Tonight I made a meal that I think of as “boy food.” Foods that falls under this heading include steak, chili fries, whiskey, and anything served at Hooters. Or strip clubs (seriously, sometimes they advertise food as though that’s the draw- one did a brunch of “legs & eggs.” Ew.). Not that women don’t like this food. In fact, most of the women I know will eat all the boy foods- maybe not at Hooters or the Foxy Lady but they’ll eat it elsewhere. It’s just, I don’t ever really crave steak the way my husband does. Anyway, last week he requested meatloaf. He even went shopping with me this weekend and requested it again when we were standing at the meat counter. When I ordered a pound of ground turkey, he turned to me, eyes wide and imploring, and asked, “Could we pretty please have real meatloaf??”
You see, I usually steer away from red meat. Not because it’s bad (though, it’s not the best thing in the world for you), just again, I don’t ever really crave it. So I caved and we had boy food tonight.
Boy Food Meatloaf
(I have no recipe for meatloaf. I have a general process so please edit/alter to suit your needs).
1 lb of ground meat (I generally use dark meat turkey or chicken but you can use beef, veal or whatever combo you like)
1/2 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4-3/4 cup of bread crumbs (plain or seasoned, you make the call)
Additional but optional ingredients:
1/2 red pepper, chopped
a few handfuls of spinach leaves (fresh) or 1 box of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and water squeezed out
5-10 cherry tomatos, cut in half
If using turkey or chicken, you also need:
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 teaspoons tomato paste
In a saute pan, cook the onions in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and pepper (and tomatos if you’re using them). Let these sort of cook down and get soft. Add the tomato paste and the Worcestershire sauce, if you you’re using them. Let it all cook together and get sort of rich and thick. Add the spinach, if you’re using it and let it wilt down. Set aside to cool. (If it’s cool outside, I put the pan on my back deck railing to cool off quickly since I never seem to plan ahead quite enough).
Put the meat into a bowl. Add the eggs and use your hands to sort of squish it all around. Add the onion, etc. mixture and squish around more. Squeeze in some ketchup and BBQ sauce- maybe 1/8 of a cup of each or a few good squeezes. Add the breadcrumbs slowly- you want just enough to hold the meat together but not so much that it’s dense. This is a good time to add salt and pepper as well. Don’t oversalt. I maybe oversalted tonight because I forgot that beef doesn’t need as much salt as turkey/chicken.
Bake in a 450 degree oven until cooked through- I leave mine in for anywhere from 30 minutes to 45, depending on the kind of meat, how dense I made it, etc. And, full disclosure, I always cut into the middle to see if it’s done– I’m dying for a good meat thermometer but don’t have one right now. Candy and oil thermometer, yup, check, got that. But not a good meat one. If you do have a meat thermometer, chicken/turkey will be done at 165 F and meat will be done at 160 F.