Meatloaf, Sliders and Meatballs

Meatloaf

I may have mentioned that between them my children like most foods.  Between them that is.  Together there often seems very little common ground.  My daughter would like to live on Sausage Pasta, my son doesn’t like sausages or pasta.  My son would live on salad, hummus and broccoli whilst my daughter would recoil from all three.  Finding something to cook that we all like is therefore challenging.  I am not keen on making different things for everyone but equally the greedy child in me remembers mealtime excitement being dashed when presented with something I didn’t like and I want my two to love their food.

You can imagine my delight therefore when they both scoffed this meatloaf with unseemly haste, plates completely clean, seconds requested and announced not only was it delicious but required on a regular basis.  The joy, the relief.  My son even said “Mamma, your meatloaf is amazing!” now, I don’t know if he has tried any other meatloaf but I happily took the compliment.

These ingredients result in a big old batch but it makes sense this way because the mince comes in 500g packs.  You could happily make two meatloaves and freeze one but I tend to mix it up a bit.  I made the sliders the size of a snooker ball which I then flatten a bit.  Once cooked (in the same way as the meatballs) they have a tendency to crumble a little but for me this adds to their charm as they hit the mark somewhere between a mini hamburger and a sloppy Joe in a bun with salad and ketchup.  The meatballs I freeze in a single layer on a baking tray and then put into a tub once frozen.  These I fry or roast until cooked through, cover in tomato sauce and serve with rice or orzo, inexplicably this being a pasta my son likes.

Meatloaf, sliders and meatballs

This may seem a long list of ingredients but you probably have most of it to hand anyway.  I reckon on this amount making one meatloaf, four sliders and about 12 meatballs.  The tomato sauce below is also great with the meatballs.  If you have any meatloaf left over it makes an incredible sandwich….

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

Salt

500g pork mince

500g beef mince

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

100g breadcrumbs

2 eggs beaten

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

60ml milk

3 tablespoons Worcester sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

Small bunch parsley, finely chopped

Tomato sauce –

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic finely chopped

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoons red wine or 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 200.  Heat the first tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, with a pinch of salt, until soft then allow to cool.  In a large bowl put the rest of the ingredients (apart from the sauce ones) and mix well together (hands are easiest for mixing this) along with the cooled onions, 1 teaspoon of salt and around 20 turns on the pepper grinder.  Split the mixture and form half into a loaf a similar shape but a little smaller than a housebrick and make the rest into sliders or meatballs (see introduction).  Put the meatloaf onto a baking tray and cook for half an hour but check after 20 minutes and if browning too much cover with foil.  Meanwhile put the second tablespoon of oil into a small pan with the garlic, heat gently and as soon as it sizzles add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, wine or vinegar and a good pinch of salt.  Let this simmer for twenty minutes.  When the meatloaf is cooked let it sit for five minutes and then transfer to a warm serving plate and pour over the sauce.  Enough for two adults and two children.

Meatloaf 2

 

 

Thai-ish Salad

Thai salad 2

Right I must say from the off that this is a Thai salad in the loosest possible sense.  Yes there is coriander, lime juice, fish sauce etc but also apple and radish and I’m not sure quite how authentic they are.   That said, it is fabulous to eat and sometimes I am happy to throw authenticity out of the window.  I think I mentioned it with Paella (January 2013) – I am not trying to recreate an original dish, I simply want to make something good to eat.

This is crisp, crunchy and jam packed with flavours.  The ginger, garlic and (small amount) of chilli give this life and heat whilst the herbs and lime bring zip and zing to the party.  You can leave out the apple if you want but I love their tangy sweetness and likewise the radishes, if they are not your thing omit them but they add peppery crunch and a beautiful pink.

It is a bonus for me that my children like this.  My daughter is a bit of a salad phobe but she adores and this and happily ploughs her way through a bowlful, sometimes adding a little more chilli and then smacking her lips and puffing as a result.   Its good to see them enjoying a bit of healthy salad at this time of year when we are rather surrounded by root vegetables and a lot of hardy brassicas.

This is fab with pork chops or roast chicken (hot or cold) and also works very well with leftovers.  In particular I’m thinking leftover turkey here but then that would make it a challenger to my beloved Christmas Salad (December 2013).  Never mind, we’ll just have both.

Thai salad

Thai Salad

Make the dressing first so that the flavours can sit and meld for a bit.

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons light olive oil

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon sriracha or other chilli sauce

Small thumb ginger, finely grated

1 small clove garlic, finely grated

1/4 white cabbage

1 apple

6 radishes

2 carrots, peeled

1/2 bunch coriander

1/2 bunch mint

Mix the first nine ingredients together to make the dressing.  Taste and adjust as you see fit, a little more chilli perhaps?  Finely chop the rest of the ingredients and mix in a large bowl, add most of the dressing and combine.  You may or may not need all the dressing, it rather depends on the size of your cabbage and carrots!   Enough for 4 as a side.