31 October, 2017

Hocus, Pocus, I’ve Got To Focus – Magic Meatloaf

Hocus, Pocus, I’ve Got To Focus – Magic Meatloaf
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Meatloaf on Halloween? Absolutely! And with a magic surprise inside!

One of my favorite Halloween movies is Hocus Pocus with Bette MidlerSarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. These three ladies dressed up as goofy witches makes me laugh hysterically each time I watch it. Yes, it’s a “must-watch” in our house this time of year, just like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story” is at Christmas time. 

Knowing I would be opening our door to over 1,000 trick or treaters, I had to stop watching Hocus Pocus and put the meatloaf ingredients together. Okay, so I kept the movie on while I was mixing ingredients to keep up the Halloween spirit. I actually did this the day before Halloween so all I had to do today was pop the meatloaf in the oven and eat it between doorbell rings. 

It’s hard to believe, but our neighborhood is one of the busiest I’ve ever seen on Halloween. We live in a community of over 460 single family homes nestled around an 18-hole golf course. But on Halloween, it resembles a busy night at LAX airport with cars lining the streets dropping off or picking up kids, or sheltering them from the rain (if it happens to be a rainy night). It’s just crazy around here so I wanted to make an easy dinner, and what’s easier than the old standby – meatloaf? 

Yeah, yeah I know I’ve posted meatloaf recipes before. Here’s a couple in case you missed them: This Isn’t Your Mother’s Meatloaf, Hello? It’s Me – Turkey Meatloaf, and Mmmm, Mmmm, Good! Italian Meatloaf. This recipe is different – the meatloaf is stuffed!

The usual ingredients go into the base of this meatloaf.

Instead of forming ingredients into a meatloaf shape at this point, you spread out the meat mixture into an 8 x 12 (approximate) rectangle on waxed paper.

Add a layer of ham (or your favorite). My choice would have been prosciutto but we didn’t have any. (How did that happen? It’s almost a sin to be without an Italian meat of some sort in the fridge.)

Next, layer on the cheese. In this instance, I used Picante provolone. I like Picante provolone over plain provolone, I think it has a little more flavor.

Add tomatoes. (We still have fresh tomatoes – hard to believe because tomorrow it’s November. We pulled the garden plants last week and we are still ripening tomatoes in the house.) If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes work just as well. Pesto is the next layer. I pulled our basil plants and made pesto in August before we left for Italy so I do have this on hand year-around. If you prefer fresh basil, go for it! I’m sure the intense flavor would be great. 

Roll up jelly-roll style and then shape into meatloaf.

Cooked and ready to serve.

This slice of meatloaf doesn’t show well in the picture, but the taste overshadows the looks. 
I served this meatloaf with mashed red potatoes and sauteed squash and tomatoes.

Stuffed Meatloaf
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz lean ground beef
  2. 6 oz sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
  3. 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic minced
  5. 3/4 - 1 cup breadcrumbs (I used homemade bread crumbs from leftover beer bread but any breadcrumbs will do - freshly made from bread is best if possible.)
  6. 1 egg lightly beaten
  7. 3-4 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped (or if using dried, 2 tablespoons)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped fine
  9. 1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
  10. 4 thin slices of ham (I used sweet sliced ham or use your favorite)
  11. 4 slices of picante provolone (or your choice of cheese)
  12. 1 large tomato sliced (or substitute sun-dried tomatoes)
  13. 2-3 tablespoons pesto
  14. Drizzle of olive oil
  15. Pat of butter
  16. Salt and pepper to taste
Prep
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper or stick-free aluminum foil, making sure it lines the pan up the sides so juices will be retained and not run under the lining.
Make
  1. Heat oil and butter over medium heat, adding onion to sauté until soft.
  2. Add garlic to pan and blend with onions, cooking for a few seconds. Remove and set aside.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, ground beef, sausage, egg, parsley, parmesan cheese, thyme, onion and garlic mixture in a large bowl.
  4. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Assemble
  1. Pat out the meat mixture on a piece of waxed paper to about 8 x 12-15 inches.
  2. Layer ham, cheese, tomatoes and pesto, on two-thirds of the meat.
  3. Roll up the meat into a loaf using the waxed paper to help you guide the meat.
  4. Once rolled up, press down slightly on sides and across the bottom of the loaf to seal it.
  5. Place meat roll seam side down on prepared jellyroll pan.
Bake
  1. Bake for one hour or until center of meatloaf registers 160 degrees.
Notes
  1. Option: substitute meat, cheese, & tomato stuffing ingredients for your favorites. For example, if you have fresh basil, replace it for the pesto, prosciutto for the ham, etc.
Christina's Food And Travel http://christinasfoodandtravel.com/
Let the parade of costumes and trick-or-treaters begin!

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