Whenever I go out to a nice restaurant for dinner, I'm always hyper aware of two things: the presentation and the depth of flavors. I'm the type of cook who loves throwing things together on the fly and as quickly as possible. That sort of cooking typically involves a lot of one pot [or pan] cooking, and not the most artful presentation when all is said and done.
I do occasionally get inspired to push my usual boundaries a bit and try creating slightly more complex meals. I still made this recipe off the cuff, with ingredients I already had in the fridge and garden. When I was making this dish, I realized as I was jotting down notes, how tough it must be to write a cook book with more complex recipes. This was fairly simple, but since I used a number of ingredients and cooked them all separately, it was fairly laborious to write down. So here's the run through of my new dish and I apologize for the wordiness in advance!
Turkey Meatballs with marsala sauteed mushrooms, wilted arugula and brown rice with a spicy parsley sauce.
2 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
1 cup brown rice
For the mushrooms:
2 TBsp unsalted butter
1 TBsp olive oil
1 shallot, diced [with some removed for meatballs]
3-5 garlic cloves, minced [with some removed for meatballs]
1lb. white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup water [or chicken broth, I was just out at the time]
For the meatballs:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon coarse ground mustard
1 TBsp of diced shallots [see above]
1 tsp of minced garlic [see above]
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon parsley, minced
For the spicy parsley sauce:
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, cleaned and stems removed
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes [or more if you like the heat]
salt and pepper, to taste
Make the brown rice according to directions on box [takes about 45 minutes so you want to take care of this first- unless you're using instant]
When cooking the mushrooms, find the widest pan you have, since the mushrooms shouldn't crowd the pan. I actually still don't have a large enough pan to cook a decent sized amount of mushrooms, so you can always cook them in batches, and in that case, just split the butter and oil in half and reserve half the shallots and garlic for the second batch.
Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots and garlic, allowing them to soften for 2-3 minutes. Raise heat to medium high and add the mushrooms, making sure all sides are coated by the butter mixture. Leave them alone and allow them to sauté until they begin to brown, 5-10 minutes. After at least five minutes, move the mushrooms around allow both sides to brown.
Remove them from the pan [I placed them in my warming drawer, but you can also just cover with foil to retain the heat] and add the marsala wine and water, scraping the brown bits off the bottom and allowing it to thicken, about 15 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, start on the meatballs. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat and combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and form into small, golf sized balls. Once oil is hot, add to the pan and brown, turning them every so often to ensure an even crust, about 10 minutes total.
While the meatballs brown, put together the spicy parsley sauce. [I used my food processor for this, but you can create this with a good knife and a whisk as well.] Place all ingredients, except for oil in the food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Then drizzle oil through top while the processor is running, just until the ingredients combine, about 10-20 seconds.
Once the sauce has thickened slightly, pour it over the mushrooms, reserving a bit in the pan. Place the arugula in the pan with the remaining sauce and allow it to wilt slightly.
Then, all that's left to do is assemble all the ingredients. Check out how I layered everything below!