Friday, July 27, 2007

mmm...Grilled Meatloaf.

Meatloaf is one of those foods that done right is beyond fabulous & of course done wrong, is bad - real bad. I assume that for those of you who do not like meatloaf, you've been exposed to the bad variety - since essentially it's nothing more than a variation on hamburgers. Meatloaf certainly isn't pretty, and this grilled version wouldn't win any food porn awards - but for what it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in taste. Nutmeg provided the glaze with a nice subtle smokey flavor, which really enhanced the meatloaf. Meatloaf being a comfort food and all, demanded being paired with the King of All Comfort Foods - the potato, who in this meal took the form of the best French fries ever. That's right, you read that correctly - I said best ever. Zucchini again makes an appearance on our plates, hey what do you expect -it's summer!

Grilled (glorious) Meatloaf
2 lbs. Ground beef
1 Egg, beaten
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 c. Cracker crumbs
1/4 c. Ketchup
2 Tbs. Light brown sugar
1 tsp. Prepared mustard
1/4 c. Ketchup
3 Tbs. Brown sugar
1 tsp. Dry mustard
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

1. Combine ground beef, egg, onion, cracker crumbs, 1/4 c. ketchup, 2 Tbs. brown sugar & prepared mustard in large bowl; mix well. Shape into loaf; place in lightly greased 10-inch baking pan.

2. Combine 1/4 c. ketchup, 3 Tbs. brown sugar, dry mustard and nutmeg in small bowl; mix well.

3. Grill over hot coals for 15 minutes. Place double thickness of foil on grill. Remove meatloaf to foil.

4. Grill for 10 minutes longer or until cooked through, basting with ketchup mixture.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Recipe obtained from: Quick & Easy Grilling: Over 100 Fast & Furious Timesaving Recipes

What I did: I cut the recipe in half and there were two decent sized portions, and a little bit leftover (which made an excellent sandwich the next day). The only other thing I changed was substituting dried onion for fresh. Transferring the meatloaf to the foil is a critical step on the grill, if you don't the meatloaf gets all wet, oily & just generally gross. I think these would make fabulous meatballs too.

Now, in the case that you don't have any foil on hand - as we did, do not despair. Think to yourself, "what would MacGyver do?" Thinking like MacGyver, the husband used the trusty fish griller turner thing in place of the foil and tragedy was averted just in the nick of time. Further proof you can indeed grill anything.

Perfect Golden, Crispy Chips

1 lg. Potato

Vegetable oil, for frying
Cubes of bread, to test oil temperature


1. Scrub the potato in clean, cold water and cut into fingers as thick or think as you choose. Wash well to rinse off the excess starch and help prevent them sticking together during cooking. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.

2. Heat 2 inches vegetable oil in a small, deep frying pan. Test the oil temperature with a cube of bread - it should take 60 seconds to turn brown. When the oil has reached the right temperature - do not let it get too hot - cook the fries for 5 minutes of until pale golden.

3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Raise the heat slightly and, w hen the oil is hot enough to brown a cube of bread in 30 seconds, return the fries to the pan for 1-2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, splash with malt vinegar and eat immediately.

Yield: 1 serving

Recipe obtained from: Gourmet Express by Ainsley Harriott

What I did: I doubled the recipe and there were more than enough fries for two. The bread test is the key, follow it and you will indeed have perfect golden, crispy fries - crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the center.

Golden Zucchini

1 1/2 lbs. Small Zucchini, halved lengthwise

1 tsp. Grated Lemon Zest

1 sm. Clove garlic, finely shopped

3 Tbs. Fresh herbs, chopped (such as parsley, cilantro, or basil)

2 Tbs. Bread crumbs

1. Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in large skillet. Season the zucchini with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper. Cook, cut-side down, covered, until browned and tender, about six minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, garlic, herbs, bread crumbs, and 1 tsp. oil.

3. Cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces and divide among individual plates. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the zucchini.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe obtained from: Real Simple/August 2007

What I did: essentially I just used this recipe as a guide. I forgot to add the fresh herbs and the 1 tsp. of oil. The husband didn't think the zucchini tasted like anything, but I thought it came out well.

As the husband pointed out, the ideal drink for this meal is a good beer - not really red wine. He's right, next time we'll have beer. Tonight's wine of choice: Gala Rouge Pinot Noir (2004 - France, under $12). I find lot of red wines to be somewhat over powering, but not so much with Pinot Noir. This wine had a lighter, slightly woodsy taste and doesn't assault your senses. We both enjoyed the wine, though the husband is more of a red person than I - so I think he enjoyed it a little more. Overall, Gala Rouge Pinot Noir is a good wine at a great price and one we'll probably have again.

1 comment:

Cara said...

I come from a bad meatloaf household. Never did like the stuff. Then again, my mother never grilled it... now there's an idea!