Like Alton Brown, I’m the type of person that avoids uni-tasker kitchen gadgets, utensils that can only be used with one purpose in the kitchen, like the plague. In my opinion, they add clutter to the counter-tops and confiscate much needed cabinet/drawer space.
My adoration of baked goods has led to the purchase of a couple of these uni-taskers, such as muffin and donut pans. Although initially they may be sold and purchased for one intention, I have found a few uses for my muffin tin that bumps it out of the uni-tasker category.
Which brings us to meatcakes, one of my husband’s personal favorites. This dish was created during a time when we didn’t have a loaf pan and needed to be a bit resourceful with what items we did have.
Meatloaf is one of those recipes that changes depending upon what is on hand, what needs to be eaten and what sounds good. Well, at least in my kitchen. The basics include meat, a binder (like eggs, breadcrumbs), some seasonings (salt, pepper, basil, oregano), veggies (onions, jalopenos, bell peppers or zucchini) and a bit of ketchup/sriracha/bbq sauce. If I’m feeling really creative, I may add some bacon or squeaker cheese (cheese curds). Mash all the ingredients together with your hands, throw it in a loaf pan and bake it for about an hour or until done. Ring the dinner bell, slice it up and you are good to go.
Meatcakes follow the same principle but instead of a loaf pan, you put mounds of meaty goodness into the cups of a muffin pan. Simply bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and you have single-serving sized meatloaf for dinner. Make extras and serve these little darlings the next day on a hoagie with marinara sauce for a nice homemade meatball sandwich.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup of finely chopped pickled jalopenos
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup grated fresh Parm cheese
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Squirt of ketchup/bbq or sriracha sauce
Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients using your hands. Feel free to add or subtract as needed. Fill the muffin tins with the meatloaf concoction. Back until it is firm, about 20 – 30 mins. Let stand for about five before digging in.