Sunday, January 22, 2012

Better Than Vintage

I typed "meatloaf" into Google. The first image to accost my occipital lobe was this...urg. If you have had this kind of meatloaf, I feel your pain.

These kinds of meatloaves are classic to be sure, but tend to become dried out, and don't have a whole lot of nutritional value. Sometimes, it's good to update a classic recipe, but do so in such a subtle manner, that the recipe has a vintage vibe but all the benefits of the modern age. This "modernized" meatloaf recipe is near and dear to me. I've tweaked it through three different sessions, and have hopefully perfected it. My family loves it; it's moist, flavorful, and packs flavor without the ketchup, french-fried onions, copious ammounts of cheese, bacon, and corn flakes. It tastes new.

Sweet and Savory Meatloaf
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices wheat sandwich bread)
1/3 cup whole milk
2 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pound ground  turkey
1/2 cup crushed canned pineapple
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook celery, carrot, onion, and garlic with chile powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add to bread-crumb mixture with turkey, crushed pineapple, parsley, 1 tablespoon pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix with your hands until just combined. Form into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf (mixture will spread slightly) in a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish. Stir together water, remaining 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce and brush over surface of meatloaf. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 165°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.   

My notes: I’ve tweaked this recipe (of course.  Couldn’t help myself!), yet tried to leave the directions alone, as much as possible. But, I do want to relate a HUGE time-saver. If you have a food processor, use it to grind up those stale pieces of sandwich bread, empty it, then use it to chop up all the veggies and garlic. It saves you time plus those lovely onion tears!

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