here’s the thing about meatloaf.
up until about a month ago, i had never had it before. and to be honest, i didn’t think i was missing out. i even remember one day, when i was in junior high, asking my mom why she had never made us meatloaf. she told me that my dad didn’t really like it, so she just never made it. and i thought this made me lucky. because i always felt like kids complained about 2 things: leftovers and meatloaf. and while i didn’t understand the deal with leftovers – those were a luxury at my house – i was grateful that i never had to worry about eating meatloaf.
but ever since i started dating the boy, he has been telling me that i needed to make bobby flay’s meatloaf recipe. (he actually told me this the day after we met). he was actually incredulous when i told him that i had never had meatloaf ever. apparently it is one of his favorite meals.
so 8 months later, i searched bobby flay’s meatloaf on the food network’s website, we bought the ingredients, and i cooked it up. it wasn’t bad for my first meatloaf. but the boy wasn’t completely satisfied. you see, his friend’s mom has made him “bobby flay’s meatloaf” on a few occasions, but he said our meatloaf was only about 70% there. so he e-mailed her and asked her what she did differently. attempt #2 consisted of 1/3 bobby’s recipe, 1/3 her changes, and about 1/3 of what we decided to throw in.
and since i just could not keep this recipe to myself any longer, here it is.
i have to warn you though. you will become obsessed. i think we’ve been making meatloaf about once a week around here. so if you’re not a huge meatloaf fan, try this recipe. it will blow your mind. and if you’re already a meatloaf-lover, try it anyway. it will blow your mind.
1 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
2 carrots (finely diced or grated)
2 stalks of celery (finely diced)
1/2 medium white onion (finely diced)
1 zucchini (finely diced or grated)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 c. parsley (finely chopped)
1 lb. lean hamburger
1 lb. hot jimmy dean sausage
1 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. worchestshire sauce
2 t. hot sauce (chalula)
2 T. BBQ sauce
2 T. steak sauce (A1)
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 T. worchestshire sauce
1 T. BBQ sauce
1 T. steak sauce (A1)
1 t. hot sauce (chalula)
* side note, if you don’t have all of these sauces, don’t worry. just remember that the ketchup and balsamic vinegar are the only 2 that you shouldn’t change.
preheat oven to 400 degrees.
heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan. add the garlic, carrots, celery, onion, and zucchini. saute vegetables until almost soft, about 5 minutes. salt and pepper vegetables, to taste. set aside to cool.
whisk together the eggs and parsley in a large bowl. add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, sauces, and cooled vegetables. mix until just combined – it’s usually best to do it by hand. [side note: like i said, if you don't have all of the sauces, don't worry. the ketchup and balsamic vinegar are the most important. as for the rest of them, just throw in what you have. those were the sauces that we decided to use, to give it a little extra kick, so feel free to leave some of them out or add some of your own].
mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet. whisk together the ingredients for the glaze, and spread it across the entire meatloaf. cook for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. [use a meat thermometer if you have one].
ps. this recipe makes for delicious leftovers. so to those of you that have ever complained about leftovers or meatloaf as children, your mother just didn’t have the right recipe. no offense to your mother, i’m sure she’s a lovely person.
pss. how is my food photography coming along? i’m pretty proud of myself so be nice. but i have to tell you that cooking this meal took over 3 hours from start to finish – posing vegetables can be very time-consuming.
i thought about e-mailing you, but i know you read my blog too, so this works just as well.
remember how you sent me the recipe for your sweet and sour chicken yesterday? well, i made it [don't worry, it was delicious. but we'll talk about that later].
anyway, it took me over 2 hours. 2 hours. we didn’t eat dinner until 9 last night. and i realized something. every time i make a recipe of yours for the first time – something you made all the time while i was at home – and i realize it’s kind of hard, and takes forever, and the smoke from burning oil burns my eyes a little, it makes me grow an added respect for you. really. how you made us dinners like that with 7 kids is beyond me.
