Friday, November 13, 2009

Serious Comfort Food: Individual Meat Loaves with Baked Macaroni and Cheese

If I wasn't always on a diet, I'd make comfort food ALL THE TIME!!! I know there are things I can replace, like whole wheat pasta, skim milk, fat-free cheese, ground turkey instead of ground beef, but sometimes it's nice to have the real deal. I try to make all our meals at home healthy and lean, so when we eat out, I can indulge. Today I decided to have lunch ready for my son if he and his friends decided to drop in for a quick meal. The lunch period is short, so they usually have a Whole Wheat Hot Pocket from the freezer or bagel sandwich.

Click here for Ina Garten's Individual Meat Loaves recipe, or you can try my recipe with a few changes.

Individual Meat Loaves
adapted from Ina Garten's Recipe
(*** the changes I made)

1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
***1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth (I used beef stock)
***1 tablespoon tomato paste ( I used 1 tablespoon ketchup)
***2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean) (I used 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef)***ADDED 1 pound ground pork shoulder
***1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (I used 1/2 cup oatmeal)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
***1/2 cup ketchup ( I used 1/2 cup chili sauce)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.

Bay Leaf and Paprika make a huge difference in the Baked Macaroni & Cheese!

click here for Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni & Cheese recipe

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