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POTLUCK with Michael Patrick McKinley


I've never been a kethcup on meatloaf kinda guy...

When Stacey told me he was planning to "skew Asian" for the October edition of The Dish,  I scratched my head for just about a minute. I've been having a life-long affair with Asian cuisine, but a signature dish of my own to share with you? I didn't think I had one.Then I remembered my meatloaf. This is a recipe that's been evolving over time, but started as a simple turkey meatloaf about 15 years ago. You know, the kind with Lipton's Onion Soup Mix . Only one night on it's way into the oven, I realized I had no BBQ sauce to glaze the top of it with, and I don't do ketchup with meatloaf. Meat pies however, are another story! I digress...

I foraged through the fridge to see what I could substitute for that sweet-salty, caramelizing factor I'd be missing without the BBQ sauce. Then suddenly, there it was. Like a cartoon style light bulb moment, the jar of Hoisin sauce imprisoned in the door compartment beckoned to me to set it free, and slather it across my ordinary turkey loaf. The result was sensational, and I haven't seen Sweet Baby Ray since!

Of course you can bake this in a loaf pan, but why? When you plate these little lovelies, streak each plate with additional hoisin sauce, then place 2 on each plate [one sitting on its butt, the other playfully tilted on it's side], and sprinkle with some chopped cilantro leaves. To me, meatloaf is a very Autumnal meal, so I love to serve it with baked hard squash that's on the naturally sweet side, like Buttercup or Hubbard, and  finish the meal with roasted Brussel sprouts. 

Make these for your next dinner party, and your guests will  not only be impressed by this Asian inspired twist on an American comfort food classic, but your clever presentation too!  

 1 1/2 lbs Ground Turkey
1 1/2 lbs Ground Pork
2 eggs
1 tablespoon fat
  1 small sweet potato,  very finely chopped
1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno
2 tablespoon minced dried onion
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
2  teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
6 scallions sliced very thin
1/2 cup minced water chestnuts
1 1/2 cups panko flakes
hoisin sauce

Preheat oven to 375
Saute minced jalapeno and sweet potato in melted fat [I like to use butter or bacon fat] just until the potato starts to soften. Meanwhile, place all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except hoisin). Add sauteed potatoes and jalapenos, and mix with hands until all elements are fully incorporated. Pack mixture into the compartments of a 12-count muffin tin, mounding up over the top of the fill line. [The "meatloaves" will shrink as they cook, and release fats and juices.] Liberally smear the crowns with hoisin sauce, and bake for approximately 30 minutes. They should shrink away from the sides of the pan and the tops should caramelize.
Let them rest for 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges to ensure easy release,  and remove from tins.

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