Kimberly Schlapman's Turkey Meatballs

Pecans give these meatballs a deep, rich flavor. Sometimes ground turkey can be a little dry, but sourdough bread soaked in buttermilk keeps these meatballs moist. 

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1 cup torn sourdough bread, from six slices with crusts removed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 lb ground turkey
1/3 cup pecan pieces, finely chopped
1 egg
1 tsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Place the bread in a small bowl and add the buttermilk to soak.

Combine the turkey, pecans, egg, onion powder, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Remove the bread from the buttermilk and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the soaked bread to the turkey mixture and discard the buttermilk. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients well. Divide the mixture into 12 portions and roll each into a meatball.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the meatballs until golden brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the meatballs on paper towels. 

Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake until thoroughly browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with warm tomato sauce on top or on the side for dipping. 

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