I’m on a ground meat kick at the moment. And a jalapeño kick. And a sriracha kick. And I’m so incredibly excited to tell you all about my spicy turkey meatloaf, but my old and senile computer is moving like molasses and won’t let me share my excitement with you fast enough. I feel like an 8 year old trapped in the body of a 79 year old with combined osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and general old-lady funk.
Perhaps it’s fitting that I begin to tell you about a dish that requires no actual dentition, and is something you can happily gum down your gullet with peas and mashed potatoes.
Geeze, I just aged 50 years in two paragraphs. Oy. Now, back to the loaf…
I was having a discussion with someone regarding the differences between hamburgers and meatloaves. My general feeling is that there are two main factors differentiating the two:
1) Meatloaves are shaped like loaves of bread. (Duh…..)
2) Meatloaves have breadcrumbs in them (or at least more breadcrumbs than most hamburger recipes call for). While the meatloaf cooks, the breadcrumbs soak up the meat juices and expand, essentially filling out the nooks and crannies of the meat; thus, the meatloaf can be sliced and held on a fork more easily because it has structure.
This is total conjecture on my part, but it certainly sounded good and convincing, didn’t it?
In truth, not much has really changed from my jalapeño hamburger recipe, except:
1) I’m using ground turkey (and breadcrumbs, as previously stated).
2) I was out of hamburger buns.
Since Ben and I still had to eat dinner, and necessity is the mother of invention, it seemed a meatloaf would be in order.
Truth be told, I didn’t grow up with ketchup-glazed meatloaves. I suppose that was a blessing in disguise because since I never had them, I didn’t know what they were supposed to taste like, so I could go off and completely do my own thing without not living up to my childhood memories. Ah, freedom.
So, my glaze consists of 4 ingredients…when I only intended for there to be 3 ingredients. Ben quickly persuaded me otherwise.
Me: So, I think I’m going to make a glaze for the meatloaf out of ketchup and just a little bit of Worcestershire sauce and sriracha. I think the whole ketchup thing is classic for meatloaf, right?
Ben: You have to use tomato paste.
Me: Why? I’m using ketchup. Isn’t that what’s supposed to be on top of meatloaf?
Ben: No, you’re supposed to use tomato paste, too.
Ben: Yes, of course.
Me: Um, well, OK. I’ll throw some in, then, if it makes you happy.
Ben: Yes, it does. It’s only right, after all.
Me: Geeze, OK. I never knew you felt so strongly about tomato paste, especially since you’ve told me countless times how you’d rather spend 60 cents on a can of tomato paste and throw out what you don’t use than spend $5.99 on a tube of tomato paste with a resealable cap that you can pop in the fridge and use later on.
Ben: This is different. We’re talking about my meatloaf here.
Me: Right, sorry. How insensitive of me.
Getting back to the glaze, I started with a 1/2 cup of ketchup and you could totally scale it back. In truth, I slathered on everything I had but I probably could have used a little bit less than I actually made. But as previously stated, I was given my marching orders about how to prepare and glaze a meatloaf, and I was not about to go against the grain on this particular meal.
And as a last word of advice, I initially tried to form this in a loaf pan. However, when my sad ground meat barely came up half-way in the pan, I discarded the pan and just free-formed the loaf by hand. If you have a really strong desire to bake this in a loaf pan, I’d suggest doubling the recipe. And glaze.
Just make sure you double the tomato paste as well. You’ve been warned.
The heat in this spicy turkey meatloaf isn't intimidating or over the top at all. In fact, the oven mellows out the strong spice, so you get a nice subtle heat with a lot of flavor.
- FOR THE MEATLOAF
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 of 1 small jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp parsley, minced
- 2 tbsp onion, minced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cub plain breadcrumbs
- Cooking spray
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp sriracha (or any other type of hot sauce)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the meatloaf in to a large bowl. With a clean hand, gently begin to mix everything together, until everything is evenly combined.
- Take a baking sheet (I used a half-sheet pan) and line it with aluminum foil. Spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray.
- Dump the meat mixture out into a pile in the center of the aluminum foil. Form the meatloaf into a loaf shape, about 8-10 inches long by 6 inches wide.
- Put the meatloaf in the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze.
- After the first 20 minutes, remove the meatloaf and slather on the glaze. You can use as much or as little as you'd like. Don't feel you need to use all of it.
- Once evenly coated, return the meatloaf to the oven and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.
- When it's done, let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.