New England's weather is a fickle bitch.
If you live here, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. If you don't live here, well...then I'm very sorry.
We are deep in the throes of autumn. Look! Pretty leaves!
I said look, dammit.
When I woke up on Monday, it was 39 bone chilling degrees. Yesterday, it was tropically damp and warm with intermittent thunderstorms. I think it was 78 degrees when I left work. If not, it sure felt like it. Not quite hot enough that Mr. Scoop was complaining that his sac was sticking to his leg, but uncomfortable nonetheless. Air conditioning was run.
Last week, we used the fire place. Just saying.
The best part of meatloaf is the meatloaf sandwich. Behold last night's dinner. One crusty baguette filled with meatloaf and havarti cheese toasted until the bread was crispy and the cheese was melted. Yes, that is ketchup on the sandwich. In my world, you don't have meatloaf without ketchup.
The meatloaf recipe is an adaptation of the one I've used since I was old enough to have the responsibility of making dinner (12, if you're curious). It uses oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs as the filler. The result is an amazingly tender, non crumbly meatloaf. And it makes a fantastic sandwich.
1 1/4 lbs "meatloaf mix" (equal parts ground beef, pork and veal) or ground meat of your choice - just remember that the leaner the meat, the drier your results may turn out
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. hickory smoke flavored mustard (I like the Jack Daniel's brand)
3/4 c. old fashioned oats
1 small onion, diced fine
1/4 t. each of salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the egg with the milk, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the oats and let stand for about 15 minutes. Stir in the onions.
3. Add the ground meat and mix gently with clean hands until all is well combined. The fattier your ground meat is, the less you need to worry about "over combining" - which can lead to a tough loaf. If you are using lean meat, mix until everything is just combined.
4. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes to let flavors develop.
5. Spray a loaf pan with Pam and pat the meat mixture into it so that it is even on top. Bake for 1 hour. Remove to a cooling rack and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Slice into portions and serve! Should serve 4-6.
Alternately, instead of using a loaf pan, you can spray the top of a broiler pan with Pam and form the loaf on top of that. Then when the loaf cooks, the fat will drain away and you will get a crustier outside surface. You may want to glaze the outside of the loaf with about 4 oz of plain tomato sauce to which you've added some smoked paprika or chipotle chile powder (1/4-1/2 t.) and garlic salt (dash). Brush the glaze on and sprinkle it with about a 1/4 of a thinly sliced red onion before you pop it in the oven. It should still take about an hour. Look for an internal temperature of 160. Then let it rest, slice and serve.