Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SXSW, Giada's Turkey Meatloaf, and Roasted Vidalia Onion and Carrot Salad with Dill Dressing

I am so sorry I have been MIA with my posts and comments lately. I have been busy attending SXSW - my first time ever even though I'm from here...practically.

Anyway I am so thrilled to report back to you with what I've seen, heard, and learned. I even went to a blog panel with Molly Wizenberg of the famous blog Orangette and book, A Homemade Life. But as sexy as SXSW sounds - it's exhausting and at times actually painful. Especially when you're nearing your mid thirties and your best night imaginable involves dinner at home and being asleep by 11:30. The point is - tonight was my first evening of respite from all of the festivities and I took full advantage and made dinner at home ( know - I'm crazy!)

I may be over biased based on the past few nights in a row of eating Taco Cabana at 1 am (nothing wrong with that...if you're 20) but this dinner will go down in history as one of my all time favorites on earth. It made me grateful to have taste buds. In fact I'm drooling now just thinking about it even though I only finished it two hours ago.

The meatloaf recipe was courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis. How bizare is it that my two favorite meatloaf recipes on earth come from a woman famous for Italian cuisine (the other is her lamb meatloaf.) This meatloaf has nothing in common with the other recipe aside from sundried tomatoes (I.E it has everything in common, if you're a sundried tomato fan.)

Anyway as you make the meatloaf you will think to yourself - 1/4 cup olive oil? Really? But you will carry on with the hope that the recipe was created by a famous person and printed in a danged book for Christ's sake and therefore must be accurate. But later when you check on it in the oven you will look at the liquidy mess and say I knew it - it was a damn typo!

But then you'll finish cooking it, having no other choice at this point, let it cool, and notice that the drippy mess has somehow transformed into a beautiful 'loaf'. And then you taste it and realize - that bobble headed beauty knows her stuff! It's downright dreamy. Rich and complex with the feta and sundrieds yet light and clean at the same time. One of my favorite all time recipes...but again...did I tell you how I felt about sundried tomatoes? Or that I have been binge drinking for the past five (seven) days?

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes
* Lightly adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and drained well
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt (you may use less if you're salt sensitive or if using plain bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 package lean ground turkey (usually about 1.1 pounds)

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, eggs, olive oil, lemon zest feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and/or it looks 'set' and no longer a liquid-y mess, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve with or over roasted carrot and vidalia salad with dill dressing, below.

Mustard Dill Dressing for Roasted Carrot and Vidalia salad:

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
pinch fresh cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients into a glass jar or other and shake until emulsified.

Salad Components/Instructions:
2 Vidalia onions and 4 carrots, sliced into thick slices, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 375 for 45 minutes, turning over halfway.
2 cups Romaine lettuce or other type lettuce, for salad

* Toss lettuce leaves with salt, pepper and dill dressing. Top with roasted carrots and onions.


Jenn said...

I always wanted to go to SXSW...but I'm now in my late 30's and boy, it just doesn't sound as fun anymore! lol I'm with you...a wild and crazy night is staying up until 11:30 and having 3 glasses of wine!! LOL
The meatloaf looks so delicious and I don't normally say that about turkey meatloaf..they usually come out so dry looking. Guess that's what all that lovely oil is for!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

LOL Bobble headed beauty, that she is indeed! OMG this loaf sounds good!!!! I love sundrieds. I love feta! Add them into a meatloaf - be still my beating heart :) Yeah defiantly gotta try this one soon! Thanks Alisa!

Design Wine and Dine said...

I have heard they are exhausting! Sounds like fun though! What is not to like about Giada's recipes! They are all good and this looks great! Have to check out the lamb one too!!! :)

StephenC said...

Found your blog via Jennsfoodjourney. You like my kind of food. I'm becoming a follower at once.

Karen said...

Just reading the recipe makes me drool...this meatloaf sounds spectacularly delicious! Sun dried tomatoes and feta are a match made in heaven. And the salad is just as sassy!