July 27, 2008

Spanish Meatloaf

I don't recall eating any meatloaf in Spain. I do recall albondigas, the wonderful little meatballs, which I mostly encountered as tapas in Barcelona. This is different. This was inspired by a rather successful (if you don't count me pretty much scorching the buns) dinner of Spanish-inspired pork burgers, the recipe for which was in Eating Well magazine. I greatly enjoyed the flavours of the finely chopped Manzanilla olives and the earthy saffron. It was as different (in a good way) a burger as I'd had in a very long time.

Since, a few days later, I still had a quantity of both sautéed onion rings and lemon-saffron mayonnaise left from the original dinner, I decided to redux the dinner. However, instead of the potato salad that I served with the burgers, I went with an orzo-chickpea salad with lemon dill dressing, and instead of fussing around with individual burgers, I made the whole thing into a meatloaf, so I could have leftover slices for sandwiches.

I was unable to find sufficiently lean ground pork on this particular shopping excursion, so I settled on half medium pork and half ground turkey, which also turned out to be pretty delicious. I also decided to actually add some saffron right into the meat mixture, which is what gives the little swirls of vibrant yellow that you can see in the photograph. The flecks of red are diced pimento. It worked very well: the flavours stayed true to the original recipe, the meatloaf was moist and tender - partly thanks to the well-minced sautéed onions.

It was fun, a little different, and definitely in the running for repeats. I may even decide to make them into little albondigas, and serve them as a party snack - with a little dipping sauce made from the lemon-saffron mayonnaise, on the side.


Deborah Dowd said...

This looks outstanding!! Meatloaf is always popular in our house but it is nice to have a recipe with a twist.

Dawna said...

Thanks, Deborah! I was really happy with this. A lovely combination of familiar and yet quite different from our usual fare. It made such killer sandwiches, I can hardly begin to tell you!

Catherine said...

That has such a lovely 1950s quality about it! One of those recipes you'd clip out of a magazine: "Try meatloaf's zesty Spanish cousin, for a midweek supper to delight your husband and children..."

Seriously, though, that does sound good. I quite like meatloaf, especially in sandwiches. (But apart from vegetarians, who doesn't, really?)

Dawna said...

You're absolutely right, as usual, Catherine! The success of this one led to suggestions of "other cousins" down the road, too. Curried lamb meatloaf, anyone?

Even the vegetarians seem to like the idea of the loaf, if not the meat itself. Google "Magical Loaf" or check out the meatless-loaf builder tool on Vegan Lunchbox (see my sidebar).