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Recipe Finder: vegetarian "meat" loaf

Holly Renew from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for a mushroom loaf that was served at the now-closed restaurant in Canton called the Wild Mushroom. She said it was a featured item on the menu and similar to a meatloaf in consistency but contained no meat.

I was not able to track down the exact recipe she sought, but I did some research and found a recipe for a very tasty vegetable "meatloaf" that was published in the March 2012 issue of Cooking Light magazine. This loaf is full of mushrooms and other vegetables. It has a complex, earthy flavor and a very meaty consistency, and manages to be both savory and satisfying, which is not always the case with meatless recipes.

While the recipe is a bit labor-intensive, the directions were easy to follow, and I thought that the finished product was well worth the effort. This is a dish that tastes even better the second day; when warmed up, it makes for a terrific sandwich served on sourdough bread with a little ketchup and mustard.

Requests

Anne Kilmurray from Pottsville, Pa., would like to have a recipe for tomato jelly or tomato preserves. She had an old one that was her mother's, but she has misplaced it. She remembers that her mother's recipe contained lemon peel.

Claire Martins from Warren, R.I., is trying to find recipe for a chocolate cake like the one her mother made when she was young. As she recalls, the butter and sugar were creamed and then she added melted chocolate and cold coffee. She then added the egg yolks and the dry ingredients, then the beaten egg whites were folded into the batter.


Vegetable 'meatloaf'

Makes 6-8 servings

1 large red bell pepper

1 large green bell pepper

2 pounds cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup 1/2 -inch asparagus pieces

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper4

4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

cooking spray

Topping:

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon vodka or vegetable broth

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preheat broiler to high.

To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure three times with remaining mushrooms.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; saute 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; saute 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.

Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a thermometer placed in the loaf registers 155 degrees.

To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into six to eight slices.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email baltsunrecipefinder@gmail.com. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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