Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It's amazing how different it feels in Seattle on a sunny day. Especially in the winter.

I went for a walk in Lincoln Park on Monday and the place was packed. People walking their dogs, kids making driftwood forts. The mountains stood silhouetted above the water, just crystal clear. Like some sort of paradise.

The tradeoff is the sunny days seem to be colder, with no cloud cover to keep in the warmth. So yesterday after my walk, I decided to make meatloaf. It sounded like just what we needed-- something warm and bacony. Besides, I had just seen a new meatloaf recipe in gourmet.

Cobe was all for it. He's quite a fan of meatloaf. Especially with bacon.

We set off to the store with my gourmet magazine clutched under my arm, and loaded up with ground beef and pork, as well as bacon, dried prunes, carrots, celery, onion and parsley.

The recipe is very french in style, starting with mirepoix (minced carrot, celery, onion, and garlic). I'm not the most finicky mincer, but I've begun to realize the importance of knife skills. The finer you can chop, the finer the flavors you produce. As I sauteed this in some butter, Cobe wandered over.

"That smells good!" he exclaimed.

It did smell good. It tasted good as well, much more than the sum of its parts. The onion and garlic provided a little bite, the carrot some sweetness, and the celery a certain grassiness. Because of the mincing, these flavors all blended to create some new flavor, perfectly balanced.

I let that get a bit caramlized, then added it to the breadcrumbs I had soaked in milk. I was pretty proud of myself that I figured out how to make my own breadcrumbs. I just threw some cubed bread in my little cheapy blender, turned it on high, and presto: breadcrumbs.

Then the pork, beef, egg, celery, bacon, prunes and allspice. Made a loaf and baked it at 350 for like an hour (till it was 155). It turned out wonderful, the subtle sweetness adding depth and the prunes and breadcrumbs adding moisture. Could have made a little gravy with the pan juices, but we were feeling a little WT so we went with ketchup.

You can find the recipe on epicurious (Gourmet February 2008): here

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