Originally uploaded by expatkitchen
Serious Eats is hosting a National Meatloaf Appreciation Day in order to celebrate this most ordinary and extraordinary meat dish. When I saw the announcement, I knew I had to do a post as, you see, that most humble of dishes was the beginning for most of the content on this site.
I created a meatloaf recipe when I was trying to get my toddler to like meat. I thought if I can just incorporate some of her other favorite flavors into a meat dish, but how? Then, it hit me. This vision of a Parmesan-, tomato- and herb-studded masterpiece. It even has spinach in it. And lean meats. It's like, healthy meatloaf that tastes good and is nearly bulletproof for over-baking. You almost can't dry this thing out. I'd like to say I planned it all out and tested batch after batch in an OCD-crazed culinary pursuit. But no. I just threw it all together, said "What the hell," and put it in the oven. It just happened to work that day.
It worked so well — the kiddo ate two adult-sized slices — that I got all inspired. And thus began the pursuit to make great, seasonal food using local ingredients that even a toddler can love.
3 lbs. Ground LEAN meat (I use one pound each of turkey breast, buffalo, and pork)
(the idea is to use very lean meats and use the olive oil and veggies for the moisture, healthier).
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 oz roasted tomatoes (or sun-dried packed in olive oil) with the olive oil
1.5 cups chopped fresh spinach (or arugula, chard or kale even)
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (mostly basil, plus some rosemary, thyme and sage or flat leaf parsley)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesean (not the stuff in the green can, okay?)
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
4 tbs. Ketchup
and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, but desirable)
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil til soft and light golden. Mix all ingredients together and divide in half. Place in two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, make sure a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 180 degrees.
Makes two loaves.