Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a Prince and a Princess.
On the day that they were wed, they looked blissfully into the future, certain that the years ahead would forever be joyful and complete in their mutual never-ending adoration and respect of and for one another.
Prince Fannie would build a lovely sturdy home for his bride. Princess Fannie would cook and clean and would give her prince many little princes and princesses; the pitter patter of whose tiny feet would fill the home with music.
One day, as her Prince was busy toiling away, Princess Fannie could not wait to bestow upon her adoring Prince, the fruits of her labors; The Evening Dinner. As her Prince sat down in preparation for the grand feast, she blushed, expectantly. She then laid before him, her masterpiece; Meatloaf. She clasped her hands to her bosom and held her breath. He took a bite…
“OH MY GOD! What IS this?” her (now not so handsome) Prince proclaimed!
“What? Don’t you LIKE it? It’s meatloaf!”
“Well, this is NOTHING like the kind of meatloaf I’ve EVER eaten. It’s got CHUNKS of ONION!” he proclaimed.
The poor Princess was heartbroken. But, rather then “freshen” his nightly cocktail with a healthy dose of hemlock, the Princess set out upon a mission…
…to find a meatloaf suitable for a prince; or at least one that didn’t elicit expletives and tears.
It took many attempts, fortunately none resulted in QUITE the response of that First Meatloaf Experience, but, finally, Princess Fannie happened upon THE RECIPE.
The clouds parted. The angels sang. And, the Prince, he smiled, as he ate the wonderful meatloaf.
And, without further ado, Princess Fannie will share, with all of the subjects of Idiosyncrazies Land, THE RECIPE.
First of all, as you can see, this “recipe” has been around for quite some time. At one time, the Princess actually tried to figure out the Weight Watcher’s points value of the recipe. In addition, the recipe has been “authenticated” by Prince Fannie, Jr. who, when he was quite small, bestowed his proclamation upon it:
And a few changes have been made, but I’ll cover those, below.
First; the ingredients.
Now, this is very important, there is no suitable method for mixing meatloaf other then to take off all rings and wrist jewels (you can leave your crown on), push up your sleeves and mix by hand. Yep, that’s it, all squishy, raw eggs and all. Squish it. Squish it good.
And then, “lightly” pack into a loaf pan.
Now, here’s my secret weapon; a meatloaf pan.
This little gem is two parts; the part that you pack the meatloaf in nestles into the other part. The first part has holes from which the “grease” drains into the the other part of the pan. This is actually my second meatloaf pan; I used the first one so often, it became worn out and needed to be replaced.
And then, voila, the finishing touch; rather then grated, as the recipe calls for (I told you I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years), I used sliced cheese; Provolone for this night’s version.
Return it to the oven for a few more minutes. And then, let stand for a few minutes before slicing and serving to your adoring subjects.
And now, here is the actual text of the recipe, as originally written, but with some side notes of mine…
A-1 Derful Meatloaf
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (recently, I have substituted Panko breadcrumbs for the traditional breadcrumbs, I like the coarse texture. In addition, from a tip I learned on the Food Network, I toss the breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup buttermilk. Let set for a few minutes to absorb)
1/3 cup finely minced onions (as I noted, early on, Prince Fannie is “allergic” to chunks of onion, I practically PULVERIZE these babies, I have also learned that he is much more tolerant of the large yellow “sweet” onions)
1/3 cup finely minced green pepper (for years, I omitted this ingredient, Prince Fannie WAS NOT a fan(nie) of green peppers, I have learned to slip in the more “subtle” orange or yellow bell pepper in place of the green…and he has not been the wiser…still thinks the meatloaf is A-1 derful)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp A-1 Steak Sauce
1 tsp garlic salt (more recently, I have replaced this with 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt, I also add 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, not called for in the original recipe)
3/4 tsp dry oregano
3/4 tsp dry basil
1/4 cup shredded Jack or Provolone cheese (as noted, I have recently opted for sliced, rather then grated, one less step…what can I say?)
Combine all ingredients except cheese. Lightly pack into 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven, 50 minutes. Drain (unless, of course, you have the magical meat loaf pan, referenced above). Top with cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let set 5 minutes. Serves 6.
And, now with my royal wave, I bid you, “adieu.” Oh, and “bon appetit!”