A few nights ago my husband and I decided we had to eat the old ground turkey we had in our fridge. When I say “old”, I really mean old. The expiration date was November 2011.
Of course, the turkey had not been in our fridge the whole time. It had been in the deep freeze, and then in kitchen freezer after my husband did a little shopping in the deep freeze, and we defrosted it in the fridge to force us to finally do something with it.
We figured it wouldn’t kill us because it had been frozen, but we were skeptical that we could get it to taste good after all this time.
A few years ago, well, 2011, we decided to buy ground turkey as a way to expand our dinner protein options. We weren’t really trying to replace beef for health reason as the only beef we really eat at home is hamburgers, which we don’t make or buy even as often as once a month. My husband doesn’t really eat any other beef, though I’ll occasionally have a steak at a restaurant, and usually only if someone else (like work) is paying. But we wanted to add variety since we mostly just have for dinner chicken a hundred different ways, tofu, this organic roast turkey we get at Costco, pork breakfast sausage (the only pork we like), or fish/shrimp.
Long story short, we couldn’t come up with a way to make ground turkey delicious. Adding lots of flavor and fat (usually olive oil) never led to satisfying results, usually either because we had to add so much it seemed to defeat the “health” concept or it seemed like so much more work than chicken. So after one too many slow cooker chilis we gave up, with one more pound of a Costco 3 pack left.
So a few nights ago, it was time to bite the bullet. My husband suggested stir frying it and I mentioned I had looked up some meatball recipes.
“Want to do both?” he asked.
“And see which tastes better? Like Iron Chef?” I responded because sometimes I’m little bit competitive.
And so we began. Kind of convinced the end product would taste like gray.
Chef My Husband: So I actually have no idea what my husband put into his turkey stir fry. Although I would bet that it was probably at least some salt pepper and various spices, including Hungarian paprika, which he’s kind of obsessed with right now.
He did admit that he was a little bit lazy in the preparation of the turkey because he didn’t smash it into really small pieces with his hands because he didn’t want to get his hands gross.
Chef Me: I chose this mozzarella-stuffed pesto turkey meatball recipe from allrecipes because it sounded good (cheese makes everything awesome) but sans the marinara sauce.
However, because I thought had I was going to be making all the turkey I scaled the recipe down from 3 pounds to 1 pound.
Of course, as we split the turkey, I only was working with half a pound turkey, but I nonetheless added two times as much of a few ingredients. So there was way too much pesto, garlic, and bread crumbs. I didn’t have fresh parsley and couldn’t find my dried, so I skipped it. I was too lazy to chop an onion so I threw in a few dried onion flakes.
I also didn’t know what to do with the other 5/6 of an egg so I threw the whole thing in. And I put the olive oil right into the mix because I wanted it to be good not healthy.
It actually came out okay looking – like real meatballs!
The Verdict: I won! Although not really. My husband’s tasted like . . . gray, as expected. Even he couldn’t force himself to eat much. Mine tasted like . . . meatloaf? My husband had two! Unfortunately, I hate meatloaf so I could only force one down. Live and learn.