Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Results Are In...

So it wasn’t really about who made a better meatloaf, but more of an opportunity to get a great group of people together for a fun evening. I know that mission was accomplished. When the actual voting comes down to an absent ballot, my very loyal little sister, and ½ of a point, it’s hard to accept victory without feeling like George W. One must remember that blood is thicker than water, but ketchup, which is an integral ingredient in meatloaf, is more viscous than both.

Nathaniel’s loaf was outstanding. Very traditional, very classic American, very tasty. Unfortunately, he won’t divulge the recipe. Secrets, secrets are no fun…

My meatloaf is a bit different. Made with ground turkey, cremini mushrooms, and a whole bunch of veg, it’s much healthier than your standard loaf. Although it doesn’t taste like beef, it’s darn good. My recipe, which is never the same twice, follows. I’ve substituted dry white wine for the milk, added in celery or whatever else is kicking around in the fridge, never measure anything and it always comes out well.

Turkey Meatloaf
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/8-inch dice
3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and very finely chopped in a food processor
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ketchup
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)
1/3 cup 1% milk
1 whole large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/4 lb ground turkey (mix of dark and light meat)

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and they are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and 3 tablespoons ketchup, then transfer vegetables to a large bowl and cool.
Stir together bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg and egg white, then add to vegetables. Add turkey and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to vegetable mixture and mix well with your hands. (Mixture will be very moist.)
Form into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a lightly oiled 13- by 9- by 2-inch metal baking pan and brush meatloaf evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup. Bake in middle of oven until thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 170°F, 50 to 55 minutes.
Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving.

Along with the meat, I served standard American fare: mashed potatoes, green beans with roasted red and orange peppers, and carrots with orange, bay, and parsley. Cinnamon raisin bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce for dessert.

Thanks to everyone in attendance for bringing wine, flowers, great music, and your lovely selves. Special thanks to Nate for the awesome French onion soup. (I just ate a big bowl while standing over the stove, but this time I broiled it properly.) I’m glad you all left full.

See you all soon for the next challenge: Pork Loin – The Meeting of the Loins!

The competitors!

Heaping plates of food

Battle wounds. Only I could burn my stomach when draining boiled potatoes. Looks much worse today. Ouch.

Four meatloaves, a bunch of pots, and Nathaniel.

Me and a big old pot of green beans.

Nathaniel's masterpiece.

Nate and his kick ass French onion soup.


My Kitchenaid mixer - the best gift I've ever received. Thanks Mom!

Eating meatloaf gives people super strength.

Nathaniel and Mark.


Duke said...

guess we can close the loafonomicon...(fer now at least)

results might've been in question, but overall happiness wasn't. thanks to florida's electoral representative, the russian ice-skating judge, and the fine orators who shared the loaf lore of their ancestors.

*long live bethaniel!

At it again Jen said...

And while all that was happening...... I was at home, all by my lonesome, watching Green Butchers. That was funny, Beth. Thanks for the suggestion.

Well, whenever your next challenge is...let me know. I can make a good Pork Loin, I think. See you Saturday.