There are some things on this earth that should never be photographed. One of them is meatloaf.
No matter how delicious it tastes, or how how you smother it with tomato sauce, add a sprig of fresh parsley, and have it sit on your best plate it is still meatloaf.
Perhaps I should take my creation to the local Sears portrait studio and see what they can do. They have fabric draped risers, and changeable scenery. They can also distract my meatloaf with a squeaky plush toy, so maybe, just maybe they can get it smiling and looking happy while sitting on a riser draped in white satin, with a field of daisies in the background.
I didn’t mean to give the humble meatloaf a second blog entry, but nice person and friend of the blog, Erin, was kind enough to share her recipe for meatloaf. It’s not precise measurements, as she is of the camp that cooking is based on feel. And I completely agree. The problem with this is, though, you can rarely, if ever, re-create that perfect dish again.
So Erin writes, when she and her boyfriend aren’t vegetarians, she does this…. (take it away Erin):
Extra lean ground beef, 2 eggs, some chopped onion, chopped garlic, and a filler. I use oatmeal, bread crumbs or crushed saltines which are my favourite.
I also usually add some salt and pepper, oregano, a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne (only if you like cayenne), and maybe some dried basil. Whatever you want!
I also make it fairly sloppy, so depending on what I have on hand I’ve used ketchup, BBQ sauce, beer, red wine, teriyaki sauce or a combination of a couple of them. I just hate dry meatloaf so I make sure my mixture is pretty moist before I cook it.
Sometimes I also mix in some shredded cheese because in my opinion you can never have too much cheese.
Then I just cook it at 350 (with more cheese on top!) for a half hour or so.
So inspired by Erin’s approach to meatloaf, that I thought I too could break free of the Lipton’s Onion Soup mix recipe and give it a try on my own. And let me tell you this, my meatloaf tastes 100% better than last week’s (which means it pretty awesome), and not only that, my body isn’t getting puffy from all that extra salt from the soup mix.
I mixed together the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, oatmeal, onion (whizzed, as I am not a fan of crunchy onions), salt, pepper, marjoram, rosemary, fennel, thyme, oregano, garlic, basil, a dash of cinnamon, cayenne, chili peppers, ketchup, HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. The entire works are plopped in a loaf pan, patted down with love, and cooked at 350F for however long (yes, I am that relaxed about making meatloaf now).
And the first samplings, despite looking like Fancy Feast, were so delicious, I ended up having seconds… then thirds. Yup. Michael is on his own for supper tonight.
Thanks for the inspiration Erin!