Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Last Monday, my new tech, Nancy, and I were talking about meatloaf.  Because everyone has lengthy work conversations about meatloaf... right?  Well, anyway, at some point she asked me if I'd ever stuffed a meatloaf.  

Me:  WHAT?  Stuffed meatloaf?  Wait, with what???  

N:  Oh, you know, broccoli and cheese or something like that.

Me:  <mouth hanging slightly open, obviously in deep, deep thought>  So, frozen or fresh?  Walk me through this...

N:  I usually just use the frozen broccoli with cheese sauce.

Me:  So easy! I must try this!

And so I did... the very next day.  Using my tried and true meatloaf recipe, I whipped up a batch and for once, actually put it in a loaf pan so I could effectively stuff the broccoli in the middle.  And it was awesome.  It tasted great and sparked a rousing dinner conversation I'd like to adapt into a short story entitled, "Foods we could stuff inside a meatloaf."  Chapter 1 - Sausage, bacon, and cheese.  Chapter 2 - Mushroom and swiss.  Chapter 3 - Pickles.  Chapter 4 - Any combination involving cheese and jalapenos. Chapter 5 - Meatloaf-induced heart attack and how to respond.  (How many chapters can a short story have before it's considered a book?  I'll have to look into this...)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.   Start slow with this broccoli and cheese stuffed meatloaf recipe.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf


Ingredients:
meatloaf:
- 1 lbs. ground beef
- 1/3 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pkg. reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 t. Lawry's seasoning salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
filling:
- 1 package steam-in-the bag broccoli & cheese sauce

for the piquant sauce: (amounts are approximate, adjust to taste)
- 1 c. ketchup
- 1/4 c. mustard
- 1/4 c. brown sugar




Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all meatloaf ingredients, beef through garlic powder and mix until combined and starts to come together.  Press about 2/3 of the meatloaf into an ungreased loaf pan, using a spoon to press it up the sides so that it forms a bowl.


2.  Cook the broccoli about half of the time recommended on the package (I microwaved mine for about 3 minutes), so it will press down easily into the meatloaf.  Pour into the meatloaf "bowl" and press down.

3.  Cover with remaining meatloaf mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix up the piquant sauce by whisking together ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.


4.  Spread sauce over the meatloaf and return to the oven for 15 minutes.


5.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then cut into slices and serve with any leftover sauce.





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