Friday, January 9, 2009

Blue Plate Special 2.0

If this title doesn’t tell you that I work in IT, I’m not sure what will. For those of you who don’t get the reference, I will take no part in your geekification. If you really must know, wiki “web 2.0.” I made individual servings of old fashioned meat loaf and served it with garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes and sautéed rucola.

I really like this meatloaf recipe that I have adapted from the classic meatloaf. I don’t like the flavors of Italian sausage so I omitted it entirely from the recipe. The other classic meatloaf is to mix 1/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground pork, and 1/3 ground veal but I couldn’t find ground veal at my grocery store so I decided to test it out using only ground beef –and guess what? It’s delicious! It’s a little leaner than the original meatloaf as I used a very lean ground beef found here in Norway. I tried to infuse additional moisture by use of the vegetables. I think this is especially important if you are using very lean meats or poultry. My very favorite part is the ketchup baked on top.

To dress up the dinner a little bit, I quickly sautéed rucola with a very little bit of olive oil and garlic and I made mashed potatoes with garlic infused cream and parmesan. Of course, if you’re looking for ways to cut calories (especially in this post-holiday season of resolutions and detox) you can always boil the potatoes in just enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes and mash that all together into a lighter, healthier side.

1 lb of ground beef, I prefer to eat one that is not so lean but for health purposes, I buy lean and it works out fine. Chicken and turkey can also be used.
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used sourdough)
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated onion
1 tbs grated garlic
½ cup chopped scallions
2 tbs butter
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
2 large eggs, slightly scrambled
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp pepper
¼ c. finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 176 degrees Celsius.
In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the onions, carrots, garlic, and scallions for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover the skillet for another 3 minutes until the carrots soften. To the mixture, add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and the 1/3 cup of ketchup and mix well. Let it cook for an additional 1 minute and then turn the heat off and set it aside.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, vegetable mixture, bread crumbs, eggs, and parsley. I choose to mix it by hand because I like getting as dirty as possible when cooking. Also, I believe there is no better utensil suited for this job than your hands.

You can form the meat into a loaf pan and cover the loaf with the remaining ketchup. What I chose to do was to use my floppy silicone muffin tins and make individual meatloaf muffins for each person. Just fill each muffin tin with enough meat so that it mounds just a little on top. Cover each little mound with a brush of ketchup. You don’t really need to grease the pans as the meat will shrink and pull away from the sides making it very easy to pull out with tongs or a fork. This recipe makes about 10 small meatloaf muffins.

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