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Lean mean turkey loaf

Here's a great opportunity to get really messy and creative at the same time. And talk about terrific flavors!

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Baby Bam
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Tools: measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, knife, garlic press (optional), large mixing bowl, 1-pound loaf pan, spoon, instant-read thermometer, oven mitts or pot holders.

Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash your hands and place the turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, bread crumbs, celery, bell pepper, egg, 1 tablespoon of the ketchup, garlic, Baby Bam, salt and ground pepper. Mix with your hands until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Transfer the turkey to a 1-pound loaf pan and use your hands to form it into a loaf shape.

Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of ketchup on the turkey and smear evenly over the top with the back of a spoon.

Bake until brown on top, cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reaches 165 degrees, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the loaf from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

-- Emeril Lagasse

Thursday, March 28, 2002

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