Monday, January 25, 2010

Make Ahead Turkey and Cheese Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a yummy, comforting meal that everyone in my family loves to eat.  The only problem is that, up until recently, I just couldn't bring myself to make it.  I mean, who wants to grapple around in a bowl of raw meat?  Not me.  Then, a couple months ago, I realized that I could probably accomplish the mixing of the raw ingredients if I wore big Ziploc bags on my hands.  Yes, I realize that this is a little weird and maybe even TMI, but it works like a charm!  I get a well mixed meatloaf without getting any meat under my nails.  Now my family gets to enjoy meatloaf as often as we like. 

This Turkey Meatloaf is extra delicious because there are small cubes of cheese running throughout.  We like our meatloaf on the spicy side, but feel free to cut down or even omit the red pepper flakes.

The Ingredients
2 lbs of ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3/4 lb monterey jack cheese, cut into small cubes (about 1/2 inch square)
1/4 diced, dried onion
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp green pepper Tabasco sauce (optional)

At Ten O'Clock

In large bowl, mix together by hand all ingredients until well blended.  Put in a loaf pan.  Cover and refrigerate.

Before Serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If desire, cover top of loaf with more barbeque sauce.  Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.  Let cool for ten minutes before serving.

* Next time, I will just shape into a loaf and bake in a 9x13 pan.  Or use either a larger pan, or two smaller ones and adjust baking time. 

Family Approval
Oh yeah!  This is good.  All of us loved the flavor, and I really preferred the texture of the ground turkey.  I did encounter a slight problem with this recipe:  My pan was too full when it went into the oven, and the cheese overflowed, landed on the bottom of my oven and smoked up my house.  Literally.  There was so much smoke that I had to open every door, (even the garage door) and vacate the house.  Needless to say my three year old wasn't pleased to be ushered outside when he was half naked (I did grab a warm blanket for him).  Seriously, there was so much smoke that I thought that there was a fire.  Next time I make this recipe (because I will make it again - we all enjoyed that much), I will not overfill the pan.  When you make it, take care not to do the same! 

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