One of my childhood favorites was Mom’s meatloaf made with ground beef and tomato sauce. I have never been able to quite duplicate the savory and sweet loaves that she made but I still absolutely love meatloaf. The February/March, 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine featured eight meatloaf recipes all made from the same basic formula. I was inspired to prepare several of the variations and am happy to report that they were all excellent. The one that we keep coming back to is the Turkey Meatloaf with Fennel and Bacon. While not my mother’s meatloaf it has a similar combination of sweet and savory that I love. And being turkey, it is probably better for you.
I will be increasing the recipe by half and making two of these meatloaves tomorrow. One is for my friend who is recovering from surgery, and one is for a guest who will be joining us for dinner tomorrow evening. I will probably make a side dish of mashed potatoes with some added sour cream, cream cheese, and garlic. I like to use dark-meat ground turkey for this recipe – ground breast meat is too dry and bland for this dish. The recipe also suggests a leaner version by eliminating the bacon and glazing with honey. I say go with the bacon, the smoky bacon flavor really works well with the fennel.
Did you know that you can access whole back-issues of Fine Cooking? If you would like to read the original meatloaf article with instructions on preparing all eight meatloaves click here. Fine Cooking is my favorite cooking magazine. Issue 109 was amazing. There are many other terrific recipes found within its pages. Check it out.