A great place to find inspiration for new dishes is from other food bloggers. A couple months ago, I was chatting with Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen on Twitter, and somehow we got on the subject of meatloaf.
I hadn't made the classic dish for quite some time and was looking for ways to put a new spin on it. Cathy suggested using oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs, which she said should be soaked in milk. That sounded like a great idea. The oats got me thinking about cinnamon and raisins, which made me think about pushing the meatloaf in a Moroccan direction, spice-wise. So in went ground cumin, turmeric and paprika.
This meatloaf turned out with a wonderful, moist texture. The oatmeal really disappeared into the rest of the ingredients, and the spices and raisins gave it a nice spicy-sweetness.
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole milk1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for spraying the baking dish
1 yellow onion diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb. ground beef or meat loaf mix (I use Whole Foods' mix of ground beef, pork and veal)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1. Preheat 350 F.
2. Combine the oats and milk in a small bowl to soak.
3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
4. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the large bowl with the sautéed vegetables, then add the milk-soaked oats. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until well combined, then transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with olive oil. Shape the mixture into a long loaf and bake for about 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 F. Allow to rest about 5 minutes, then slice until 1-inch slices.