April 15, 2008

Recipe Remix

Middle-Eastern Meatloaf Roll

I was never a fan of meatloaf despite its regular appearance as a staple meal while I was growing up (sorry, mom). The tomato paste or ketchup sauce congealed in an unappealing way and the texture of the loaf itself was often mealy and heavy. I don't think that was mom's fault. I had it at a variety of church potlucks and friends' homes as well and it never became a sought-after meal for me.

So, when I saw the challenge for Recipe Remix for April, in which participants were invited to take an old standby recipe from their list and attempt to apply some creativity, I decided it was time to take advantage of how my own cooking skills have developed over the last few years and also of my food interests that now range into various ethnic cuisines that I never sampled as a child. And, so, I present a new and original recipe: Middle-Eastern Meatloaf, garnered from the review and use of types of kibbeh and other similar dishes.

Photo by: Michael Curry

Middle-Eastern Meatloaf Roll
a Jennifer original

1/3 cup bulgur, rinsed in cold water
1 lb. Ground lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 shallots, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
salt, pepper to taste

4 oz wilted baby spinach
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled

Mix all ingredients for meat mixture together. If possible, do one hour before baking and allow flavors to meld.

Saute the spinach in a non-stick pan with a splash of olive oil. Spread meat on sheet of foil in large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover the surface with the pine nuts, then feta, then spinach, and use the foil to roll like a roulade or jelly roll. Brush the top with melted butter. Bake it on a broiler pan at 350 until thermometer reads 160 degrees F, about 55 minutes. Let set 10 minutes before slicing and serving with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp allspice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 TBSP water
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Mix well. Can be done 4 hours ahead.

Notes: There were actually three versions of the yogurt sauce: (1) with 2 TBSP tahini paste, which did not work, and then (2) as above, but without the allspice, which was fine but needed something else, and so (3) the choice above came to be. I liked the seasoning of the meatloaf as well as the filling. Will very likely make this again sometime.

Posted by Jennifer at April 15, 2008 1:09 PM | TrackBack

This was certainly not an ordinary meatloaf! I enjoyed the seasoning of both the meatloaf itself, which I thought went well with the lamb, and of the filling. In my opinion, the yogurt sauce with tahini didn't really work at all, but the final version complimented the rest of the dish nicely.

Posted by: Michael at May 5, 2008 5:03 PM

Made tonight - it was very well received. Everyone liked it including Dad who did not know the sauce contained yogurt. A very tasty combination with very good blend of flavor. Served with broccoli salad with feta, olive-oil-fried Almonds and Currants, and sliced tomatoes. Bulgur is a new ingredient for me to try.

Posted by: Susan Jackson at September 12, 2012 12:00 AM
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