Nonnas Kitchen Chair
Nonna’s New Turkey Loaf
Nonna’s New Turkey Loaf
I hope you are all staying well and safe. Although it has been challenging for all of us on so many levels, our hearts go out, first of all, to all those who have suffered the loss of loved ones and who have suffered through their own illness and quarantine. Families have had challenges just in staying in touch with each other and in keeping their pantry and kitchens stocked with good healthy food.
Here at SnowHouse, we are blessed with access to grocery and package delivery, even if we have to wait a week or two. We try to plan ahead, as I’m sure you all are doing, sometimes getting a little creative with substitutions in our favorite recipes. Sometimes, we’re inventing new ones, too, just because we realize that substitution worked really well. Other times, maybe not… (LOL!)
For today, I am posting a recipe that just came about at such a time that I had certain items in the freezer and refrigerator that dictated what I could pull together for a new entrée. We really loved it and I hope you do, too.
1 lb. ground white turkey meat
1 lb. ground dark turkey meat
1 C diced yellow onion
½ C thinly sliced celery
1 C frozen peas
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices stale sour dough bread with crust removed
½ C milk
1 C Pecorino Romano, grated (Parmesan, if you prefer)
¼ C olive oil
2 eggs, lightly mixed with a fork
1 T Italian Seasoning (or oregano and thyme)
A little tomato sauce for the top
Place bread in pie pan and pour milk over to soak for a few minutes.
Then, sauté the onions and celery until soft. Add frozen peas and garlic and toss for two to three minutes until peas thaw and garlic soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, place the ground turkey. Separately, gently squeeze the bread, leaving excess milk in the soaking dish and add the saturated bread to the turkey. Add grated cheese, remaining olive oil, cooked onions, garlic and pea mixture, herbs, and eggs.
I use food handler gloves here to mix this gently until all the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Try to keep this light. If mixture is too wet, add a little more dry breadcrumb. If too dry, add a little more oil.
Place mixture into a large buttered loaf pan and bake for approximately one and a quarter hours.
If you have a little extra pasta sauce laying around, you can brush some on the top after 45 minutes or so, if the top is getting dry. Another thought is to brush with a little oil. Mine usually is okay with nothing, but you decide.
Use a meat thermometer if you are unsure of doneness. Some folks check doneness looking for the browning and sizzling coming up from around the edges.
Remove from the oven and let set for a few minutes before serving.