Mid-week Mellow Shroom Meatloaf

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook”
 Julia Child

meatloaf-sliceSome days are just plain experiments in the kitchen and I have the perfect guinea pig in Michael at least if the menu features meatloaf so I naturally needed to learn something new since I don’t have a family meatloaf recipe to put on the table.  I took notes from J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT on flavor bombing a while back adding a few different and  unexpected ingredients such as gelatin and buttermilk…I’ve added Asian fish sauce to burgers and meatloaf before, but never buttermilk and gelatin so I did a little investigation as to why because it certainly is flavorless and for the moment I’ll accept it as an additional binder ingredient.

My umami bomb was a mixture of chicken bone broth, fish sauce and buttermilk added to the meatloaf blend.  Other than that some of the usual ingredients go into the blend along with lots of mushrooms which Michael will not willingly eat if identifiable in a dish, but they are chopped beyond recognition both baby bells and cremini’s which add great flavor and moisture to meatloaf.  I f you have a favorite meatloaf recipe and want to beef it up so to speak give buttermilk and Asian fish sauce a try…

meatloaf-ready3 pounds of meatloaf blend, veal, pro and beef, (I usually grind the meats, but some stores carry prepackaged meatloaf mix)
2 ribs of celery, peeled and finely diced
1 large shallot, mince
6 each cremini and baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Any other favorite ingredient that you normally add
3 whisked eggs
***Umami blend for my meatloaf is 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/4 hearty bone broth, 3 teaspoons Asian fish sauce and one package Knox gelatin (heat buttermilk, broth and Asian fish sauce, simmer for 4-5 minutes off heat add gelatin and cool until time to add to make meatloaf blend).  When cool add the whisked eggs…
Thoroughly blend the meatloaf and shape into a long loaf, bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until thermometer reads 140º degrees remove from the oven and rest the meatloaf or 10-15 minutes before covering with glaze then return to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes.

*Tomato glaze:  1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup chili sauce, hot sauce and Worcestershire to taste

A nice side salad of baby kale mix, dried mango cubes, thinly sliced radishes,  red onions, cucumbers and a roasted lemon and mandarin juice dressing was one of the sides with dinner, delicious.  Whisk together the juice of one roasted lemon, 2 tablespoons of the mandarin juice, salt, pepper, 1+1/2 teaspoons honey, and 2 tablespoons EVOO or more to taste.  Drizzle a little dressing over salad, toss…don’t over dress the salad.