Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Turkey Christmas Loaf in March!

Okay.  It's March and I'm making a Christmas Turkey Loaf.  So what.  Shouldn't there be a little Christmas love no matter what time of year?
Why should we tie ourselves down to the delicious taste of turkey, stuffing and gravy exclusively for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Maybe we have the craving but aren't prepared to haul out that 20 pounder bird and wait an eternity between the prep and the roast to get to the eating!

Here's a pared down version of the real thing that'll quell your desire until the official dates for the wing and drumstick version reach your table.

This should serve 4.  If you're single or are two people, just slice and freeze the rest for those nights when you just want something comforting fast.  Make your own frozen dinners by including the sides!

Here's what you'll need:

                              For the turkey loaf...
                              450 gms of ground lean turkey
                              1 egg, beaten
                              1/2 C ketchup                            
                              1/2 C breadcrumbs
                              1 t Worcestershire sauce
                              1 t oregano
                              1/2 t poultry seasoning
                              1 t parsley
                              1 t salt
                              For the "stuffing"...
                              1.5 C croutons
                              1/2 a medium  apple cored, 
                              peeled & chopped
                              1/4 C celery
                              1/4 C + 2 T French's fried onions
                              (using 1/4 chopped fresh is a-ok)
                              8 sage leaves, chopped
                              2 T butter (not shown)

                              Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix your breadcrumbs
with the oregano, parsley,
poultry seasoning, salt and
a few grindings of pepper.
When the crumbs and spices are mixed,
it's easier to incorporate completely into the meat.

I love this pic.  It looks like some kind of modern art piece.
"Meat vs Man", perhaps?
Anyway... in a bowl,
put in the turkey, crumb mixture,
beaten egg, worcest. sauce, 1/4 C ketchup.
Get your hands in there!
Mix well and thoroughly!
Be at one with the meat!
This is what thoroughly mixed looks like.
Set aside until ready to use, i.e. - when the stuffing is ready.
On medium high heat in a saucepan,
melt 2 T butter.
Add apple and celery. 
If using fresh onion, add it now.
Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped sage.
Mix in and cook until just fragrant.

Add croutons & if using instead of fresh onions,
add the French's onions here.
Sprinkle with about 1/2 C water. 
Mix thoroughly. 
I dropped the ball with the picture taking.
Grease a conventional bread pan
with butter or spray.
Pat down half the meat mixture in the loaf pan.
Add the stuffing mixture on top...

On top of the stuffing,
pat down the remainder of the meat,
working well into the corners.

Spread remainder of ketchup over loaf.
Pop into your preheated oven for 40 minutes

40 minutes later...
Invert on a cutting board.
HINT: Put the board on top of the loaf pan.
While holding the pan firmly,
flip over (use gloves!)
Let rest about 5 minutes before cutting.
A serrated knife works best.

And here is the Turkey Christmas Loaf
with the works!
Use gravy of your choice - go ahead,
use a mix or a can...
You won't get smited, I promise!

Serve with classic
steamed green beans and carrots.
Of course, don't forget the mash --
I put butter in my potatoes, salt and some of the yummy green onion oil and onions from the soup recipe here.

You won't need mistletoe. 
Kisses will abound naturally for this yum holiday shortcut!