These two recipes are real work horses. Not show ponies. I've made them many times and they're always great, although recently I decided to make 13 individual meatloaf servings instead of one giant meat-barge. About a year ago I posted a recipe for mini meat loaves (a mixture of hamburger and sausage), and everybody seemed to like the idea of having lots of portable meat available at a moment's notice. Also, it's a known fact that smaller equals cuter. As Selma Bouvier once said, "The bigger they get, the cuter they ain't," and who can argue?
(Of course, you can always make this as a meat-barge if you want. Lower the oven temp to 325 and bake it for about 45-50 minutes.)
The recipe is from Ina Garten a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa's first cookbook. Heh, consider me your Bigfoot Contessa. Ina, clearly out of her mind when writing this recipe, seems to think that I'm going to invite 26 people over for dinner--that I indeed have 26 friends! Sorry Ina, I do not, and I doubt that anybody needs a meatloaf made with five pounds of turkey. So I cut the recipe awkwardly in half, sorry about that.
Tyler Florence is responsible for the broccoli recipe, and it is easy, fast, and my favorite way to use broccoli. It's from Real Kitchen and it makes four respectable or two to three mega servings. It contains about 2 calories and lots of important vitamins, probably. And get this: cold or lukewarm, it passes as a dip. Pair it with the turkey meatloaf and you've got the kind of unimpeachable, healthy meal that will have you reaching for those cupcakes you made a few days ago* (and still have lots of, fweee!) GUILT-FREE.
MINI TURKEY MEAT LOAVES
- 1 1/2 C chopped onion
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/2 t fresh thyme leaves (1/4 t dried) <--I always use a smidge more because I love thyme and our chuckies, thankfully, do not.
- 1/6 C Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 C chicken stock
- 1 t tomato paste <--Not a deal-breaker if you don't have it; squirt in a little ketchup instead.
- 2 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast <--Go with breast meat rather than regular "ground turkey." Breast meat contains less fat which means less disgusting meat loaf juice for you to look at and deal with.
- 3/4 C plain bread crumbs <--Italian bread crumbs are also fine.
- 1 1/2 eggs, beaten <--Sorry. You will have too get rid of half an egg.
- 1/2 C ketchup <--You can put this on top of a giant meat loaf before you bake it for a retro look, but if you are making minis, don't bother. Ketchup-topped meat is too hard to package and freeze without totally messing it up.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium saute pan, on medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme until the onions are translucent but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature. It doesn't have to be room temperature.
Combine the ground turkey breast, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into 12-13 loaves. Place them on two foil-lined baking sheets. Bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. (I'm not 100% sure on the timing here because the power went out while they were baking, and the stove turned off for a few minutes before I realized what was going on.)
Wrap each loaf in foil and place all of them in a big Ziploc bag. Freeze. (Eat the 13th loaf, obviously.)
Microwaving them: it takes ours about a minute and a half to take them from rock-hard to piping hot, but yours may vary. Fun idea: split the li'l loaf vertically, so you have two long, skinny pieces, and place them in a hot dog bun! The party never ends around here, I tell you.SMASHED BROCCOLI AND GARLIC
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped <--Or one or two less, if you're not feeling like lots of garlic or your cloves are really big.
- 1 bunch broccoli, about one pound, coarsely chopped, including stems <--Chop the stems a little smaller than what you might consider "coarse"--sometimes I've put in really big pieces and they seem to require more cooking time.
- 1/4 C plain yogurt <--I tried plain Greek yogurt tonight, and it was better than regular plain yogurt (which is still very good). You can definitely do this with fat-free yogurt.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot; add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Throw in the broccoli and toss to coat in the garlic and oil. Pour in the chicken stock, cover, and let the broccoli steam for 10 minutes. When it is quite soft, pulse the broccoli a few times in a food processor, or better yet, use an immersion blender if you have one. The broccoli should be partly smooth and partly chunky. Stir in the yogurt to give the broccoli some body and season with salt and pepper.
* Hey, I've figured out that the easiest way to eat those ice cream cupcakes is to peel off the foil, wash your hands, and stick a fork right in the center. Then eat it like it's some sort of popsicle/ice cream cone. This is if you are alone or no one around you cares what you do with a cupcake.