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This post, Hearty Meatloaf ~ A Taste of Home, was originally written as an entry in The Tastes from Home with Frito-Lay recipe contest in 2011. It has since been updated.
We all have memories which evoke feelings of ‘home.’
Foods that Evoke Memories
If I think about visiting my parental grandparents in Illinois as a child, I often remember my Grandmother’s rice pudding. Sadly, she didn’t teach me how to make HER particular version. And, nothing else I’ve found so far quite compares to the simple goodness of her dish. (I’d better start asking remaining relatives for the recipe in case she shared.) Other memories of food from Dad’s side of the family have basic meat and potatoes on the plate.
My mom’s family lived in Rhode Island, so there are memories of Del’s Frozen Lemonade, New England Clam Chowder and saugies (a local white hot dog.) One thing about having moved around a bunch and visiting family members in different parts of the country is that I have a rather wide ‘palate’ when it comes to food.
One dish that gets requested often by my boys is a hearty meatloaf served up with mashed potatoes and peas. Hubby loves the basic meat and potatoes. (He grew up in New York.) The older boys like to mix it all together, while the younger boys and I enjoy everything separately.
This is R’s requested dinner for his birthday, so it was on our table this past week. Given their own choice, we’d probably never save the second meatloaf for a future meal as they always want seconds.
Making Hearty Meatloaf
In a skillet (I use cast iron), heat up the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, sauté until tender.
If you are in a pinch and do not have an onion and fresh garlic, you can substitute with powders.
While the vegetables are cooking, mix together the breadcrumbs and milk in a large mixing bowl.
NOTE: Since going gluten-free, I have switched to ground oats instead of breadcrumbs. Far cheaper than making bread crumbs from gluten-free bread!
Add the sautéed vegetables and remaining ingredients. Mix together with your hands.
Freeform into 2 loaves on a lined baking sheet with a lip. (You want the lip to keep the liquids released by cooking on the pan and not in your oven.)
Bake at 350 degrees until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (1 hour to 1 1/2 hours)
Serve with your choice of sauce alongside or on top. D enjoys straight ketchup, but a honey mustard drizzle could be a nice change of pace. Usually, we top with homemade gravy (beef broth from beef bullion concentrate and a mixture of flour and water to thicken.)
D enjoys straight ketchup, but a honey mustard drizzle could be a nice change of pace. Usually, we top with homemade gravy (beef broth from beef bullion concentrate and a mixture of flour and water to thicken.)
Usually, we top with homemade gravy (beef broth from beef bullion concentrate and a mixture of flour and water to thicken.)
Another variation of this basic recipe is to add 1/2 cup chopped green and/or red peppers or even some chopped celery to the mix. I’ve even thought of throwing in some shredded vegetables, e.g. carrot or zucchini. You could add spices (e.g. Italian blend plus some tomato sauce to give a more Italian flavor) and create a near-endless array of meatloaf flavors.
One of the cooked meatloaves can be wrapped up to freeze for a future meal. Or, enjoy a meatloaf slice on toast for a nice lunchtime meal.
Lay’s Regional Chips to Compliment Hearty Meatloaf
Depending on your geographic region, there might even be a Lay’s Regional chip available to compliment your meal. Hmmm…come to think of it, D would probably put some chips ON his meatloaf sandwich.
These chips were inspired by popular American regional cuisine and include:
1.Northeastern U.S. – Lay’s Honey Mustard
2.Midwestern U.S. – Lay’s Creamy Garden Ranch
3.Northwestern U.S. – Lay’s Balsamic Sweet Onion
4.Southwestern U.S. – Lay’s Chipotle Ranch
5.Southeastern U.S. – Lay’s Cajun Herb & Spice
·All of the Lay’s Regional Flavored potato chips are made with all-natural ingredients and cooked in healthier oils, like corn and sunflower oils, which contain 80% or more of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat – the “good fats.” They also contain 0 grams of trans fats per serving!
·There’s also less sodium in them than you might think – a 1-oz serving of our Lay’s Regional Flavored potato chips contains less salt than a plain bagel!
I know that picking a ‘must-try’ flavor would be difficult. But, I know that the boys would love the Honey Mustard and Creamy Garden Ranch the most. I’d probably be reaching for the Chipotle Ranch or Cajun Herb & Spice, though.
Hearty Meatloaf Recipe
Easily modified basic meatloaf recipe
- 1 medium to large onion, minced
- 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (or 1 cup of ground oats if you need to be gluten-free)
- 1 cup milk (cow's or plain almond milk)
- 4 pounds lean ground meat (I’ve used beef, but want to try some ground game meat in the future.)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. parsley
- 2 eggs
- In a skillet (I use cast iron), heat up the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, sauté until tender.
- While the vegetables are cooking, mix together the bread crumbs and milk in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the sautéed vegetables and remaining ingredients. Mix together with your hands. Free form into 2 loaves on a lined baking sheet with a lip. (You want the lip to keep the liquids released by cooking on the pan and not in your oven.)
- Bake at 350 degrees until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (1 hour to 1 1/2 hours)
You can use this recipe to make meatballs, too! Just form to the size you want and back on the lined tray. Reduce the cooking time to about 30 minutes for a normal sized meatball.
What is a favorite dish that makes you think of home?
Is meatloaf something your family enjoys?
This post is now linked up with Domestic Arts Link Up on Mrs. White’s Vermont Sewing Cottage.