In my experience, these rare and wonderful dishes usually come from a single source: A mom.
This surprising dish is no exception. Thanks to my good friend Steph’s lovely and talented mama, the Husband and I were introduced to her lettuce wraps at a Birthday party. It was Cole’s 25th Birthday, to be exact, and there was football, beer and lots and lots of boys there. And, they loved each and every healthful green-wrapped bit of the stuff.
- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 lb. hot Italian turkey brats
- 1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 C Hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp. ginger
- 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Asian chile pepper sauce, opt.
- 1 – 8 oz. water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 1 green onion bunch, chopped
- 2 tsp. Asian dark sesame oil
- Head of bib, romaine or iceberg lettuce
- Rinse whole lettuce leaves & pat dry, set aside.
- In a med skillet over high heat, brown both kinds of turkey together, stirring often, drain. Break turkey up into small pieces when cool to touch, set aside.
- Cook onion (til opaque) in skillet used to brown turkey, stirring frequently. Add garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar & chile pepper to onions & stir.
- Add turkey mixture to skillet, coating turkey with onion mixture. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions & sesame oil. Continue cooking until onions just begin to wilt, about 2 min.
- If you plan to eat immediately, arrange lettuce leaves around serving platter & pile meat in the center. For a crowd, simply transfer the mixture into a crock pot and set on low until you’re ready to serve!
- It’s magic. Tasty, “a-mom-must-have-made-this!”, magic.
You might not wean party-goers and guests off of artificial cheese dip and buffalo chicken flavored pretzels all in one foul swoop… but this is a start.
I made this dish as an appetizer for our recent family Christmas party, and it got rave reviews. I made the filling a few days ahead, and popped it in the freezer. The morning of the party I put it in a crock pot, and it stayed warm and had an amazing flavor (it had time to “marinate”). No fuss, no worry that my dish would get cold, and it looks totally impressive…
AND, I made that delightful looking little treat above to accompany them. Lettuce wraps and dark chocolate drizzled, candy cane sprinkled, homemade rice crispy treats on a stick = a match made in party heaven.
Thank God for Pinterest.