Reinvent a Middle Eastern Classic with Turkey for a Spin on Tradition

Show: Chopped

Photo by: Petrina Tinslay ©Owned

Petrina Tinslay, Owned

Chopped Dinner Challenge The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week's Chopped: Thanksgiving episode, the competitors found turkey sausage, rutabaga, green bean casserole and honey-baked ham in their appetizer round baskets. Nearly each competitor decided to make a hash with the ingredients, and most succeeded, except for one, whose execution suffered. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is turkey sausage, which is an ingredient that's great cooked on its own but even better when it's taken out of the casing and incorporated with other ingredients to make an entirely new dish, like this Sausage Falafel with Romaine and Yogurt Sauce. This variation on a Middle Eastern classic is a great way to introduce your family to different flavors and cultures.

Falafel, which are basically chickpea fritters, are traditionally vegetarian, but when coming up with this recipe, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens wanted to see if they could give it a meatier spin by adding turkey sausage to the mix. The results are tender meatballs that still retain the wonderful Middle Eastern flavor of the original.

To make the meatballs, pulse the chickpeas with onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a food processor, then combine the mixture with the sausage, which as been removed from the casing. Chill the mixture so it's easier to form the balls. Then sear them in batches in a hot pan with olive oil, and finish cooking them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Mix up yogurt, lime juice, salt and pepper to create a tangy sauce, and serve the sausage falafel on top of chopped romaine, drizzled with the yogurt sauce and hot sauce. Expand your family's palate by adding this fun dish to your repertoire.

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