Weekly Winner: My new-found meatloaf fixation turns south…. Of the border, that is.

As this will be my fourth meatloaf entry, I guess it’s safe to say that I am no longer ambivalent about meatloaf.  I now seem to always be on the lookout for an interesting take on the everyday “loaf of meat”. This latest discovery had two major points in its favor.  One, my husband was born in Albuquerque and has a deep and abiding love of chile peppers, so when I saw that this had poblano peppers in it — score one for the meatloaf.  Then, there is the Queso Gravy. Excuse me??? Cheese Gravy????  Game, set and match – meatloaf!

South-of-the-Border Meatloaf with Lime Queso Gravy was an absolute triumph.  The meatloaf itself was great, but then you add the queso gravy and … Um, yeah…. Home run.  Another great thing about the recipe is that it is designed to make individual “mini” meatloaves.  There is something supremely satisfying about sitting down to your own meatloaf.  No sharing!  Not that you can’t turn any meatloaf recipe into individual mini-meatloaves (trust me, I have!) but it’s just nice that they start out this way so there’s no tinkering with timing or oven temperature.

If there is a problem with this recipe, it’s that I have no idea where this one came from.  I can’t seem to find the source anywhere.  Regardless, it’s a keeper!  Did I mention the cheese gravy??  I mean, seriously!!

South-of-the-Border Meatloaf with Lime Queso Gravy

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2-3/4 cups whole milk, divided

2 eggs

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp each black pepper and dried oregano

2 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander

3 slices white sandwich bread, torn

1 cup diced white onions

1 cup diced poblano chiles

2 large cloves garlic

1 lb ground chuck

1 lb ground pork

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Minced zest of 1/2 lime

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Whisk together 3/4 cup milk, eggs, 1 Tbsp salt, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cumin and coriander.  Add bread and mash together with a fork.
  3. Mince onions, poblano and garlic in a food processor
  4. Combine ground chuck, ground pork, minced onion mixture, and bread mixture.
  5. Divide meatloaf mixture into six equal portions, shape into mini loaves, and arrange on prepared baking sheet.  Cook meatloaves until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the centers registers 165F, about 35 minutes.  Let meatloaf rest about 10 minutes while making gravy.
  6. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes.
  7. Slowly whisk in 2 cups milk until smooth.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  8. Off heat, whisk in cheese, lime juice, and zest until cheese melts; season with salt and cayenne.
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Weekly Winner:  Best. Meatloaf. Ever.

I may have mentioned that when I was younger I was never a big meatloaf fan.  Didn’t mind it, but never sought it out.  I’d almost always would rather have a hamburger or something with meatballs.  A big loaf of meat just wasn’t my thing.  But apparently, with age comes wisdom.  I find that now I have joined the “pro-meatloaf” team.  I’m sure part of the reason is that I have been asked by various clients to make meatloaves for them so I’m always anxious to try out a new recipe.

Which is exactly what happened last night.  I found this recipe for Gochujang Glazed Meatloaf and thought it sounded tasty. The few things I have made using gochujang (Korean Chili Paste) I have really liked.  The problem was, to properly test the recipe I felt like I should make the whole thing.  That’s a lot of meatloaf for two people and I didn’t really want a bunch of leftovers.  That’s when it’s nice to have friends you can call up and say “hey, feel like being my guinea pigs for the evening?”.  I know they are big fans of meatloaf and always like spice, so this seemed like a perfect fit.

Not only was it a hit, it was without a doubt, the best meatloaf I’ve made to date.  Truly.  I had every intention of taking a picture of it as it came out of the oven or after it was sliced but it just disappeared! So I must rely on the magazine’s picture (which is far more artistic than mine would have been) but trust me when I say, mine looked exactly like this (before it was devoured).

The recipe for Gochujang Glazed Meatloaf comes from Good Housekeeping.  If you are leery of heat, don’t worry, this isn’t a super hot recipe.  It’s just enough of a kick to make it far more interesting than your typical ketchup-brown sugar glaze.  I must admit I was a bit skeptical about only using 6 saltine crackers as a binder for two pounds of meat, but it worked.  Beautifully.

Gochujang Glazed Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

1 small onion, grated

6 saltines, finely crushed

1/2 c. packed fresh mint, chopped

5 tbsp. gochujang, divided

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. ketchup

Directions

Mix beef, pork, onion, saltines, mint, 3 tablespoons gochujang, egg, and salt.

Mold into loaf on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in 425F degree oven for 25 minutes.

Stir together ketchup and remaining gochujang; brush over meatloaf. Bake 30 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F).


