Star Cooking: Scary-Good DIY Meatloaf

by in Food Network Star, Recipes, June 24, 2010
Aarti's Turk-Eye Meatloaves
Aarti Sequeria's Turk-Eye Meatloaves didn't scare the judges!

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.

My eye-less version of Aarti's meatloaf
My eye-less version of Aarti's meatloaf

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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Comments (1,860)

  1. Angie says:

    I'm always looking for a new variation on meatloaf, and this one has a lot of interesting ingredients. I will definitely give it a try. The second photo is a bit more appetizing!

  2. ermal09 says:

    This is the worst season of Star ever. I can't believe this is the best they could come up with after going thru all of the contestants I'm sure they had at their disposal.

    • James says:

      Remember AMY?...who quit i think after 6 months? Too bad. She was a god one with a wholesome girl-next-door persona without gimmicks or weirdness. We need more like her, or last year's winner, Melissa, but she's stuck on a weekend and chances are, 85% of America has no idea all the knowledge they could get from her. Big Daddys food totally ROCKS, and he's stuck on a weekend, too.

      • luvcookin says:

        I think Amy quit after 6 shows, not 6 months. She moved to France with her family. I did not like her. She was too pretentious. I feel she won because JAG had to go since he lied. Rory should have won and would have been fantastic!

        • hollyb53 says:

          I agree that Rory should have won that season. I still remember the recipe she came up with that was featured that year for Bon Appetit. It's too bad FN is still not giving her a chance to shine with her own show. They're becoming a bunch of pretentious snobs. It's obvious they didn't choose the right person that season.

    • Bill says:

      As far as I'm concerned, this season is Aarti's to lose. No one can touch her: Unique, interesting food and a sweet personality and voice that you can't get enough of. She's the "total package" and just needs to get past the jitters. Look at Giada early on - she took a bit to hit her stride too. I think Aarti is a star in the making.

  3. Veronica Culver says:

    Your version looks AMAZING! I have many varieties of meatloaf in my repertoire and after seeing the way you re-made Aarti's loaf, I'm excited to try it. Love the healthy additions of zucchini and kale. I will definitely make this. Btw, I totally loved Aarti's interpretation for the challenge and thought she was spot on.

  4. Stace says:

    I was glad to see this SPAZ go! I was so uncomfortable watching her, it almost made the show unbearable. Hopefully the other spaz will go...Paul. That dude is just wrong and isn't clever enough to invent himself since he clearly doesn't "have it!"

    • Mary says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. That woman (Dzintra) drove me crazy and I don't believe she really had the skills either.

  5. purple says:

    Go aarti!

  6. James says:

    I'm probably pointing iut the obvious here--but--if the watched the show for some years now, you should realize some things that DON'T "make it" on this show:

    1. "17 ingredients on a crouton", or any one dish. The contestant who does that doesn't win. Remember a contestant named Hans?
    2. The person who is too quiet or zen-like doesn't win. Jeffrey.
    3. People who lie or are dishonest don't (and shouldn't!) win. Remember Jag?
    4. A self-taught or home-taught Cook CAN win. Remember Amy and also just last year, Melissa. Being culinary-trained is not bad, but also no guarantee.
    5. Good food is probably somewhat MORE important than a glowing camera presence, at least early on, as camera-stuff can be improved easier than learning how to be a good cook already. Remember Mario Batali.
    6. Everyday non-technical language connects far better with viewers than giving them a history-lesson about what Latin word a food ingredient comes from or what the ancient romans did with it. Who cares? Right here, is where I would rather learn from ROBIN than Alton Brown. His DOES "ooze knowledge"-but--sometimes I think he wants to be a history teacher, or an actor, more than a chef. Just my opinion.
    7. Getting injured does not help you win. 'nuff said.
    8. Bashing your fellow contestants and openly disagreeing with the judges and saying so, will get you out the door, probably next 1 or 2 challenges.
    9. Almost paradoxically, putting on a false sense over-modesty or never being satisfied with your own work can also backfire. If the audience can notice it, so will the judges.
    10. Better to be a wee lil' bit too spicy than to be Bland. Bland food doesnt win.
    11. Neither is good, but, it seems you will more easily forgiven if something is slightly UNDER-cooked that if its burned or tough.
    12. Variety is good!--and if you can show "Deliciousness plus creativity" rather than only having 1 signature dish and just alot of other mediocrity, you've got a really good chance.
    I'm not a chef. Or a former contestant. Just a viewer. I dont think I'm too far off the mark. History--is mostly on my side.

  7. James says:

    I will not be here for Sunday's chat/questions with Melissa. I'll be at work, so I'll miss the whole thing. I remember watching Melissa as a contestant (before she won) and she is Amazing! She has all these "little formula's" and things-to-remember that are VERY handy and useful. I seem to remember Bob Tuschman himself describing her as a treasure of knowledge. Bob is absolutely right! You will see. WATCH her on weekends. And no, she didnt pay me to say any of this. We've never met and I "don't know her from Adam" but let her inspire you. The are many good chef's on foodnetwork. But here is a lady who just plain loves to cook, cooks great, didnt hafta go to Paris, London or Tokyo to do it--and, who can show YOU how to do it in a straightforward way. I'll have to read about it a day or so later. But DO tune-in if you can. You are in for a treat.

    • Mary says:

      Melissa did go all over Europe and she probably did pay you to say all those nice things. She won last year after being caught cheating and spending half her time in tears.

  8. Crocodile dundee says:

    Not a fan of Arti Farti!!! She makes my skin crawl. I hope she does not win because then I know that the Food network has lost it!!!

  9. Marie1L says:

    Aartie seems the most confident. They all need a zen session or a prozac lolipop. So much tension when a lot will be virtually be handed to one of them.

  10. Cat says:

    Aarti is endearing and fun and I'm already hooked! Can't wait to see what she does next and will thoroughly enjoy learning middle eastern cuisine and technique from her. Go Aarti!!