Monday, January 18, 2010

Comfort Food

The rains showed up, so I'm happy. There is something cozy about sitting in a comfy chair with a good book and a cup of tea and listening to the rain and wind beating against the house. I did have to go out in it to go to work today, but it wasn't too stormy at the time. We had lots of rain last night, too and more wind.

When the weather is cold and rainy I turn to comfort foods. The baked garnet sweet potato I had last night seemed particularly good since it was wet out and dry inside. Another great comfort food is meat loaf. I start with my Mom's recipe which used ground beef and oatmeal, onions, parsley, herbs and spices and tomato juice with egg as a binder.

My updated version uses ground pork and turkey instead of ground beef. I also added leeks and mushrooms and flax seed, used some diced tomatoes instead of part of the tomato juice and added dried thyme because it goes so well with mushrooms. Sweetie was quite taken with this meat loaf and I liked that it seemed lighter and more tender, but still savory and comforting.

Served with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, it makes an old-fashioned meal with a twist.
One of the great things about meat loaf is that you mix all the ingredients together, then put it in a loaf pan to bake...and you can do other things while it bakes since it needs no further help from you.

Notes: I tend to mix the oatmeal, onions, leeks, mushrooms and the ground meat and poultry together with my hands in a large bowl, keeping the mixture light, not packed, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the egg, mix some more, then add the egg and mix until everything seems well distributed. I use a light touch when packing the loaf pan, too. If you prefer a heavier meat loaf, just pack the mixture in more firmly.

Take a look at the photo: you can see the parsley and mushrooms and flax seeds and tomatoes and onions...but now imagine how wonderful it smells! Guess you might have to make some for your own taste of comfort. This loaf makes great leftovers, too.

Pork and Turkey Meatloaf
based on Mom's recipe in Family Food, June 1994

1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
1 medium leek, well cleaned and finely chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ lb mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon flax seed (optional)
½ cup tomato juice
½ cup diced tomatoes, chopped in fine dice
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients (see notes above). Pack firmly into an ungreased loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hr 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 8.

3 comments :

Andreas said...

I agree that light and fluffy are essential traits for a good meat loaf. :)

Dharm said...

Hey! That looks like my meatloaf too!! LOL. I love meatloaf and this version with Pork and Turkey looks really good. I've always only used beef for mine but with your addition of flax seed, mushrooms and other veges, I think my wife would prefer yours!

EmmaB said...

meatloaf is almost unheard of in the UK, and I had never before considering making it, but this sounds so nice that I've been converted!