I'm always trying to clean out my cupboards this time of year. My husband does the bulk of the holiday cooking and we're often left with cupboards full of dried fruits, stock, bread crumbs and other items that will sit around unless I plan specific uses for them.
My younger daughter and I, the only fans of dried cranberries and cherries, will gobble those up in oatmeal. But we both tire after a few handfuls of dried apricots, which often get pushed to the back of the shelf.
I ran across this recipe for turkey apricot meatloaf a few years ago and have made it each year around this time to get rid of some of those apricots. I clipped it out of a magazine and stuffed it in a cookbook that holds recipes like this (yes ... that's how I organize them). A Google search this week finds that I found it in the food magazine Relish.
This recipe takes a bit more time to prepare than most things that I make. Instead of doing it all at once, I got the items ready in steps. I chopped the apricots and shallot and measured out the other items the night before. In the morning, I pureed the apricot, soy sauce and orange juice together. In the afternoon, while my three-year-old played, I mixed it all up. And when my older daughter got home from school and the girls were having a snack, I put it in the pan, laid the bacon on top, topped it with the sauce and stuck it in the oven.
This turns out a sweet and savory meatloaf. The little bits of apricot add a great sweet flavor to the meat.
Turkey Apricot Meatloaf
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup chopped dried apricots, divided
2 pounds ground turkey
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
6 ounces thin-sliced bacon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Puree orange juice, soy sauce and 1⁄4 cup apricots in a food processor so it becomes like a paste. (I used the blender and used a little bit more apricots so that it was paste-like and not watery). Mix together the turkey, remaining 3/4 cup apricots and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Stir in shallot, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, rosemary, salt and egg. I used my hands to make sure it all gets mixed together.
Form into a loaf in a 13-by-9-inch pan. Lay bacon over top of loaf. Spread apricot purée over top.
Bake until browned and glazed and a thermometer inserted into the center reads 165 F. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.
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