Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Magic Food

A long time ago, when we were still relatively newly married, my wife compiled a list of the characteristics that she thought I would want a restaurant to have in order to be a place that I'd like -

- a quiet, calm atmosphere
- china plates, heavy silver utensils, cut-crystal glasses
- flowers
- quiet music
- crisp linen napkins and tablecloths
- deferential, knowledgeable waiters
- meatloaf.  Good meatloaf.

That's the kind of person I am (or at least, like to think that I am).  I like elegance and grace, and I like meatloaf.

For years I would make meatloaf right out of the Betty Crocker cookbook.  It was good, but nothing remarkable.  And then one day I discovered a recipe for meatloaf that combined ground beef and sausage.  It was better, though not amazingly so, but it incorporated brown sugar in the mix of ingredients, and it was coated with a glaze of brown sugar and catsup.  It was excellent.

Yesterday I said to my daughter I'm going to be making meatloaf tonight, to which her laconic reply was Okay.  When I was done mixing the ingredients, I asked her would you rather I leave off the glaze? And she replied It doesn't matter, because I won't be having any.  I don't like meatloaf, You know that.

Well, number one, I don't know that.  She used to not care for it, but over time she began to eat it.  And second, did I not warn her in advance?  Yeah, but I meant I will just make my own dinner. Ah.  Okay.  So I ended up with the mixture, to which I added the brown sugar and some of the other extra ingredients - pepper, garlic powder, things like that -- and to which, once it had cooked, I added the glaze.  I wasn't sure how good it would be -- it didn't have the sausage, after all -- but what the heck, it was meatloaf.

It was terrific.


Angie said...

My mom's family meatloaf recipe has that glaze of ketchup and brown sugar, but no brown sugar in the meat mixture. Yum! Brings back fond memories for me!

Cerulean Bill said...

Hi, Angie - Happy New Year!

And, just for you -


3/4 pounds lean ground beef 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
9 saltine crackers, crushed 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 onion, finely chopped 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon wine mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup ketchup 1/4 cup brown sugar

Heat oven to 350°. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil, then grease it lightly.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl just until blended.
Place mixture in baking dish
Shape mixture into a loaf.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour.
Remove from oven, and drain if necessary.

Stir together ketchup and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; pour over meatloaf.

Bake 15 more minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160°.
Remove from oven; let stand 20 minutes.

Remove from baking dish before slicing.
Don't forget the china and crystal!