Turkey Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil

When I’m not busy making my kids’ lives miserable at dinner time dreaming up new ways to torture them with greens and vegetables,  I come through for them with a little comfort food.

While I would love it very much if people would pay attention to their food and start eating lower on the food chain, I never, ever want to become a member of the Food Cop club. Not because I don’t care about you – I do! It’s just that I would  lose all my friends and my own family would probably drop me off at some Home Depot parking lot, change the locks on the front door, and never come back to get me.

This meatloaf recipe is the classic one in my house, and it never fails to make everyone happy. I use freshly ground dark turkey rather than the shrink wrapped mystery meat found in most grocery stores – who knows how long that stuff has been sitting around and what’s actually in there?

It’s always worth asking your butcher if they will grind a turkey thigh or two just for you; however it’s best to call ahead. Some stores don’t have separate grinders and can’t mix poultry with other meats they process without advance notice.

Turkey Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Ingredients

  1. 2 pounds ground dark turkey
  2. 1 small onion, peeled
  3. 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water (oil-packed is ok - drain well); chopped
  4. 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  6. 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  11. 1/4 cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put the turkey in a large mixing bowl; grate the onion on the side of a box grater into the bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, garlic, bread crumbs, chile, salt, pepper and eggs to the bowl. Use a large fork or your hands to combine well.
  3. Form the mixture into a football-shaped loaf on a large baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes.
  4. Brush ketchup over the top of the meatloaf Bake for an additional 10 minutes, then allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
http://familystylefood.com/2010/02/turkey-meatloaf-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-basil/

Kid-Friendly Food: Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro

I don’t know what it is about meatballs, but they seem to be the “it” food these days. I’ve seen recipes for meatball sliders teased on the cover of glossy food magazines and every Food Network personality seems to have a variation; Giada De Laurentis makes Mini Meatball Subs, Rachael Ray has her Spanikopita Chicken Meatballs, and Mario Batali, maybe most tempting of all, has a recipe for Lemon-Scented Meatballs.

Mario’s seem most like the meatballs I grew up eating, the Italian-style ones my mother would make for our Sunday gravy, with the exception that she used beef rather than veal – they were big, tender and simply seasoned with garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese. I still haven’t nailed down her recipe (she never wrote it down, it seems), but these might come close.

I’ve been playing with the traditional Italian meatball ingredients; switching them out for Asian and Latin flavors. After all, every ethnic cuisine includes seasoned meat rolled into balls.

Even better, meatballs couldn’t be more family-friendly; I like to make a big batch and freeze some for a quick and healthy “emergency” meal, served with brown rice and sauteed spinach.

I use ground turkey thigh in this recipe, it’s a lower-fat alternative to beef and the dark meat produces a juicy meatball.

Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro

1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; soak 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, onions, cilantro, garlic, egg, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add breadcrumb mixture and mix until combined; form 1 1/2-inch diameter meatballs.

Heat the oil a 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange meatballs in pan and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, 7-10 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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