Last year we had so much fun just chatting and sharing recipes - well, Lee shared her awesome recipes - that I thought I'd start a general chatter thread so we can get to know each other this month.
Also, I've blackmailed Lee into sharing her pumpkin bread recipe!!
I'll pay it forward by sharing one of my recipes, which I'm making tonight. I call it - the world's best meatloaf.
Lydia’s uber delicious meatloaf
2 pairs latex gloves (you'll see)
1 package of sliced button mushrooms
3 TBS butter
1.5 lbs 85% lean ground beef (DON'T GET IT LEANER)
.5 lbs ground pork
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ C grated parmesan cheese (the good stuff, not KRAFT - GAH!!)
Panko breadcrumbs, if needed
The mushrooms must be lovingly cleaned one by one under warm water, and you have to rub all the brown spots off with your finger - those brown spots are dirt. Not flavor, dirt. No one likes a dirty meatloaf. Finely dice the onion and the mushrooms. Saute them in a pan with the 3 TBS butter. If you cut down the butter, God help you. This is the PRECISE amount you need. While they are harmonizing, put on pair #1 of the gloves and knead together the beef, the pork, the parmesan, the salt and the pepper. Knead the heck out of it - you want it really mixed. Throw away your gloves. The onions and mushrooms need to be really cooked - Onions almost invisible, mushrooms really brown. When they are done, turn off the heat and stir them up (if you're impatient like me) until they stop steaming really hard, but are still warm. Don pair #2 of gloves, and mix them, along with ALL their liquid into the meat mixture. If you find it too moist, add panko sparingly until it is the consistency you want. But be sparing.
Form this into a loaf, but put it into a casserole dish, not a loaf pan. I have one with rounded corners that is about 10 X 8. I make it touch both ends, but leave a few inches on either side. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. There will be a lot of juice... Sometimes I used whipping cream with it and make gravy, but it really doesn't need any - its so juicy & yummy with the veggies & the butter in there - they are the magic. If you HAVE to put ketchup on top, I suppose I could allow that.
The only other variation I have ever done is to take a beaten egg, torn up white bread and grated sharp cheddar, mix all that, put in half the meatloaf, the layer of the bread & cheese, and then the rest of the meatloaf. That's rare though.
I like to skip right to the old meatloaf sandwich while it's still warm..