Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

If you were to do a survey about the most popular comfort food, there’s a good chance that meatloaf would be near the top of the list. The No. 1 reason, perhaps, would be because of its versatility.

Typically, meatloaf is made of beef or pork, or a combination of those meats. But there are other versions of this American favorite that are just as tasty, including those that feature ground turkey.

Here’s a turkey meatloaf recipe, from the American Institute for Cancer Research, that’s made with a combination of dark and white meat, to ensure that it has minimal fat but maintains its moisture. Mushrooms and onion also help the meatloaf remain succulent.

And if you have leftovers, they can be easily warmed up and enjoyed again, or used to make a sandwich with cold slices.

Terrific Turkey Meatloaf
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
½ pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3/8 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 pounds ground turkey (mix of dark and light meat)
¾ cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and mushrooms, add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire, stock and tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl combine turkey, breadcrumbs, eggs and onion-mushroom mixture. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf in shallow baking dish. Brush ketchup on top.
Bake 90 minutes or until meat is cooked through and internal temperature is 165 degrees. Serve hot. Leftovers may be served cold in sandwiches.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate  nutritional analysis per serving: 238 calories, 6 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 14 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 1 gram dietary fiber, 335 milligrams sodium.

Lucky 32’s Meatloaf

Bacon always has been popular with the breakfast crowd, especially when combined with eggs. But these days, it’s showing up in a lot of places that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

There are bacon milkshakes, bacon doughnuts, bacon sticky buns, chocolate bread pudding with bacon sauce. You get the picture. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Well, I not too crazy about trying any of the aforementioned dishes, but another recipe for a meatloaf wrapped in bacon definitely tickled my taste buds.

The recipe, which is from Chef Jay Pierce of Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Cary and Greensboro, N.C., looks like it might have a little kick, Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper among its ingredients.

That sounds like my kind of meatloaf!

Lucky 32’s Meatloaf
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup finely chopped celery with stems and leaves
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
½ cup diced green bell pepper
¼ cup chopped green onion
2 eggs
½ cup half-and-half
½ pound ground pork
1½ pounds ground chuck
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons salt or to taste
¾ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1 cup panko bread crumbs
12 slices bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat and saute onions until golden. Add celery, garlic and bell pepper and saute until tender. Spread vegetables out on a cookie sheet to cool and allow some moisture to evaporate.
Combine eggs and half-and-half in a large bowl. Mix until combined. Add sauteed vegetables, pork, beef, Tabasco, Worcestershire, mustard, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and black pepper. Mix well. Work bread crumbs into meat mixture by hand and set aside.
Line a loaf pan with 12 bacon strips, six on each side, so that the bacon will wrap the meat loaf. Place a strip at the joint where the bottom meets the side of the pan and bring the strip up the side of the pan and allow the excess to fold over the outside of the pan. Continue in this manner alternating from side to side . When bacon is all laid out, place meat mixture in pan. Fold the bacon strips over the top of the loaf, completely wrapping loaf with bacon.
Place  meatloaf in oven and bake until thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees.
Yield: Serves 8.

Meatloaf with Sriracha Barbecue Sauce

Meatloaf undoubtedly is one of America’s most-loved comfort foods. And there probably are as many recipes for the popular entree as there are people who consider it one of their childhood favorites.

We often had meatloaf when I was growing up, both at home at school hot lunch. It was one of those foods that I liked so much that nary a morsel was left on my plate when lunch or supper was over.

But perhaps my favorite way to have meatloaf was as a leftover, on a sandwich with mustard. I remember numerous fall weekend days hunting ducks with my dad when we would have meatloaf sandwiches for lunch when there was a lull in the action.

Of course, the sandwiches were always cold, which didn’t matter, but I wouldn’t have turned down a warm one one some of those cold, wet days in the duck blind.

And that brings me to a recipe that I came across today. It’s from Lori Pearson, chef and co-owner of the Savor Cafe in Charlotte, N.C. Pearson says she make her meatloaf a day ahead and then heats slices on a gas grill before serving.

Here’s the recipe, which I hope to try later this week, when the temperatures are expected to be in the high 40s to near 50 and grilling won’t be so inconvenient.

Meatloaf with Sriracha Barbecue Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat
1 green bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ large yellow onion, diced
6 eggs
¼ cup spicy Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
5 pounds ground sirloin
Sriracha Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil or bacon fat in a large skillet over moderate heat. Saute peppers and onion until tender. Set aside. Let cool.
Whisk together eggs, mustard, salt and pepper in large bowl. Once vegetables are cool, add to eggs. Add bread crumbs. Let sit 10 minutes.
Add ground beef and lightly knead with hands until thoroughly mixed. Mold meatloaves into rounded ovals in baking dishes. Bake for 50 minutes, rotating dishes in oven after 25 minutes. As meatloaves bake, make Sriracha Barbecue Sauce.
Slice meatloaf and serve immediately. Or make meatloaf a day ahead, slice and grill to reheat.
Yield: 2 3-pound loaves, 6 to 8 servings each
Sriracha Barbecue Sauce
½ onion, cut into chunks
½ red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
½ green pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 cup spicy barbecue sauce
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
Place onion and peppers in a food processor and chop until finely diced. Add barbecue sauce, ketchup and Sriracha sauce and whip together until combined. Serve with meatloaf.
Note: Sriracha is an Asian hot sauce widely available in supermarkets.

