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Thursday
Feb022012

Spanish Paprika Turkey Meatloaf Isn't Your Grandma's Meatloaf

I'm going nuts with the changes over here at Hungry Sam. Today after work, I bought lamps. LAMPS. And full-spectrum bulbs. It was time, folks. I live in an "English Basement."

What does this mean for you? It means that when I whip up a batch of tasty, well-spiced, smoky turkey meatloaf, I can take better pictures than ever before:

Ohhhh yeah. The dish is a great balance of sweet peppers, smoky Spanish paprika, rich meat and potatoes, and sharp, biting scallions. Here's another glimpse of the tastiness before we dig into the recipe:

More (well-lit) photos and the recipe after the jump!

Meatloaf hasn't always been my favorite thing. I say with full, open honesty that I love my mom's cooking and that nearly every dish she makes is fantastic. But even my mom's meatloaf has only ever had limited appeal for me. I feel guilty saying that, I do. But it's true.

The truth, however, is that meatloaf gets a bad rap. For no good reason, either; once I learned this, the dish became among the most versatile in my repertoire. Anything you can do to meatballs, you can do to meatloaf. You can choose from any meat that is available ground (and various fat contents), including beef, bison, pork, turkey, chicken, or game meats. You can go sweet, savory, smoky, or combinations thereof (as with this Spanish-style version). You can craft a sauce or let the meatloaf speak for itself. You can make one big loaf or single serving loaves. 

This version is adapted from a spread in Everyday Food some months back. I love it for it's complexity and depth of flavor, the opportunity to do a few days cooking in one go (leftovers!), and it's healthfulness. Try it out, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

What You Need

  • One yellow bell pepper, diced.
  • One large potato, chopped.
  • One large onion, chopped.
  • Two teaspoons of Spanish smoked paprika.
  • One teaspoon oregano.
  • Half teaspoon thyme.
  • One Tablespoon tomato paste.
  • One 1.3 pound package of ground turkey. Ninety-three percent is ideal; too little fat and the dish will bind poorly and end up dry.
  • One egg.
  • One slice whole wheat bread, diced large.
  • One cup grated Manchego cheese.
  • One Tablesoon olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Three scallion greens, cut on the diagonal, for garnish.

What to Do:

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium. Add the potato and cook just until the surfaces start to crisp, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the onion and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the onion starts to sweat (pushes out its own moisture), about another five minutes. Add the paprika, oregano, and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, another two minutes. Then, remove the pan from the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.

Using a wooden spoon, thoroughly combine the contents of the frying pan with all other ingredients except the scallions. Grease a tin foil covered baking sheet. Then, arrange the meatloaf mixture onto the sheet, molding it into a four inch by ten inch loaf. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the exterior begins to turn golden brown.

(Alternatively, you can make smaller loaves, perhaps two inches by five inches. The cooking time will be much reduced, about 15 minutes.)

Slice into inch-thick pieces; serve with scallion greens.

Enjoy -- and stay hungry, my friends.

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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks, Sam! This is a great first recipe to try in my new Perfect Meatloaf pan, haha.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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