The last time I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey was in 1988. Why change that now? We will be in Las Vegas next week, and I have NEVER ordered a turkey entree in a restaurant. We eat deli turkey sandwiches on occasion, and I have probably cooked a turkey breast or two since then. We have turkey cutlets a couple of times a year, but haven't had anything closely related for quite a while, so when at the grocery store yesterday, some ground turkey flew into my cart.
Thanksgiving food doesn't do it for me. I only like stuffing (which I make on occasion to go with chicken or pork) and cranberry sauce. I hate gravy, won't eat yams, and am not fond of either pecan or pumpkin pie. I like pumpkin in savory dishes like soup or polenta. Actually, what inspired the ground turkey purchase was a jar of chili cranberry sauce that Jane brought as a hostess gift. I love cranberries, and was dying to try it!
I decided on some kind of meatloaf. I browsed a few meatloaf recipes, but didn't find anything appealing. Here is what I came up with:
Turkey Meatloaf with Bacon and Swiss
20 oz. lean ground turkey
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c. bread crumbs
10-12 sage leaves, chopped
4 oz. grated swiss
Fry bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble bacon. Drain grease from skillet and cook onion until tender (3 min.) Let onion cool. In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, sage, cooled bacon and onions. Mix with your hands. Grate and mix in most of the swiss cheese, reserving some thin slices for the top. Shape into a loaf and bake in a sprayed loaf pan at 350 for 45 min. Remove from oven, place sliced cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes, until cheese is melted, and turning golden. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
We had ours with leftover pumpkin polenta, and the delicious spicy chili cranberry sauce from San Diego's "Old Town". This is a keeper! There is enough left to have one more "turkey dinner" in 2008. This is probably as close as we will get!