Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cajun Meatloaf

O.K.  I call this "My Meatloaf" but in fact it's Chef Pruhomme's Cajun Meatloaf.  Seriously, this is the best meatloaf you will ever have!  Don't get me wrong, I love my mom's, but I usually drenched it in ketchup.  This recipe has so much flavor that I have to make two loafs whenever I make it.  One for the dinner and another just for sandwiches.  It is simply the BEST!

Ground meat and ground pork, ketchup, breadcrumbs, white pepper, black pepper, evaporated milk, tabasco, salt, worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cumin, green bell pepper, onion, bay leaves, garlic, celery, scallions, butter and eggs.
Combine all three peppers, salt, nutmeg, cumin and bay leaves.  Set aside.
Finely chop the onion.
And the celery,
and the bell pepper,
and the scallions.
Finely mince the garlic.
Melt the butter in a skillet (I'd go for unsalted butter).
Saute the chopped veggies until softened but not browned.
Add the seasoning mix.
Measure out the milk
and the ketchup.
Add the milk and ketchup to the pan along with the tabasco sauce.  Simmer until it starts to evaporate.
When the mixture starts to stick excessively to the pan, remove it from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, mix the meats together
With the eggs
and the breadcrumbs.
Add the cooled seasoned veggie mixture.
Mix it all up.  I find using my hands works the best.  Just do yourself a huge favor and remove your rings.  I always forget to do that and end up using a toothbrush to dig the meat out of the prongs.  Very unpleasant.
I like to line my meatloaf pans with foil.  One strip going each direction.  It makes it so easy to remove the cooked loaf that way.
Like I said above, I always make two loaves.  One has all the cayenne pepper and tabasco sauce in it.  The other is without the heat for the kids.  On this day, I marked them with different cuts of bacon.  Sometimes I write "Hot" with ketchup on the one that's spicy and then cook it.  I really liked the bacon version, though.  This is the first time I ever added that to it.
Voila!   The finished product after an hour in the oven. You bake it uncovered at 350° for 25 minutes, then raise heat to 400° and continue to cook until done, about 35 minutes longer.  A word of warning, though:  The bacon did make it a bit greasier than it usually is, though.
This meatloaf takes about 1-1/2 hours total.  It makes a great Sunday dinner and then you have sandwiches for the week.  Another time saver?  Make the meatloaf (without cooking it) and freeze it.  Then whenever you need a relatively easy dinner, thaw it out and cook for about 1 hour according to the times and temps listed above.

Meatloaf - a mom's weapon in her arsenal of time-saver meals!

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