October 15, 2008

Jen's Traditional Meatloaf, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

I stalled on what to make for dinner tonight until about 5pm. I had thawed some ground beef out, but I was not sure what I was in the mood to make...so I procrastinated. And procrastinated... Well, the husband got home from work and we were toying between cooking something with the ground beef, or going out to dinner (which we seldom do). My cheapskate self won out, and I opted to cook. I just can't justify spending our money at a mediocre restaurant that serves mediocre food, and has mediocre service, at best.
I quickly threw together my classic meatloaf recipe that I have been making ever since I learned how to cook. This was another dish that I experimented with until I got it just right. I have made it so often, I can literally throw it together in 10 minutes. I should mention that all measurements are estimated. Like so many of my concoctions, this is the first time I am writing this dish down and I am guessing at all my quantities.
I am serving my Garlic Mashed Potatoes and steamed green beans on the side. It smells really good and I cannot wait to eat. I think meatloaf was a good choice!

Jen's Traditional Meatloaf

1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon of Heinz 57
1 Tablespoon of ketchup
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup of Italian breadcrumbs (add more depending on consistency of mixture)
1 raw egg
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients by using your clean hands (it tastes better if you mush and mix it with your hands). Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Form meat mixture into loaf shape onto cookie sheet, moulding top to be flat. Pour 1/4 cup of ketchup and 1/4 cup of Heinz 57 sauce into a small bowl and mix. Spread ketchup mix on the top of your meatloaf by smoothing on all sides with back of a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered at 375 degrees. After time is up, take out of oven and drain any excess grease. Then cover meatloaf with foil coated with cooking spray, and put back into over for an additional 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Jen's Garlic Mashed Potatoes

6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cloves of garlic, minced and smashed into a paste with olive oil, salt
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of creme fraiche or plain yogurt (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Drop potato pieces in pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until fork tender. Drain water and place potatoes in large bowl, set aside. Mince garlic and add a big pinch of salt and approximately 1 Tbsp of olive oil directly on cutting board. Mash and scrape garlic repeatedly with the flat side of a large chef knife (not blade) until garlic paste is formed. Combine garlic mixture in bowl with potatoes. Add all other ingredients. Using a potato masher, break up any large potato pieces by smashing in bowl. Once all large pieces are broken down, whip potatoes using an electric mixer. Potatoes should not be completely smooth, but should not have large lumps either. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm.

Jen's Notes:
These potatoes will be more on the rustic side (i.e. a little lumpy), and not completely creamy/smooth. It is important that you do not over-beat them or they will turn glue-like. They should have a soft texture and mouth feel, but not sticky.

The Result:
I am really not going to offer much of a review, since the photo conveys how yummy this meal really was to eat. I am going to say that this remains one of my favorite dinners...simple, classic, and delicious.

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