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Table Talk » Test Kitchen: Black Rice Curried Meatloaf

I've been on a meatloaf kick. We love a traditional meatloaf, but lately I've been attracted to nontraditional meatloaves. My latest meatloaf is a Black Rice Curried Meatloaf from the March/April 2008 issue of EatingWell magazine. One reason this recipe caught my eye is that I had some black rice in the pantry that I wanted to use. Also, one of my clients enjoys curry dishes and I thought this would be a good recipe for them.

Meatloaf isn't very photogenic, but here it is. You can see the specs of black rice in the meatloaf.


The original recipe calls for cooking the rice using the absorption method where you bring the rice and water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. I rarely use the absorption method to cook rice. I mostly cook brown or whole grain rices and use either the pasta method or oven method. In this case, I cooked the black rice using the pasta method. The original recipe calls for chopping the cooled rice into small bits, but I didn't do this because cooked rice is pretty small to start with, and I envisioned bits of rice dancing all over my kitchen as I tried to chop them.

The meatloaf is packed with veggies, which flavor the meatloaf and help keep it moist. It has a shredded zucchini, onion, and celery. First you saute some ginger and garlic, then add the zucchini, onion, and celery to the pan and saute them until they are soft. That takes about 5 minutes. You add curry powder and Worcestershire sauce, then let that mixture cool. I used Penzey's Sweet Curry Powder. Next time, I'll try it with Hot Curry Powder. Or maybe a combination of Sweet and Hot Curry Powders.

Next the rice and veggies are combined, then mixed with ground beef and an egg until just combined. Form a free-form meatloaf, I do this on a broiler pan that is sprayed with olive oil spray. Spread mango chutney on the meatloaf. And bake the meatloaf at 350°F until the internal temperature is 165°F. I use a probe thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.

So how did it taste? I immediately declared it a winner, but Tom was more skeptical. He enjoyed it, but commented that he didn't want it to replace his favorite traditional meatloaf. I assured him that it was not my plan for this to be "THE" meatloaf, just a variation of meatloaf. Tom took leftover meatloaf for lunch the next day and that evening he told me that it really was a keeper.

As promised by the recipe, the black rice curried meatloaf was moist and flavorful. The mango chutney glaze adds a bit sweetness that goes perfectly with the curry-flavored meatloaf. I'll definitely make it again.

Oh and that client that I wanted to make it for, I put it on their menu, but they opted for a traditional meatloaf. I made Fine Cooking's Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf for them. It was good, but a bit too rich for me.

Black Rice Curried Meatloaf
Adapted from EatingWell
Serves 8

1/2 cup black rice
2 quarts water
1 medium zucchini, shredded using the large holes of a box grater
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds 91% lean ground beef
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup mango chutney, plus more for serving, if desired

Bring water to a boil. Add rice and cook using pasta method until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, squeeze any excess moisture from zucchini. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add onion, celery and the zucchini; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder; cook 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and salt until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.

Add the cooled rice to the cooled veggies, stir to combine. Add ground beef and egg and gently mix until just combined. Place the mixture on the prepared pan and shape into a loaf, about 10 inches by 5 inches. Spread chutney evenly over the top.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional chutney, if desired.

Posted June 5, 2008 9:31 PM in Test Kitchen

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1 Comment(s)

Patti said… (on June 6, 2008 at 09:01 AM #)

I forgot to mention that this recipe was developed for Lundberg's Black Japonica rice blend, which is a blend of black rice and mahogany rice. I used Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice, a Chinese black rice.


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