It's like bread, only it's a salty dinner meat thing!
Whatever, I know you know what meat loaf is. I'm just excited.
When I saw this recipe in the newest issue of Food and Wine I knew it was the perfect device for my crossover from baker to cook. It's meat, only loafy. You know, like bread. Work with what you know, to learn about what you don't know. Is that a saying? It needs to be. Anyway the idea worked out marvelously well.
It was quite an experience to create too, I had to get wrist deep in raw meat. Yeah, it got real.
The number one reason I don't cook meaty dinners is because before you cook it, the meat is just sitting there all CSI without the sunglasses, and my mind... it just goes places so very much the opposite of tasty delicious.
I know, I'm a lady sometimes.
However, when making meat loaf you sort of have to get super cozy with this stuff and squish it all together with your fingers ( a technique I usually enjoy), there isn't really any other way to do it. You either man up or don't make meat loaf. So, I put on my poker face and got my squish on.
|I also made green bean fries, but they weren't very good. Let's not talk about that.|
But here's the deal, and what I realize now has been my problem all along. As a cook, you need communicate with the food you cook, before you cook it so that you know what's going on (and what needs to be adjusted) but since food can't actually listen and answer you, touch and smell is how you swing it.
My problem: cooking is about communication, and I'm a bit of a wallflower.
Let me paint you a picture. Imagine my kitchen is college a party, and I'm new in town, here trying to make friends.
With bread it's simple (and we're total besties at this point). Bread already wants to be my friend, it's all fresh faced and getting born. It's like a drunken birthday girl who wants hugs from everybody and even lets me do a few braids. Bread is pretty easy to figure out, if it's puffed up and smiling I know everything's cool, and if it's flat, droopy (or looks pale) I know something not so great is going down.
Meat though is much more introverted and hard to read (I really like him, but our relationship is weird). He's at the end of his party, he's headed out the door on his way, ( and he looks busy) so I can usually only manage a sort of awkward wave goodbye.You know, from across the room. That he may or may not see. And there of course is the problem, no touch no communication, no tasty biteums.
Don't be like me!
You can't be so timid. You've got to tackle meat guy! (he sounds like a Scorpio so he won't mind) you've got to squeeze him goodbye so he knows you mean it. If he likes you, you'll know it. And if he's got a funky problem, you'll know that too.
So by this recipe forcing me to get frisky (spending that mandatory squish time, all warm and cozy) meat and I had a moment. We communicated, and it gave me this feeling of confidence.
Did meat being a guy get awkward there? Sigh. I should have made bread the dude....
|Maybe not the most attractive guy, but definitely worth your time|
Anyway the end result was amazingly satisfying, when I set it in the oven to bake I felt 90% more confident that it would turn out successfully because I'd had physical contact with what I was making. P.s. It was in a totally PG wholesome way. You know. Just to be clear.
And when it was all baked up and finished it was perfect. Okay maybe it was a kinda ugly because I'm new at this but the difference in taste was remarkable. It even got the double raised eyebrow from my boyfriend. Two eyebrows raised in delighted surprise. And all because I touched the meat.
...wait! That's not what I meant!
Original Recipe for The Amazing Meat Loaf can be found on the Food & Wine website Here