Everyday Food (September 2010)
Turkey meatloaf is one of our favorite make-ahead foods for lunch during the work week. Seriously, it's got it all: It's easy to make in large quantities; it costs next to nothing; it's portable; it's low-fat, low-carb and high-protein.
What else could you want?
Well, flavor, for one thing.
See, gang, we didn't love this particular turkey meatloaf. Oh, it was fine. And we still ate it for five (count 'em!) lunches in a row.
But there's a lot we'd change about this before making it again. And it's nowhere near as good as our all-time favorite recipe for turkey meatloaf.
Instead of eggs to help hold everything together, Emeril opts for evaporated milk. And he swaps in oatmeal for breadcrumbs.
We don't have a problem with either one of those substitutions. In fact, we like the idea of the oatmeal, since it's much more healthful than breadcrumbs.
But the result is a very dense, almost brownie-like meatloaf. That's fine, we suppose, but we just prefer a looser-packed meatloaf. And, paradoxically, our meatloaf somehow turned out both dense and dry.
We also didn't enjoy the green peppers here. They're oddly chunky (perhaps we didn't chop them small enough), and they hardly add any flavor. Even the bacon failed to add anything (and we used regular pork bacon instead of the recommended turkey bacon, since we're not idiots hippies fans of turkey bacon).
Bottom line: This meatloaf isn't bad. (Like we said, we ate it for five days straight since we made a double batch.) It was just nothing special.
Oh, so what's our favorite turkey meatloaf recipe? Why it's from one Mrs. Ina Garten. The Barefoot Contessa turkey meatloaf is moist and succulent and flavorful and delicious. We love it! And we'll be making it again soon to take for lunch.
(This photo: Everyday Food)
Serves 4 to 6
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 ounces turkey bacon, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (preferably 85% lean) or a blend of ground turkey thighs and breast
1 1/4 cups chili sauce (sweet) or ketchup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook bacon, stirring, until almost crisp, about 4 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add oats and evaporated milk. Let cool.
2. Add turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons chili sauce and stir well to combine. Transfer mixture to a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan and smooth top. Spread remaining chili sauce over top. Bake until meatloaf is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in center should read 165 degrees), about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool in pan 20 minutes before slicing.