Sugarland, a nearby bakery on Franklin Street, after the midnight service. So to celebrate the last day of Lent and the beginning of Easter, I made spicy meatloaf with jalapenos, pimentos, and a side of cream cheese and chive biscuits. We put the biscuits in a basket set with a purple tea towel. It's an image I'll never forget: Southern cooking wrapped in Lenten colors, a hearty and spicy beginning to Easter, one that ended in a chocolate cupcake with Guinness frosting and a raspberry-peach melba layer cake for Easter proper celebrations.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey, 99% lean
3/4 pound spicy or extra hot sausage**
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or adjust down for less spice)
2/3 cup (about 16) Saltine crackers, crushed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup sliced pimentos or jalapenos (optional, depending on the spice level of your sausage)
6-8 strips bacon or turkey bacon
** Buy local! Mega-brands have higher sodium content and more unnecessary preservatives. So support your community; stick with fresh and local.
In a skillet, heat oil until warm. Add onions and cook until soft and slightly translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix with hands until thoroughly incorporated. (This part is strangely therapeutic. Try it during a hard week and you'll see what I mean.) Add about a quarter of the ketchup sauce, as well as the cooled onions and garlic. Mix until combined.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5 rectangle. Glaze with another quarter of the ketchup sauce and wrap with strips of bacon, making sure that the bacon edges are tucked underneath the loaf. I like to braid mine like a lattice top but I have also wrapped bacon horizontally.
Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until bacon is crispy and internal temperature reaches 160 F. Serve with leftover glaze, roasted asparagus, and cheese grits. This meatloaf, with its bacon top, rich sausage, and light turkey, is a combination fit for Lent, Easter, or any time of year.