Monday, February 2, 2009

Six More Weeks of Meatloaf?

I guess it depends on which rodent you ask. Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators did indeed see his shadow today: thus predicting six more weeks of winter. Competing rodent, Staten Island Chuck, however, did not see his shadow. Punxsutawney Phil may be the more well known groundhog, but S.I. Chuck's record is pretty impressive. According to local sources, he's been right 21 out of the last 28 years ... though I think this year he may have been under some pressure from our illustrious Mayor.

While my heart wants to go with Chuck, my gut tells me we're in for more winter ... and indeed more meatloaf. I could live without additional snow and ice, but if the chilly temps indicate more comfort food - I'm all over it. Is there anything more comforting, more nostalgic, than a delicious and savory meatloaf? I think not.

In honor of our annual winter rodent fest (or folly depending on your perspective), I'd like to offer my favorite meatloaf recipe. Its as basic and satisfying as can be; perfect for a winter evening ... and outstanding when made into a sandwich for lunch the next day.

Savory Meatloaf:
  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (sirloin)
  • 1 cup of minced onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (I like Luigi Vitelli brand.)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup*
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed between the palms of your hands
  • 2 tsp. dried basil, crushed between the palms of your hands
  • 1 tsp. dried granulated garlic, or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of seasoned dried breadcrumbs
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands - or, if your squeamish like me, a large wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch oven-safe glass baking dish and shape into a loaf, packing the meat together to attain the proper shape. (Alternately, you can bake the loaf in the traditional 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, but I like the fat to drain away from the meat, hence the larger pan. Do as you see fit.) Cover the top of the loaf with a thin layer of ketchup a/o tomato paste and sprinkle with some dried basil or parsley for decoration.

Bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven until well-browned and firm to the touch - approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or so. Serve and enjoy!

As written, this recipe will serve 6 to 8, depending on portion size. I know the ketchup isn't exactly Beach-y as it does contain sugar ... but its practically un-American to make meatloaf without some ketchup. I've halved the amount of ketchup in my standard recipe and included the quarter cup of tomato paste to make up for it. I think its a good compromise, but if you're a traditionalist, feel free to use just the ketchup and in that case make it a 1/2 cup. You can't go wrong either way - though, frankly, I think the tomato paste brings a welcome zest to the mix.

I like to round out the meal with a succulent baked sweet potato and whatever green veg is hanging around my fridge. This meatloaf is divine when served hot from the oven and positively sublime when served cold as the filling for a sandwich. It doesn't last long in our house and I assure you it won't in yours. I hope you'll try it.

So, with six more weeks of winter on the way, what will you be baking up to stave off the cold? Curious Diva wants to know.

Bon appetite!


Anonymous said...

Meatloaf forever... love it. Love their music too...


Anonymous said...

Meatloaf sandwiches are just what we like when it's cold! And of course you need the ketchup. It's sacrilege without it.

Dana McCauley said...

Our local gh - Wiarton Willy - saw his shadow. Sigh. That said, I haven't made a meatloaf yet this winter so at least that gives me a bit of time to get right on it.

pixelgal said...

My dear Diva;
I made this for dinner tonight but didn't have all the ingredients in the house, so......I used the following and it tasted good:
Salsa instead of ketchup, a little tomato paste, dijon mustard, dried onion flakes, breadcrumbs, and egg.
The man of the house liked it and we served it with ketchup. Cotswold savory??? Never!

Juliet said...

For me, soup!! :) I just love it!

Sass said...

No baking here, but lots and lots and lots o' homemade soups.


The Diva on a Diet said...

LOL, Argentum!

Duo - I agree!

Dana - I think we're in for more winter either way. Its snowing here again today ... though it was in the 50s yesterday. Sigh.

Pixelgal - so glad you didn't have another "Savory" on your hands! The salsa would make a fine substitution indeed. Good thinking and I'm glad you liked it. :)

Juliet and Sass - soup is always on the menu here too. At least once a week. Happy simmering!

Deb said...

Soup or chili is on my cold weather list - although meat loaf is always on my list. Our recipes are very similar but I also include some worcesthire sauce and whatever else I feel like adding that day - even red wine sometimes.


The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - I've mixed some red wine in with the tomato paste too on occasion ... quite tasty!