Thursday, December 3, 2009

Meatloaf Again and Again and Again

Meatloaf gets a bad rap. There is always a "Not Meatloaf Again" joke waiting to rear its ugly head whenever anyone suggests making some. But in terms of comfort food, or "hunkering down for the winter" food, meatloaf just can't be beat. This is especially true in my house, where my wife is the primary maker of meatloaf in our family. And since she mostly cooks when I'm going to be home late, meatloaf spells comfort not just because it tastes like being a 9 year old kid at Grandma's house, but because chances are, if we're eating meatloaf I've had a long day and really appreciate a steaming, ketchupy meatball waiting for me.

So, this is her recipe, which I'm told comes by way of Martha Stewart. It features two other things that I think are under-appreciated in the culinary world: ground turkey and a muffin tray. Purists will scoff at my blatant disregard for the traditional pork, beef, veal combo found in classic meatloaf. But hear me out. Try this. It's good. I promise. Besides, if you ate ground turkey once in a while instead of gorging on pork, beef, and veal, you might be better off. Also, I think I've already made my views on veal known, but to recap: I try not to eat animals that I think have been mistreated or tortured, including most veal. Just try it. The little muffin sized loafs are the best part, I think. It's just prettier that way.

T's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

1/2 cup ketchup (plus another 1/4 cup to spread on top)
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 slices of whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 heaping tablespoons of relish
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps dry mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Optional: 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Fill 6 cups of a muffin tin with heaping mounds of the meatloaf mixture. Brush each meatloaf muffin with ketchup.

Bake about 45 minutes, such that the inside temperature of the loaf muffins reaches 170 degrees. Serve hot. Serves 4 (2 if you're hungry).

They'd probably make great leftovers too, but we've never had any left over to find out.

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