Thursday, March 26, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I don't recall eating much meatloaf growing up. If my mom made it, it certainly didn't leave an lasting impression (no offense, mom). I don't think I've eaten meatloaf in years.

Flash forward to 2009. We've been eating a lot of ground turkey lately on the account it's been on sale. I've exhausted turkey tacos and turkey burgers for awhile. I was trying to come up with turkey recipes and came across this recipe for turkey meatloaf. Mr. Snowgoose likes roasted red peppers, so the recipe with the sauce sounded appealing. I was making dinner for Mr. Snowgoose and his dad and they were game to try it.

Turkey Meatloaf Ingredients

* 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 pound 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 pound ground turkey (mix of dark and light meat)

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

* 1 small head garlic (2 inches in diameter)
* 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
* 1 large red bell pepper (1/2 pound)
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Directions for Turkey Meatloaf:
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.

Directions for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut off and discard top quarter of garlic head and wrap remainder in foil. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in a foil-lined 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan and sprinkle lightly with salt. Add whole bell pepper and garlic (in foil) to pan and roast vegetables in middle of oven 1 hour.

Transfer bell pepper to a bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap, then let stand about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel pepper, discarding stem and seeds, and transfer to a food processor or blender along with tomatoes.

Unwrap garlic and squeeze roasted cloves from skin into food processor. Add remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste, then purée sauce until smooth.

Cooks' note: • Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.


My only gripe with the meal was the fact it took two hours to make and I cheated by using already roasted red peppers from Trader Joes. Next time I won't roast the garlic and I'll just use already minced garlic from a jar.

It turned out really watery and moist, probably because there was an entire salad in the meatloaf. Mr. Snowgoose was hesitant to eat meatloaf at first because it tends to be dry, but this was not the case.

The roasted red pepper sauce was incredible. I recommend making a double or triple batch and using it with other meals.

Serve with mixed vegetables and salad (or mashed sweet potatoes and green beans).

It looks like I'll be making this again.