Spicy Merguez Loaf
Mike Solomonov, the chef at the acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, brings us a loaf with flavors so complex and elements so varied that your guests will presume you spent hours standing over your stove, rocking out to Green Day and stirring. If you choose to make the optional harissa ketchup featured here, rather than purchasing commercial harissa, they will be partially correct.
But in truth, in the time-to-benefit ratio, this dish is the greatest boon to your meatloaf-ing life. You can mix up the loaf in about five minutes, as there is minimal chopping. It then develops its flavors and texture in the fridge while you sleep, go to work, spend the entire day secretly praying that one of your colleagues is transferred to Manila, leave work, curse traffic, stop at the store for some much-needed red wine and race into the house to finish the dish.
You will find the loaf batter drier than others you have made, because it is indeed sausage-like. This loaf’s calling card is its fire—both in the loaf and in the glaze—so it’s for those who like it hot. We give you an alternative to the Aleppo pepper that Mike says is ideal to use, because Aleppo’s availability is limited due to conflicts in Syria, home of, yes, Aleppo. When slicing this loaf, use a bit of extra elbow grease to get through the surprising (and delightful) boiled eggs. The chef recommends a loaf pan here, and we agree, although if you don’t own one it will work well on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.