Thursday, March 11, 2010

Facing Down My Nemesis



I just about peed myself when I read the March itinerary for Barefoot Bloggers. This had to be some kind of cruel joke. Clearly, some cosmic force had it in for old KitchyWitchy this month, because I was being asked to face my Food Nemesis.

The horror.

I was ordered to make the most evil concoction known to man. That's right folks. The M word.

If you don't know about my traumatic experience with the M word, I suggest you go here.

My husband walked into the kitchen yesterday and saw me sauteeing a mountain of onions.

"Mmmmmm. What's for dinner?" he asked.

"Meat Loaf."

"Geddafuckoutta here," he said. "No way."

"Way," I said. "Some sadistic dillweed at Barefoot Bloggers picked meat loaf as one of the March recipes."

"And you're not just punting on it?"

"Nope. Time to face the enemy. I'm putting on my battle armor, and sheathing my sword as we speak. Meat Loaf, I'm coming for you!"

"Okaaaaayy," he said, backing out of the kitchen. "You have fun with that. I actually love meat loaf."

Freak.


You can find the recipe for Ina's Individual Meat Loaves here.

When I first scanned the recipe, I noticed a couple of things that just weren't going to fly with me. And since I cannot follow the rules to save my life, I had to tinker with the recipe.

First item of note: Ina calls for ground chuck that is 81% lean. There's good reason for this. Fattier meat=moist and flavorful meat loaf. However, my butt doesn't need fatty meat. There's enough jiggle in that trunk already. I'm pretty sure hubs' butt doesn't need fatty meat, either. So I used 93% lean ground chuck.

Which then posed a little problem about how to add moisture back into the meat loaf. I grated up a zucchini and an orange bell pepper and added it to my meat mixture, hoping that would add the necessary moisture and flavor I needed.

Second item of note: Ina directs you to shape the individual meat loaves into six (10 to 11 ounce) portions. Who on Earth is she cooking for? Lumberjacks? The Green Bay Packers? 10 to 11 ounces of meat is hella lotta meat, people!!

I'd actually halved the recipe to start with (I didn't want all of that extra meat loaf staring at me in the refrigerator later), and I shaped that halved recipe into 4 loaves. Each loaf was about 5 ounces--a much more moderate portion.

However, what did this mean for the cooking time? Did I cut the cooking time in half, or would my meat loaf turn out *shudder* RAW in the middle? I was really not okay with that prospect, so I cut fifteen minutes off the cooking time and called it good.

Verdict: Hubs loved it. I gagged. Sometimes, a girl just can't rise above her past. Sorry Ina, I tried.

And where's the picture, you ask? Ahem. Sorry folks. Just TRY to make meat loaf look sexy. Fail. So you'll just have to take my word for it.

55 comments:

  1. Lol, no matter what you do, there is no way to make meatloaf look sexy. It's like "Pat" from SNL- no one knows exactly what it is or what to do with it! ;) Glad hubs enjoyed the effort so it wasn't a total waste!

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  2. Meatloaf is a kind of mythical being for me. It exists in my "They have this in America" box, along with twinkies and ding-dongs. I'm sure there's an equivalent over here but I haven't yet found it. I can't say it massively appeals to me. A loaf made of meat? No thanks.

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  3. "Geddafuckoutta here" Funniest line EVAH! And meatloaf...yum. :)

    Thanks for your kind words today.

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  4. I actually loved meatloaf growing up - especially leftover meatloaf sandwiches (ketchup delivery device, perhaps?). But now the idea - even a veggie version, which I've run across - holds no appeal. I'm just not that into ground-up foods.

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  5. At least husb loves it right? At least he never uttered something that my dear husb has said in the past to me: "This is good, but I don't need to have it again." LOL. I always thought in order for something good, you simply need to put a ring on it. I mean, parsley in this case. ;-)

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  6. LOL Meatoaf is one of Amanda's favorite meals, Dh loves it but does get sick of it.

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  7. It's the term, I think: meat loaf. Meat should not come in a loaf. A loaf should not be made of meat. Blech. Simple culinary semantics.

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  8. OMG you make me laugh! (My kids love meatloaf, and I don't know how to make it!)

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  9. Good for you! Take that, meatloaf!

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  10. LMAO.....
    I want to like meatloaf, it sounds like the ultimate comfort food, but.... I can't really find "the one".

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  11. I love you Kitch, but I have to draw the line. I will never, not ever, make a meatloaf.

    Don't hate me.

