Good morning, world. I had a pretty busy weekend, and while the downside of that is it makes the time absolutely fly by, it’s nice to have something to do other than hang out on the couch. Not that I don’t love laying around on the couch. It is one of my top five favorite activities, like drinking beer, eating pizza, Internetting and watching Lost, which, coincidentally, can all be done from the comfort of my couch. It’s funny how that works out, isn’t it? On Friday night, Kramer and I went out and had a few beers with Morgan before going to see his improv team perform. Kramer and I had pizza from Forcella beforehand…I love brick oven pizza, but it never delivers well. It always gets kind of soft in the middle. Not that I had any trouble demolishing my couple of slices, which were topped with some nice mozzarella, olives, and mushrooms. On Saturday, Kramer and I slept in a bit, ordered bagels and lox, then I did a bit of recipe testing for Sir Kensington’s, which is honestly a pretty great brand if you can find it around you. We met up with Kramer’s sister, Rachel, and her fiance, Eric, at Fatty ‘Cue for dinner to celebrate her birthday later on in the evening, and sweet jebus, it was good. We had pig’s ear with uni, tobiko, and avocado, fried chicken baos, curried peas, mustard greens with brisket, brisket baos with chili jam, and red curry duck. It was a delicious feast, which included excellent cocktails and finished with s’mores pie and key lime pie. If you ever find yourself near the Brooklyn location, do yourself a favor and check it out. We hit up Dram for a fancy cocktail afterward (including the best Penicillin I’ve ever had), then headed to our usual weekend haunt, Burnside, to finish out the night. I won’t lie…I was hurting a bit in the morning. However, like the trooper that I am, I got up and spent the entire day shooting photos for Kensington’s while poor Kramer got up even earlier (7 AM on a Sunday!) to go to a class. After both of our long days, we stayed in, ordered Indian food, and…you guessed it: watched Lost.
One of the recipes that I created on Sunday was a meatloaf recipe, but it’s nothing quite like this. Veal and pork make for the best meatloaves, in my opinion. Beef is all well and good, but the flavors of these other two meats are much more savory, almost buttery, compared to beef alone. As always, though, you can use whatever you prefer; the important part of this are the mushrooms. I made mussels with mushroom broth a week or so ago, and on that same day, I made this meatloaf to portion up and have as lunches throughout the week. I soaked dried mushrooms in water, then used that water in both the meatloaf and the glaze. This is an important step that adds tons of rich, mushroom flavor to the meatloaf. I can’t recommend this method enough, but you can definitely just use regular mushrooms if you don’t have dried mushrooms on hand. I pureed sun-dried tomatoes, more mushrooms, and some peppers together for a glaze, then brushed it on top, which caramelizes as it cooks and takes on a slightly sweet and spicy flavor that really livens up the meatloaf. Meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort foods. It has a pretty unappetizing name, but once you make it and have a bite, it’ll bring back great food memories and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Eat it alone, with vegetables, a salad, or, best of all, between two slices of good bread for the best sandwich ever.
Seeing improv on Friday night, Kramer enjoying a rooftop beer, playing with my lightsaber, pig’s ear with tobiko, avocado, and uni at Fatty ‘Cue, pizza from Forcella, and food styling for Sir Kensingtons on Sunday.
Soaking the mushrooms.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground veal
- 1 egg
- 1 cup dried mushrooms, soaked, drained, and chopped (or 1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ onion, diced
- ½ cup panko crumbs
- ¼ cup mushroom water (or beef broth)
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, in their oil
- ¼ cup soaked mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons water from soaking the mushrooms (or just water)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. I used soaked mushrooms for this meatloaf to give it an extra mushroomy flavor, but if you don’t do that, saute your chopped mushrooms in a little butter over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until softened and browned, before adding to the meatloaf mixture. To soak the mushrooms, place them in a large bowl covered in hot water, place a paper towel over the top, and allow them to soak for an hour, until the water is a deep amber and the mushrooms are soft. Drain and save the water, then chop the mushrooms.
- Mix together the ground meat, egg, mushrooms, garlic, onion, panko crumbs, chile powder, oregano, salt, pepper flakes, black pepper, and fennel. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pat the meat mixture into the pan using your hands. Smooth the top and bake for 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time.
- To make the glaze, puree the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, brown sugar, jalapeño pepper, and mushroom water in a blender or food processor, until smooth. After the meatloaf has cooked for one hour, remove it from the oven and turn the the heat up to 450 degrees F. Brush the top of the meatloaf with the glaze, then place back in the oven for 10 minutes or so, until the glaze has caramelized. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes, covered, before slicing and serving. This will keep well as leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.