Friday, July 31, 2009

Meatloaf! (I never said I was an epicurean)

Thursday was another Farmer's Market visit. I went crazy with lettuces, this time. I bought humongous heads of Romaine, green leaf, and iceberg lettuce. I didn't use any of them Thursday night, though.

Instead, we had corn on the cob! I love the random patterns Cheyenne makes on the cob.

We also had meatloaf, and Oven Crispy Cheese Fries.

Here's the potatoes, as I am cutting them into French fry shape. It's pretty easy-- slice the potato into 1/2" thick slices, then cut those slices into 1/2" sticks. Notice the bee-you-ti-ful tomatoes and lettuce in the background. Notice, too, that I'm not smart enough to take pictures of the finished fries. Or the meatloaf, which is the point of this post.

I have lots of meatloaf recipes. Meatloaf doesn't seem to have a very big fan base, but I like it, especially when using Full Circle Farm Grass-Fed Beef! Meatloaf is also a great meal to freeze for later-- I try to make two batches at once and freeze one and cook the other one for dinner. Not that that always happens, of course. Thursday afternoon all three kids fell asleep so I took a nap (cue ecstatic music). While wonderful, that meant I didn't have much time to throw supper together. I actually formed the meatloaf into 6 little loaves and microwaved them. I wouldn't say they were quite as good as when cooked in the oven, but they certainly were faster, and it freed up my oven for the oven fries.

I'm going to have a double oven someday. Someday.

This first recipe was given to me by my husband's cousin when we were married. It has very basic ingredients, but it is one of the yummiest meatloafs I've eaten!

Betty's Meatloaf
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onions
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce, divided
  • reserved tomato sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 2 tsp. prepared mustard
Mix together beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs. (The best, while the messiest, way to do this is just to mix it with your hands). Add onions and one-half tomato sauce. Form into loaf in 9x3x5" pan (standard loaf pan). Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. In saucepan, combine topping ingredients; bring to a boil. Pour over meatloaf. Bake 10 more minutes.

Cheddary Meatloaf
This recipe was in the newspaper some years back. It was from a firehouse cook.
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup dill relish
  • 1/2 cup dry Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 6 bacon strips
Mix all but bacon together. Form into loaf in 13x9 pan. Lay strips of bacon across loaf. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes; uncover and bake additional 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. To serve, lift loaf out of the grease that formed when it cooked-- the meatloaf itself is NOT greasy, but it does produce grease in the bottom of the pan.

I usually make mashed potatoes to go with meatloaf, but I was wanting some of these fries that night. This recipe is from Emeril-- I've never tried any of his other recipes, but this was in Family Circle magazine, and it's a really good recipe!

Oven Crispy Cheese Fries
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.), scrubbed
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp. Baby Bam (recipe following)
  • 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 T thinly sliced scallions (optional)
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425°. Grease large baking sheet with the oil. Pat potatoes dry and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Turn each slice flat and slice lengthwise into even fries. In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until very light and foamy. Add the potatoes to the egg white and toss to coat. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon. Spread fries on greased baking sheet, leaving room between fries. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle 1 tsp. Baby Bam. Flip fries, then sprinkle other teaspoon of Baby Bam. Bake 20 more minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with scallions, if desired.

Baby Bam
This is Emeril's signature spice blend. I might halve the proportions, since I don't make a lot of Emeril's recipes. Maybe I should, though, this recipes sure is good!
  • 3 T paprika
  • 2 T salt
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
Mix together. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

And, if meatloaf is not your thing, here's a great sandwich that you can eat with the Cheese Fries. This was in the same issue of Family Circle magazine (many years ago now!) and I always serve them together. This is NOT an Emeril recipe, although it, too, is Cajun.

Cajun "Crab Cake" Sandwich
  • 12 oz. surimi (imitation crabmeat)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 small pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 large egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. hot-pepper sauce
Heat oven to 400°. Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In food proccesor, pulse all ingredients until just chopped. (Or, if you're not a Cool Kid with a food processor, chop it all by hand.) Divide mixture into four portions; firmly press one portion into 3/4 cup dry measuring cup. Invert and tap on baking sheet to remove. With hands, slightly press and shape mixture into a 4-inch patty, about 1-inch thick. Repeat with remaining portions. Bake in 400° oven until browned, about 40 minutes. Serve on buns, with Oven Crispy Cheese Fries on the side!

That's all for tonight! Tomorrow I might post some recipes that actually use all the lovely green stuff I bought at the farmer's market.

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