My Dad comes to visit several times a year. If you notice, I did not say that my Dad comes to visit me several times a year. You grandparents are smiling and nodding already, aren’t you. Dudette is and will always be the focus of his attention when he’s here, and rightly so.
However, since Dad has been a public speaker for over fifty years, everywhere he goes he knows people and, even if he thinks he doesn’t, people know him. Inevitably, I’ll get a call from some woman who wants to get together with him.
Yes, a woman. I have mentioned before that my Dad’s French, right? Way French. It doesn’t matter if the lady is ninety-two or two, he’ll charm them. It’s a part of his DNA. Mom just rolls her eyes and I seem to have picked up that little habit. It’s rather cute to watch. Many years ago I actually watched a co-worker’s knees give out as he kissed her hand and murmured some charming greeting at their introduction. Sheesh.
Working around Dudette’s schedule so he’s sure he’ll be gone while she’s in school and he won’t miss a minute of time with her, Dad will head out to lunch with a friend. Upon returning home, a short report is given if I know the person; yes, she’s fine, family’s doing well, she had the obligatory salad.
“The obligatory salad.” Said with a little disgust laced through his voice. My father can’t understand why someone would go out to a nice restaurant and order salad given the array of fine foods from which to choose.
I have to admit that I feel the same way about some things I see on restaurant menus. Like meatloaf. People actually order meatloaf at restaurants? Why? I’m still getting used to the idea of making it at home because I want to. I can’t imagine choosing a loaf of ground beef from a plethora of better tasting dishes available to me.
Before we proceed, do you see what it says? Cheddar-Stuffed? Chipotle Glazed. Just making sure.
Begin. Throw everything together except the cheese. Mush it all up and put it in little baking dishes. Put cheese down in the center and cover it with meat. Combine ketchup and chipotle pepper and spread it on top. Bake.
Does it get any easier? That’s why you don’t need to order meatloaf in a restaurant. It’s too easy to make at home.
Cheddar-stuffed. Yum. Chipotle glazed. Double yum. Those two things took this over the top, but even with out them, the meatloaf was delicious. The meat was moist and had a lot of flavor, thanks in large part to the chili powder and cumin in ingredients. I loved it.
Dudette, on the other hand, was not fond of the chili powder addition. I had purposefully left the chipotle out of glaze but she still felt the heat from the other. She really needs to grow out of this soon so she starts enjoying this great stuff! Hubby had to miss out on this one too because until his stomach settles, he’s on the BRAT Diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). Poor guy.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Nothing. It’s a great, simple meatloaf recipe.
- 1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ⅓ cup fine, dry, whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 6 tablespoons ketchup, preferably no-salt-added
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat four 8- to 12-ounce small baking dishes, such as mini loaf pans, with cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet. (Alternatively, make freeform meatloaves and bake directly on the baking sheet.)
- Combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, 2 tablespoons ketchup, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl; mix well. Divide the mixture into 4 even portions and place in the prepared baking dishes. Make a 1½-inch-deep indentation with your finger down the length of each meatloaf. Stuff each with 2 tablespoons cheese and pinch the edges closed to seal.
- Combine the remaining 4 tablespoons ketchup and chipotle in a bowl; spread over each loaf.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a loaf registers 165°F, 20 to 30 minutes.
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