Weekly Winner:  It’s not easy being green — especially if you’re a meatloaf!

 I was not always a fan of meatloaf.  I never actually refused to eat it or anything, but it was never one of my favorites.  Just acceptable.  I’ve come to  realize that the reason for my previous thoughts on meatloaf was simply because it’s not easy to make a good meatloaf!  Most meatloaf is, at best forgettable and at worst, leaden doorstops.

Lately I’ve found some interesting recipes and have had success (both at my own dinner table and with my clients) introducing both a spinach-and-cheese-stuffed beef meatloaf and an amazingly popular horseradish-y glazed turkey meatloaf to my repertoire.  Then I found this recipe and I have to admit… I was intrigued.  Chicken and Broccoli — in a meatloaf.  What’s not to like?  Well, first there’s the color.  It is somewhat disconcerting to eat a green meatloaf.  Your survival instincts generally tell you to avoid such things.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  It certainly is easy.  It’s definitely healthy.  I’m just not so sure it qualifies as a meatloaf.  It doesn’t really taste like a meatloaf, but it does most certainly taste good!  I also think it would make an awesome chicken burger and I intend to play around with that as well.

So bottom line, if you can get past the color, try this recipe.  I’m pretty sure that the recipe came from Martha Stewart Living, but for the life of me, I can’t find it online.  So I’ll give her credit for it.  The recipe worked beautifully, which is a sign that it probably came from Martha.  Again, my apologies for the picture.  I’ve included the picture from the magazine after the recipe, but I think they may have “dampened down” the green color. At least with me, you know there’s not going to be any photoshopping.  I post it like it turns out!

Chicken-and-Broccoli Meatloaf

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets, stems peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil, for the pan

1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 pound ground chicken

1 large egg, lightly whisked

1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1-1/2 tsp coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup ketchup

2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Set a steamer basket or colander in a large saucepan filled with 2 inches water; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Place broccoli florets and stems in basket cover, and steam until bright green and just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.  Remove basket from pan; let cool slightly.
  2. Brush a 5×9 inch loaf pan with oil.  In a food processor, pulse onion, carrot, and celery until finely chopped; transfer to a large bowl.  Pulse broccoli in food processor until finely chopped.  Transfer to bowl.
  3. Add breadcrumbs, chicken, egg, 1 tablespoon mustard, Parmesan, dill, and salt to bowl.  Season with pepper.  Using two forks, mix until combined.  Transfer to prepared loaf pan.
  4. Stir together ketchup, remaining 2 teaspoons mustard, and brown sugar in a small bowl until smooth; brush evenly on top of loaf.  Set loaf pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until glaze is caramelized and a thermometer inserted in center of loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour.  Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Weekly Winner – or in this case, Weekly Dinner!

This has been a very busy, hectic week.  Hubby was traveling all week and I had crazy long work hours.   I really didn’t cook anything during the week but relied on all of my past efforts that were safely tucked away in the freezer for just such a week.

Finally, Friday came along and I had time to cook.  Hubby was flying home and would arrive around dinnertime.  I asked him what sounded good.  His response: “Meat and potatoes”.

As it turned out, this reply coincided nicely with my once-every-three-years hankering for meatloaf.  I found two recipes, one from Martha Stewart and one from Ina Garten.  I texted hubby and simply asked “Martha or Ina?”  His response? “It’s been a long week —Ina!”

So here it, the only thing I made this week.  Luckily, it was amazingly good and worthy of a Weekly Winner post even if it had faced any competition!

The recipe came from Food Network Magazine.  Please do not skimp on the garlic sauce or decide it doesn’t need it.  It is incredible and actually quite mild considering the amount of garlic.  Even though I halved the recipe for the meatloaf I made all of the sauce.  It made an amazing gravy for the mashed potatoes.

 

1770 House Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped Spanish onion (1 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups panko
  • Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the beef, veal, pork, parsley, thyme, chives, eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Put the panko in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the panko is finely ground.

Add the onion mixture and the panko to the meat mixture. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it’s combined but not compacted.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until it forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan (this will ensure no air pockets). Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 155 degrees F to 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve hot with the Garlic Sauce.

Garlic Sauce

3/4 cup good olive oil

10 garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the oil and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter. Remove the garlic from the oil and set aside.

Combine the chicken stock, butter and cooked garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook at a full boil for 35 to 40 minutes, until slightly thickened. Mash the garlic with a fork, whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and taste for seasonings. Spoon the warm sauce over the meatloaf.