When John tells me he doesn’t like a certain type of food I become determined to prove him wrong. Not so I can be right but more because he loves food and if he doesn’t like something it’s probably because he’s never had a decent version of it.
Cut to him repeatedly telling me he didn’t like meat loaf. The guy lives for meat. So I told him to let me take on the challenge and make a meat loaf that would blow his feet off. Of course, I sweetened the deal with a promise of mashed potatoes on the side (another food he said he hated until I started making it for him and now he’s obsessed).
I really enjoy cooking classic comfort food dishes. Any meat and potatoes dinner can be spruced up into something deliciously modern but still maintain it’s comfort food rep.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
Classic Mashed Potatoes
1 lb. baby yukon gold potatoes
1 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
1/3 cup lowfat milk
2 tbsp. Smart Balance
1/3 cup caramelized onions (I made these in advance)
2 tbsp. chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Makes 2 good sized portions or 4 small portions
Boil your potatoes. Since they are so small the baby yukon golds only take about 20 minutes to cook.
While your potatoes are boiling take the time to cut up your fresh chives. My preferred method is with kitchen scissors, it makes quick and easy work! You can use dried chives but fresh is best in this classic recipe.
When your potatoes are done drain them and add all of your ingredients back in the pot for mixing. I love my hand mixer and use it almost exclusively for mashed potatoes.
(A riff on Smitten Kitchen’s Baked Chicken Meatballs but majorly tweaked by me.)
1.25 lbs. ground turkey
3 slices of bread to make breadcrumbs, will yield about 1.5-2 cups (any kind of bread will do though I used 2 slices of multigrain and 1 slice of rye)
1/3 cup of lowfat milk
1 cup caramelized onions (I made these in advance)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
2 tbsp. scallions
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
3 tbsp. tomato paste (divided into two portions: 2 tbsp. and 1 tbsp.)
2 tsp. EVOO
Makes roughly seven 1-inch slices of meatloaf in a 1.5 quart loaf pan
To make breadcrumbs I pulsed the 3 pieces of bread in my foodpro, you could tear them into small bits too though. Once they are done put them in a bowl and cover with the milk. Soak for 5 minutes and then squeeze the excess milk out of the crumbs. The consistency should be like wet packed sand, not soupy watery sand. Make sense?
Combine all of your ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Only 1 tbsp. of the tomato paste goes in here.
To make the tomato glaze: Combine 2 tbsp. of tomato paste and 2 tsp. of EVOO in a bowl and smear on top of the meatloaf before it goes in the oven.
Grease a 1.5 quart glass baking dish and evenly load in your loaf.
Bake your meatloaf in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour, rotating at 30 minutes.
Pre and post bake:
The verdict: John is a total convert. He loved the meat loaf. He had seconds and thirds. Triumph!!
Now that’s what I call a classic meat and potatoes dinner!
UPDATE: I recently tripled the recipe to make a larger pan version and it came out wonderfully!