Along the Ol' Salt Creek: Sweet N' Spicy Meatloaf

Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are - Meatloaf - Salt Creek

In today's installment of Along the Ol' Salt Creek, we ask the question: would the name be different if a mythical European had seen a chicken and a brick instead of a cow and a loaf of bread?

What, I said the next Thursday? Did I Say That?

Yeah, well, it is not next Thursday, or even the Thursday after that. In fact, it seven weeks later...I was perhaps a tad bit over-optimistic. In fact, one could almost say that my failure to deliver is the reason for all our recent angst and frustrations and the sudden appearance of Cobby on Twitter.

Well, don't Cry Over Me. I think I've figured it out though. I think you're all just really hungry. You know what really helps fill you up? Protein. Lots and lots of protein.

I can hear Bo now, getting all excited about protein. Yes, I work with proteins. Globular blocks of chemicals that make you and me and that tree and the box of doughnuts you had this morning. (We saw you take the last one. Don't deny it.)

But my proteins are made by bacteria, particularly Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. You don't really want to eat those. Unless you're trying to get out of a situation. Even then, it's probably not worth it unless you have an iPad for listening to Greg and Brian debate the merits of pants or whatever topic they're discussing this week on De-tasseling the Huskers (submit questions or they will debate pants!).

Anyways, please, always cook your food to the USDA directed temperatures to kill these bastards so that you don't ruin a happy memory with a night on the porcelain throne like a Bat Out of Hell.

Getting back on track, today's menu comes to us from UglyDog56's kitchen. He happily shared with us a delightfully sweet take on the classic meatloaf.

It's an incredibly easy dish to prepare and even more easy to eat. In fact, it would seem that the hardest part is writing about it!

If you remember from last time, I provided some background on the dishes I was preparing. Well, I attempted to do the same today. Like any member of my generation, my search began at Wikipedia, where the section on the dish itself is admonished with the phrase

This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (November 2012)

This warning confused me - what lies could someone write? I mean...it's a block of meat. That's all it is. At some point, apparently someone of European descent (maybe in 1982?) looked at a cow and then a loaf of bread and a light bulb went off in their head. It Takes All Kinds of People, ya know?

Of course, nowadays, if you want a sandwich made of meat, you can try your local KFC and ask for a Double Down. But meatloaf is clearly the Granddaddy of them all. (LIKE THE ROSE BOWL.)

Anyways, enough chit-chat. You're all hungry and it's time to cook the so-called SEVENTH FAVORITE DISH in the United States.

/If you trust Wikipedia.

//Which you shouldn't.

The list of ingredients for forming our loaf of meat is quite straightforward - it is possible that you already have these ingredients at your apartment. (No more Ramen.)

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2 Eggs, Beaten

2/3 Cup Fine Dry Italian Bread Crumbs

1/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Pepper

2 Tbs Parsley

1.5 Lbs Ground Beef

1/3 Cup Ketchup

1/3 Cup Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Sauce

The hardest ingredient to find, for me, was roasted pineapple and habanero sauce. As a poor graduate student, I do not have a CostCo. I do, however, have a chili and hot sauce aisle at the grocery store. I was able to track down a mango ginger habanero sauce* to use instead. It worked wonderfully. Also, it is important to remember that if you use plain bread crumbs, you will probably want to season them.

* DON'T LOOK AT THE PRICE. I went a week without beer for this.

I used a 9" non-stick pie pan and a glass bowl to prepare today's entrée.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (Again, scale is important here!)

To make our binding agent for the meat, put the eggs, bread crumbs and spices in the bowl.

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Beat into submission.

When I was preparing this dish, I recall that I waited to put the onions in until after the meat. This made my loaf look like it had some sort of skin disorder. For aesthetic reasons, I would put the onions in with the eggs and seasoning.

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Finally, mix in the meat and the habanero sauce. Be prepared to get messy!

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Take our newly made meatball and place it in a round cake pan in the shape of doughnut. You could also use a traditional loaf pan but hey, what fun is that?

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Bake the meatloaf for an hour. In the meantime, mix together the ketchup with some of the habanero sauce.

After an hour, spread the ketchup/habanero sauce over the baked loaf.

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Bake for an additional ten minutes. Remove from the oven!

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Serve a wedge of the meatloaf along with mashed potatoes and corn.

...

Okay, I don't have corn because I'm a terrible Cornhusker. You get green beans instead. I am not sorry.

Green beans are the superior vegetable anyway.

(Discuss below.)

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Start to finish, this dish takes an hour and a half to prepare if you have all the ingredients and your oven cooperates. Remember, this is ground beef so medium or better on the meat. I imagine replacing the meat with turkey or bison would have equivalent results but would require some timing adjustments or flavor modifications.

This dish is also budget friendly (most well-stocked kitchens have all the ingredients necessary) and sits well in the fridge.

That's all for today's dish. Another hearty thank you to UglyDog56 for this dish!

In our next installment, we'll be cooking RanchBabe's Bacon Cheeseburger Soup, without the swine. (Is Nothing Sacred?) I know y'all be disappointed by the lack of bacon. But that's the way it goes in Salt's kitchen.

(I give you permission to love the bacon for the both of us.)

Happy cooking!

PS: I do caution you - you may in fact eat the entire loaf in one seating if you're not careful.

PPS: There is no shame in this but I am obligated to inform you.

Missed a previous installment of Along the Ol' Salt Creek? Or interested in what other recipes the community has contributed? Take a look at our Community Recipes page!

And don't forget! You can still contribute recipes! With summer coming soon (maybe?), now's the perfect time to share those outdoor recipes! Fire up the ol' computer and submit a FanPost today!

Who is Ron Swanson?

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