Monday, July 27, 2009

Not my Mom's Turkey Meatloaf

Can you believe I have never tried meatloaf before? My parents' never cooked it either. I was rarely raised on America's comfort foods like fried chicken, chicken fried steak, gravy and dumplings etc. I remember once I wanted chicken and dumplings, which I made several times a few years ago, but that was the last time I ever made that too. It was good though! So I remember I had printed out a recipe from Food Network's Ellie Krieger a long time ago called Mom's Turkey Meatloaf. You want to know how long ago? The date printed on the bottom is 4/18/2007 and I'm just NOW making it. I guess I was really scared to try it, lol.

Since I'm going out of town in less than 2 weeks it is time to clean out the freezer. We had some extra lean ground turkey and I really didn't want to make turkey burgers again. They always come out dry no matter what I try to do to them to make them moist. So I digged up the turkey meatloaf recipe and figured this be a perfect opportunity. Along with the meatloaf I also made a cauliflower mash. Then my mom decided she'd make a quick salad to go with it all, but I opted not to have a salad with dinner. I'm tired of lettuce!

Let's start with the meatloaf. The recipe calls for 2 pounds of turkey and my package was only 1.25 pounds. So I scaled down the recipe by pretty much eyeballing everything. It's cooking, not baking! What I found so interesting about this recipe is that it calls for quick cook oats to be soaked up in milk! I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to eating, and I was curious how the oats and milk would play in the meatloaf. You can get the full recipe version HERE, and below is my version scaled down.  

Turkey Meatloaf (From Food Network's Ellie Krieger)  

Little less then 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup milk
1/2 medium onion, peeled
1.25 pounds extra lean ground turkey breast (this is what we always buy, use what you prefer)
1 roasted piquillo pepper (I bought these jarred from Trader Joe's)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (eyeballed this)
1/8 cup ketchup (eyeballed this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce ( I poured half on top)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk. I eyeballed the milk till the oats were absorbed. Thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion. In a large bowl combine the turkey, oat mixture, chopped onion, roasted piquillo pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake for about 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees.F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to15 minutes before slicing.

Cauliflower Mash  

1 huge head of cauliflower
1 tbsp salted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and steam cauliflower in a steamer for about 13 minutes on the stove top covered. Once the cauliflower is tender but not mushy, shut the flame and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Afterwards, drain the water inside the pot and add the cauliflower to it. Add a tablespoon of salted butter and season with salt and pepper. Then start mashing the mixture, till it is all incorporated. Taste to make sure everything is season well and adjust accordingly. Stay covered on the stove top till meatloaf is ready.

Do I like meatloaf? Well I liked this meatloaf! I'll be honest and say I'm not a fan of ground turkey, let along extra lean ground turkey. Hello dryness and no flavor! My mother doesn't like regular ground turkey because it looks "dark" and the extra lean is whiter meat. I really don't know how she gets that philosophy, but I cook what everyone will eat. So extra lean it is and if I have to eat it again I will just make meatloaf with this recipe! I really believe the oats and milk mixture help keep the turkey extra moist. Just don't tell anyone about it till they eat it and say how delicious it is. The onions and tomato sauce gave it great flavor. I actually could smell it around the house while it was cooking. Next time I would add more roasted piquillo peppers (I didn't use red bell pepper because the acidity is too much for my tummy) and chopped up garlic and fresh basil would pair nicely in the meatloaf.

My cauliflower mash was awesome. I decided to top it with some Parmesan cheese. My father use to make this and add in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, then bake it with pasta. Sounds weird, but it is delicious! The cauliflower mash reminded me of that, but a lot less calories and fat. This was Sunday dinner. I also had a light beer while I was waiting for the turkey to cook up! I figured since I cut the recipe in half it be around 30 minutes, yeah right! The food network instructions I find are NEVER accurate. I even have a new oven and always thought it was because my oven is old, but that doesn't even matter. They must have super ovens on food network. Does anyone else ever have this problem with their instructions? I ALWAYS do.

Talk to you soon,


Pam said...

I love meatloaf - yours looks great, so does the cauliflower mash.

HorseJumper12341 said...

Hmm...turkey meatloaf!? This recipe would be great for my dad's new red meat. I think I'll print this one off right now.

Fallon said...

I had this again for dinner tonight I can't believe how moist it is. It is truly delicious. I think your father will enjoy it. It really health, high in protein and low in calories. Ellie Krieger has some great recipes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I was never a fan of meatloaf until I made Jonathan Reynolds' version (published in The New York Times...and also on my site as The Best Meatloaf under Big Bites). It is sooooo good!

Fallon said...

Yeah I'm on a meatloaf kick all of a sudden, and I'm not even a huge ground turkey fan! I can't believe my parents never made it at home! I will definitely check out your best meatloaf recipe.

Anonymous said...

Looks great Fallon--I think the food network recipe accuracy depends on whose recipe it is...some of them seem pretty sketchy like Emeril. Happy early Birthday!!!! Am I the first one to wish you a happy birthday? Does it count if I am early?

Fallon said...

Maybe. I still haven't had an accurate food network recipe!! I'll keep trying, lol.

Thanks for the early birthday wishes. I'm pretty sure you are a first!

Shelby said...

First of is Thursday so Happy Birthday!!

I like to use ground turkey in casseroles myself as I think it has better flavor than when on it's own. I think you chose a great recipe to try when using ground turkey for the first time. I don't know what to say about the oven. Sometimes I have that problem and other times I don't. Have you tried an oven thermometer? Sometimes new oven's need to be adjusted (depending on what you have).

Fallon said...

Thank you!!!

I love ground turkey when I make my own taco salads, the taco seasoning just takes the turkey flavor away and it is great. The turkey burgers we make, yuck always dry and I just can't swallow them!

I baked my birthday cake yesterday and the directions said 20 minutes, and in 20 minutes my cake was done! I still believe food network has some super ovens ;)