Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Comfort Food

What is better comfort food than mashed potatoes and meatloaf?  With all the cool wet weather we been having it is nice to prepare a meal with the old favorites. 
Meatloaf is one of those dishes that can be made in a million different ways.  I have seen recipes that include several different types of ground meat such as lamb, pork, beef and veal.  The recipes also use a variety of fillers too: oatmeal, bread cube or crumbs, and rice.  I bet you could cook up barley or some of the newer grain products and use them in place of the conventional fillers.  I had one friend grind up a variety of vegetables and add it to the ground meat.   Of course chopped onion is a must in meatloaf and garlic is nice too. 
What types of seasoning are good to add in it?  Well, I add ketchup or barbecue sauce, brown mustard, salt and pepper.  But don’t let that stop you from experimenting with other flavorings, adding salsa to the mix sounds good.  Finally, I add an egg to bind all the ingredients together.
I make my mashed potatoes with Yukon Golds, I was first introduced to this potato when I lived in Madison and spent every Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market around the Square at the State Capital building.  I love the light creamy yellow color and texture when I use them to make mashed potatoes.  There are many way to mash your potatoes from uses a masher, ricer or food processor.  Many experts do not like using a food processor but I prefer it.  I never liked lumpy mashed potatoes and using a food processor is the only way I found to easily get a creamy smooth mashed potatoes.  Mashed potatoes are a comfort food right?  So making it way you like is the only way it will ever meet that comfort food criteria.  I add a little butter and milk when mashing the potatoes into a smooth creamy texture.  Sometime I will replace the milk with sour cream to jazz the potatoes up.
When serving this meal I usually steam up some green bean or pea pods.  I like include cottage cheese but I have none at hand for this meal.  For me, meatloaf is never meatloaf without more ketchup or barbecue sauce topping it.
The meatloaf recipe below is what my Mom made when I was a kid.
Mom’s Meatloaf
Makes 1 loaf size of a bread pan
  lbs ground beef
 1     cup old fashion oatmeal
¼     cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
1      tablespoon brown mustard
¼     teaspoon pepper (I prefer white)
½     teaspoon kosher salt
1      large egg
1      medium onion, chopped
4-5 slices of bacon


1.  Preheat the oven to 350oF.
2. Add the first 7 ingredients above into a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix the ingredients together with your hands. 
3. Place the mixture into a bread pan or form a loaf and place the loaf onto a baking sheet with slightly raised edges.  Cover the loaf with the bacon slides.
4. Place loaf on the center rack in the oven.  Bake 1 to 1½ hours until loaf edges appear to be brown.


1 comment:

  1. I just never liked meatloaf. I think because my mother hid almost anything in it.