Welcome back friends! I’ve been a little M.I.A for a while, but I’m happy to be back and concocting. I’d like to introduce a new recurring series on the blog called “Dinner Club” – it has its own subsection above- and essentially it will be a themed dinner party that my friends and I will put on every month. Everyone will contribute an appropriate entree/dessert/drink/appetizer pertaining to the theme of the dinner. After every dinner club, I’ll post the recipes for the food or drink that I have contributed (I don’t want to take credit for others), but I will post the full menu, to showcase each month’s theme in its entirety.
Our first Dinner Club’s theme was COMFORT FOOD! We started off with an easy one.
Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze
Pull Apart Garlic Rolls
Ice cream Sundaes
I was responsible for the entree and I decided to make Bobby Flay’s Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze.
I couldn’t believe that I’ve never made meatloaf before! It was surprisingly easy and more importantly delicious. As with most recipes, I always check the reviews to ensure that I’ve picked a standardized and repeatable recipe and this definitely fit the bill. I noticed that most reviewers reduced the cooking temperature from 425°F to 400°F for the first half hour of cooking (without the glaze) to prevent burning. I had also heard from my brother-in-law that this meatloaf runs a little on the wetter side. To combat this, I added an extra 1/4 cup of crushed All-Bran Buds™ (yeah, the cereal) to absorb the liquid, but any type of breadcrumb should do the trick.
I also decided to reduce the ketchup from 1 cup to 1/2 cup, so I replaced half with 1/2 cup of crushed canned tomatoes (to maintain moisture in the meatloaf). Finally, my last substitution was replacing the ground veal from the recipe since it wasn’t available at the grocery store. Since the recipe calls for a total of 2 lbs of a combination of veal, beef and pork, I used a 1 lb each of pork and beef. Okay, that’s all of the substitutions – I promise.
- Bake at 400°F for first 1/2 hour, before adding balsamic glaze.
- Add 1/4 cup extra breadcrumb element (I added crushed All-Bran Buds™).
- Poke small holes on top of meatloaf, for glaze absorption.
- Reduce 1 cup ketchup to: 1/2 cup ketchup + 1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes.
- I used 1 lb pork and 1 lb beef, since veal wasn’t available.
The recipe below has my adaptations but here is the original recipe by Bobby Flay.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large zucchini, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef chuck
- 1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup crushed All-Bran Buds
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan
- 1/2 cup ketchup, divided
- 1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes, divided
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, garlic paste, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup and tomato mix, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar, and the cooled vegetables and mix until just combined.
- Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining ketchup and tomato mix, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.