Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Garden Meatloaf

I'm going grocery shopping this morning!  I had hoped to sneak in a small batch of chicken soup with a carcass I found at the bottom of the chest freezer, but there isn't enough to round it out.  It would have been just chicken and lentils or navy beans.  I used up the last bit of onion on this.  Still, 18 days is pretty impressive for someone who shops every three to four days (the shelf life of bananas) and primarily uses fresh produce.  I'm going to clean the fridge first.  It hasn't been this empty in a year.

I pulled the first ear of corn and the largest-seeming carrots for this.  Eggy was getting jealous until the carrots turned out to be extremely small.  So I threw in the two largest eggplants instead.  This turned out to be an excellent idea.  This has to be the most moist and delicate meatloaf I've ever made.  It does not taste like eggplant, except for a lingering hint of something different.

I used rice for the filler, but did not pre-cook it.  I soaked the Basmati for several hours and put it in raw, so the juices of the vegetables and meat could soak into it as everything baked.  The rice did cook, so that experiment is a success.

*1 small eggplant, cut up
1 carrot, chopped
*1/2 onion, chopped
*1 ear of corn
salt and pepper
1 egg
1/4 C dry rice
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
*1/4 C ketchup

1.  Early in the day, soak the rice in 1 C water.  Drain and toss in the food processor.

2.  Preheat oven to 325º.  To the rice, add eggplant, carrot, and onion.  Scrape the kernels off the ear of corn and add.  Run the processor until the veggies are a coarse paste.
3.  Add ground beef, egg, and ketchup.  Process again until uniform.  Spread in a loaf pan and bake until internal temperature reaches 160º, about one hour.  It's ok to drain off the juices after about 45 minutes.  There will still be enough in there to finish cooking the rice.  Let loaf sit for 10 minutes to rest and reach 165º.

4.  Slice and serve.  It may be very soft and break apart.  Given the alternative of a sturdy chunk of meat, I'm cool with that.

Difficulty rating  π

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