Sunday, October 4, 2009

Meatloaf Mania

Some things are difficult to nail down with a recipe.  For example, everyone makes sauce in different ways.  The same applies for meatloaf.  There was no way we were both going to agree on one recipe that we wanted to use.  I have a standard recipe, but I thought that this would be a good time to try a stuffed meatloaf.  My normal meatloaf is a comfort food for me.  I wanted something out of the norm, but not too crazy.  I've seen recipes for meatloaf stuffed with spinach so that's what I looked for.  I found a Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Meatloaf recipe that I wanted to try.  Here's the recipe with my changes noted:

Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Meatloaf (Pinwheel meatloaf aka Tournade)

1½ pounds lean ground beef (I used meatloaf mix)
¾ cup soft bread crumbs (1/2 cup used instead)
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt (I omitted the salt)
⅛ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons ketchup
¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I didn't top the meatloaf with more cheese)

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, well drained
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (1/3 cup of cheese used instead)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash Italian blend)
¼ teaspoon salt (Again, no salt - the Mrs. Dash took care of that)
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

1. Heat oven to 350°. In medium bowl, combine filling ingredients; mix well. Set aside. In large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients, mixing lightly but thoroughly.

2. Place beef mixture on waxed paper and pat into 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread filling over beef, leaving ¾-inch border around edges. Starting at short end, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Press beef mixture over spinach filling at both ends to seal. Place seam side down on rack in open roasting pan.

3. Bake in 350° oven 1 hour. Spread ketchup over loaf; return to oven and continue baking 15 minutes. Top loaf with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning, if desired.

4. To serve, cut into 1-inch thick slices.

Okay, so the rolling of the meatloaf seemed a little odd.  It certainly went a lot better than the Chicken Cordon Bleu rolling.  Once I got the hang of it, the rest was easy.  The next time though, I'd use less spinach.  There seemed to be a lot of it in every bite.  Other than that, I thought the meatloaf was delicious. 

I'm soooo tired! And yet I made THREE meatloaves? oy. I didn't plan very well for this other than having the ground beef thawed and so eventually winged (wanged? wung?) it once I got to the kitchen. I started with a basic mixture of lean ground beef, finely diced onions, minced garlic and a couple of eggs; split that into three bowls and went from there.

To the first bowl I added: some grated Parmesan, Italian breadcrumbs and a spoonful of the red pasta sauce I made last weekend. Formed a simple loaf and topped it the last 10 minutes of baking with a mixture of ketchup, dried minced onion, brown sugar, pepper and dry mustard. To the second bowl I added: diced green chiles, panko breadcrumbs and stuffed the loaf (no rolling- just layered) with roasted red & yellow peppers and some pepper jack cheese. It was topped at the end with salsa.

To the last bowl I added: Worcestershire, onion soup mix, panko and stuffed it with a couple slices of muenster cheese. I topped it with the marsala/mushroom sauce that I'd made yesterday at dinner. All three loaves were served with mashed potatoes and an assortment of roasted veggies.

I actually liked them all. The Italian-ish one was most like my mother's that she used to shape into a heart for Valentine's Day. The beefy, mushroom-y one was just that – bold, rich and paired very well with the potatoes. The Mexican loaf was the most interesting I think – great flavor, I see potential here for something really fun.

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