Adapted from Alton Brown, “Good Eats”
Makes 8 servings
For the MEATLOAF
6 ounces seasoned croutons
1 tsp black pepper, ground
½ tsp cayenne
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp thyme, ground
2 tsp oregano, ground
½ red onion, coursely chopped
1 carrot, coursely chopped
5 garlic cloves, coursely chopped,
½ red bell pepper, coursely chopped
2½ pounds ground turkey thigh (i.e., dark meat)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 whole egg
For the MUSHROOMS (optional)
This is an optional addition that adds flavor and texture to the final loaf. Use it if you have the time and inclination.
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sweet butter
1 Tbs minced garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound champignons, sliced
¼ cup dry Marsala or Sherry
For the GLAZE
½ cup catsup
1 tablespoon cumin, toasted and ground
dash Worcestershire sauce
dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Unwrap turkey and allow to warm toward room temperature.
MUSHROOMS (If using)
Heat a medium saucepan or skillet to medium hot and add 2 Tbs olive oil. When oil is hot, melt the butter in it. When the butter stops foaming, add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook briefly with stirring, long enough to flavor the oil but not brown the garlic, about 20 - 30 seconds. Add in mushrooms and stir around to coat with oil. Add a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring regularly until the pan appears almost dry. Add the wine and cook with stirring until it is mostly evaporated. Remove the contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325deg.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne, chili powder, thyme and oregano. Pulse until mixture has a fine texture. Remove into a large mixing bowl. Place the onion, carrot, garlic, and bell pepper into the processor bowl. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Remove this into the large bowl with the crouton/spice mix.
Crumble the turkey into the large bowl and combine it with the crouton/spice mix and chopped vegetables.
Coursely chop the sautéed mushroom and add them to the turkey mixture.
Salt the mixture, add the egg, and combine everything thoroughly. Try not to compress the mixture too much.
Place the seasoned turkey into a 6”x10” loaf pan, pressing it in gently. Place a piece of parchment on a rimmed cookie sheet and invert the meatloaf pan onto the parchment so the turkey loaf comes out of the pan. Place the loaf in the oven.
While the loaf begins to cook, make the glaze. Place the catsup, ground cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and honey into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a small whisk. It should remain thick; it's heated only to facilitate blending it thoroughly.
When the glaze is ready, and after the loaf has cooked for about 20 minutes, remove it from the oven briefly and paint top and sides completely with the glaze. Before returning the loaf to the oven, insert a remote reading thermometer into its center. Place it back in the oven. It will be done when the internal temperature reaches 170deg (takes roughly 60 minutes if the turkey is at room temperature).