Yeah yeah, spinach and feta stuffed meatloaf will follow, but see, I am FURIOUS. Well, maybe furious is over-selling it, I’m a bit peeved – we were doing so well with the old Droptober business and then oops, technical problems abound, and we missed a day. Ah well. If you’re out there sobbing into your fifth cheesecake of the day and barely able to breathe due to the Rolos stuffed up your nose, you can blame me. Or the good folks at WordPress. I’ll post two recipes tomorrow to make up for it, and, if that doesn’t cut the mustard, I’ll strip off and whip my back with a few Curly-Wurlys melted together. I’m like Jesus Christ but in elasticated Cotton Trader trousers.
I’m going to tell you a quick story about Paul which has been on my mind all day. I can’t recall mentioning it on the blog when it happened but see, he’s switched to a new employer and a new job and thus I feel we can get away with mentioning it without him getting into mischief. See, he used to work in a very serious area of social care and part of that meant attending very important, very serious meetings with doctors, the police, social workers, judges and lawyers all sat around a table. Due to the nature of what they were discussing it was mandatory for the meeting and everything that was said to be video-recorded, and this was done by several small cameras on the desk which would automatically pivot to whoever was talking. All terrifically serious and no jokes allowed.
Naturally, Paul managed to make an absolute tit of himself. See, he dropped his papers. That’s fine, but Paul spends about 96% of his working time tucking his shirt back into his trousers so no-one sees the top of his arse. He’d forgotten to do that, meaning he had to awkwardly crouch down to get his papers rather than mooning all the very ashen-faced folk around the table. And, because he was tense and trying to bend awkwardly, he let loose with a fart that didn’t so much echo around the room as fucking gallop around the table. That in itself wasn’t so bad, but the whole moment of crushing embarrassment was punctuated by the sudden and accusatory whirr of all the cameras immediately spinning and pointing at the cause of the sound. His cheeks weren’t red, they were slightly browned and smelling faintly of last night’s Mongolian beef.
At this point, had everyone collapsed into giggles and chortles (though, more likely spluttering and choking, with people flinging themselves at the glass windows in the hope of sweet escape), the tension would have been relieved, but no. No, everyone shuffled their papers, cleared their throats and cracked on, leaving Paul to burn away merrily with shame and anguish. His boss did ask on the drive back to the office whether ‘anyone had heard an unusual noise’, bless, but everyone knew it was him. I blame myself – the beef was two days out of date.
Luckily, I’ve never had to endure such acute embarrassment, though I’m prone to making a tit of myself, it’s always low-level stuff. For example, I can’t make small-talk with male cashiers without it sounding like I’m leading them on or being plain weird. There’s a young guy in our local Tesco who, bless his heart, could see both ends of a bus coming as it came round the corner. He’s absolutely not my type. It doesn’t stop me feeling I have to be ‘nice’ when he’s helping me in the self-scan – last time I was there I asked who did his tattooes as they ‘looked really nice’, which instantly gave the impression I’ve been leering lasciviously at this bloke. He went pink, I went red and he forgot all about the security check and pushed my trolley through. Perhaps that’s the key to shoplifting – as soon as you approach the Scan ‘n’ Shop bit just wink at the guy standing looking serious, paw at his arse and go ‘OOOOH CUT ME OFF A SLICE OF THAT’. Or, don’t.
I’m forever mis-spelling words in emails (signing off with kind retards, asking accunts to sort out expenses) to the point where I can’t send an email without triple-checking things now, which is unfortunate when someone needs an answer straight away and I have to check to make sure I haven’t slipped bumfucker into my ‘next steps’ paragraph. Oh, there was one time I managed to embarrass myself to the point where the air in my throat chokes me even now as I think about it – way back in high school my lovely form tutor sat us all down at the start of the year and told us she had some important news – her husband had hung himself over the summer holidays. Awful, of course, absolutely awful. But see, I just can’t handle solemn silences, I get so anxious and stressed that it manifests itself into giggles and tics. Of course, I laughed, and I swear to God, I’ve never apologised to anyone more in my life since that moment. I remember masking it as a coughing fit but that just made it worse.
I’m not a complete bastard, please don’t judge me. It’s 100% involuntary and since that moment I’ve gone out of my way to remove myself from situations where people tell me sad news. Hell, I’ve only been to three funerals in my life and even at my nana’s I almost burst out laughing because I imagined her hearing aid still whistling away in the coffin like a distant fax machine. My aunt and uncle died at the same time when I was a teenager and I was probably the only person in that church simultaneously crying and balling my fist into my mouth to stop the laughter – to be fair, they brought out the second coffin and set it down on a trestle table with very wobbly legs, giving me visions of the whole thing giving away and tumbling his corpse down the aisle. What can I say, I love a bit of slapstick.
Anyway, I can barely type because I’m cringing so much I’m getting neck-ache. Let’s deal with dinner, shall we? This makes enough for four and you’ll need a smallish loaf fin!
to make spinach and feta stuffed meatloaf, you’re going to need:
- one 500g pack of turkey mince – normally 2% fat, so syn-free
- 130g of reduced fat feta – two people’s worth of a HEA
- one HEB breadbun – 60g
- 25 of Tesco Ingredients sundried tomatoes – these are dried ones rather than done in oil – you simply hydrate them in water beforehand – or use sundried tomato puree, or leave it out, hey, listen, you don’t need me telling you what to do
- that’s a fib, you totally do, should we agree a safeword?
- two big red onions
- four cloves of garlic
- one or even two large bags of spinach, depends how much spinach you like – I like loads and you’ll note that when you boil down two large bags of spinach, it’ll wilt down to approximately the volume of a postage stamp
- one large egg
- one egg white from another large egg
- pinches of salt, pepper, basil if you have it, oregano if you have it
- any name-brand passata, let’s not be fussy
to make spinach and feta stuffed meatloaf, you should:
- chop the onions nice and finely and gently cook them off in a pan with a few sprays of oil
- remove the onions into a bowl
- add the spinach into the pan and let it wilt right down
- once wilted, take the spinach and squeeze every drop of water you can out of it
Here’s a top tip from us: use a potato ricer to squeeze the water of spinach in no time at all. Potato ricers also make amazing mash, but this is a brilliant use for it – you can buy one by clicking here – and they’re nice and cheap!
- add it back into the pan, just off the heat, add the minced garlic, crumbled feta, sundried tomato and the egg-white and stir to mix it all up with a load of black pepper
- put that to one side and let’s start building the meatloaf – stick the oven onto 170 degrees
- tip the turkey mince into the same bowl as the onions – add the breadcrumbs, egg, pepper, bit of salt, basil, oregano and then really go to town mixing it all up – don’t be shy, pound away at it, get it all mixed up
- if it is still a bit wet, add more breadcrumbs, but remember to syn them – I didn’t need extra breadcrumbs though
- pop a few sprays of oil into a loaf tin and then shape the mince along the bottom and up the sides, saving some on the side to make a lid
- spoon the spinach and cheese mix into the middle and then form a top over the spinach to create a full seal
- hoy it in the oven – after thirty minutes, add a glaze over the top of some passata, then cook for another forty minutes or so until the meat is cooked
- turn it out, leave to cool, slice it after ten minutes and serve with your sides
Feel free to swap the turkey mince for beef or pork mince! Right, if you want more ideas, click the buttons below and, look, we’ve got lots more meatloaf recipes:
- pizza stuffed meatloaf
- syn-free courgette and turkey meatloaf balls
- sprouts and bacon meatloaf
- meatloaf cupcakes (haha)
- traditional meatloaf