Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Carnivore's Tale

We went out to dinner with some friends the other night and in the course of our chit chat this blog became a topic of conversation. My friend told me that she religiously checks out the photos of my fridge for Fridge Friday; then she carefully leaned in and asked, "But, where is the meat?" I laughed as she listed the veggies and condiments and milk and cheeses that are usual fixtures in my open fridge door posts, but had to admit that aside from a package or two of deli meat, there is seldom any meat in my refrigerator. (There is half of a roasted chicken in a Ziplock on the middle shelf of last Friday's post, though.)

You see, Hubs and I purchase most of our meat directly from the producers. We buy one-half or a full beef from an area rancher (usually a neighbor) and have it processed at the local locker. Pork is purchased the same way, with lamb coming directly from our farm. Whole chickens are supplied by a nearby Hutterite community. Chicken breasts and seafood are purchased at Sam's Club in bulk packaging with individually frozen portions. While my fridge is lacking, my freezer is usually overflowing with protein sources. Trust me. We are carnivores.

However, I am very guilty of the food safety sin of defrosting whatever I have determined will be that night's dinner on the kitchen counter. *I know.* It isn't the proper method. No need to hit me with a ton of comments about how I am going to poison everyone with my cooking. My kitchen is very cool (unless I am baking), and when the frozen product starts to thaw a little, I then will toss it in the fridge. But, most of my Fridge Friday shots are done in the morning before I really know what I will have for dinner that day, or while whatever has made the cut for that day's menu is still thawing on the counter. Therefore, my fridge doesn't reflect what true carnivores we are. Sorry. :-)

Now, this couldn't be a carnivore's tale without a meaty recipe, and Chipotle Meatloaf should please the most carnivorous among us. I adapted Cooking Light's version to use half ground turkey and half ground beef for a "meatier" flavor. Turkey alone is very lean, but doesn't always have the gusto that I want in my meatloaf, especially when paired with the spicy chipotle chiles. (Go ahead and use all ground turkey if you want a main dish lower in fat. There is nothing wrong with changing a recipe up to suit your own carnivore tastes.) You may not be able to locate the meat in my fridge, but here is some Chipotle Meatloaf On My Plate.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 chipotle chile in adobo (freeze the rest for another use)
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle chiles)...use more, if you like the heat
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 egg whites
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
cooking spray
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350.
Saute chopped onion in a bit of olive oil or cooking spray.
Chop the chile.
In a large bowl, combine with onions, adobo sauce, and remaining meatloaf ingredients (through ground turkey).
Place meatloaf mixture in a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and brush over meatloaf.
Cover and bake 30 additional minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. (Serves 6)

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