Tuesday, March 27, 2012

All-American Meatloaf

I think meatloaf gets a bad rap. Of course the name doesn't help its image for sure... anything labeled simply "meat" grosses me out and then you add loaf to it and there is no wonder why people curl their nose up at it! But I'm here to proudly announce that I enjoy meatloaf. I always loved my momma's meatloaf growing up - it was true comfort food. To this day, meatloaf *has* to have mashed potatoes alongside it since that was how she served it.

This meatloaf recipe comes from the March Cooking Light magazine; they actually did an entire section of meatloaf recipes and I hope to try a few more. This one, however, looked especially delicious to me so it was first on the list.

This recipe is a fairly traditional one but the twist (at least from the versions I've made/had) is the addition of cheese cubes and buttermilk. The cheese melts into pockets of ooey goodness. I also loved the flavor twist that the buttermilk lended. It was flavorful, easy to throw together, and a big hit. Leftovers didn't last long in this house!

Note: I didn't use a loaf pan but instead formed it into a similar size and put it on a baking sheet. I like the crispy edges (esp with the gooey cheese) that a baking sheet can give.

All-American Meatloaf
1 1/2 ounces French bread, torn into pieces *I used panko
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
1 cup coarsely chopped onion (I left out)
5 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool. (I used panko to save a step)

Combine toasted breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup ketchup, onion, 3 tablespoons parsley, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a bowl; gently mix until just combined.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; do not pack. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Brush top of loaf with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes, and cut into 6 slices. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

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