Friday, October 29, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms and Herbs

When I was little and growing up in San Francisco, my mom used to cook family meals for us every night. It was an important part of who we were as a unit. No matter what, we would always gather around the dinner table to break bread together and share the events of our days with one another. As a kid, those evening hours, spent flanked on either side by my mother and father (and usually a stray family member or friend) were ones to look forward to, ones where I felt the most comforted and loved. Some of my biggest life lessons were learned around that simple oak table.

When it was especially chilly and the Bay Area fog had set in, my mom would make meatloaf. It was made with beef and tiny chopped vegetables and herbs, and if I was lucky, a handful of good bacon mixed in. I loved her meatloaf. Still do. Now that I'm a little more grown up and mostly doing my own cooking, I love exploring recipes, tweaking the formulas, and finding dishes that I love, that I'll make over and over again for friends and family. This meatloaf is lighter and leaner and takes less time to make than my mom's, but it's absolutely delicious in it's own right. It comes out of the oven soaked in it's own savory gravy, incredibly juicy on the inside and perfect to eat with some simple roasted veggies. And best of all, it comes together almost effortlessly--nothing better than a fool-proof recipe.

Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms and Herbs
Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2009
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
2 cups 1/3-inch cubes day-old french baguette
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
4 ounces sliced button mushrooms
4 ounces sliced Cremini mushrooms
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or lemon thyme
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey (15% fat)
1 pound ground turkey breast 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/3-inch loaf pan with olive oil. 

Toss bread with broth in large bowl. Let stand until bread absorbs broth and softens, about 10 minutes. Mix in mushrooms, eggs, shallots, parsley, thyme, coarse salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons oil. 

Add turkey; mix just until blended. Transfer to pan, mounding in center. Bake until thermometer inserted into center registers 170°F, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.


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