Last night I had an unwavering desire to be in the kitchen. Whether it was the breaking of the heat to an only slightly-uncomfortable level of humidity or the desire to procrastinate working on my accounting paper, I just wanted to slip into a pair of nude pumps, coif my hair, and put an apron over my house dress and whip up an American staple while sipping a glass of scotch.
I wanted to get all Betty Draper on this meal.
The anticipation of last night’s Mad Men premiere has been building for months, gurgling inside me as I watched reruns full of back-talking secretaries and power hungry men. I wished, on more than one occasion, that wearing little white gloves would come back in style and that my Blackberry could have a rotary attachment. And while I leave most of the scotch sipping to Z, I wanted to indulge in a typical all-American meal, possibly off of a TV dinner tray. If I could find one.
While the women of Mad Men each have their own sordid tale to tell, they are all fine hostesses and play the role well whether their husband is wonderfully entertaining the guests or earning a whack over the head with a vase. I wanted to have a little fun and play the part for my themed meal, with some Sinatra crooning through the speakers and donning my pearls along with my sweatpants.
Meatloaf was clearly the way to go, not only for its stereotypical American-ness but also because I have never made a successful one. I needed a recipe that was healthful and delicious, so I turned to Ellie Krieger, who never disappoints. This meatloaf maintained moisture like a sponge, enhanced with the help of heart-healthy oats and waist-friendly veggies. It mixed together like a dream in minutes and a simple hour in the oven produced enticing smells that I was sure would bring the neighbors to our door.
Turkey Meatloaf (adapted from Ellie Krieger)
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium onion
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 bullion cube, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350*
Slice 1/4 of the onion into rings and set aside. Chop the rest finely.
Mix together the oats and milk in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
To the oats, add all of the ingredients besides the onion rings and tomato sauce. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
In a 9×13 oven proof dish, shape the meat into a loaf about 5 inches wide by 3 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over top and sprinkle with the onions.
Bake for 1 hour, then rest for 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides. We had buckwheat and steamed broccoli.
Luckily our neighbors must be shy, or else we would have had none left after my inner hostess invited them in for a Cognac and a round of charades. And they would have wondered why I think I’m in the 1960s.