Your Life A to Z Recipe: Monday, August 4th, 2014: Meatloaf & Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta

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Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves: 8-10


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread flakes)

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place the beef, turkey, pork, parsley, thyme, chives, eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Put the panko in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the panko is finely ground.
Add the onion mixture and the panko to the meat mixture. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it's combined but not compacted.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until it forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan (this will ensure no air pockets). Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 155 degrees F to 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves: 6-8


Ingredients:
6 ounces good feta, crumbled
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 tablespoons  red wine vinegar
2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
12-14 artisanal bread slices such as Levain or Pugliese, toasted
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Procedure:
For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
For the tomatoes, up to an hour before you're serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings.
To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on a platter and scatter with the pine nuts. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve.