Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My first recipe

Ever since I moved away from my family, I've been trying to hone my cooking skills. Sometimes this requires calling my mom or dad and asking for a recipe, but usually I just Google something and hope for the best.

Anyway, right after we moved to Denver, Adam asked his mom for her meatloaf recipe and I asked my dad for his. It turned out I never used either of them, and actually along the way I misplaced my dad's recipe. So no meatloaf for us. (It was very sad, as I'm sure you can imagine.)

Fast forward to this weekend, when I decided it was of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that I make meatloaf. (Who knows why - I get these crazy ideas in my head sometimes.) I called my dad, but he and my mom weren't at the house, so he gave me the entire recipe from memory minus the oven temperature and baking time, promising to call me back later.

With this partial recipe, Adam's mom's recipe, and the internet, I decided I was ready to go. I knew I wanted a taste of the meatloaf I'd grown up with, but I also know I wanted some guidelines. As I was throwing things into my mixing bowl, I said to Adam that he should expect some sort of hybridized version of our parents' meatloaf recipes. And that is what I present to you here.

(The only caveat I must add is that I like a meatloaf that's a little crispy on the outside, so next time I think I'll up the oven temperature. [Maybe 400F for about 45 minutes?] I like it with a little ketchup and Tabasco, and of course some mashed potatoes on the side.)

Loren's Meatloaf
1 lb. ground chuck (I used 93/7 beef)
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed (my dad swears by Townhouse crackers, but I used what I had on hand)
1 egg
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, divided - slice one half of the tomatoes, reserve one half
salt and pepper to taste
dried oregano to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine beef, minced onion, egg, crackers, sliced stewed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. Divide mixture into three small loaves and place into a 13 x 9 baking pan. Top loaves with remaining stewed tomatoes. Bake for 1 hour.

Sorry I don't have any photos. Adam and I were crazy hungry by the time this was done cooking, so I had no interest in stopping to record my success. (We don't do too well when we're hungry, but that's a story for another time...)

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