Fabulous Meatloaf with Italian Cheese & Mushrooms

What, you say?  “Fabulous” and “Meatloaf” seemingly don’t belong in the same title.  Once you try this, you’ll change your mind.  It’s EASY, but actually on my list of company-worthy – one I intend to serve to French guests that are expected in July. It’s a wonderful blend of  U.S. meets Euro.  My camera failed me on this one, so you’ll have to take my word for it that it was nice to look at, too.  Not counting the 45 minute cooking time – thrown together in a few minutes.

The original recipe was this:  Turkey Meatloaf with Fontina and Mushrooms .  Martha’s people, as usual, rocking my culinary interests.  But for me, I needed to make it a bit more kid-friendly, and the ingredients a little more budget-friendly and mainstream. The result was even better!

Gather This:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 pound white button or cremini mushrooms, chopped fine so the kiddos don’t recognize it
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 2 small leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, washed, dried
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, such as mozzarella, provolone, romano, parmesan, asiago)
    • 1 slice day-old bread, crumbled into coarse crumbs (no canister crumbs here!)
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat, I use a combination of pork and beef.  If you use turkey, make sure it’s the higher fat ground turkey to get the best flavor and proper texture.

    Do This:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
    2. Return skillet to medium-low and add another tablespoon oil.  Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add to bowl with mushrooms and let cool.
    3. Add cheese, bread, egg, and sage to bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in ground meats, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a ceramic or glass casserole (I use one that’s about 8×11), use your hands to form the mixture into a 10-inch loaf. Bake until cooked through, about 45-50 minutes. Let rest , loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes before serving. Drain off any fat and slice in 1/2 inch portions.

    Serve this the traditional way – with green beans and mashers, but when company comes (and yes! I definitely serve this meatloaf to company) I kick up the green beans and do French haricots (tiny whole green beans) and toss them with butter, lemon zest, pine nuts, and lots of salt and pepper – and then I drizzle the mashed potatoes with a little truffle oil.   You won’t need gravy, because the meatloaf is so flavorful and moist.  But if you must do anything, use just a light red-wine based juice deglaze type sauce – a heavy beef gravy would just destroy it.  You could possibly use a very light tomato sauce because it would be in keeping with the Italian influence of the dish.  But unless your guests are under 10, NO KETCHUP ALLOWED!

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    Filed under Budget Friendly, From My Own Kitchen, Italian-inspired, Kids Favorites, Quick & Easy

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