Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Recipes: Best Turkey Meatloaf Ever

Yes, an epic name for an epic meatloaf. This recipe is adapted from one created by the grand mistress, herself: Ina Garten. I have changed a couple of things here:

1. We have... sensitivities to onions in our house. So, I have reduced the amount here by quite a bit. Feel free to boost it if you are an onion lover...or a glutton for punishment. It's your meatloaf, man.

2. I added carrots, because every meatloaf is an opportunity to hide healthy stuff that your kids/you might not normally eat. So, do that - seriously, with whatever you want. I'm sure there are plenty of other veggies that you could add (grated zucchini, and peas both sound good off the top of my head). Just make sure that your veg (onion + whatever) doesn't exceed 2 cups - we want our moisture balance to remain as it is in the recipe, and extra veg = extra moisture.


3. Ina's recipe calls for 5 pounds of ground turkey (WTF, that's insane!), so I have halved that amount. If you happen to be feeding an actual army, double this bitch and add a half hour to the cooktime - they will salute your awesomeness because this meatloaf is amazing.


A fangirl shout-out, just quickly, to Ina - I have mostly taught myself to cook, but if there was a second place for most concepts taught, it would go to her. She is a wonderful cook (albeit a bit too salty (literally) for my taste)), and watching her show, Barefoot Contessa, was basically a cheap substitute for taking cooking lessons. Plus, you get to learn all about how everyone in the Hamptons goes to a different specialty shop to buy each ingredient in their dinner recipe and then prepares said recipe for a casual-chic dinner party at which the guests are both impeccably groomed and 95% likely to be gay. She speaks logically about food and explains the science of each process you employ. She really helped open my eyes to the art of cooking, and how to learn its ways. Thanks, Ina.

Best Turkey Meatloaf Ever
adapted from Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf


3/4 cup onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and grated
1 TB olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme (or 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
4 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp tomato paste
2 1/2 lb ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
6 TB ketchup

 1. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 TB olive oil and bring to heat. Saute onion, carrot, salt, pepper, and thyme until onions are translucent and all veg is softened, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste - stir until well combined and remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Looks disgusting. Will be delicious.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine ground turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, and onion mixture together in a bowl. You can use a spoon, but as Ina always says: Clean hands are a cook's best tool. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan and spread ketchup over the top. Bake for 60-75 minutes in preheated oven, or until it registers an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Will not win beauty prizes. Will win your heart anyway.

Haters will hate, but this turkey meatloaf is the most delicious meatloaf of any sort that I've ever tasted. Ditch the ground beef - it's full of fat. This recipe proves that flavor can be developed in a great number of ways, no extra cholesterol necessary.

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