March 11, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers - Individual Meat Loaves

It feels good to be back with the Barefoot Bloggers. It allows me a(nother) good reason to make really great dishes from one of my faves: Ina Garten. Like I've said before, she writes recipes that are simple yet exquisite, often infusing French cuisine a la Julia Child. Today was anything but French. No wine, no butter, no herbes de Provence. Only good All-American food. Here's my tale of the mini meatloaf.

Recipe: Individual Meat Loaves

The first thing I thought about changing with this recipe was the meat. Friends at work have been raving about a turkey meatloaf which I've been meaning to try. However, after two straight nights of chicken, I was ready for something heartier. Ground sirloin certainly made it a leaner meatloaf, much better than the chuck I've used in the past. I cut back to two pounds for a total of four mini loaves.

Ina explicitly instructs the cook to soften the onions without any browning. I disagree. A bit of carmelization I feel is necessary to bring out the natural sugars and add a touch of sweetness to the meat, which the ketchup on top mimics. I also didn't have any fresh thyme to add, it's still in the seedling stage under grow lights. Instead, I utilized the pesto I made in the fall with ALL that basil. The rest went together as written and cooked in 40 minutes flat.

I made a side of redskin buttermilk mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts with shallot and balsamic vinegar. The meatloaf had a nice texture and held together well. There was little fat, yet remained moist even around the edges. My husband has expressed his pleasure with the meal, repeatedly. It's definitely one of the better meat loaves I've made.

There were these light green roses at the entrance to the grocery store today. I couldn't resist. They lift my mood everytime I walk by. Spring is in the air around here.


Karen said...

This recipe was a big hit at my house! I browned my onions some, too and I think it turned out terrific. The potatoes and brussels sprouts you made sound really yummy, also.

AMInyc said...

I browned my onions some too! I totally agree with needed a little caramelization.

I also froze a couple of them individually to have for no cook nights!