I don’t know where I came by this recipe. Maybe in a newspaper article, a television program, or a dream. Ahh, to dream of meatloaf! Anyway, we love it, and it’s relatively easy to prepare. All the ingredients can be acquired at any grocery store. Presentation is everything, and this dish looks great! Nothing like the sound of “definite family approval” for this dish. (Lots of ooohs and ahhs.)
In our family, the individual loaf or loaves can be specifically made to suit the diner. In place of sun-dried tomato, try throwing in a few slices of jalapeno. For me, I like the way it burns on the way down. (Just be sure that you mark the one that is specifically for you, so you don’t poison your family. No matter how good it looks, if their heads are on fire the meal will be a flop and never be forgotten.Funny how we remember the worst meals of our lives like we tried to eat them yesterday.Fear not! This will not be the case!
Meatloaf Loaves (say that tree times at the end of a cocktail party!)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 6 oz. minced garlic cloves
• 2 oz. butter
• 4 cups sliced mushrooms
• 4 round loafs of French bread
• 2 lbs. lean hamburger
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup milk
• 2 packages of onion soup mix (dry)
• 2 packages of meat loaf mix (dry)
• 2 jars of tomato pesto
• 2 medium-large diced onions
• 8-12 oz. sliced Monterey jack cheese
• 1 jar of sun-dried tomato (in oil, drained)
• 6-8 oz. smoked mozzarella
• 1 12 oz. glass Merlot
Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
On medium heat, in a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. When it looks like it’s about to start sticking, add 2 oz. butter and 4 cups sliced mushrooms. Brown mushrooms and set to side.
With a sharp knife, take top off French bread loaves (kind of like the top of a jack-o’-lantern). Scoop out and crumble all bread inside into a large mixing bowl. Crumble “lids” and add to inside bread, meat, eggs, milk, onion soup mix, and meatloaf mix with your hands. Yes, I hate that feeling also. Just don’t think about it too much.
As there are four separate loaves, do the following for each.
Add about a quarter jar of tomato pesto to bottom of French bread “bowl.” Add a layer of Monterey jack cheese, then about a half inch layer of meat mix on top of that.
Again add about a quarter jar of tomato pesto, and a quarter jar of drained sun dried tomato, another layer of Monterey jack cheese, then about a half inch layer of Meat mix on top of that. This should now be at the top, or lip, of the bread “bowl.” Add a quarter of the mushroom mix, and a quarter of the grated smoked mozzarella to each.
The glass of merlot should have been consumed by the cook at this point.
Wrap the bowl in foil, leaving the top exposed.
Wrap the top loosely with foil so it won’t stick to the smoked mozzarella.
There will be leftover mix, so make a small “conventional” meat loaf, adding any leftover jack cheese to center, and cook same as below.
Place all four totally foil-covered loaves (so bread won’t burn) in preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Wrap bottom with one piece so top can be exposed, then wrap top with another piece. Remove top foil for the last 10 to 12 minutes or until the mozzarella has browned. Remove from oven, wait about 5 minutes, and serve. I like to slice it with a serrated knife, like a pie in quarters, or eighths.
Add salt and pepper to taste, but it’s fine without them.
Serve with dignity!
Turn your back, so your spouse can cover it in cheap ketchup. Go for another glass of merlot.
Makes four loaves.