Turkey meatballs paired with chile, rice


January 24, 2007|By Carol Mighton Haddix | Carol Mighton Haddix,Chicago Tribune

I'm not a fan of precooked meat products; so many of them are not seasoned to my taste. Or should I say they are overseasoned to my taste?

But you have to admit, they are darned convenient. So, when I saw a package of turkey meatballs in the refrigerated meat case, I decided to give them a try.

At home, I gave them a Mexican twist by making a quick poblano chile-and-onion sauce then added the meatballs to heat. At the same time, I steamed some rice with a dash of turmeric for its nice yellow color. Once the meatballs with the green poblanos were spooned over the rice, it made a very colorful entree. For a side dish, I cooked a package of that wonderful, white shoepeg corn from the frozen-food case.

Carol Mighton Haddix is food editor of the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs With Poblano and Rice

Serves 4 -- Total time: 30 minutes

2 cups water

1 cup rice

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 poblano chile, seeded, chopped

1 small hot red chile, seeded, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon smoked spicy paprika or hot Hungarian paprika

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon flour

1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth

1 package (12 ounces) prepared turkey meatballs

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat water to a boil in saucepan; add rice and turmeric. Heat to a boil; cover. Reduce heat to simmer; cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil over high heat in large skillet. Add onion, poblano and red chile. Cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Stir in paprikas, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; stir in flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in broth; cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Add meatballs; cover. Cook until hot throughout, about 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve meatballs and sauce over rice.

Per serving: 408 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 69 milligrams cholesterol, 50 grams carbohydrate, 31 grams protein, 658 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber

Menu suggestion

Spicy Turkey Meatballs With Poblano and Rice

Shoepeg corn

Hot tortillas

Vanilla pudding cups

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