What. A. Week.
When it rains it pours.
Insert all those other clichés.
On Sunday, which was the Sunday that just passed, I noticed Mickey was acting funny. But she’s a silly girl and I didn’t pay much attention to it. On Monday morning, Mickey was sporting a raw lump on her rear end. The sight alone made me gasp. My mind went to dark places. In the 4 years Mickey has been my doggy, I have never had a serious medical issue with her.
The lump had me thinking the worst and I spent the day scouring the internet for answers to my burning curiosity. Word of advice? Don’t do that.
When I got home, I had arranged to take Mickey to the vet. And because she was unsupervised, she had a grand old time bothering her wound and it was now incredibly “angry”.
The vet, who was as sweet as pie, sent me home with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, cream and a big ugly cone for Mickey. The week has been full of ups and downs. I have been running home every night, exhausting freezer food, ordering take out and caring for a doggy that needed her bedding cleaned every day.
Yesterday was the first kind of normal day as Mickey is starting to be her normal playful self and will have a minor surgery this upcoming Sunday and hopefully this will be the end to her pesky little problem.
What I was really trying to say was: Sorry I was MIA.
My saving grace, my zen was coming home to cook dinner. After raiding the freezer, I had some ground turkey that I could play with. And I immediately thought of last months issue of Food and Wine. The Chicken Yakitori Meatballs were screaming to be made…with a few modifications according to what was in my cabinet.
Chicken Yakitori Meatballs (makes 24 meatballs)
sake White Wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp mirin
1 pound coarsely ground
2 teaspoons kosher salt
shallot onion, minced
finely grated lemon zest or yuzu
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
In a saucepan, combine the white wine, soy sauce, sugar and 1/4 cup of the mirin and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, combine the turkey, salt, onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mirin. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Form the turkey mixture into 24 meatballs. Brush the meatballs with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
This is where my version changes. The F&W recipe instructs the cook to use a grill. I live in NYC, I own NO GRILL other than a george foreman.
So, I improvised.
My original plan was to brush the meatballs while they were in the oven with the sauce but that wasn’t panning out so well so I moved on to plan B.
I heated a large cast iron skillet and sprayed it with cooking oil. Then placed my cooked meatballs in the pan and covered them in 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture.
I kept the flame on medium low so as not to dry out the meatballs but give them a chance to absorb the delicious sauce. I turned the meatballs constantly. After 3 minutes, I added the remaining sauce and allowed the meatballs to soak up the goodness.
The end result was better than I expected. The meatballs retained moisture and were chock full of flavor. They were different to what I would normally make but really helped me get out of my funk that has left me feeling so off lately. I served this with some very un-exciting frozen broccoli and romesco. And might have imbibed half a bottle of wine.
Hope to be back in the full swing of things soon!
Happy Eating and Re-Heating!