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  12. Yeah, meatloaf is N O T one of my fam's favorite meals. You know how it goes, gotta go with the flow. So I never make it. However I love it.

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  13. Meatloaf. And in 11 oz. portions??? That's 5.5 oz. of junk per ass-cheek. No thank you, Ina dear.

    Hand me a regular old hamburger any day instead, TKW. Actually, no -- I'm sure you've heard of Michael Symon, what with your finger on the internet's foodie pulse. His burger recipes, like this one, are so good.

    PS: I provide this link solely to endorse the product described, not the talk show host pimping it. She drives me more than slightly batty.

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  14. AHAHAH! When I saw "the M word", I scrolled down to see if there was a pic of meatloaf! I was soooo gonna tell you it looks like shit regardless of what you wrote. Guess what? Your non-pic of meatloaf looks like shit!
    jc

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  15. Excuse me, meatloaf is what my Grandma used to feed me. Were you even able to make it look 'sexy' it would be obscene. I'm still not clear about why you hate the stuff, but I'm proud of you for facing up to your fears.

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  16. Mmmmm. I like meatloaf. :) I don't mind if things are hidden. If I don't know they are there then I'm cool with it.

    And she made her loaves that big because will all that fatty meat they cooked down to about the same size as yours. Ew.

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  17. Hilarious! I can always count on you for a good laugh, TKW.

    Kudos for tackling the meatloaf challenge. Really. I haven't made meatloaf for 5 years. Ick.

    Our friend T is very sweet and tries to be a good cook, but doesn't often succeed. Last year she brought meatloaf over for us - a generous gesture, I think. But wait! It wasn't regular meatloaf. It was ground turkey...that she cooked in the microwave!! What on earth?! We chewed and swallowed dutifully.

    My second semi-related meatloaf story is about my in-laws. They are mostly vegetarian, and my husband was raised vegetarian. So a few years into our marriage I was introduced to cheese loaf. It is a strange concoction of cottage cheese, Stove Top, and French onion soup mix, shaped into a loaf. Odd, but surprisingly tasty.

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  18. I actually LOVE meatloaf - my mom's only. I attempted to make it once and foul does not even begin to describe what I took out of the oven.

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  19. LOL! I agree, meatloaf is not photogenic! I've just stumbled upon your blog. I certainly am glad to find it. I love a little humor with my recipes!

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  20. I didn't realize people actually put vegetables or tomato paste in their meatloaf. I never could stand ketchup on mine. I actually grew up with my mom cooking it in the microwave if you'll believe that. Why do I want meatloaf now?

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  21. I love meatloaf. Sometimes I don't understand you.

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  22. The only meatloaf I'll eat is one I make myself. Which is mostly bbq sauce and stuffing mix.
    Actually, I'll only eat any kind of ground meat if I make it. Like Kristen commented... ground meat is just... bleh...

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  23. No one in my family likes meatloaf except me...which probably speaks to the question of how well I can make a meatloaf. One of my favorite beach restaurants has a Thursday meatloaf sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo on their own sourdough bread. I used to plan trips to the beach to make sure I was here by lunchtime on Thursdays. Lately I've been so freaked out by all the stories of animal abuse, I don't want anything that I don't have its biography sheet. Thus the grouper sandwich today.

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  24. I love burgers, so you'd think I would love meatloaf, but I throw up in my mouth a little every time I make one for my husband.

    Except he likes his wrapped in bacon with barbecue sauce! One time, to try to "hide" veggies in his diet, a pureed carrots and celery and added it to the meat. About the second bit in he says "are there fucking vegetables in there?!!"

    Sadly, that was the one and only veggie meatloaf made in my house!

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  25. Like Corinne, I only eat my own meatloaf. And this family loves it - especially with ketchup. Is Ina's Turkey meatloaf on the schedule? Because it's to die for!

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  26. I'm not a huge meatloaf fan, but my kids love it. It's one of the dinners that I don't have to sit and coax them into eating. Dipped into ketchup of course. Yes, high class all the way. Other people's meatloaf makes me gag also.

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  27. Meatloaf...I admit I love it...my butt is probably a testament to that fact. I also zucchini and never thought to grade it up in a meatloaf. Perfect! Thanks for offering up an idea I can use to pull a fast one over my kids eyes.

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  28. I'm such a proletariat, TKW, that I love meatloaf. Not that I ever eat it, because it seems to always be made with pork (or HOG FAT? ha ha) which I don't eat. Thank goodness yours wasn't.

    Thanks for the low-brow recipe!

