Food & Wine

Spicy Mini Meatloaf

The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section March 18 will feature tips on cooking fresh seasonal foods without measuring cups, spoons or formal recipes from Jean Johnson's Cooking Beyond Measure. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.

Spicy Mini Meatloaf

4 single-serving meatloaves

This recipe makes enough for 4 small meatloaves; we're suggesting you freeze three of them and bake one at a time. To adjust the heat level to your taste, use mild to spicy salsa and, if desired, omit the pepper-sauce glaze.

Serve with roasted, mashed or scalloped potatoes (or root vegetables) and a crisp green salad.

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground pork (may substitute ground turkey, chicken or beef;

internal temperatures should be 170 for the poultry products)

1/2 cup dried plain bread crumbs

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup store-bought salsa

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus a few leaves for

optional garnish (may substitute cilantro)

2 teaspoons any mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup apple jelly (may substitute apricot preserves)

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

Instructions

Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees. Use nonstick cooking oil spray to lightly grease the insides of four 4- to 5-ounce ramekins. Combine the pork, bread crumbs, egg, salsa, chopped parsley, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix until well incorporated. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions; form each into a ball, then fit them into the ramekins, leaving the meatloaves domed on top.

Combine the apple jelly and hot pepper sauce in a microwave-safe container.

Microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds to soften the jelly. Whisk to form a glaze, then brush it on the top of each meatloaf; there may be some leftover glaze, which can be used to brush the baked meatloaf. Wrap 3 of the ramekins tightly in plastic wrap for freezing.

Bake the remaining meatloaf for about 20 minutes or until it is nicely browned on top and its interior temperature registers at least 160 degrees on a instant-read thermometer. Let cool slightly, then unmold and place on a plate, glazed side up. If desired, brush again with any remaining glaze.

Garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.

NUTRITION Per serving: 438 calories, 23 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 26 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 135 mg cholesterol, 929 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar

MAKE AHEAD: The unbaked meatloaves freeze well for up to 1 month. Let defrost in the refrigerator before baking. The meatloaf also can be made in one small loaf pan and sliced into portions after baking; increase the baking time as needed so the meatloaf's internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

From Food editor Joe Yonan, The Washington Post, based on a recipe in "The Gourmet Toaster Oven" by Lynn Alley (Ten Speed Press, 2005).

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