Italian Meatloaf

The weather finally has taken its toll on gardens. Now, it’s time for a little comfort — food that is.

One of my favorite comfort foods is meatloaf. It was one of those entrees that we had at least once a week when I was growing up. It usually was accompanied by baked potatoes and some baked, cream-styled corn and was one of my favorites.

Here’s a little different take on traditional meatloaf. This one is seasoned with fennel seeds and garlic, giving it an Italian feel.

Italian Meatloaf
Olive oil spray
¾ pound ground white meat turkey
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
½ cup chopped or diced frozen onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup marinara or other tomato-based pasta sauce
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil.
Mix turkey with fennel, bread crumbs, onion, garlic and vinegar. Beat egg with salt and pepper to taste, and blend into turkey mixture. Shape into 2 loaves about 5 by 3 inches and place on baking sheet. Spread mushrooms and pasta sauce on top. Bake 15 minutes, until center reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 353 calories, 19 percent of calories from fat, 7.4 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated, 2.7 grams monounsaturated), 215 milligrams cholesterol, 48.4 grams protein, 21.4 grams carbohydrates, 3.3 grams fiber, 196 milligrams sodium.

Wild Game Meatloaf

A lot of people consider meatloaf the quintessential comfort food. But it’s much than that to me. Meatloaf is one of those dishes that transcends its ingredients. It’s part of the fabric of life for me and a lot of other people of my generation.

Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, meatloaf was a visitor to our dining room table at least once a week. We usually had it with baked potatoes and some cream-style corn. It also was one of the mainstays at our school hot lunch.

Meatloaf still is one of my favorite foods. And I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. Just recently, I came across the following recipe that was adapted from one that originated at Wildcat Willies in Springdale, Utah, and was featured in the Los Angeles Times and distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

What caught my eye was that it combined ground hamburger with ground bison and elk, both of which I have in my freezer. The meatloaf is spiced up with steak seasoning, a little marinara to keep it moist and colorful diced red and green peppers.

Wildcat Willies Wild Game Meatloaf
1 pound hamburger (15 percent fat)
½ pound ground bison
½ pound ground elk or venison
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced green pepper
½ cup diced onion
1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
1 egg
1½ teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning
1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
1 pound bacon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Granulated garlic
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the hamburger, ground bison and elk or venison. Add the red and green pepper, the onion, bread crumbs, egg, steak seasoning and marinara. Mix the ingredients with your hands, kneading well to thoroughly incorporate. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Line a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or dish with bacon. Pack the meatloaf mixture into the dish, then very gently invert onto a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle over a pinch each of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and granulated garlic.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour then increase the heat to 400 degrees and continue to bake the meatloaf until the bacon is crisp and a thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf reaches 165 degrees, 15 to 30 minutes (timing will vary depending on how quickly the oven heats). Remove and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 550 calories, 31 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 38 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 115 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams sugar, 909 milligrams sodium.

Get Comfy with Meatloaf

There are some things I like about winter. No, it’s not the snow and cold that I find appealing. Actually, the snow and the cold do have something to do with it. They are conducive to serving up comfort food.

And one of my favorite comfort foods is meatloaf, which we are going to have for supper along with some sweet potatoes and corn. I’ve been going over several recipes to find one that most comes closest to the meatloaf we used to have as kids.

I remember watching my mom when she mixed her meatloaf. If my memory serves me correctly, it consisted of ground beef, diced onion, oatmeal, an egg, a little Worcestershire sauce and milk. I came across a couple of recipes that contain those ingredients, including one of the following, which we tried and is very tasty. The other meatloaf recipe calls for bread crumbs instead of oatmeal.

And if you like garlic, check out the recipe for garlic-whipped potatoes.

Economy Meatloaf
1 pound ground beef
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan. Combine all ingredients and mix. Pack firmly into pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Maple Syrup-Glazed Meatloaf
Vegetable oil spray
½ cup chopped/diced frozen onion
½ cup chopped/diced frozen green bell pepper
¾ pound extra lean ground beef
2 teaspoons ground sage
½ cup plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons maple syrup (divided)
1 egg white
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Microwave onion and green bell 1 minute on high in a bowl to defrost. Mix in beef, sage and bread crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup, egg white and salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Shape into 2 loaves, about 4 by 6 inches, on prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with remaining syrup and bake 3 to 5 minutes, until meat reaches 145 degrees.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 466 calories, 22 percent of calories from fat, 11.7 grams fat (4.5 grams saturated, 5 grams monounsaturated), 216 milligams cholesterol, 42.7 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 2.8 grams fiber, 313 milligrams sodium.