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  29. The first time I ever had meatloaf I was 5 and I got the stomach virus immediately after eating it. That, therefore, was the LAST time I've ever had meatloaf and I can honestly say I don't miss it. Nothing about it is appealing to me... sorry to be a meatloaf snob.

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  30. Apple pie AND meatloaf? What's going on over there at Chez T.?

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  31. SO INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTED THERE IS NO PICTURE.

    (not)

    I despise meatloaf. I don't care what it looks like or if it were made of sugar-flavored gold.

    So what'd you do with the leftovers? In the fridge for the Hubs or in the trash?

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  32. Meatloaf! Ha! Love the story. =)

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  33. Not a fan, glad you had the courage to make it...lower fat, no less!

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  34. Meatloaf...really??? Not good?? I like it.....with a big honking heap of Mash Potatoes. Only like once every three months or so though. I too am disappointed that ther eis no picture. I think you are holding out on us ;)

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  35. Only meatloaf I'll eat is from a cookbook for college kids. It's basically the easiest recipe I've ever made and tastes delicious:) But, still not sexy!!!

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  36. Facing the nemesis, I am proud of you! As for sexy pictures of it, I will take that as a challenge... I think it can be done ;-)

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  37. Meat loaf is very hard to make pretty. I'm not a fan either, texture is too weird. Good for you for trying, you're better than I am for it!

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  38. I love meat loaf but the one I make usually winds up tasting like feet with ketchup. Oh well.

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  39. I make meatloaf burgers. It is just what it sounds like only with cheddar and bread. The people? They love it. Me? Won't even taste it.

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  40. I can make a pretty darn good meatloaf. I just use lots of seasoning and vegetables.

    But, I know what you mean. Seafood is my nemesis. I'm trying! I promise!

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  41. You made meatloaf! You're...you're growing as a person!

    Also, FWIW, I recently made meatloaf for the first time in 20+ years. I agree with many of the previous posters: gotta be something I make myself, so I know what's in there. Otherwise, we're getting close to mystery meat.

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  42. Try meatloaf from buffalo. Delicious!!! To get a bit of fat into it as it is a very lean meat, a drizzle of EVOO (I hate that term but am typing dyslexic this morning).

    I am a huge meatloaf making so will be sure to not serve it to you when we meet. LOL!

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  43. I do not enjoy meatloaf either. As a child, I loved it - as an adult I consider it low grade dogfood. I'm sure that has everything to do with my lack of ability.

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  44. I don't love meatloaf, but I don't mind it. (Remember, I eat anything.) Hubs, on the other hand, can't stand it. He claims it's a texture thing. So, I don't even bother. Kudos to you for facing your nemesis!

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  45. My family hated meatloaf until I found Tyler's recipe on Food Network. It is called something like Dad's fabulous meatloaf with red pepper relish. The red pepper relish is what makes it so amazing. It is a lot of work, but well worth it.

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  46. ha ha! Meatloaf...the food of childhood and the 80s...haven't had meatloaf for years...don't think I'm missing out though! Sorry you had to go through this bad ordeal...at least your hubs enjoyed it though! xxx

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  47. I'm so proud of you for putting aside your gag reflex and stepping up to the challenge! :D

    I only like my meatloaf in cupcake form these days!

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  48. My husband has this theory that Ina Garten is secretly a spaz. (Did I spell that right?) I used to feel very calm after watching her show, but husband says that she's the type to fly off the handle over nothing, and so now I can't look at her the same. (Also, I don't think she realizes her husband is gay.)

    I have horror stories of meatloaf as a child. My mom made it and I could see the fat in it. I gagged, too. One time, she told me she would make me a hamburger while they had meatloaf. Then she put a slice of meatloaf in my burger bun. Did she think I was stupid? Needless to say, I wasn't having any of that. I gagged, of course.

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  49. You are a brave woman, Kitch. I am not a huge fan of meatloaf either. Don't know why. I just don't think meat should come in loaf form. Totally understand your decision not to post a picture!

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  50. I about peed myself reading your post.
    I like meatloaf but, have never made a good enough recipe to call my own.

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  51. Oh my word, lady, you're a better person than I. Forget the nemesis thing. I'm with Phoo-D. Meatloaf is culinary dog doo. No need to bother. But I'm proud of you. You're a badass.

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  52. I can't believe you don't like meatloaf, that's too funny. And yes, making it look sexy is indeed problematic. To say the least.

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  53. TKW, you seriously need to face your meatloaf fear. There's a place here in Baltimore that serves makes them in muffin tins. They are freaking adorable, and delish.

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