now that we have that out of the way, i do have an excuse for why it took so long. i also made fried rice, which i had never made before either. it wasn’t too hard, but definitely added time. oh, and it was way good too. i used so much garlic and ginger i almost died – in a good way. in fact, my fingers still smell a little bit like garlic and ginger today.
one last thing. don’t be mad. i made a few changes to your recipe, and i think i liked it better. i used red bell peppers instead of green. and you know how the sauce calls for ketchup? well i forgot to put it in. i didn’t realize until we were already eating. but i didn’t mind the difference. and i added a dash or two of red pepper flakes, to make it just a little spicy. and i added a drop of red food coloring, to make the sauce a little more pink. you know, like it looks in real chinese food restaurants. still, i would have had no idea what i was doing without your recipe as a jumping off point.
i didn’t get to take any pictures – that’s the problem i run into when i cook at night. there’s just no natural light. that, and i’m starving and want to eat.
i think your teriyaki chicken is next on my ‘to cook’ list. want to send me the recipe?
ps. mom do you mind if i share the recipe on here? i bet people would want it, right people that read my blog? i honestly think when i made it last night that it was better than any sweet and sour i’ve had at a restaurant. i just need to make it again so i can get some pictures before i post it.
my mom used to make this for dinner when we were growing up, but for some reason i didn’t like them then, i don’t know why. so my mom stopped making them as much [my sister still blames me]. and because she stopped making them, i never really got to try them as an adult, now that i actually know what good food tastes like.
until, over the summer, i went to visit my boyfriend’s family and his mom made them for sunday dinner. i couldn’t tell her that i didn’t like them, it would be rude and everyone would think i was weird. so i decided i would just eat them as best i could and fake a smile. but you know what? i actually liked them. it was a really exciting day for me.
then last week, i was craving chicken enchiladas like you would not believe. i e-mailed my mom for her recipe, but apparently she doesn’t have one. she just throws stuff in as she goes. so that’s what i did – with the help of my friend justin.
but in case this recipe isn’t already a part of your collection of family favorites, i decided to write out the ingredients + directions so you can be sure to add it to the list. really, you’ll thank me later.
here’s what you’ll need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb. container sour cream
2, 10 oz. cans of cream of chicken soup
1 can olives
9 oz. diced green chiles
3 c. grated cheese
then, add the green chiles. we used a 2oz. and a 7oz. can, and the spiciness was moderate. feel free to add more or less, depending on how spicy you would like your enchiladas to be. [i might add more next time].
once this is stirred through, put about a cup of it aside to spread across the top later.
now to the last, and most important, part.
grate 3 cups of cheese – we used medium cheddar and pepperjack. mmm, pepperjack. only pour 2 of the 3 cups into the filling mixture; you’ll use the remaining cup to spread across the top. stir it up and the filling is done!
once the pan is full, spread the filling across the top – the cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, and green chile mixture you saved earlier. (sorry, we forgot to take a picture of that step).
my mouth is watering.
our 8×11 glass pan only fit 9 of the tortillas, but our filling made enough to fill 12. so we cooked the extra 3 in a little glass bread-sized pan.
and just fyi, these heat up to make amazing leftovers, and you can even freeze them, unthaw them, and bake them another day if you feel like making more than one batch.
i had the best intentions for valentine’s day and this blog of mine. i was going to make all sorts of awesome valentine’s cookies and cupcakes and post them here for inspiration…
but then my computer charger broke.
and my mom and sister came into town.
and my cousin got married.
and i got a sick boyfriend.
so i had to settle for a 3 day late picture of a cookie i made last year. maybe i’ll get it right next time. [am i the only one that says that a lot?]
it only took 22 valentine’s days for me to snag a valentine of my own. [really, this was my first february 14th with a valentine]. even being sick and practically immobile he managed to make it wonderful. more details on that later.
i hope you all had a lovely day as well.
what did you do to celebrate?