Saturday, April 3, 2010
This month's issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine had a spread of all different kinds of meat loaf recipes. The version I normally make is a really good one from Gourmet magazine, but I'm always game for trying out new recipes. They even had a meatless "meat" loaf that I'm going to try out in the near future!
This version uses a lot of Mediterranean ingredients like feta, plain yogurt, lemon, and cucumber (on the side). You press it into a square baking dish, so it cooks faster (thus the "weeknight" in the title) and comes out very dense.
The herbed potatoes that go with it were fabulous! The rosemary smelled amazing. It was also really easy because they cooked in the oven at the same time as the meat loaf.
It's not really a good time to buy tomatoes, and the Co-Op didn't have Romas, but they did have some slicing tomatoes from Mexico. They were alright.
Here is the meal, before going into the oven.
I had fun being incredibly meticulous with the layering of the tomato and lemon slices.
Weeknight Meat Loaf
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, March 2010
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef or ground lamb (we used lamb)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into thin wedges
1/2 a medium cucumber, cut up
Feta cheese (optional, for garnish)
I recipe Herbed Potatoes, below
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper or foil.
In a large bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, onion, bread crumbs, oregano, mint, lemon zest, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the beef and 1/3 cup feta cheese. Mix gently to combine (take off your rings and dig in with your hands!). Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing it into the corners and smoothing the top. Arrange the lemon and tomato slices over the top however you like.
Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 160 F. Ours had to bake about 15 minutes longer than the time they recommended before it got to the proper temperature, not sure why. It was still pink in the middle, (but we could tell that it was definitely cooked), Joe thinks it was just because all the juices pooled in the center, since there was really no way for the meat to drain while it cooked.
When it's done, you need to pour off the fat. There was A LOT of liquid to pour off in ours (not just fat, but possibly the liquid from the yogurt and tomato?). Anyway, it felt like we poured a lot of liquid. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
When ready to serve, cut into 9 squares. If the serving size seems small, play a trick on your eyes like I did; cut each wedge in half again, so you have two shorter pieces of the same size, so it looks like more food on your plates. :-) Serve chopped cucumber on the side and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.
As for the leftovers, we did meat loaf sandwiches one day, and then another day we chopped it up, mixed it with some rice, leftover cucumber and feta, and had it in a wrap (with Yumm Sauce, of course).
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss together the sliced potatoes and the oil. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven with the meatloaf for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are starting to crisp and turn brown. Remove from oven and season with the rosemary, salt, and pepper.