Friday, January 19, 2007

Making Comfort Food for a Cold January Weekend

I watched Alton Brown last night and he made meatloaf.

That's not so amazing, but he did something I have never seen a TV chef do--it's one of my biggest cooking pet peeves ever (and you all know I have a few FoodTV peeves!).

Alton wore latex gloves while mixing the meatloaf. Finally a chef followed a sanitary procedure while cooking.

Everyone has their favorite meat loaf recipe.
I thought I would post mine. I use only ground beef (I think Alton mixes pork and lamb in his). When I take the time to make this, I always make an extra for the freezer. It's just as easy to make two and I will have a dinner waiting to pop in the oven.

Meat Loaf ala Zo

4 lbs. ground Chuck
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 medium-sized onions
3 stalks celery

Throw the milk, eggs, bread crumbs, salt & pepper in a big bowl. Mix them all up with a fork and let them sit for at least 1/2 hour.

While the bread crumbs are being absorbed into the liquid mixture above, I like to caramelized the onions. It eliminates those little hard chunks of onion that do not cook thoroughly as well as adding a little more flavor. Throw in the celery when the onions are within 5 minutes of being done. Just cook the celery a few minutes to soften.
When the bread crumb mixture looks like this, you can add the meat.Put those latex (powder free) gloves on and gently mix. (the wonderful thing about wearing gloves is that you will not have any dead cow flesh to scrape from beneath your fingernails).

Pat into two free-form loaves and bake at 350 degrees until they are as done as you like them. I like them well done, so I cook them about an hour, depending on how thick they are.

Don't stuff the meat into a bread loaf pan (as I used to do). You want the sides exposed to get brown and a little crisp (it adds flavor). About 20 minutes before they are done, I usually mix up some ketchup and Karo light corn syrup and slather it all over the top. Personally, I like the meatloaf, gravy, mashed potatoes thing, but DH doesn't like gravy. It's HEINZ ketchup all the way for him. (no Hunts, gotta be the Heinz--He is a man with a very refined culinary palate).

Secondary subject: Yesterday's Mail

I think I have received every magazine offer imagineable this month.

Yesterday I received 4 of them, all of which went in the trash--3 were gardening related, one was for Oprah. I get about all of the magazines I can read already. Unless, of course, I get a per issue price so low I just cannot refuse. Fine Gardening is a good magazine, but at $5/issue, I can easily pass.

I don't know if you can clearly see the picture on the Keepsake Quilting catalog, but that is one fine log cabin quilt adorning it's cover. It's $20 just for the pattern. I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty high for one pattern. I can buy an entire quilting book FULL of patterns for that price.


  1. Yum! Meatloaf is one of Bill's favorite meals (with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans!)
    Your recipe looks real good!
    I like the idea of carmelizing the onions..
    I got that same offer for Oprah's mag.
    I check it out from the library when I want to read it!

  2. Your meatloaf looks great! I have never put celery in mine or any hamburger mixture. My DH doesn't like cooked celery anyway. I sometimes use ground turkey and you can't tell the difference. I add a scoop of brown sugar, Dijon or dry yellow mustard and garlic to mine. Also red or green pepper if I have it. Sometimes I add grated cheddar. Always ketchup on top. Good for your DH-Heinz is a PA food. : )
    I like the tip of not cooking the loaves in a pan-I haven't done that.

    I know that the cross stitch designers are also getting high and mighty for each pattern-$8-12 for one.

  3. I know what you mean about the mags, pet peeve? I get the invoices for magazines I don't subscribe to..

  4. That meatloaf sure does sound good and I've copied the recipe down...I haven't made one in years but now you've made me hungry for it! lol As for the magazine offers, I've been getting them too...I guess it's a January thing! Mine all go in the recycling bin:-) Hugs xox

  5. Gosh, Zoey, I cooked a burger for dinner tonight on the George Foreman and thought I was being ambitious! Your meatloaf looks delicious.

    I think the magazine people have given up on me, I rarely get those offers. Good thing, as the paper shredder already overfloweth.


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