6 January, 2016
Near Disaster Averted – Plus Diabetic Meatloaf
Well, Dear Readers, if I had a gas stove or an electric stove with customary burners, I am certain my home would have burned to the ground with everything in it. I have a glass top stove, so, instead of losing everything, I have a deep, second degree burn on my right hand and a horrific mess all cleaned up in my kitchen. You see, even people who write cooking blogs totally screw up from time to time. Now that you are curious.
I guess I should start from the beginning. I have recently had a craving for meat loaf. For maybe 30 years I struggled with making meat loaf. I like it, but when I made it, it always came out really dry. Somewhere around ten or so years ago, I came up with innovations that resulted in a very moist meat loaf that is low fat and lower calorie, which are added bonuses to the moist texture. I decided to fix it New Year’s evening. I also decided to use the new kitchen toy I wrote about in my last blog—-my vegetable spiralizer — and make curly fries (the source of the horrific near disaster). I prepared the meat loaf and put it in the oven. I used the spiralizer to turn a very large, long, fairly slender potato into incredibly long spirals. I had a kettle on the stove filled with canola oil, heating for the curly fries. That one large potato made an astounding amount of spirals. I cooked two batches. When I dropped the third batch in, the reaction was instantaneous. The oil boiled up explosively out of the kettle, all over the stove top, down onto the floor — everywhere. I grabbed the kettle and headed for the sink, as it continued to explode all over the floor. Good grief, what a mess!! I had at least a quarter of an inch of blazing hot canola oil on the stove top, way too much oil on the floor, and somehow in the panic, an obvious deep, second degree burn on my right hand! Not even sure how that happened. After years of emergency medicine training through the Ski Patrol, I knew what to do about the burn, but the hot oil all over the kitchen was a real problem! And I have two large dogs who thought it was their job to start licking up the oil all over the place!!! Folks, do not think that just because I have a blog, life for me is perfect. I am a person, just like you. This was the first day of 2016.
Earlier in the day I had another episode of ” OMG, is this really happening???” that I won’t go into right now. It WILL get better! It really must! Anyway, it took three washings of the kitchen floor to get it safe for walking on without slipping and falling. Multiple washings of the stove top, front, and the connected cabinet. The hot oil seemed to turn to “glass” on the glass burner and that required lots of patient scraping with a single-edged razor blade. What a nightmare. And MY HAND HURTS!!! Really, really hurts! My original plan was to photograph a dinner plate with a slice of meatloaf, the curly fries, and green beans. Well, that never happened. Somewhere in the process of cleaning the kitchen, we did sit down and eat dinner. It was delicious.
Diabetic Meatloaf Recipe
Now, about the meatloaf. There seem to be two tricks to making it incredibly moist. For one, incorporate lots and lots of finely chopped fresh mushrooms. I use Baby Portabellas. The other is — don’t bake it in the usual bread-loaf pan. Mold it into a loaf shape in a baking pan that is much bigger than the meat loaf. Big enough that there is more or less a one to two inch gap between the sides of the meat loaf and the pan. I have no idea why that maneuver encourages a moist meatloaf, but it sure does. As with a great many meals I prepare, I don’t have a written recipe for meat loaf. I just make it. Here is what I used New Year’s evening. It made a huge meat loaf. Big enough that I cut it into three more meal’s worth and froze those portions for later. If you don’t have a freezer you can certainly cut the ingredients in half and make a more reasonably sized meal.
- One pound lean ground turkey breast
- One pound lean ground pork
- One pound lean ground bison.
- One medium- large sweet white onion
- Two boxes (4 cups finely chopped) fresh baby Portabella mushrooms
- 5 large garlic cloves finely chopped or grated
- 2 eggs
- Your favorite seasonings to taste ( I used black pepper, a generic pork seasoning, lots of Worcestershire sauce, a touch of liquid smoke).
Put all ingredients in a very large mixing bowl. Dive in with your hands and mix, blend, knead until everything is thoroughly blended together. Pam your over- sized baking pan. Mold the meat mixture into a loaf shape in the pan, leaving roughly a 1-2 inch gap around all sides of the meat. Bake in a 350 degree, pre- heated oven for about an hour, or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. ( you do have a meat thermometer, don’t you? If not, get one.)