Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Squashy meatloaf

Easy! Fun! Put ground meat, egg, and chopped vegetables in a bowl. Mush them up with your hands. Put in bread pan and bake. Dinner!

All right, here's the real recipe.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup cooked squash
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced and crumbled mushrooms
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 T salt
freshly ground pepper

Combine ingredients with hands. When just mixed, pour into lightly oiled bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until interior temperature reaches 160 degrees.

All measurements are approximate, as usual. I used kubotcha squash, which is shaped like a pumpkin but is a sinister brownish green with warts. I boiled the squash until mushy before adding it to the loaf. The barbecue sauce is that jerk sauce I kept using over the summer. As for bread crumbs, I stash away good but stale bread in the freezer so I can crumble it in a food processor at times like these.

This meatloaf came out moist and a little tangy. I had mine with a little Dijon mustard, but Lane loved his plain. I like the way the liquids always collect on the surface of the loaf; since I used the sauce and squash instead of the traditional ketchup I got a lovely burnt orange color on the top. The only thing I didn't like about today's dinner was the quantity. I usually like to make enough for lunch the next day, but we were just shy of that. I could have easily doubled this (though if you do that it will take longer to bake). Still, with the salad it was adequate for dinner.

I didn't post last night because I didn't make dinner. Instead we went to Lane's gallery holiday party -- without Jasper! It was thrilling to eat dinner without someone sitting in my lap and groping me, though one of the artists said she thought that didn't sound so bad.

Lane and I treated the evening as date night and I dressed up all pretty like a dork. I know the cool thing to do would have been to show up in some casual, hipster top and jeans. But I'm a girly girl who likes dresses. And anyway, I wear jeans every day. I even wore the crystal necklace and earrings Lane gave me for Christmas a couple years ago when I was pregnant with Jasper.

Lane had escargot and fish...can't remember what kind, and a heavenly lemon tart. I had country pate with sweet, carmelized red onions, juicy and tender lamb, and chocolate terrine. I was thinking today, if I can make meatloaf I could just as well make a pate, don't you think? Would you like to know how to make pate? I still owe Liz a lobster bisque recipe and JaneAnne the phenomenal venison stew recipe. I promise I'll get to them soon!

The little man stayed home with our friend, Dave. Thanks Dave! All kids love Dave, especially Jasper. He even makes us call Dave sometimes just to say hello.

Here is J-man running around in the sweater I took two years to knit. I used old yarn scraps, hence the stripes. He will not sit still long enough for me to take a proper picture.


Anonymous said...

This is perfect! Now I know what I'm going to make for dinner tonight. I've been in a bit of a cooking funk the last couple of days (not helped by burning not one but TWO trays full of hazelnuts--good thing I live here in Filbert Central, so they were pretty cheap), and this is just what I needed. I've got half a butternut squash and a pound of pasture-finished ground angus that I've been needing to use up.

For the record, I think the perfect method for roasting hazelnuts (learned the hard way--I share so you don't have to go through what I did) is 14 minutes at 350, stirring once in the middle. And the skins seem to come off just as well if you wait until the nuts cool first.

Today's project (along with squashy meatloaf!): hazelnut fudge and ginger-hazelnut toffee. This last idea was totally stolen from a local artisan chocolaterie, A friend gave me a box of their ginger-almond toffee, and it was so to die for I had to try it myself. Just stir in chopped crystallized ginger with your roasted nuts at the end.

Anonymous said...

Omigosh, it turned out so tasty! I had closer to a cup of squash. The egg and breadcrumb components were the same, but then I decided to give it a little Southwest twist (besides, I don't like mushrooms). I chopped up some red and orange peppers I had frozen from party crudite platter leftovers and sauteed them with the shallot, adding 1/2 cup frozen corn, chopped fresh thyme and oregano and a little dried cumin. I mixed that all with the meat and added the squash last so there would still be some chunks. Yummy yummy yummy!

We had big-ass baked potatoes on the side, so there are enough leftovers for a couple lunches for me, hooray.

Adriana Velez said...

Wow, the Southwest twist sounds delish -- as does the ginger-almond toffee! It sounds like you're having a very festive and productive holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot--instead of barbecue sauce (didn't have any on hand), I used a couple tablespoons of Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce.