Last week, when I made this chive meatloaf, I made double. I rolled and froze the second batch, and took it out last night for a quick dinner. I baked it in our convection oven on the self-timer early in the day, around 3 pm.
But I also had mashed potatoes left over, and so when the meatloaf had cooked and cooled, I molded the potatoe into a little igloo over the loaf. I used my hands. Then, I suddenly remembered something from my childhood. Cheese in mashed potatoes ? Cheese on twice-baked potatoes? I quickly dumped some grated cheddar and monterey jack all over the potatoes, then baked everything at 350 degrees for 2-25 minutes.
The cheese crust turned golden and slightly crispy, and the kids were a little baffled, but then they tasted it and thought it was one of the best things ever. Finn ate two helpings and Ella just kept saying, “These potatoes are so good.” And she’s not much of a potato eater. Really, it’s the definition of comfort food, and it made for a very happy, easy dinner. In fact, the only thing more fun for the kids than this, which they thought was a totally new meal, was playing Finn’s new game, “Who Am I?” while they ate.
In this case, he is most definitely not what he is eating.
As Caroline and I are readying our book for the publisher, we are more than usually pressed for time, facing deadlines, making decisions, and still taking care of the kids, the field trips, the soccer tournaments, the homework….Suffice to say, dinner has been put under pressure, too, and I often feel like I’m cooking that on deadline, too.
The other night, I had loads of fresh produce, some good meat, potatoes that needed to be used. It was cold. The obvious choice: meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I had fleeting visions of shephard’s pie, or meatloaf covered w/potatoes, but that was just two more steps than I could handle. Also, I had in mind, Stacie Stukin, one of our contributors, whose essay includes a great anecdote about how her own mother made meatloaf, without ever touching the meat. I find this inspired, and while I didn’t manage it entirely, I did use one of her techniques. See if you can guess what it is.
As I was prepping, I discovered I had no onions. I’m not quite sure how that happened. But I did have a large, fresh bunch of chives, so I used them instead, and it was good.
for each pound of ground beef:
- 2 slices crustless, cubed, white bread, soaked in milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- several dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- a *lot* of chopped chives, maybe 1/3 cup, you want them to speckle the loaf
- sprinkle of salt & pepper
Mix all ingredients together well and mold as desired. Top with tomato sauce or a thin layer of ketchup.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour.