kitchenklutz: knife and onions (knife and onions)
[personal profile] kitchenklutz
For the last month and a half -- call it work busy-ness, call it Thanksgiving burnout, call it flu season -- I've been singularly unmotivated to try out or post new recipes. Thankfully, I think that period of culinary blah has finally begun to move on.

So, I'll begin anew with

Emeril's Spicy Meatloaf (gotten off Good Morning America Food & Recipes)

Ingredients

* 3 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon, diced (I actually neglected to dice this up beforehand; instead, I cooked it in the skillet and then, once it was crispy enough, broke it up with a spoon. It can go either way, I think.)
* 2 cups finely chopped onion
* 1 cup finely chopped celery (2 - 3 stalks)
* 1/4 cup finel chopped bell pepper (about half of one large green pepper)
* 1/4 cup minced seeded jalapeno peppers (from about 2 medium peppers)

* 3 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (I ended up using the same amount powdered thyme instead)
* 1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
* 1/4 cup chopped green onions
* 2 tablespoons minced parsley (I just used the leafy bits, not the stalks)

* 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
* 3/4 pound fresh pork hot sausage
* 3/4 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs (Emeril suggests doing this with homemade. I demurred and used generic, fine-grained breadcrumbs from the store. It seems to have worked out fine.)
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 3/4 cup heavy cream

* 3/4 - 1 cup chili sauce
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Method

1. Chop up/measure and prepare all vegetables, spices, and ingredients to be added during cooking. (I didn't do this the first time, and attempting to do so while keeping an eye on something frying was extremely challenging to say the least. If your pork sausage is frozen -- mine was, having been in my freezer -- make sure you give it time to defrost.)

2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until very crisp and the fat has rendered, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. (Don't cut this short. It is essential that the veggies be very, very soft.) Add the garlic, thyme, Essence, salt, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper, and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes. Add the green onions and parsley, stir to combine, and transfer to a plate to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

4. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently crumble the ground beef and pork sausage into small pieces. Add the cooled vegetable mixture and the breadcrumbs to the meat. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and heavy cream and pour of the meat. Working very gently and taking care not to overwork the meat, fold ingredients together until thoroughly blended. place the meat mixture into a small, low-sided baking dish or 2.5-quart low-side oval or circular gratin dish. (Here's a point where I have to differ with Emeril a bit, because in his original recipe he recommends a 1.5-quart casserole dish. I used the recommended ingredient portions, and I had so much meat/veggies that I absolutely needed a 2.5-quart just to fit everything in. Maybe I should've just compressed the mixture down a bit more, but honestly I don't see how all that could fit in the smaller one.)

5. In a small bowl combine the chili sauce, dark brown sugar, Worcestershire, and remaining teaspoon of black pepper and stir to blend. Pour the chili sauce mixture over the meatloaf and spread so that the loaf is evenly coated. Transfer meatloaf to the oven and bake, uncovered, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees F, about 50 - 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before slicing to serve. Spoon off any accumulated fat drippings before serving, if desired.

This meatloaf is excellent on its own, served with mashed potatoes and green peas, but also makes wonderful meatloaf sandwiches. Makes six servings.


Overall, I was very favorably impressed by this recipe. The meatloaf is solid and flavorful, and the varied hot spices and veggies in it were enough to make my brow break out in sweat. Incredibly tasty, and with quite a few reasonably-sized servings -- I'll definitely be making this again. Overall prep time was about 30 - 45 minutes, and then the additional cook time of nearly an hour, means one needs a decent span of time to get everything together... but it's certainly worth it, in my opinion.

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kitchenklutz

March 2015

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