FORECAST - Followers of Rural East-Central Alabama Storm Trackers

Thursday, September 23

Hail to the Almighty Meatloaf!!

Ok, laugh it up, people.  I know the title is goofy.  Aiight...you can stop laughing now.  I'm being serious.  Meatloaf is actually good.  I hear you scoffing, but it really is.  It's also a very versatile dish...it's another of those meals that's only limited by your own imagination.  I hear you laughing again, people...give me a chance to explain, ok?

Meatloaf is one of the "comfort" foods.  It's easy to prepare, and just screams family!!  But, it CAN get a tad boring, right?  I can assure you...if you get bored with your meatloaf, it's really easy to fix.  Like I said, just use your creative skills, and you'll never see meatloaf the same way again. 

Let's start with your basic recipe.  Virtually every meatloaf ever made contains these 3 ingredients...ground meat, egg, and a starchy binder.  Some might use ground beef or turkey...some might use bread, oatmeal or saltines...but the basics are all about the same.  You combine these items, shape it into a loaf form, and bake at 350.  Simple...and bland as hell.  YUCK!!

So...in the immortal words of Emeril...let's kick it up a notch (I've ALWAYS wanted to be able to say that...hey, you can stop laughing now).  How, you ask?  Surprisingly, this will take very little effort on your part.  It's just  a matter of taste...and inspiration.

Here's a list of ingredients to toss in to give your bland, boring meatloaf the UMMPHHH it deserves...you can find them all at Tasty Meatloaf Recipes

For a Mexican twist: try adding 1 can of RoTel Tomatoes with Green Chilis to the mix.  Form the loaf, then top with 1/2 c of your favorite salsa.

Try it Italian style:  add 1/2 c chopped mushrooms, 1/2 c chopped onions, 4 slices chopped crispy bacon, 1/2 tsp each of oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder and salt, and top with 1 c of mozzarella cheese and a small can of tomato sauce.

How about Barbecue: using a combination of beef, pork, and turkey, mix in chopped onion and mushrooms, add basil, garlic and Worchestershire sauce, and top with your favorite BBQ sauce.

You see?  The possibilities are mindboggling, but the taste is out of this world.  Now I'm going to give you my personal recipe for meatloaf.  While I do try some others, this is the one I always end up coming back to time and again.

2 lbs ground chuck
2 lg eggs, beaten
4 slices bread (I use white sandwich bread), broken into small pieces
2 envelopes onion soup mix
1 lg onion, cut 1 full slice off, then chop the rest
1 green bell pepper, cut 3 thin slices off, then chop the rest
1/2 c ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350.  In large bowl, combine meat, eggs, bread, onion soup mix, chopped onion, and chopped bell pepper.  Mix lightly, just enough to combine the ingredients (mixing hard leaves the meatloaf tough).  Form into a loaf shape in a 9X13 baking dish with high sides.  Place sliced onion and bell pepper on top of meatloaf as a decoration.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine ketchup, brown sugar, and Worchestershire sauce in a small bowl.  Allow to stand until meatloaf is almost done (about 10 minutes left).  Remove meatloaf from oven, and using a large spoon, remove as much of the drippings from the pan as you can.  Pour ketchup mixture over meatloaf, return to oven, and allow to bake the remaining time.

There you have it folks...a very tasty meatloaf that even kids really like!!  ENJOY!!!




1 comment:

Joanne said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Meatloaf.. total comfort food