Friday, May 7, 2010

Personal Italian Meatloaves with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

On Monday I did a cooking segment with Fox 10 here in Phoenix. If any of you had the chance to watch, it was a lot of serious fun and, as always I giggled way more than I should. If you've never been inside a TV studio, this is the view from my side of the cooking table. As promised, I am posting the Italian meatloaves today. They are a nice little freezer meal to have on hand for personal portions. They're awesome for lunches, dinners, and any crazy cooking emergency. Just right in fact for any TV cook who happens to forget the main portion of her ingredients in a big red bag in the fridge that should have been taken to the studio, but in this case made her husband almost die of a heart attack and drive at break neck speeds to get said bag to her in time for the segment. When bags don't arrive...these are perfect. Yes. Even if the bag arrives with only five minutes to spare...plan B is still amazing. Amazing enough to go forward with anyway in front of all the morning viewers. How many people live in Phoenix anyway? I happen to know that figure. It's 1,567,453. The Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area has a population of 4,281,899 (as of 2008) making it the 12th largest metropolitan area in the USA. I don't know how many are in the surrounding cities that watch the show, but...I'm just saying. These little guys are good.
I served them with some simple home grown spinach and fresh pressed garlic. Sauteed with the meatloaves. My son picked the spinach that morning. Isn't he sweet?

Chef Tess' Personal Italian Meatloaves
2 lb spicy lean turkey sausage
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (by the yeast on the baking aisle)
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1T fennel seed
1T minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 oz part skim mozzarella cheese
1 Roma tomato, sliced in 12 thin slices
12 green olives, pitted
6 black marinated olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine turkey sausage, oats, onion, gluten, sun-dried tomato, fennel, garlic and tomato paste until completely mixed. Divide mixture between 12 muffin cups. I use silicone muffin pans because they can go from the oven to the fridge/freezer and make removing the meatloaf a very simple process. When I'm ready to bake, I take half of the cheese and cut it into 12 cubes to go inside the meatloaf. Then I pinch the meat mixture around the cheese cube.
Bake 25-30 minutes. While they bake, slice the remaining cheese into 12 small slices, along with slicing the olives in half. Take the meatloaves out of the oven and top with a slice of cheese and one small slice of tomato. Sprinkle with parsley. Cheese will melt slightly.
Top with olives. Place in fridge and allow to cool. Transfer to freezer safe bags. Yield 12 personal meatloaves.
To serve: Defrost overnight in the fridge or place frozen meatloaf on a microwave safe plate. Microwave on high 2 minutes for one loaf, or 5-7 minutes for 4. To heat from frozen in the oven, place in personal ramekins or oven safe dishes, top with a few tablespoons of marinara sauce, and bake 350 degrees 15-20 minutes, until heated through or internal temperature of 170 degrees.

There you go.


Unknown said...

i am so glad you told me where to get this
vital wheat gluten (by the yeast on the baking aisle)

because i do have to make a run to the store of for the meat the only other ingredient i am missing..

i am doing this one tomorrow!

i think i did mention Monday on Facebook they seemed to be impressed about the fresh picked spinach.. lol

you are great!
I can't tell you enough!

TARA said...

Apparently my ignorance is showing. What's the wheat gluten for anyways?

Chef Tess said...

Grammee Love you!! Thank you. Tara, you are probably asking what a lot of people are thinking...but I use the gluten for a nice meatier texture than what you would get by adding bread crumbs or regular flour. It's the protein used in most vegetarian meat substitutes and the powder is what I use in my veggie dogs and meatless sausages. Great question!!

Mama Peck said...

These look delish! They're definitely going on my 'try soon' list.I just discovered your blog last night and have been having a grand time reading thru your posts.. so many great ideas and recipes! I am a fan!

The Beso Team said...

Dear Stephanie,

Thank You for entering the Bake Up Summer Sweets Contest. I hope you are given the opportunity to own a new KitchenAid mixer so you can whip up your shortcake with rhubarb recipe with ease.
Thank You and Good Luck!
The Beso Team

Connie said...

I've missed a few of your posts and let me tell you, your salad is so pretty and looks delicious and those cream puffs, YUM! The meat loaves are cute but not as cute as your little guy with the spinach!
I was hoping to see a video of your segment.
Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes!

kate blue said...

hubby was just asking when I was gonna learn to cook meatloaf (I love to cook but never tried meatloaf since I never liked it from childhood)...hope you don't mind if I try yours!!