advice: don’t let it broil too long, else the outside gets a bit too crispy.
- 1 lb lean ground turkey breast
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp garlic paste)
- 1 inch ginger, minced (or 1 tsp ginger paste)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mozzarella (or shredded mozzarella)
- 1 sourdough bread slice, toasted and blended into crumbs
- handful of cilantro leaves (roughly 2 tbsp chopped)
- handful of basil (roughly 1-2 tbsp chopped)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne or red chili powder
- 3-4 tsp thai green curry seasoning (or dried basil/cumin/coriander/garlic/ginger powder mix)
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp thai green curry seasoning
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt to taste
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup EVOO
Firstly, preheat the oven to 400 F. Then take 1/2 the chopped onion (save the rest for later), the jalapeno, garlic and ginger and lightly saute in a frying pan for about 6 -8 minutes, until the onions have softened a bit and the garlic and ginger have browned somewhat, enough to soften then and get the rawness out. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, mozzarella, sourdough breadcrumbs, chopped cilantro and basil, salt, cayenne, and Thai seasonings and mix well so the flavors spread throughout. You don’t want to over-mix simply because will create a tougher kabob, but at the same time this is sticky stuff and I added the cheese to lend added moistness so making sure it’s all well incorporated is key. When the sauteed mix has cooled, mix that in as well. I chose not to use egg in this; I found the consistency of turkey breast holds well enough with the use of breadcrumbs and cheese, and it wasn’t needed at all.
Roll about 1 1/2 -2 inch balls (makes around a dozen), flattening slightly (almost like the shape of a slider patty) and rolling in some Extra virgin olive oil before placing on a foiled baking pan.
Bake the kabobs for about 15-18 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through, and then set the oven to broil and brown each side (about 2 minutes a side?). Entire cooking time should be around 20 minutes, to give you an idea. I haven’t used my SIL’s broiling option before, so I overdid them just a bit, but the inside was nice and juicy regardless.
While this is in the oven, take your previous frying pan, adding a little more olive oil, and on medium heat fry the remaining 1/2 of onions and the tomatoes. This should take a good 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes break down significantly. About 5 minutes in, add the seasoning, garlic, and salt to taste (i guessed about 1/2 tsp). Once the onions have turned translucent and oil is separating from the tomatoes, add the water and cover reducing to a simmer. Let this cook for about 5 minutes, and then remove from heat. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil and mix vigorously.
I spread a dish with the relish and lay the kabobs on top but serve it as you like. There are no limits to eating! Well, yes there are, but much like the peanut butter cup, there’s no wrong way to eat a Thai turkey kabob. Except perhaps alongside a peanut butter cup. I wouldn’t recommend that.