I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with meatloaf—and no, I’m not talking about the popular singer from the 1970s. I’m talking about that wonderfully homey American concoction, meat in loaf form. While other kids were running away from the meatloaf on the dinner table, I was begging my mom to make it for my birthday dinner, much to my triplet brother and sisters’ chagrin. And when my dad used to take me out to dinner at Cooker’s, a restaurant chain that’s long since disappeared, meatloaf was my must-have meal. My dad always just smiled at me while I inhaled it like I was eating the last meal of my life.
I maintain that my ma makes the best meatloaf south of the Mason-Dixon line. I’ve tried time and again to replicate it, but my mom has the unique ability to throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, cook it, and have it be the best thing you’ve eaten all week. I think this talent is something that comes from raising four very loud and hungry children while also trying to run the family business (Linnemann Funeral Homes).
While I’m not yet raising a gaggle of children, I am feeding a very hungry man, my boyfriend, Doug. Although Doug has worked hard to be a fellow foodie for me, I know that deep down he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Since I can’t seem to get my ma’s meatloaf exactly right, I figured I’d make up my own gourmet version and share it with Doug.
My Southwestern Turkey Loaf with Chipotle Ketchup is a great weeknight meal because it’s easy, relatively healthy, and incredibly flavorful. Doug claimed, “ I could eat the whole loaf and half the potatoes in one sitting!” While I don’t recommend that, I do recommend serving it with Chipotle Mashed Potatoes (or regular mashed potatoes if you prefer) and blanched green beans cooked in butter with garlic and a splash of teriyaki sauce.
Southwestern Turkey Loaf with Chipotle Ketchup
You can find ground chipotle powder at many grocery stores and at thespicehouse.com. If you can’t find it, you can substitute a combo of cayenne and smoked paprika. Serves 4. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.
For the meatloaf:
1 lb ground turkey, dark meat preferable
1 c. onion, finely diced
½ (4oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano, Mexican or Greek
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. cayenne
½ c. breadcrumbs, divided
For the chipotle ketchup:
1 c. ketchup
½ to 1 tsp. ground chipotle powder, depending on desired heat level
½ tsp. ground mustard
½ tsp. cumin
Make the meatloaf. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine all ingredients for the meatloaf in a large bowl except the breadcrumbs. If mixture is too moist, add ¼ c. breadcrumbs to mixture and combine. If still too moist, add the final ¼ c. breadcrumbs. Shape meat mixture into a loaf and place in a high-sided baking dish.
Make the ketchup. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Start with only ½ tsp. of the ground chipotle, taste, and then add more if you want more spice. If you use the full teaspoon of ground chipotle, the ketchup will be moderately spicy. Spread the ketchup over the turkey loaf.
Bake the loaf in the center of the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until completely cooked through. Remove, slice and serve.
Chipotle Mashed Potatoes
Start with one chipotle, taste and then add another one if you want more heat. You can always add heat, but it’s hard to take away. Begin boiling the potatoes while the garlic cooks. You can freeze leftover chipotles in a zip-top bag; cut chipotles straight from the frozen log as needed. Serves 4-6. Click here to download a print copy of this recipe.
1 head of garlic
3-4 baking potatoes, diced
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 tsp. cumin
1-2 chipotles, chopped fine
1 tsp. adobo sauce from can of chipotles
2-3 Tbs. sour cream
Milk or cream for thinning, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast garlic. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Chop off the top quarter of the garlic head, leaving the cloves exposed. Place the garlic in a piece of tin foil, cut side up, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap up in foil. Bake garlic for 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
Boil and mash potatoes. While the garlic roasts, cover diced potatoes with cold water and season well with salt. Bring potatoes to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain into colander. In same pot, combine butter, cumin, sour cream, chipotles and adobo sauce over low heat. Squeeze in roasted garlic cloves directly from the roasted garlic head, making sure not to let the papery skin fall into the mixture. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Beat mixture together with a hand mixer or potato masher. Taste and season again if necessary.