The Ultimate Comfort Food: Meatloaf and my Recipe Challenge to you!
Comfort foods … Time honoured, slow cooked dishes, tried and true combinations with that extra something to make them newly welcome each time they are lovingly served. In preparing this style of food, which can mean many things to many people, we are paying homage to the natural taste of old fashioned simplicity.
Growing up, there were many staples, familiar and flavourful, that graced our dining room table. Summer savoury crusted, roast of chicken with mashed potatoes, silky, rich gravy and tender, yellow beans from the garden, or a big feed of delicate, yet robust, corned beef and cabbage with brown bread and molasses … And of course, my favourite, meatloaf! Throw in a cob of unripened cow’s corn and a baked Yukon gold, laden with butter, some home made chow … Heavenly!
Unequivocally, my Mother is the best cook and baker that I know. Over the years, I have repeatedly asked her for her sacred recipes. Many of these magical concoctions, I have tried to duplicate and to disappointing avail. It never tastes like hers! During these years, I have learned to evolve with various recipes and arrive at numerous delightful results. Today, I ask of you the same.
One category only, meatloaf. Don’t despair vegetable lovers … More contests to come! I want to hear your meatloaf recipes. Please send them along and we will do some experimenting and select a favourite.
I am including a few helpful hints that contributed to my “Meatloaf Journeys”. Break it down … Vegetable aromatics, liquid aromatics, the choice of meat, a binder, fresh eggs to hold it all together, starch, spices, herbs, any wild and crazy enhancing additions and last but not least, the signature glaze. Some examples:
Vegetable aromatics: onions, celery, carrots, fennel, mushrooms, peppers
Liquid aromatics: red or white wine, Sherry, tomato, beef or chicken stock
Meat: ground beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken, deer, wild game or any combination
Starch: long grain or wild rice, lentils, bread crumbs, panko, quinoa, bulgar, crackers
Spices: flavours you adore, chilies, smoked paprika, cardamom, cumin
Herbs: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, chives, tarragon, sage, cilantro
Wild and crazy: any kind of cheese, dried fruit, toasted nuts, fresh garlic or ginger
Glaze: tomato sauce, sliced bacon or prosciutto, honey, pesto
Just to get you started! I look forward to your results!
Yours truly, Marilyn