Monday, October 15, 2012
Meatloaf - comfort food of the first order. It's easy to make and delicious as a leftover. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit's Fast, Easy, Fresh. What makes it Cajun? The Holy Trinity, the Pope and a good dose of heat. "What are you talking about? What does religion have to do with Cajun meatloaf?" The hallmarks of Cajun cooking are 4 ingredients: onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic. The onion, celery, and green pepper make up the Holy Trinity. Garlic, highly revered in Cajun cooking, is the Pope. With a bit of cayenne and Tabasco sauce, there's plenty of heat, if you want it. The meatloaf is still full-flavored without it.
(served 6, cost is $6.15)
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you want your meatloaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound ground beef
½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs (see Note)
½ cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat butter or oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add thyme, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and cumin and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Mix together ketchup and Tabasco in a small bowl.
Combine ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, and about ½ of the ketchup mixture in a large bowl. Add vegetables and mix with your hands. Form into a loaf in a 8"x8" baking dish (it fits best if you form it on a diagonal) or a 11"x7"x2" dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Spread top of meatloaf with remaining ketchup mixture and bake until cooked through, another 40 minutes.
Note: To make your own breadcrumbs, allow bread to dry out until hard then grate it on the smallest holes of a grater. Great way to use up odds and ends of bread.