I decided to make dinner last night, keeping in mind that Bill and I are going to a fancy-pants restaurant this evening. It's part of a tradition. We were married on the 4th of the month, so every 4th, we hit an Italian place — sometimes a low-key red-sauce joint and sometimes a high-end white-tablecloth spot, in memory of our two-week of honeymoon on which we ate our way across Italy.
So I went for an American staple: Meatloaf.
I "re-imagined" a recipe I found in the Silver Palate cookbook called Street Market Meatloaf. It's taken from some famous Venice, Calif., eatery. I re-imagined it because I wanted to use what I had in the house!
Full recipe follows:
1 pounds of ground round
1/2 Cut up Italian chicken sausage
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground/grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, white if you have it
1/2 cup of half-and-half
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
6 shakes of Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup of catsup
1/2 to 1 cup of crushed saltines or Italian bread crumbs, depending upon how firm you like your meatloaf
Saute slowly all the chopped vegetables and garlic in 4 tablespoons of butter, which should take 20 minutes. Cool them off in the fridge for a bit.
Mix cold sauteed vegetables into the ground round and sausage.
Beat the eggs, half and half, Tabasco — all the wet stuff.
Add all the spice stuff to the wet stuff.
Put everything you have into the meat/vegetable mixture, including bread crumbs.
Make a loaf shape and back for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.