Smoked Gouda and Apple Turkey Meatballs

I talk about the weather a lot on this blog, even though I know it’s the quintessential default topic of conversation when you have nothing else to say. But the thing is, a lot of the time, my cooking is a reaction to the conditions outside. If it’s warm, I start craving a chunky chopped salad; if it’s raining, I want soup. My stomach’s reaction to the weather is automatic, and a lot of the time, I have no other motivation for making a certain dish than that.

Anyway, if you read this blog regularly and groan every time I start going on about how hot it is or how chilly it’s getting, my apologies! I’ve noticed the pattern and I’m trying to diversify–just not at this exact moment, because I’m about to talk about the weather again. (I’m really working on it, I swear!)

Because can I just say how comforting these apple turkey meatballs were on a cold day? They made me feel warm and toasty from the inside out, not just because I served them hot, but because they’re chock-full of good, wholesome ingredients that make me feel happy and cozy–ground turkey, apples, cheese, onions.

The great thing about these meatballs is that each ingredient really makes a difference in the flavor. The onions add sweetness; the apples bring a little tang. Smoked gouda has to be one of my favorite cheeses, and here, it adds a bit of lush creaminess, which is probably the reason I couldn’t stop eating these the other day.

I’m already thinking about the variations I want to try–apple and cheddar? Pear and gruyere? For once, I’m kind of looking forward to colder days.

Smoked Gouda and Apple Turkey Meatballs
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  1. 1 1/4 lb. (20 oz.) ground turkey
  2. 2 medium granny smith apples
  3. 1 medium onion, halved
  4. 1 cup smoked gouda, shredded
  5. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 3 tbsp. oil
  9. 1 cup apple cider or juice
  1. 1. Peel and core apples. Put apples and onion into a food processor and pulse until finely minced.
  2. 2. Combine turkey, apples, onions, gouda, breadcrumbs, egg, and salt in a large bowl and mix together with a large spatula or your hands, until thoroughly combined. Shape meat mixture into 1-inch balls and set aside.
  3. 3. Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat until shimmering. Using tongs, add meatballs to skillet in a single layer, leaving a bit of room between each meatball for ease of turning. (If your skillet is on the smaller side, you may need to work in two batches.) Cook for about 5 minutes, turning meatballs often to brown evenly. When meatballs are browned on all sides, add apple cider and cook with the lid off until cider is reduced to a dark brown sauce. Lift meatballs onto a serving platter and pour sauce over them to serve.

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