Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Ultimate Comfort Food: 4 Meatloaf Recipes You'll Make Again and Again

Ah, comfort food. It's just so...comforting. No matter what's going on in the world you can count on a home-cooked meal to set things right. Maybe it's the memories of a simpler time that are conjured up when you serve a thick, steaming slice of meatloaf made from grandma's meatloaf recipe. Or maybe it's just nice to put aside the problems of the day and lose yourself in the moment while enjoying a relaxing dinner with your family. Whatever the reasons, you can't deny what a difference a meal of plain and simple American cuisine will make.

The Quintessential Loaf: A Meatloaf Recipe for Your Every Mood
Meatloaf has risen to the top of the go-to recipes list because it's easy to make and the inexpensive ingredients are staples that are usually on hand on your pantry shelves. Meatloaf has undergone a few evolutions since Grandma made it, but whether you're making a basic meatloaf recipe or dressing it up, you can always count on an uncomplicated yet satisfying meal.

  Easy and Delicious Meatloaf

Wherever you got your basic meatloaf recipe, they are all essentially the same. This easy recipe gets its roots from the basic meat, egg, breadcrumb formula, but with a few contemporary changes that give it a little extra that will make it your new favorite meatloaf recipe.
·         2 lb. lean ground beef
·         1 pkg. (6 oz.) stuffing mix for chicken
·         1 cup water
·         2 eggs, beaten
·         1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
·         Heat oven to 375 degrees.
·         Place meat, stuffing mix, water, eggs and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce in bowl.
·         Mix just until blended
·         Shape into loaf in 13 X 9-inch baking dish.
·         Top with remaining barbecue sauce. Bake 1 hour or until done (160 degrees).

                                                  Ciao-Down Italian Meatloaf
Solve the dinner choice dilemma of whether to have Italian or American by serving up this appetizing meatloaf with an Italian twist. Pasta on the side with garlic bread will compliment the meal nicely.
·         1 pkg. (6 oz.) stuffing mix for chicken
·         1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce, divided
·         1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, divided
·         1-1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef
·         1 cups chopped zucchini
·         1 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
·         3/4 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
·         Heat oven to 375 degrees.
·         Mix stuffing mix with half each of the spaghetti sauce and oregano. Add meat; mix well. Pat into 13 X 9-inch baking dish.
·         Mix vegetables and remaining spaghetti sauce and oregano. Spoon over meat mixture; cover.
·         Bake 25 min. Top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 10 min. or until meatloaf is done (160 degrees).

                                             Cheesy Mini Meatloaves

Spice things up – and give your meatloaf a new look to boot – when you make these fun and flavorful meatloaf minis. Go all out with Mexican rice and refried beans to make a weeknight fiesta for the family.
·         1 lb. ground beef
·         1/2 cup finely chopped onions
·         1 egg
·         12 saltine crackers, finely crushed (about 1/2 cup)
·         1-1/2 cups Mexican style finely shredded four cheese blend, divided
·         1 cup thick 'n chunky salsa, divided
·         Heat oven to 400 degrees.
·         Mix first 4 ingredients with 1 cup cheese and 1/2 cup salsa.
·         Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Use back of spoon to make indentation in center of each. Place muffin pan on foil-covered baking sheet.
·         Bake 20 to 25 min. or until meatloaves are done (160 degrees). Top with remaining salsa and cheese; bake 3 min. or until cheese is melted.
                                   Bacon 'n Cheese Meatloaf

Channeling another comfort favorite, this meatloaf recipe uses the makings of a bacon cheeseburger to create a delicious meal that is almost effortless. The hard part is saving leftovers for a bacon cheese meatloaf sandwich for lunch tomorrow.
·         1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
·         1 egg, beaten
·         1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
·         1/4 cup milk
·         1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
·         1 Tbsp. finely chopped onions
·         1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and dried oregano leaves
·         1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper
·         4 slices cooked bacon
·         Heat oven to 400 degrees.
·         Mix all ingredients except bacon.
·         Shape into loaf in 9 X 5-inch loaf pan; top with bacon.
·         Bake 45 min. or until done (160 degrees). Let stand 5 min. before removing from pan and slicing to serve.
Quick Tips
·         Cook meatloaf until the middle is no longer pink or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center part of the loaf reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
·         Try using ground turkey, pork or veal as tasty substitutes for beef; it’ll give your meatloaf a unique flavor.
·         Make mixing mess-free by putting all the ingredients into a gallon-size reseal-able plastic bag. Press the air out of the bag before zipping it closed, then squeeze and mash until all the ingredients are mixed. You can even shape the meat into a loaf inside the bag before transferring it to the baking dish.

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