Garlic-Whipped Potatoes
3/4 pound red potatoes
16 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Scrub potatoes (do not peel) and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large saucepan with the garlic and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, 10 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup cooking water and drain potatoes. Mash them, beating in the cream, reserved water and salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 203 calories, 27 percent of calories  from fat, 6.1 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated, 1.6 grams monounsaturated), 20 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams protein, 35.4 grams carbohydrates, 3.7 grams fiber, 54 milligrams sodium.

Mealoaf: An American Classic

On Sunday, I imagine a lot of people will sit down to a nice ham dinner, whether it’s at home, at a relative’s or in the restaurant.

Ham dinner on Easter is kind of a tradition for a lot of people. It was at our house when I was growing up. Mom always fixed a ham, and she usually accompanied it with baked potatoes, baked or scalloped corn and a relish tray that contained green onions, radishes, celery stuffed with cream cheese and maybe a some sliced carrots.

We’ve had our share of ham dinners since I was married, but this year, we’re going to have meatloaf. And we will be eating scalloped potatoes, not baked ones.

That suits me just fine. I consider meatloaf to be one of my top comfort foods. And Therese’s meatloaf ranks right up there with my mother’s. And there is nothing like a leftover meatloaf sandwich.

I’m not sure what recipe she’ll be using, but here are a couple of other ones, just in case  you might want to take a break from ham.

Classic Meatloaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¼ cups onion, finely diced
1¼ cups portobello or desired mushrooms, finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely diced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
½ cup grated carrot
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
½ cup half-and-half or milk
2 eggs
1½ pounds ground chuck
½ pound ground pork
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1¾ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet heat butter until melted and foaming. Add onions, mushrooms, and celery. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook 3 minutes, being careful not to brown.
Sprinkle thyme over onion mixture. Rub garlic and pinch of salt into paste; add garlic. Cook and stir until onions are tender and translucent. Stir in grated carrot; remove from heat. Cool completely. Meanwhile, soak bread in half-and-half. Lightly beat eggs.
In large mixing bowl combine ground meats, bacon, cooled vegetables, and bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle the 1¾ teaspoons salt and the pepper. Using hands, mix until well blended.
Turn mixture into rectangular baking dish. Using hands, shape into a 9-by-5-inch loaf. Make shallow indention around sides.
For ketchup topping: Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar. Spoon over top of meat loaf. Bake on middle rack for 1 hour or until meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving 518 calories, 38 grams fat (15 grams saturated), 160 milligrams cholesterol, 1,013 milligrams sodium, 19 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 grams fiber, 26 grams protein.
Meatloaf Muffins
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup, divided
1½ pounds 96 percent lean ground beef
1 cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
2 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, oregano and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, ½ cup ketchup and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray. Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each muffin with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Yield: Serves 6 (2 muffins per serving).
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 267 calories, 5.3 fat grams.

Take Comfort in Food

Like most people, I turn to food for comfort in times of stress. While that may not always be the most healthy thing to do (depending on what you eat), it sure can make you feel better.

And with the flood raging up and down the Red River Valley, I’m sure a lot of people are taking comfort in food.

With that in mind, I used a McClatchy Tribune story about comfort food on the Herald food page this past week. The story featured a recipe for tuna noodle casserole, which looked quite tasty, and also talked about other comfort foods.

The top one, in the opinion of the author, was chocolate. I’m sure a lot of your would agree. Ruth Christianson of Grand Forks does. While talking to her about comfort foods, she said chocolate tops her list. In fact, she planned on making cupcakes for her husband Dale’s  birthday that were filled with cream cheese and, you guessed it, chocolate, in the form of minichips.

I told her my favorites were mashed potatoes, meatloaf and apple crisp, with a scoop of ice cream. After that conversation, my thoughts turned to making a 9-by-13-inch pan of apple crisps this weekend.

I can’t think of a better way to forget about the Red River.

If you’re in the same boat as me and want to give the apple crisps a try, the recipe is below, along with a tasty one for meatloaf sandwiches with spicy mayonnaise.

If not, just tuck them away for a rainy day.

P.S. The Feeding the Village First" discussion Sunday at UND has been canceled.

Northwood School Apple Crisp

6 cups apples 1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup butter
Cinnamon to taste
Pinch of salt
    Put apples in a 8-by-13 inch baking dish. Cover with white sugar and sprinkle cinnamon on top of mixture.
    Mix the remaining ingredients to form the topping. When mixed thoroughly, put crumble on top of apple mixture.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55.

Meatloaf Sandwiches with Spicy Mayonnaise
1/3 cup regular or light mayonnaise
1 canned chipotle chili, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper
4 slices sourdough bread or other rustic bread
4 thin slices leftover meatloaf
Baby lettuces
    Mix mayonnaise, chili, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread over each of the bread slices.
    Place 2 slices of the meatloaf on 2 of the bread slices. Mound lettuces generously on top. Cover with remaining bread slices. Cut sandwiches in half.
    Yield: Serves 2.
    Approximate nutritional information per serving: 678 calories, 61 percent of calories from fat, 45 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 123 milligramsg cholesterol, 38 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 1,093 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.