Monday, October 24, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Some people have an aversion to meat loaf.  I don't know if it stems from a bad cafeteria lunch experience from when they were in school or if their Mom made bad meatloaf when they were a kid or what.  But I have always liked meatloaf.  My Mom made it every so often when I was growing up and I remember loading it up with ketchup, a la hamburger on a plate, hold the bun!

I wanted to share yet another stick-to-your-ribs meal because, yet again, it is raining outside and there is a chill in the air.  I'm not going to lie. My food photography skills aren't great and the lighting in my kitchen isn't great either.  Take my word for it.  This meatloaf is so flavorful and so moist.  Not the dried out lump of greasy, bread/cracker crumb filled stuff of your youth.

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
Here's What You Need:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup very finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup minced Italian parsely
3/4 cup salsa
2 eggs
1 1/2 pounds ground beef OR half ground beef and half ground turkey
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 pound sliced mozzerella cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 teaspoons chili powder

Here's What You Do:
Don't let the long list of ingredients fool you.  This comes together very quickly and very easily.  This recipe came from a very old issue of Family Fun magazine which I have been subscribing to for at least 10 years.  I remember first receiving it as a gift subscription when Evan was a baby.  I'd say I've been making this meatloaf for maybe 7 years now.  If you click the link, their picture looks more appetizing.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet or saute pan, toss the celery and onion in the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.  It's important to very finely dice the onions so your children don't detect its presence!  Sneaky Mom cook strikes again!  Add the parsley.  I've made this many times omitting this ingredient.  It's not crucial.  Saute until softened, not browned.  Combine all of the ingredients, except cheese, in a large bowl.  Careful not to overmix.  Ground meat doesn't like to be handled too much - which is good, because I don't particularly enjoy handling raw meat!  Transfer half of the mixture to a loaf pan.  Gently pat it down, then lay the mozzerella cheese slices on top.  Add the remaining meat mixture and bake it in the oven for 75-80 minutes.  If you aren't sure if it's done yet, simply insert a meat thermometer and be sure that it reads no less than 170 degrees in the middle.

See?  Told ya it was simple!

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