Me Loaf or Meat Loaf?


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First thing you must know about me as a cook (Chef if you’re stretching it!), I am the kind who prefers easy flowing processes. This means for me that recipes are optional so you may get delicious vittles or just plain bad jou jou! Most people enjoy my cooking (or they do a lot of fingers down the throat when they retreat to the bathroom. People do use the bathroom a lot when they eat here. Hmmm) Okay I’m kidding about people getting sick, but I do wonder sometimes with my desire to experiment with the options/ingredients in recipes. I am either too lazy to open the recipe books, of which I have many, or I just can’t wait to see what I’ll grow in the kitchen with my Frankenstein food results. Either way it has been a pleasant madness for me. I find that I experiment more when I am feeling insecure about something. When I am worried about not understanding my assignments or worried it will be more than I can handle. Sometimes I start cooking when a “well-meaning” family member or friend asserts something negative about me in a way that seems inconsiderate or slightly cruel. Hey, it happens. Why? It happens because humans aren’t perfect and neither am I. Despite my having Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in psychology on my way to a Doctorate in the next 338 days, I am just as human as the next non-invader from another planet. Normally I let projections roll off my back, because I am trained to recognize them, but key point, I’m still human. Jumping on that faux pas for a meal is simply juvenile and not worth my time and energy, so I cook. The good news is I don’t cook every day. If I were interested in doing such a thing, sigh, I’d probably be a wife and mother or study culinary arts instead of hashing out Frankenstein food and gearing up to help balance out people’s minds or educational issues.

So on top of all the other writing and things that I do, I decided to post here and there some fun Frankenstein foods I create or thoughts about what to try etc. Hopefully things will be so uplifting and I feel so great about all I have to do that cooking just slips away, ha ha. No, I will always cook. I do try things for mere curiosity and old style cooking does intrigue me. I have always wanted to make Baked Alaska, bagels, English Christmas Pudding, Native American spoon bread to name a few. I also like to find innovative ways to deal with leftovers, sourdough starter, old milk and such. This won’t be about healthy, quick, fabulous, or award winning…it’s just whatever happens.

This first concoction is meatloaf, a simple meatloaf. I have used in the past Ritz crackers as a filler, Italian breadcrumbs, and even oatmeal once. The Ritz crackers were my favorite I think, but I always added Lipton onion soup or cream of mushroom soup. They tasted okay and I usually mixed barbeque sauce and Sriracha sauce to spread over the top (gave it a yummy kick). Then I realized I had a box of stovetop stuffing in the pantry. I didn’t really feel like stuffing from a box; I prefer what I make from scratch, like my grandmother’s version. I just kept thinking I’m going to do something with that stuff. Now I don’t condone prepackaged foods, but occasionally I use them. Another reason they seem to hang around longer is because I prefer cooking from scratch. Then I thought: Why not add it to meatloaf! I learned to use both pork and beef in meatloaf growing up so here was my basic experimentation:

Me Loaf or Meat Loaf?

1 lb. of Jimmy Dean Maple sausage
4 frozen hamburger patties (1/4 lb. patties –hey I didn’t have a pound of regular ground beef!)
2 eggs
1 regular box of stovetop stuffing (I had Pork flavored, odd)
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon of Anche Chiles powder
¼ Cup of dried cilantro
2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
1 packet of Domino’s pizza balsamic vinaigrette dressing

I put all that into a gallon zip lock back close it up and mush it around till it’s all mixed up good. Next I formed it in a stoneware loaf pan (my favorite for meatloaf and breads) and cooked it in the Breville Smart Oven (Countertop toaster convection oven, which I have used for practically all my cooking instead of the large oven). I cooked it for 1 hour 15 minutes on 365 degrees F. The above pictures are how it came out and I have to admit it was so fabulous!!

Goodness who would have thought? I didn’t even put a sauce on top. I assume the dried stuffing kept it from being super greasy. Considering I used pork sausage that was a great side effect. Either way, this was spiced perfectly and has lovely color. I made a sandwich, sliced some for the dogs and ate a couple more slices (yes I am stuffed!). What I also like about this version, it sliced well, didn’t crumble, and smelled great. I do have stuffing made from scratch in the freezer and in the future I might just toast it up a bit then add to my recipe to see how it comes out. There it is, such that it is. Remember if you have to cook, whatever you cook do it Brilliantly! Till next time The Mad Chef-tist

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