It is already that time of the year when its pitch dark as you drive to work early in the morning and looks just about the same when you drive back home at 5 PM. To be honest, I find this dark and dull time of the year rather depressing and keep craving for some sunlight to peer through the thick humongous cloud cover. Though I cook almost daily, most of the dishes never make it to my blog due to the lack of nice photographs owing to the lack of natural sunlight. In an effort to address this dilemma, my husband bought me a professional studio light set as my birthday present last weekend. I was so glad with this gift and hoped for it to be the panacea to my lighting issue. Therefore, after grocery shopping with my daughter last evening, I took my time to get home, cook and set everything up for the photo-shoot, assuming that I no longer needed to rely on natural lighting. But once I began clicking the pictures, my new-found relief and confidence rapidly transformed to frustration and helplessness. Hours of fidgeting with the props, the camera settings or the light sources couldn't help me capture satisfactory pictures and I finally gave up, retiring to disastrous snapshots but a sumptuous well-deserved meal. Nevertheless I am pretty determined to keep trying to make this new 'simulated lighting' environment work as I actually have no other option for another 4 months of winter :(
Coming back to the food, the entree for the night was a Meatloaf which came out deliciously moist even though I had used lean ground Turkey. Usually lean meat could result in a 'drier' Meatloaf but the use of grated carrots and potatoes and by not over-mixing the ingredients helped produce a nice juicy and balanced dish. The experimental touch of Garam Masala added a unique flavor too and though I was utterly disappointed with the pictures, I was pretty satisfied with the meal, especially since my daughter was profusely complimenting me for the "yummy-in-my-tummy" food :)
1-1/2 pounds -Lean ground beef or turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 Cup - Carrot
1/2 Cup - Potato
1/4 Cup - Cilantro
3/4 Cup - Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1/2 Cup - Ketchup
2 Tablespoon - Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1/2 Tsp - Oregano
3/4 Tsp - Garam Masala (*Refer Notes)
1 Tsp - Pepper
1 Tsp - Garlic, minced
For the glaze:
1/2 Cup - Ketchup
2 Tsp - Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tsp - Mustard
1/2 Tsp - Hot pepper sauce
1/2 Tsp - Pepper
1/2 Tsp - Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon - Molasses or Honey
- For the glaze, mix all the ingredients and keep them aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl and then combine all ingredients; mix lightly but thoroughly. Do not over mix.
- Shape meatloaf mixture into 10x6-inch loaf on rack of broiler pan. I recommend a free-form meatloaf as it helps uniform cooking.
- Bake for 40 minutes, take the meatloaf out and brush it with the glaze before returning it to the oven again
- Bake for overall 50 to 55 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked to medium- done (160°F for beef, 170°F for turkey), or until its not pink in the center and the juices show no pink color.
- Let the meatloaf stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes and Tips
- If you do not have Garam Masala, you can add 1/4 Tsp of Cinnamon powder + 1/4 Tsp Cardamom powder + pinch of Clove powder to the meatloaf mixture and to the glaze add a pinch of cinnamon,cloves and cardamom powder
- Do not over mix the meat
- Making a free-form meatloaf rather than in a loaf pan helps the meat to cook evenly
- Do not overcook the meatloaf else you might end up making it too dry
- Usage of a food thermometer is highly recommended
- Once the meatloaf is done allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- It is recommended that you do not use meat that has more than 20% fat else your meatloaf will be too greasy
- You can also make these meatloaf in Muffin Cup and send it as your Kid's Lunch to school- Healthy and Tasty :)