Monday, July 17, 2006

mid-summer meatloaf madness

A bit of advice: On the hottest day of the year, when the thermometer is reaching up to 104 and you live in an apartment that barely has air conditioning (a much-loved, but ineffectual, window unit) you should not make meatloaf for dinner. But if you can’t resist the temptations of slowly roasting comfort food in the middle of summer, I have a meatloaf recipe for you.

Sometime in March, Will brought over a recipe for meatloaf that he’d torn out of the NY Times. I’m not much of a meatloaf fan, but this one seemed irresistible. Mustard, maple syrup, bacon. I would always choose butter over bacon, but when we’re talking meatloaf, there’s nothing better than bacon. Bacon.

Spring would have been the right time to make this meatloaf—the evenings still cool, the apartment air not stifling. But we left the torn recipe languishing on the fridge along with restaurant reviews and pictures of my adorable niece. We wanted the meatloaf enough to give it a favored place on the fridge, but not enough to cook it.

So what possessed us to put it on the menu for a day so hot you think your brain is that sizzling egg even without the drugs, a day so hot you can’t even waste time on metaphors I’ll never know. But what can I say? When you want meatloaf, you want meatloaf. And if you’re going to have the oven at 375 for 90 MINUTES, you may as well roast a few potatoes.

Damn, it was hot. Hot, hot, hot. Luckily, Will busied himself making us iced lattes and lime spritzers. He also took on the nasty job of mushing and shaping the loaf. Initially, he tried to mix everything with a spoon and only dug his hands into the mix after much admonition from me (always the kitchen nag).

Oh but it was good meatloaf. And as Will astutely noted as we sweated over our meal, it would make a great sandwich.

And so, the next day, as I read Ian McEwan’s Atonement (which coincidentally features a poorly planned dinner of beef and roast potatoes that really should have been a salad), I munched on an appropriate summer meal: a thick slice of cold meatloaf smashed between crusty French bread and topped with red onions, farmer’s market lettuce, a bit of mustard.

You can find the recipe for Maple-Glazed Meatloaf here (scroll down a bit).


Blogger Lisa B. said...

One of the happiest meals I ever ate was a meatloaf my first husband cooked when I was student teaching and pregnant. I dragged my exhausted ass home to find that he had made meatloaf and roasted potatoes and roasted carrots. It was so wonderful I practically wept.

Amd it's also true that sometimes we just want an out of season thing so much that we're willing to heat up the already hot house for it. (i.e., baking bread in the summer)

Your meat loaf sounds delectable.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I like making "meat muffins," where the mix is cooked in muffin tins. You can't really put them in a sandwich--but they don't take 90 minutes in the oven!

Yours sounds like a meal that's screaming for bacon ice cream....

9:23 AM  
Blogger William Conway said...

The meatloaf sandwich is the undisputed King of all Sandwiches. Now sandwiches are my favorite food, so that's not something I throw around lightly.

When we were dating, she made them for me for a long road trip we were taking (a old Conway family tradition). I was hers forever after that...

11:11 AM  
Blogger lis said...

This was actually my first meatloaf sandwich and it was amazing. Seriously, it's worth making the meatloaf just to get a few sandwiches out of it.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous guile said...

atonement.. i love that book :)..

8:21 PM  

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