Thank goodness for Mr. Quaker Oats Man. He was giving my mother that “come hither” look. His eyes followed her down the cereal aisle until she was drawn to that familiar red and blue box. “Look on the back,” he whispered. She looked on the back. “Meatloaf,” he said. “Make the meatloaf. Your girls are starving.”
It’s true. We were. My mother was a terrible cook and she was not even a tiny bit remorseful about it. She had three regulars in her sparse culinary repertoire: overcooked chicken breasts, overcooked halibut and overcooked cube steak. Please have a side of canned asparagus or hominy. Actually, please don’t.
But when the Quaker Oats Man became her muse, life changed at the Chapin household. My mother actually loved the recipe so much she recorded it on a 3-by-5 card. I am not quite sure why she did this because she didn’t have a recipe box. She maybe had enough recipes for a plain business-sized envelope, and it wouldn’t have been over-stuffed. She even added some impromptu additions to the original recipe, as if she were going to pass it down to us as a family heirloom. Actually, she did. I still have the card.
Sadly, Mr. Quaker Oats Man doesn’t call to me as he did to my mother. I prefer breadcrumbs as the binder in my meatloaf and I love my meatloaf grilled for that smoky layer of flavor. If you free-form the loaf rather than squash it in a pan, you will get an added (ta da!) benefit. Make the perfect sized loaf for the highest and best use of leftover meatloaf: the meatloaf sandwich. The perfect rendition is a slice of meatloaf on really good bread with mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s), salt, pepper and iceberg lettuce. How 1950s?
Garbage Can Mashed Potatoes sounds so utterly wrong, but yet, it’s so right. Don’t get turned off by the name of them, they will change your life (well, maybe). I cannot imagine meatloaf without mashed potatoes. If you’re going down the road to ruin you might as well run at full speed.
I prefer breadcrumbs as the binder in my meatloaf and I love my meatloaf grilled for that smoky layer of flavor. If you free-form the loaf rather than squash it in a pan, you will get an added (ta da!) benefit. You can make the perfect sized loaf for the highest and best use of leftover meatloaf: the meatloaf sandwich. The perfect rendition is a slice of meatloaf on really good bread with mayonnaise (Duke’s, preferably), salt, pepper and iceberg lettuce. How 1950s of me.
- 1 package meatloaf mix (ground beef and ground pork), about 1½ pounds
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup red pepper, diced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
- 2 slices (or more) bread
- Your favorite barbecue sauce
- Heat grill to medium.
- Mix the meat, the red onion, the red pepper, the eggs, the tomato sauce, the breadcrumbs, the Worcestershire sauce, the salt and pepper, the garlic powder and the oregano in a large bowl. Clean hands are your best tools here.
- Line a baking pan with foil and put the bread slices in the middle (they will soak up the excess grease from the meatloaf – discard the bread after the meatloaf is cooked). Top with a wire rack. Shape the loaf and put it on the wire rack.
- Place the meatloaf on the grill and insert a probe thermometer about halfway into the loaf. Cover the grill. Cook until the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Check about halfway through and if the meatloaf is getting too brown on top, cover it with foil. About 10 minutes before it is done, baste it with barbecue sauce.
Garbage Can Mashed Potatoes. So utterly wrong. And yet so right. I cannot imagine meatloaf without mashed potatoes. If you’re going down the road to ruin you might as well run at full speed. - Catherin Mayhew of southinmymouth.com
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 pound red or fingerling potatoes, cut into quarters or equal-sized pieces
- ½ stick butter
- ¼ to ½ cup milk
- ½ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
- 2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat stove burner to medium. Fill a large pot with water and put on the stove. Add salt when the water begins to boil. Add the potatoes and boil them until they are tender when pierced by a fork.
- Drain the potatoes and then put back into the pot to dry for a minute. Add the butter and using a potato masher, mash the potatoes. Add the milk slowly and continue mashing until they are the consistency you like.
- Add the cheese, the sour cream, the chives, the bacon and the salt. Blend with a spoon.