Friday, April 18, 2008

Honest Comfort Food

Mushrooms equal comfort food—this despite recent musings about the impurities found in fungi—and never more so than when piled into an American classic as timeless and enduring as meatloaf. My dad makes it with Cornflakes and leftover hamburger. Here at FOTL, we stand by the wife's Turkey and Chanterelle Meatloaf, as sacrilege as the turkey part may sound (in reality, a beefeater would be forgiven for mistaking the ground turkey for cow). It never hurts to have appropriate sides such as sauteed kale from the garden and boiled, butter-besotted new potatoes, along with a robust beverage, in this case Rogue Dead Guy Ale. But the true standout is the meatloaf, a moist and messy rendition that combines the class of chanties with a wink to old-timers thanks to sweet, baked-on ketchup. Go ahead, admit it: You'd like to dig a fork into your screen right now.

The key is the chanties. A 12-oz packet of last fall's frozen haul adds a woodsy, even fruity note to the 'loaf that you just can't get from supermarket buttons. And the great thing about meatloaf for dinner? You've got unbeatable sammiches the next day for lunch!

Marty's Turkey and Chanterelle Meatloaf

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
1 lb fresh chanterelle mushrooms (or 1/2 lb of previously cooked and frozen), chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
5 tbsp tablespoon ketchup
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (two bread slices)
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb ground turkey

Saute onion and garlic over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and they are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and 3 tablespoons ketchup, then transfer vegetables to a large bowl and cool.

Stir together bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in eggs, then add to vegetables. Add turkey to vegetable mixture and mix well with your hands. Mixture will be very moist. [We use Diestel ground turkey, which comes in convenient 1-lb cylinders that can be easily frozen.]

Form into 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a lightly oiled baking pan and brush meatloaf evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons of ketchup. Bake until meatloaf interior registers 170°F, 50 to 55 minutes.

Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving.


Anonymous said...

I'm makin' this. The ketchup won me over, also the turkey in spite of a lifetime of meatloaf made almost exactly like my mother's. And it's a good thing I don't read blogs with a fork in hand - my screen would be a wreck right now.

Scott said...

I made a meatloaf with a modified version of this recipe. The base recipe from Fat of the Land is terrific, and was a large part of my success.

I substituted a 50:50 mixture of ground venison and pork for the turkey and replaced half of the Chanterelles with black trumpets (Craterellus cornucopoides). The woodsy pungency of the black trumpets was a great match to the gaminess of the venison. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

I subbed in 50-50 venison and chicken sausage. It is a great reciepe.