Sunday, November 27, 2011
Nov 24 Black bean tofu
Nov 25 Black Bean Soup and a cheese quesadilla for The Kid
Nov 26 Turkey Meatloaf with all the trimmings
We really love a big, traditional turkey dinner and all look forward to Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving just so we have an excuse to make it. We would never dream of serving anything else on those holidays if we have any say in the matter but we didn't get turkey at Easter (it was simply out of our control people) so we are still all feeling one quart of gravy down. With all this talk of American Thanksgiving taking over our internet lives, I am dying for the big bird but don't want to roast one for the three of us so I thought, why not make a meatloaf that tastes like turkey dinner in one loaf? How bad could it be, right?
I made mini meat loafs so that I could make mine with a cranberry/chipotle glaze- The Kid doesn't like cranberry and I wanted to avoid the meatloaf going uneaten because of that one thing. Since our Canadian thanksgiving has long past I couldn't find fresh cranberries to make the glaze but to be perfectly honest with you, I LOVE the canned jellied cranberry sauce so I was not really looking all that hard. Since there weren't going to be any drippings from roasting a turkey, I made a turkey veloute instead of a proper gravy. I made some stock with a couple of turkey necks so although it's not as dark and rich as turkey gravy, it's still pretty darned tasty. I was worried about the meat being dry and almost added some ground pork but it was moist and tender and not dry as dust, as I had feared.
All in all it was a great success and everyone gobbled up every last bit of dinner. In fact, plates were licked clean and I was assured that no changes were needed at all. I am so happy that we seem to have a nice alternative to a full on thanksgiving dinner that we can eat any time of year.
Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf With All The Trimmings
1 stalk celery, chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 small clove garlic, chopped finely
2 tbls butter
1 piece of 12 grain bread, whizzed in the food processor
1 tbls each: fresh rosemary, thyme ,parsley and sage, chopped (or more to taste if you really like herbs)
1 to 2 tbls chicken or turkey stock to moisten
500g or 1 lb ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
1/3 cup mashed cranberry sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
chipotle in adobo to taste
2 turkey necks
veggie scraps - celery, onion, parsely, garlic
4 tbls butter
4 tbls flour
2 cups stock
As far as timing goes, I would start the stock and let it start simmering about half an hour or so before I get everything ready for the meatloaf. I would then make the veloute as soon as the meatloaf goes into the oven since they both take about the same time to cook.
Heat a pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the chopped celery, onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. When they seem cooked, add the fresh herbs and the fresh bread crumbs, combine thoroughly, taste and add some salt and pepper and then add a bit of chicken stock to moisten the mixture so that it's not wet, but not dry.
Heat the oven to 375F.
Set the onion/bread crumb aside to cool to room temperature. When it's cooled, combine the ground turkey, the bread crumb mixture and the beaten egg - don't over mix or your meatloaf will be dry.
Divide the meat mixture into four portions. You can either make four individual little loaves or pack them into large sized muffin tins. I used the tins but next time I will not bother but it's up to you. If you shape four little loaves make sure to cook them on a rack placed on a cookie tray lined with foil or parchment if you can so that the fat drips off. If you don't have a rack, just lay them out on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.
Mix the glaze ingredients and brush the tops with it. Cook the tray in the oven for about 25 to 35 minutes until the internal temperature is about 165 F
To make the turkey veloute, you put the necks and veggie scraps into a pot and cover with cold water or some chicken stock (or in my case, turkey stock) and you let that simmer away while you make everything else for at least an hour.
Strain your stock and taste. If it doesn't taste strong enough, you can bring it to a boil and reduce it a bit or you can add more chicken/turkey stock. In the end you want to be left with about 2 cups of stock
Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and quickly stir it i, making a paste and then cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until it starts to get to be a straw colour.
Take it off the heat and whisk in half the stock, making sure that you have no lumps. Return the pot to the heat, add the rest of the stock and whisk well, bring the stock to a gentle simmer, lower the heat and let simmer gently for about 25 minutes. Skim any skin that forms off the top from time to time.
When it's time to serve, I still pass it through a strainer to make sure that there are absolutely no lumps in it at all if I am at all in doubt. Serve in a gravy boat and cover your mashed potatoes in it.