BBQ Turkey Meatballs and Macaroni and Cheese

This is the ultimate gourmet kids meal. This is the way adults can eat mac and cheese and meatballs without feeling like the ordered off the kids menu. The synergy between the flavors are so fantastic and rich, and just wonderful. Now, while we’re on the topic of mac and cheese, I hand this post over to James who has a very particular theory about the science of how mac and cheese should be served: James, take it away:

The quality of any macaroni and cheese dish is directly and uniquely related to its temperature. This is best illustrated graphically:

mac and cheese chart

I can’t think of any other food with such a steep inflection point.

bbq turkey meatballs and macaroni and cheese

Source: Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks and Annie’s Eats
BBQ meatballs
1 1/2 pound ground turkey (you can also use ground beef)
3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup Milk
3-4 T. onion, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
plenty Of Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 cup flour (coating for meatballs)
canola oil

BBQ sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 T. sugar
3 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. worcestershire
4 T. onion, minced
1 dash Tabasco

macaroni and cheese
1 lb. cavatappi or other spiral pasta
1/2 cup onions, chopped fine
5 T. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups Fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 generous tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for 5-7 minutes.
2. Aftewards, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.
3. Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.
4. Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake for 35-40 minutes.

macaroni and cheese
1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. Sautee onions until crispy and brown. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave. Cover to keep warm.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well. Stir in the warm cream and the Fontina until the cheese starts to melt. Mix in salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg to taste.
5. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8×8 baking dish. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix in the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan. Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.
6. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

NOTE: If you’re cooking the mac and cheese at the same as the meatballs, place in oven at the same time. After about 20 minutes, cover with foil but keep in oven until meatballs are ready.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. that was the funniest graph, and so true!!!!

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