Saturday, October 24, 2015

Easy Mini Meatloaves with Mushroom Gravy

When the weather starts to get cold, Tiny loves to warm up the kitchen with hearty hot suppers from the oven, and these easy mini meatloaves bake quickly enough for a weeknight meal. 

Made with ground turkey, whole wheat bread crumbs, and oats, they are a little bit lighter than ordinary meatloaf, so Tiny likes to serve them with this rich and savory mushroom gravy on the side. 
Prepare the gravy while the meatloaves are baking; the recipe calls for white button mushrooms, but don’t be afraid to substitute any fun new varieties you might find at the market!

Mini Turkey Meatloaves with Toasted Pine Nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon salt
16 oz ground turkey or other lean ground meat (lamb, veal, and pork are all delicious)
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick oats)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (leave them out if you're allergic, but they're delicious so give them a try otherwise!)
1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed

Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat till it shimmers but is not yet smoking. Add the chopped onion and salt and sauté till softened, about 4-6 minutes. Stir frequently and don't let them brown. Set the cooked onions aside and let them cool to room temperature while you assemble the other ingredients.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees (or 160 degrees if you are using lamb, veal, or pork), and set the loaves in a warm place to rest while you finish making the gravy.

Serves 4

Note:  Cold, leftover meatloaf makes a fantastic sandwich!

For the Mushroom Pan Gravy

8 oz sliced button mushrooms (about 3 cups) 
2 tablespoons olive oil   
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter (you can use 4 T olive oil, if you prefer, but keep them separated for this recipe)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup homemade or low sodium packaged chicken or mushroom stock
2 tablespoons chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
More salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch, unlined skillet over a medium-high flame till the oil shimmers but is not yet smoking. Add the mushrooms and salt and sauté till the mushrooms release their moisture and begin to soften, about 14-16 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking till the mushrooms are browned and tender and their liquid has evaporated. 

Remove the mushrooms from your pan with a slotted spoon and without washing the pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Melt over low heat, and then add 2 tablespoons of flour, mixing well with a wooden spoon. The trick here is to make a smooth paste with the butter and flour, with no dry bits of flour remaining in the pan… Dry bits=lumpy gravy!  This buttery paste is called the “roux”. Stir the roux over low heat for 3-4 minutes, not letting it burn on the bottom.

Pour in half of the stock and whisk it together till the flour paste is totally dissolved, and then add the rest of the stock.  Increase the heat to medium-low and simmer until the gravy is thickened, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes.  Before serving, stir the cooled mushrooms back in and add the chopped parsley.  Check the flavor, and add a little bit of salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  Serve with mini meatloaves, potatoes, and a green veggie for a hearty and nutritious cold-weather supper.

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This post created by Kat Craddock
Photo credits: Cassie Sciortino

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