My dad loved Father’s Day.
It was a day we not only celebrated him, it was a day he took off from his perceived duties and loafed around the house after he got back from church.
Father’s Day is always around the NBA Championship and dad relished his uninterrupted time in front of the television on his special day. It was like his “man cave” time and we let him have his moment.
My dad passed away two years ago and I miss him. He wasn’t perfect, in fact he was painfully human, but he was my dad.
Whenever I would snivel about something I couldn’t do like ace my spelling test in school, dad would always say, “In this house there is no such word as can’t. You can do anything you set your mind to. Do you understand me?”
Dad taught me a lot of things – not so much didactically but by his character. He was strong, often stubborn and resolved. He was proud, confident and wasn’t afraid of leading when duty called. His Alabama roots made him a simple man with simple taste. He loved to eat and he was a fearless cook.
In fact my mom and dad were fearless in the kitchen. They both taught me how to make meals from modest ingredients. When I got home from school, Dad would often have me start dinner before he went to work on swing shift. That way dinner would either be done or nearly done when mom got home from working in the sewing factory. He had a system and it worked.
One of the staples he showed me how to make was meatloaf. Dad would use white bread as a filler to mix with the ground beef along with other ingredients like onions, bell pepper and sage. It was tasty and would “fill a corner” as he use to say.
I’ve adapted my dad’s meatloaf recipe and made it leaner by using ground turkey and I’ve added fiber from oatmeal. I call it Bromont Avenue Meatloaf because that’s the name of the street our home was located on in the San Fernando Valley and it’s where I learned how to cook. The simple roasted heirloom tomato salsa adds a little freshness to this moist and delicious meatloaf. As a tribute to my dad I would like to share it with you.
This recipe makes me think of my dad at a time when many of us pause to celebrate the father or father figure in our lives who helped us believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures. Your contribution to our lives is priceless – never doubt that. Enjoy your special day and loaf around all you want – and if you are lucky perhaps someone will make you meatloaf.
Bromont Avenue Meatloaf with Easy Roasted Tomato Salsa
2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium chopped bell pepper (red or green)
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 ½ cups oatmeal
2 lightly beaten eggs
1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Red Velvet Gourmet Spice Rub and Seasoning (optional)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add ground turkey meat to a large mixing bowl and break apart with a wooden spoon. Add remaining ingredients, however only add ½ of the tomato sauce and reserve the rest. Mix well with your hands. Turn mixture onto a foil covered baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Shape meat mixture into a loaf. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the loaf.
Put baking sheet in the oven, uncovered for 15 minutes to allow the tomato sauce to set. After 15 minutes, lightly tent the loaf with foil and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperate of the meatloaf reaches 165 degrees.
Remove the loaf from oven and let it stand 10 minutes. Place meatloaf on a serving platter or cutting board covered with parchment paper. Top the meatloaf with the Easy Roasted Tomato Salsa, slice and serve.
Easy Roasted Tomato Salsa
1 pint cherry tomato (I used cherry heirloom tomatoes)
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped red onion and cilantro
1 finely chopped garlic clove
Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut tomatoes in half and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and mix them well with your hands to coat them. Place baking sheet in a 350 degree oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and while tomatoes are hot, stir in red onion, cilantro and garlic into tomatoes and spoon over meatloaf.