As you know I am into eggplant these days. I mentioned a while back that I will be using this versatile fruit in many recipes, and this is yet another example of how eggplant adds flavor, bulk and texture to another dish. Also, w are all so much more aware of our health these days, so I decided to make this meatloaf with ground turkey. I used the ground dark meat, but for those of you who are not turkey fans, you can also make this recipe with ground chicken or extra-lean ground beef.
To enhance the flavor of the meat, I added 2 finely chopped jalapeños. This gave the meatloaf a little “kick” of spiciness. if you don’t want that extra “kick”, omit the jalapeños. Ground turkey can also be a little drier than ground beef, so I was not happy to just brush the top of the loaf with ketchup as is often done in traditional meatloaves. I decided therefore to add to the dish and make a fresh mushroom sauce. It really brought the whole dish together, and it was also the reason I baked it in a small casserole dish and not just loose on a baking tray, I did not want the sauce to be “running” all over, I wanted it to top the loaf. Enjoy.
Ground Turkey and Eggplant Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce
2 lbs. ground turkey dark meat
2 medium onions, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 eggplant, sliced into cubes
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro or for those who don’t like cilantro use finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper
200 g. sliced mushrooms
5 Tbs. olive oil (separated)
I small onion, chopped
1/4 cup potato flour1and 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock (make by adding chicken cube or chicken soupd powder – consommé to boiling water)
Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil and add the chopped onion. Cook until it starts to soften and the onion is translucent,
Add the eggplant cubes and cook until the eggplant begins to soften. Season well with salt and pepper.
Onions and Eggplant
When the eggplant is soft, remove the mix from the stove and place in a bowl while you cook the ground turkey.
In the same skillet, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil and add the chopped garlic and jalapeños. Cook for a few seconds to flavor the oil. Add the ground turkey and cook the meat while you are constantly turning it and separating it as you do so. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat turns a “white” color.
Once the turkey is cooked, add the onion and eggplant mixture back into the pan. Mix well.
Add the tomato sauce and let the mixture cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend. Add the chopped cilantro or parsley and blend in.
Place half the mixture in a rectangular casserole dish and allow to cool while you make the mushroom sauce.
* See end for what to do with other half of meat mixture.
In a saucepan heat 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook till soft. Add the mushrooms and let them soften. Keep stirring them from time to time.
Season them with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and stir in the potato flour. return to heat to cook for a minute or two so flour is slightly cooked.
Remove from heat and gradually add in 1 cup of chicken stock stirring the mushroom mixture as you do so to avoid any lumps forming. Once you have a smooth soft loose mixture, return the saucepan to the heat. Add more chicken stock and keep stirring allowing the mixture to thicken into a thick “creamy” sauce.
When it reaches the right consistency, remove from heat and pour over the “meatloaf”.
Thickened mushroom sauce
You can allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator and then wrap it well to freeze, or if ready to serve, heat through in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending how cold you allowed it to get.
* Place the other half of the meat mixture in a second casserole dish. Allow to cool. This dish can be turned into a type of Shephard’s Pie or Cottage Pie by topping it with mashed potatoes. You can freeze the cooked meat as is at this point, and remove from freezer, defrost and make the mashed potato and bake for half an hour at 350°F or you can make the mash potato and freeze the whole dish.
To make the mashed potatoes, take 4 large russet or yellow potatoes, peel them and cut them into large chunks.
Place them in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1.5 tsp. kosher salt, and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and allow the potatoes to cook for about 20 minutes until they are soft to a fork piercing them.
Drain off most the water.
Add about 2 Tbs. Parev margarine to the potatoes and mash till smooth and creamy.Taste and add salt and pepper for flavoring.