Monday, February 25, 2008

February 25: Mexican Mini-Meatloaves

In a comment over the weekend, Kimberly asked about my Mexican Mini-Meatloaves, which I referenced in the thing about the bacon-wrapped's all meat all the time here, so I guess it doesn't matter that it's supposed to be Meatless Main Dish Monday here at Casa de Kitchen. My mini-meatloaves rule.

The truth is, I got the recipe out of a food magazine that Kraft publishes. Mostly, the magazine makes my skin crawl--the "recipes" are really just basically advertising for their products, and nary a fresh, wholesome, unprocessed ingredient to be found.

Not that there's a lot of fresh and wholesome in meatloaf. I have an ex-boyfriend whose hatred of anything vegetable was world-renowned; I used to puree spinach, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and any other vegetable I could find and throw it in meatloaf and smile smugly as he wolfed it down without even tasting it, as he did with everything, a la Jessica Seinfeld. Sucker.

As Kimberly said, my husband does love little food. He couldn't be happier than he is with a plate of sliders in front of him, a situation which has led to a weight gain over the past five years that I don't think he would be totally comfortable with me talking about.

But this recipe couldn't be any simpler, and it's fast and easy. You can stir in whatever your imagination can come up with. I've made it Mexican-style, as I describe here, with sauteed sweet corn and peppers on the side. I've made it Italian-style, with marinara, parmesan cheese, and spaghetti on the side. I've even made it barbecue style, with leftover baked beans and barbecue sauce and longhorn cheddar, with garlic mashed potatoes.

The concept is not a complicated one: meat, binder, and whatever ingredients turn you on. Spray your muffin tins well with nonstick spray--this can be hopelessly sticky--or use silicone muffin cups, like I do. Get started with this, and then use your imagination for the things that can stand in for the salsa. Substitute ground turkey for ground beef, or even ground chicken. Go crazy.

Mexican Mini-Meatloaves

1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
1 package Stove top chicken stuffing
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups salsa (jarred, fresh, or pico de gallo from the deli)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix together beef, stuffing, water, and 1/2 cup salsa. Pack mixture lightly into muffin tins, using your thumb to hollow a space in the middle.

Spoon the remaining salsa into the hollows. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160. Serve.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

My silicone muffin tray is my favorite thing in my kitchen. I wouldn't even bother attempting a muffin without it.