I think I’ve mentioned my love for the sort of old time favorites that American cuisine is known for.
Seriously though, meatloaf, chicken fried steak, pot roast, chicken and dumpling, etc., the list goes on and on. A bit weird considering I wasn’t even born in this country and my mom certainly never cooked anything like this when I was growing up.
I think that the food choices you make say a lot about a person and their identity as well as giving you some insight into that person’s cultural background and values.
Now I could be way off base here and maybe it’s because I’m so into food, but I definitely feel like people gravitate towards food as another way of expression, even if that person isn’t consciously aware of it. I relate it to the same way a person’s clothing choices can tell you a lot about them (or at least what they want to project).
So maybe my love of American comfort food reflects a desire to fit in with a new culture. Or it could be nothing like that and as a kid I just thought it was tasty. You have to remember, at the time we moved here I was only two so it wasn’t like I was consciously making the decision.
But anyway, I usually try to make my own recipes to post, but this was one I saw in Cooking Light and knew I just had to make. They called it an “All American Meatloaf” and it’s everything most people love in their meatloaf (although I’ll admit I’m also partial to the versions with gravy).
But it was really the fact that the meatloaf was cheese studded that served to peak my interest.
I stayed pretty true to the original recipe, although I couldn’t resist making a few changes and additions. One of the biggest is the fact that I formed the loaf on a broiler pan rather than packing it into a loaf pan. I always like doing my meatloaves free form style since a lot of the grease drains away and you get more of those tasty crusty bits. On the side I put together a warm green bean and potato salad because when I think meatloaf, those are the two sides that I always associate with it.
And if you’d like to check out what I like to call my Asian Blue Plate Special, click here. It’s an Asian twist on a turkey meatloaf done in mini-meatloaf muffin form and served with a side of sesame mashed potatoes.
- 1 oz whole wheat panko
- 1/2 cup ketchup, divided (I actually used 1/2 ketchup & 1/2 American style chili sauce)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 5 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp thyme
- 3/4 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces 2% sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 - 1/3 inch dice
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine panko, 1/4 cup ketchup, onion, 3 tablespoons parsley, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a bowl; gently mix until just combined.
- Line a broiler pan with foil. Spray pan with nonstick spray and form a free form loaf shape on the broiler pan, do not pack (could also transfer to a loaf pan coated with cooking spray). Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Brush top of loaf with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes, and cut into 6 slices. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.