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Need help with a turkey meatloaf

 
 
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 12:55 pm
I've got some ground turkey thawing in the fridge and wanted to make a turkey meatloaf with it. I don't have any bread, crackers or oatmeal in the house but do have some couscous. I was thinking about using that for the filler in the meatloaf. Question is, should I add it dry or steam the couscous first? Any suggestions?

I was going to use some chicken broth and honey mustard for the moisture in the meatloaf. I'm thinking that if I add enough of it with dry couscous, it should be ok.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,746 • Replies: 13
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princessash185
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 12:57 pm
Let me just say that that sounds excellent. . . :-)

And I imagine that if you don't cook it first, it will absorb moisture much the way the bread would, but, with couscous, wouldn't you think it'd absorb much much slower? You might have to let it sit a while before you cook it in the fridge or so to give the couscous a headstart. . .
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mac11
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 01:01 pm
I don't know, it seems like couscous absorbs liquid fairly easily. (It doesn't need to be boiled with the liquid, it just soaks it up.) My concern would be that you might need more broth than normal or it will be crunchy little bits of couscous in your turkeyloaf.
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princessash185
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 01:03 pm
I'd say use the amount of broth you'd use were you making plain couscous. . . and if your couscous requires soaking, let it soak. . . I know they have some couscous now which will absorb water extremely quickly, but the kind I get always needs to sit or else it stays crunchy in the middle. . .
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Butrflynet
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 01:05 pm
That's my concern too, Mac. Guess I'll have to see how moist the meat feels after it is mixed up. What I might do is cook it in a bath of chicken stock and slow cook it so it can absorb as much liquid as it needs. By the time the stock evaporates, the top of it will have had time to form the usual crusty goodness.
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mac11
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 01:06 pm
Gee where's cav when we need him? :wink:
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 02:35 pm
Yuck....cook the couscous first. Two reasons: a guarentee of no crispy bits, and it will meld into the loaf much better, rather than remaining a strange entity unto itself. Let us know how it turns out.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 02:37 pm
Think about it this way....in a typical meatloaf, you don't taste the bread, should be the same for the couscous. It's just tiny pasta anyway.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 02:44 pm
I should add, couscous does absorb liquid easily, but bread is far more porous, therefore, it absorbs much quicker. Most couscous is quick-cook these days. I generally use a 1:1 ratio of water to couscous. Bring the water to a boil, season with salt and add saffron if desired, pour in the couscous, shake it up a bit to make sure it's all covered with the water, cover, turn the heat to the lowest, and steam about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, fluff it up with a fork and there you go. It should work just fine for the turkey, and it will suck up extra juice during the cooking process, which will be quite nice.
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 06:23 pm
That's exactly what I did except I cooked it in chicken broth with a little honey mustard added to give it some flavor. After it soaked up all the broth, I spread it out on a plate and put it in the fridge to cool.

Then minced a couple of small onions, some garlic and added some thyme, rosemarry, and lemon pepper along with some more honey mustard and mixed it with half a cup of the couscous and turkey. After molding it in a casserole dish, I poured a 1/2 cup of the chicken broth over it to give it some liquid to cook in since there won't be a pool of fat.

It's in the oven now, so I'll let you know how it turned out. I'm expecting it to have an odd texture because the couscous will still be identifyable unless it turns mushy from the extra cooking time and moisture.
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mac11
 
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2003 10:04 pm
Wow it sounds great! I hope it tastes even better.
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Butrflynet
 
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Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2003 05:55 am
Well, the results are that the couscous did in continue to soak up the extra moisture until it was undetectable.

It was good, a little bland. I think I'd mix in some ground pork next time. Pure turkey is just too bland, especially the stuff that is mostly white breast meat. Ground dark meat would of had a lot more flavor. I'd also use some green peppers to spice it up a bit more.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2003 06:03 am
Seasoning is key. Proper salting is one of the big things I need to teach when I do my cooking classes. Also, yes, either all dark-meat, or a mixture of white and dark would have had more flavour.
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princessash185
 
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Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2003 11:23 am
My family's meatloaf is always bland. . . but that sounds much better than most :-)
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