I’m a firm believer in “Everything in moderation,” so I often make the “real” (rather than light) versions of lasagna, potato dauphinoise, risotto milanese or other classics, instead of trying to cut calories. I’d rather eat less of the real thing, or run an extra mile or two later… 😉
But sometimes, a dish that was maybe conceived as a lighter variation of a classic turns out so good that I wind up craving it. For example: this turkey loaf is absolutely delicious, and compared to its original parent, quite a bit healthier. The recipe comes from “American Favorites“.
THYME-SCENTED TURKEY LOAF WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
(adapted from American Favorites, by Betty Rosbottom)
receita em portugues ao final do texto, na proxima pagina
for turkey (or chicken) loaf…
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1.2 pounds ground turkey (or chicken)
1 ¼ cups fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium unpeeled tart apple, grated
3/4 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
2 egg whites
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the carrots, onions, and celery, season with a pinch of salt, and sautee’ until soft. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Place ground turkey in a large bowl and mix in all the other ingredients, adding the egg whites last. The mixture will be quite “wet”. Shape it in two oval loaves as shown in the photo, pace them in a roasting pan (I like to use parchment paper or Silpat underneath).
Place in a 350F oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into slices. Serve with or without mushroom gravy.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
8 ounces white mushrooms cut into thin slices
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Heat the butter in a heavy skillet, add in the chives and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook them until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste and transfer to a bowl. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan and add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth and whisk until sauce is smooth and thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the soy sauce, and put the reserved mushroom mixture back in the pan. To serve meat loaves, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange on a serving platter. Ladle some mushroom gravy over the slices.
This is a good opportunity to show you my Zyliss (an older version of this one), a little gadget I’ve had for a long time, but neglected to put to use until I saw Michael Chiarello on FoodTV using his. He removed the plastic base that came with the cutter, instead placing it directly on the cutting board. Why didn’t I think of that? I tried his method and loved it! The plastic base is a pain to use and wash; by placing the cutter on a cutting board you get its full benefits without any hassles. Carrots, onions, celery, garlic and peppers are prepared in seconds! Check it out in this photo (click to enlarge).
Meatloaves are often baked in pans, I prefer to shape them in free form, to get a nice crust all over, and make cleanup much easier…
Fish sauce, that Vietnamese touch: The addition of fish sauce was my main modification to the basic recipe – I was inspired by an interesting twist on a hamburger recipe shown in the blog “White on Rice Couple”. Fish sauce was the secret ingredient, and I thought it could go well in this loaf too. As in the hamburger, you won’t be able to taste it, but it will add that “umami” component to the loaf. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. If you want to play with fish sauce in your recipes, just keep in mind that it is salty, and adjust your seasoning accordingly. And avoid sniffing the bottle! Its smell has little to do with its taste, and for that I am grateful… 😉
The mushroom gravy: Even though its taste was excellent, if you prefer a more contrasting color in the gravy then add a little tomato paste or sautee some tomatoes with the mushrooms.
A little rice, a little tomato salad, and…. dinner is served!