A few weeks ago, I made some mini-meatloaf muffins “frosted” with mashed potatoes for my weekly girls night (in which we watch Dancing with the Stars – don’t hate. Team Alfonso btw). Needless to say, they were a huge hit! I had used dark turkey meat but made it more of a traditional Italian meatloaf.
Using turkey and Thanksgiving around the corner, I got to thinking…could I do a Thanksgiving Meatloaf version? Yes, yes I could! Now, in the original I made I put a dollop of (clean) ketchup on each muffin before baking – meatloaf and ketchup go together like peas & carrots – and while I know ketchup would work great on these too, I wanted to make a something more Thanksgiving-y. Cranberry sauce goes with turkey, Cranberry Ketchup goes with Turkey Meatloaf! I took the chinese 5-spice powder which is used in many ketchup recipes and tested out a Cranberry Ketchup recipe. It tastes like a blend of both.
Cranberries contain natural pectin, so when they pop they release the gelling agent. By the way, I can’t help but sing “Zombie Zombie Zom-bay-eh-eh” when I think of “cranberries” or I’ll say to myself “I can’t find my Cranberries CD – I gotta go to the quad before anyone snags it.” Name the movie. 🙂 OK, back to the food. I would make the cran-ketchup ahead of time, or first thing since you put it on the naked muffins before baking.
This recipe uses our cauliflower mash for the top, but mashed potatoes would work amazingly too. I prefer to mash yukon gold with lots of butter. You won’t regret that at all.
Now, put on Planes, Trains & Automobiles (the best Thanksgiving movie ever, people) and get cookin’!
- 2lbs ground turkey, dark meat!
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp fresh sage minced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
- ½ tbsp fresh thyme minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1¾ cup water
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1lb fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 2” piece of orange zest
- 1 cup Maple Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (salt-free)
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin tin
- Mix all above ingredients in a bowl and combine well.
- Fill muffin tins about ¾ with meat mixture, and top each with a heaping tablespoon of cranberry ketchup. (Could also use regular ketchup in place of cranberry ketchup)
- Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° F. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- While meatloaf is cooking, prepare cauliflower mash as instructed.
- Once muffins have cooled, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (or preferred tip) with the mash. Pipe on the mash a la frosting a cupcake.
- Garnish with chopped chives, crumbled bacon or both!
- Heat water & juice in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook uncovered until tender about 10-15 minutes.
- Add cranberries and zest and simmer, uncovered, until berries have popped, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in sugar, five-spice powder, and salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Remove orange peel piece.
- Puree in a food processor or blender until completely smooth, and transfer to an airtight container. (Or put right on your muffins)
- Let cool completely (uncovered) before storing in the fridge for up to 1 month.
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