Meatloaf makes return

Published 4:50 am Tuesday, February 10, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
When I started thinking about what kind of recipes to share with you this week, I tried to think about something I’d like to have on my dinner table.
I started thinking about comfort foods and thought that would be a good start. Although I love chicken and dumplings, I had enough over the holidays to last a little while. I also like macaroni and cheese, but I decided to hold off on those recipes for another time.
Then it hit me that I haven’t had any good meatloaf since Buster Joyner died many years ago.
For those of you who don’t know Mr. Buster, he was the owner and operator of a little diner in Atmore. His staff made the best meatloaf for miles around. His supervision in the kitchen has certainly been missed. Although I’m sure the food there is still good, there’s no getting that great meatloaf these days.
My mother used to make meatloaf and it was pretty good as far as I can remember. However, with changing times, many cooks have long since put away their meatloaf pans and moved on to other things.
For your enjoyment, or just for your amusement, I’ve gathered several meatloaf recipes that may rekindle some memories at your house and put some good food in your tummy.
When you think about it meatloaf is a pretty good idea these days. You can take a relatively small amount of ground meat (turkey, beef, sausage, whatever you choose) and turn it into enough food to feed several people. You can even add vegetables to the mix that you want your kids to eat but they refuse when served by themselves.
At any rate, I hope you enjoy the selection of meatloaf recipes here. Heat up the oven and get out those meatloaf pans.
Basic Meatloaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
15 saltine crackers, crushed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and green pepper and sauté until onions are soft. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, place ground beef, crushed crackers, Cheddar cheese, taco seasoning, and sautéed onion and green pepper. Mix thoroughly. Press beef mixture into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until done. Check with a meat thermometer for doneness. Internal temperature should read 165 degrees.
If you want something a little more exotic, this next recipe may be a good alternative.
Cordon Bleu Meatloaf
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and onion. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pat the meat mixture out onto a piece of waxed paper, and flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices of ham onto the flattened meat, and top with slices of cheese. Pick up the edge of the waxed paper to roll the flattened meat up into a log. Remove waxed paper, seal the ends and seam, and place the loaf into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the loaf is no longer pink inside.
Finally, here’s a recipe that you can cook that will please the children in the family. Don’t forget to throw in some extra carrots or other veggies in this meatloaf to provide some added nutrition. This one may look like too much trouble, but once you look at the directions, it’s not too bad.
Healthier Meatloaf
5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large potato – peeled and cubed
1 large white onion, sliced into wedges
3 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 eggs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place carrots, potato, celery, pepper, and garlic into a food processor, and puree to a wet paste. Add eggs, mustard, and tomato paste, and process for another few seconds. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl, and add pureed vegetable mixture, thyme and seasonings. Knead together until thoroughly mixed. Form into two loaves, and place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. You can also press the meat into bread pans to cook.
I’ve ementioned many times in this space that recipes are only guides. You can certainly leave off any ingredient your family doesn’t like and put in ones that they do like.
Next week, I plan to share some recipes for comfort foods including macaroni and cheese.
There are so many different ways to make macaroni and cheese that I’ve never considered. You’ll be interested to know that some recipes call for several different kinds of cheese which adds to the flavor and interest of the dish.
If you have a favorite macaroni and cheese recipe that you’d like to share with me, please let me know. I’d love to give local cooks credit for great comfort food dishes.
Give me a call at 867-4876 or drop me a line by email at
Get out the mealoaf pans and have a great dinner tonight.
Until next week, happy cooking

Email newsletter signup