Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Loafing Around

If you were to ask 100 people to make a meatloaf and bring for a tasting you would most likely have 100 different variations. Meatloaf is one of those things that you like, "your way" or no way. I personally do not like to corrupt my meatloaf with chunks of anything, especially green bell pepper. I don't mind onions, or red bell pepper in meatloaf, they just need to be very finely chopped. I like meatloaf the way my Mom made it, and followed that recipe until about ten years ago when I ran across a recipe that became my new favorite. Of course I have to change it and add my spin on it, but I have to tell you it is wonderful.

I think there is a federal law that you have to have mashed potatoes with meatloaf, and green beans. People ask me ALL the time how to make mashed potatoes and I don't really know how to respond, kind of like trying to describe how to boil water to me. I did add a recipe for mashing potatoes in my cookbook, and will share that with you then move on to the meatloaf recipe I hope you will love.

For excellent mashed potatoes you will need one potato per person, then one for the pot. Peel and dice the potatoes, in uniform chunks. Add to a large pot and cover with at least an inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the potatoes come to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water. Cook 5-7 minutes until a fork will easily slide into the potato. Drain the water. Add the potatoes back to the pot and add about 1 tablespoon of butter per potato used (if they are small potatoes like say kiwi size, use one tablespoon per two). Using an electric mixer, begin mixing on low to incorporate the butter and potatoes. When the butter and potatoes are smooth add enough half and half (ok, you can use milk) to reach the creaminess you like. I usually add about a cup of milk to the big batch (8-10 potatoes) we eat. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to your personal preference. Oh, I prefer Yukon Gold potatoes over any other.
My Meatloaf

1 lb. Ground Meat ( I usually use a mixture of breakfast sausage and ground beef)
1 1/2 cups crushed Fritos corn chips
4 stems of green onion, finely chopped
12 oz. Bottle Heinz Chili sauce
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8 compartment mini-loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients to the bowl and mix until completely combined. Evenly fill loaf compartments and top with chili glaze. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm and juices run clear.

Chili glaze:

1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/2 cup brown sugar

Add ingredients to a small bowl and mix completely, spread evenly on each mini-loaf.

  • I like to use a stand mixer because it really breaks the meat down and gets the mixture very smooth. I really like the texture of the finished loaf.
  • I usually add about 1-2 tablespoons of water to the chili sauce bottle and shake to get all of the sauce out.
  • These bake really quick so check them around 25 minutes.
  • There is nothing I like more than the end piece of meatloaf. If this is your favorite too, then you are in luck because the mini-loaf pan give each loaf a great crust.
  • I usually double the glaze and use some for dipping when the loaves are cooked. DO NOT DOUBLE DIP THE SPOON YOU USE. Dollop a heaping spoon of glaze on each loaf, don't touch the meat with the spoon. When you've dolloped all the loaves, then smooth it out.

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