Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Miniature "Turkey Burger" Meatloaf

It has been a VERY long time since I've made meatloaf - and even though I forgot breadcrumbs (see, told you it was a long time) this mini-loaf made with ground turkey breast turned out perfectly! A topping of ketchup, hoisin and a drizzle of maple syrup baked into a delicious glaze as well.
Meatloaf was never a "staple" at my house, but when my mom did make it I remembered it fondly. Nothing fancy, it was a run of the mill combo of beef, onion, egg and breadcrumbs, topped with the glorious crust of ketchup! When I started cooking on my own in highschool, I will admit I strayed away from the basics, making a goat cheese stuffed lamb meatloaf (a riff off this one) with a tandoori apricot glaze which, to date, is still my favourite variation. Granted, when I stopped being able to eat meat in 2006 (a whole other saga we won't get into) I never gave meatloaf another thought. 

That said, never say never! This summer, we introduced N to our go-to turkey burger recipe from when Mom and I were on WW in the early 2000s (shh), filled with turkey bacon and Monterey Jack cheese. Well, a convert was made (for good reason, they're amazing) and when N asked if it would be possible to make the burger mix into loaf form I was up for the challenge. It took some digging and time-guessing, but I eventually came up with a working formula of sorts. Unlike the classic burger, this needed a binder so an egg and some flax went in for added moisture and a hint of nuttiness. I opted for onion flakes and no turkey bacon because, well, I forgot to buy onion and turkey bacon before starting the recipe! As I used ground turkey breast, I added in a bit of fat with canola oil to keep it from drying out, along with the tamari and ketchup. The glaze was the piece de resistance, and I have to admit N was the inspiration for it! He developed a taste for hoisin sauce when I used it on a sandwich for him, and he mixed ketchup and maple syrup for a chicken sandwich once as well, so I mixed all three and slapped it on at the end. 

Given that this was my first meatloaf in a decade or more, I was extremely pleased with the result! Then again, the proof was in N's reaction when he made his first sandwich with it - and his second, and third... you get the picture. Yes, this will definitely be on the rotation again, and since it's a fairly small batch, it's perfect for one or two without leaving you with meatloaf sandwiches for days. Not that that's a bad thing mind you, but still!

Miniature "Turkey Burger" Meatloaf
Makes 1 loaf, 4 slices
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 egg
1 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp onion flakes
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp ketchup
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and grease a small (rimmed) cookie sheet (ideally if you have a broiler pan, use that!).
  2. In a bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, flaxseed, canola oil, onion flakes, minced garlic, paprika, pepper, tamari and ketchup, being careful to incorporate the ingredients but not overmix them.
  3. Shape into a square-ish loaf (mine was about 5'x4") on the sheet, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Some moisture will escape from the loaf during baking, this is normal!
  4. Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients together.
  5. After the 30 minutes is up, drain any liquid from the tray and spread the glaze over the loaf. 
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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