Star Cooking: Scary-Good DIY Meatloaf

Aarti, we hope your confidence is rising, because you’re on a roll! Last week, Liz cooked Aarti’s Tandoori Chicken on Scallion Blini, and now we’re back with another Aarti winner from Episode 3.

Turk-Eye Meatloaf is an unfortunate and not-exactly-appetizing name for a recipe, but the flavor of Aarti’s dish proved otherwise. She drew Horror as her inspiration for the movie-themed camera challenge, and the judges ate up her cute "wandering eye" story that tied this dish to the genre.

Since I wasn’t stuck with any scary movie challenge while making Aarti’s meatloaves at home, I left off the (intentionally) creepy “eye” garnish. Without it, these individual meatloaves make a healthy and simple weeknight meal. Keep the garnish and it would certainly be a fun dish for Halloween.

I loved Aarti’s idea of grating zucchini into the meat mixture—it adds extra moisture, good-for-you veggies and pretty little flecks of green. Also, incorporating chicken sausage (I used turkey sausage since that’s what was available in my grocery store) into the ground turkey loaves adds a great boost of flavor to the meat.

The “bloody” sauce definitely fits its description—red wine gives the tomato-based sauce a rich, deep color and flavor. Didn’t you squirt ketchup on your mom’s meatloaf as a kid? This sauce is a grown-up, gourmet version of that admittedly tasty combination.

Aarti’s kale is the sleeper hit of the plate. It’s incredibly quick to make and might even convert those who normally steer clear of dark leafy greens. The inclusion of chopped dates adds a nice hint of sweetness.

Whose recipe will we be making at home next week? C’mon, you really think we’d tell?! Catch the next episode of The Next FN Star this Sunday at 9pm/8c to see who’s cooking up winners…and who’s going home.

Which Star dish were you inspired to make this week?
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