The Girl’s Italian Meatloaf
Now that we are in our summer schedule, I usually try to get a run in on the treadmill while my son (almost 3) is napping during the afternoon. As I am attempting to burn off my last piece of pound cake (how aptly named…), my daughter (7 1/2) is conducting Barbie weddings, which generally always include a pregnant bride. And why is it that Barbies always seem to get pregnant so easily — even with their obvious lack of genitalia?
Lately, my treadmill entertainment includes cooking reality shows like Chopped and The Next Food Network Star — and even the knocked up Barbies can’t keep my daughter from watching. She is hooked. We always pause the show when the ingredients are presented and talk about what we would both make. And we’ve actually been taking turns picking out real dinner ingredients and coming up with our own menus.
The other night I chose some ground beef, herbs, fresh shell peas, and new potatoes for her to figure out the dinner. I helped with the basics, but she chose the meal and all the seasonings. We had so much fun doing it and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a regular occurrence for us.
So her menu plan was Italian Meatloaf, Mashed Red Potatoes with Herbs (simply mashed with butter, milk, sage, thyme, and chives), and Sauteed Peas. I never think of making this kind of food in the summer, but it was such a nice treat. The meatloaf turned out really well — and I was so impressed with it and with her choice of seasonings that I decided to post it here. The show stopper was some fennel seeds, which I never put in my meatloaf. But they were a great addition and gave the meatloaf a sausage flavor. The girl peeled the potatoes and both the kids helped shelling peas.
Suffice it to say that it was the best meatloaf she has ever eaten.
The Girl’s Glazed Italian Meatloaf
1 lb. of ground beef
2-3 slices of slightly stale bread, torn in pieces
1-2 t fennel seeds
1 t dried oregano
1 t fine sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 shallots, chopped (could use onions instead)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1-2 T honey
Freshly chopped basil
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, cover bread pieces with milk and allow to soak for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze excess milk from cubes and drain off. Stir in fennel seeds, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, shallots, and egg.
2. Add in ground beef and combine with bread mixture thoroughly, but do not overmix.
3. Pat into a loaf pan and place in preheated oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the internal temperature is about 155-160 degrees F.
4. Mix tomato sauce and honey and glaze the top of meatloaf. Put back into the oven for 5 additional minutes to heat glaze.
5. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil before serving.