Once upon a time I had committed to making an Italian meatloaf for dinner, but before I got around to making it I developed a jones for a good old fashioned cheeseburger, which begat the challenge: why not a cheeseburger meatloaf?
And so it came to be, and we loved it so much we ate the whole thing though I made enough for four. This recipe strips the cheeseburger down to four essential flavors: beef, cheese onion, and salt. I served slices atop (don't look, Chef Carey) iceberg lettuce and diced tomatoes that had been drizzled with a simple, light dressing of white vinegar, extra light olive oil and salt. A piece of Texas toast (bread spread iwth butter and browned was on the side. That's it: all the elements of a cheeseburger, reassembled for eating with a fork, and wherein the meat component is seriously oozing with flavor and the lettuce and tomato have been brightened with a light O & V dressing. Bob will definitely be asking--no, demanding--this again. Soon.
Serves four (usually):
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 onion, diced and lightly sauteed to soften
2 handfuls panko or soft breadcrumbs
1/4 c milk
several pinches of salt
Mix milk egg and crumbs, then add remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Shape into loaf on bottom of large baking dish and bake at 450 for 30 minutes, then reduce to 300 and bake for an additional 30 minutes. The two-temp method insures a crispy exterior layer without overcooking.
The salad: shred/chop one head of iceberg lettuce and dice two tomatoes. Arrange lettuce topped with tomato on four plates. Make a dressing of two tblsp white wine vinegar and four tablespoons of neutral oil. Salt to taste (about half a teaspoon). Drizzle 1.5 tblsp over each salad, and place a thick slice of meatloaf on top of each.
Serve with pan-toasted bread.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov