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Nov 22, 2012 04:42 AM

Top Chef Seattle, "Top Recipe" from Episode 3 (spoilers)

(Sorry--I initially had the title of the recipe in the title of this post, but then I realized that perhaps only the winning dish from each episode gets a recipe video, so I edited it out so as not to spoil the show for anyone.)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Below, I've attempted to summarize the video where Michael Voltaggio recreated Carla's winning dish from Episode 3.

He doesn't say what heat to put your pan on for the soup... Nor does he say how many servings this makes. If I have time before the edit window closes, I'll see if I can look at the video and see if I can count how many meatballs he makes. [13 meat balls, which at 3 meatballs per serving, is 4 servings plus one meatball leftover as the cook's reward!)

Carla's Thanksgiving "Leftovers"* Soup with Turkey Meatballs & Parsley Salad

2 c carrots, diced
1/2 onion chopped large
1 leek sliced
3 c water (it looks to me like he already has the water boiling and just ladles it into the pot--you may need the boiling water later, too, to adjust texture of soup)

Bouquet garni: thyme, parsley, tops of leeks, 3 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves

Add tbsp butter to heated pot. Want butter melted, not browned, just so you can sweat the veggies.

Add carrot, onion, chopped leeks to melted butter.

Once onions look transluscent, add 3 cups water and bouquet garni.

Put lid on it and start working on meatballs.

1 lb ground turkey, make a well in center.
1 egg
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c asiago cheese
1 T chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk up 1 egg into bowl, then put in well in center of meat,

Add all remaining ingredients.

Fold everything together --don't overwork and let it clump--you're just trying to mix everything in. You will shape meatballs later.

Use ice cream scoop to measure meatballs onto parchment covered cookie sheet. Once all scooped, shape all.

While shaping meatballs reheat saute pan to moderate heat so you can sear meatballs to golden brown. Don't get pan so blazing hot you can't roll meatballs around.

Add to pan: 2 TBSP clarified butter

Once seared on one side, flip over, then put in oven 375, cook 10-15 mins until fully cooked.

BACK TO SOUP: puree and sieve soup

If vegs are tender (ie., you can cut them through with spatula), they are ready to put in blender.

Add S&P.

Keep water boiling on side in case you need to adjust texture of soup.

Start blender on low, then turn to high so you don't get a hot volcano.

Blend until nice and smooth.

Check consistency, should be silky smooth. Add more water if you need to thin (he did need to add a little more.)

Pass through chinois by pushing with ladle

Check taste again for seasoning.

PARSLEY SALAD: (I think this is Voltaggio's addition to the recipe)
Chiffonade of parsley leaves, dressed with evoo and S&P.

Remove meatballs. Note, butter's not burned, meatballs not burned.

Remove meatballs from pan onto papertowel to drain.

To each individual serving bowls, place 3 meatballs in center. Pour3-4 oz of meatballs per serving. Garnish with parsley salad (for freshness) and a drizzle of EVOO.

* No leftovers are involved as far as I can tell--everything is from scratch.


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  1. Interesting. So is the "ground" turkey precooked? This is to use up T-day leftovers, right? Thanks for writing up.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      That's the title she gave it but, as I said in Linda Whit's Top Chef thread on the Food Media board, I don't see any leftovers involved! I think that's just the name she gave it because she thought it was cute. Everything is from scratch as far as I can tell...


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Hah! That Carla is wily. Thanks for the clarification.

    2. Excellent summarization, TDQ! And everything would have had to be from scratch, as she didn't have any leftovers to work from.

      Oh and a note - you can keep the edit window open by opening the post and leaving it in edit mode. Go back and click in everyone once in awhile and type while you are watching the video, and it should remain open. I can't recall, but I *think* the edit window closes 45 minutes after you last touch/edit your post. That's the ONLY way I've been able to get the full recap done. I type furiously for the first half hour or so, save the post, and go back in and re-edit and save for the remaining half hour. :-)

      4 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Never tried leaving the "edit" window open *that long* but it seems to me that you can edit your post up to about 2 hours after you first post - i.e. 2 hours from the "time stamp" placed on your post once you have first posted.

        1. re: huiray

          I've not tried doing so on the TC recaps, as I'm usually heading off to bed after finishing them and giving a quick re-read and fix any typos I missed the first time. I usually toss the first post up within 25-30 minutes of when I first open it (10:30pm EST) so based on what you're saying, I'd have until 12:30ish to continue to make changes?

          I know the total edit window used to be 45 minutes - it's possible they'v'e allowed for more time since they first gave us edit capability.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            It is and always has been 2 hours so far as we know.

            1. re: The Chowhound Team

              Thanks, CH Team. I could have sworn it originally started out as around 45 minutes, but I guess I was wrong about that.

      2. Nice job, TDQ.

        Everything was "fresh", I think too.

        M. Voltaggio's portioning of the soup - NO WAY will that be enough for me in reality. I would have ladled in at least 1/2 to 2/3 bowl's worth with the meatballs in it! So, judging from the amount in the blender jug, that would be no more than 2 servings chez huiray. :-)

        1. The recipe has *finally* been posted on Bravo's website - although for whatever reason, they don't have a picture of it (along with many other dishes). Isn't that what they're required to do - create a plate specifically for the close up camera shots?