Saturday, April 3, 2010

Asian Meatloaf with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

So how would you describe the meatloaf? No, I'm not talking about Mr. Bat-Out-of-Hell with his expansive, time-sapping rock opera songs but actually, I'm referring to the dish that is made up of a hunk of meat that is shaped like a loaf of bread (heck, that could've described Mr. Meat Loaf himself!). With its European origins, the meatloaf is certainly not the sexiest dish to make nor does it require an impressive display of culinary skills. Come to think of it, the meatloaf is really just a much bigger version of a meatball, isn't it? Well, it's time to change it up a little and create a healthier version that features an Asian-inspired sauce.

For my version of meatloaf, I'm using ground pork and turkey, not the types of meat that one would expect to find in a meatloaf. As I said before, the meatloaf is not the hardest thing to make and it only requires mixing all the ingredients together, a meatloaf pan and an oven to bake. Here are your ingredients:

1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground turkey
1 red bell pepper (small dice)
1 onion (small dice)
4 cloves garlic (chopped fine)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons Asian garlic chilli sauce
3 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon black ground pepper

All you need to do is to mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Oil the meatloaf pan or line it with parchment paper so that the meatloaf would not stick to the pan. Some pans have perforated inserts that lets the oil from the meats drip away. Here are some affordable examples of meatloaf pans from Norpro 2 Piece Nonstick Meatloaf Bread Pan SetOvenStuff Non-Stick Meatloaf Pan with Fat-A-Way Insert and G&S Designs Aluminum Clad Commercial Grade 2-Piece Meatloaf Pan Set. Once everything is ready, get your oven up to temperature at 375F and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. To check if your meatloaf is done, insert a small knife into the meatloaf and check if the liquid oozing out from your point of insertion is clear. If it is still slightly bloody, continue baking.

To make the sauce, start with dehydrated or fresh shiitake mushrooms. Remove the inedible stems first before boiling the julienned mushrooms in a pot with 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes on low heat. In a separate pan, cook about 1 teaspoon of diced onion and 2 cloves of garlic until tender. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of sherry wine and add the contents into the pot of mushrooms. Next, add 1 teaspoon of Minor's Beef Base, 1 bay leaf and a sprig of thyme and continue cooking on low heat. If the sauce is too salty, adjust by adding more water. Taste again and when the sauce is ready, use 1 tablespoon of corn starch slurry to thicken it. Your Asian meatloaf is now ready to be served.


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