Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Revisionist Meat Loaf. It's What's for Dinner -- Stuffed Cabbage Meat Loaf and Spanish Kale and Olive Meat Loaf

Stuffed Cabbage Meat Loaf
Meat loaf. Just saying those words seems to conjure a remembrance of a specific meat loaf recipe for most people. For many folks it’s family food, not something special for company, but meat loaf is too good to not get a chance to shine, so here are two untraditional meat loaf recipes to try.

The Stuffed Cabbage Meat Loaf started with my memories of my Eastern European Jewish grandmother’s meat loaf and her stuffed cabbage. In her honor, the meat loaf has a hard-boiled egg core, a cabbage wrapping and a sweet and sour tomato sauce to top it off. This is a good recipe to use with low-fat ground beef, since the cabbage keeps the meat loaf moist.

The Spanish Kale and Olive Meat Loaf features Iberian seasonings and pimento-stuffed olives.

Stuffed Cabbage Meat Loaf
Serves 6-8

6 large, green cabbage leaves
Oil spray
1 1/4 lbs. ground beef
1 cup matzo meal
1 egg, beaten
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground dried oregano
1/8 tsp. paprika
2 hardboiled eggs, shelled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Immerse leaves in pot of boiling water, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 4-5 minutes until the leaves are pliable. Drain. Spray large baking dish with the oil spray. Lay 2 largest cabbage leaves stem end to stem end in the center of the baking dish. Set aside.

Combine meat, matzo meal, beaten egg, tomatoes with liquid, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and paprika. Mound half into an 8”x4” loaf in the middle of the 2 cabbage leaves. Press hard-boiled eggs into loaf end to end. Mound remaining meat on top. Drape 2-3 cabbage leaves over top of meat loaf, filling in gaps with remaining leaves. Fold up cabbage leaves from underneath to enclose. Spray top with oil spray. Bake, spraying cabbage with oil if it begins to dry out or get too brown, for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, until firm to the touch and cooked through. Let sit 20 minutes before serving. Serve with sauce (below).

Sweet and Sour Sauce: Plump 1/2 cup raisins in hot water for 20 minutes, drain. In a small pan combine raisins with 15 oz. can tomato sauce, 1 Tbs. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. dried ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Taste, adding sugar or vinegar as needed.

Spanish Kale and Olive Meat Loaf
Serves 6

2 Tbs. oil plus additional for greasing pan
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups chopped kale or chard
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
10 queen-size, pimento-stuffed green olives, cut into fourths

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in pan. Sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned. Add kale, red pepper, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked. Oil an 8.5” x 4.5” loaf pan. Combine kale mixture with beef, tomato paste, eggs, bread crumbs, and olives. Put into loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until firm to the touch and cooked through. Let sit 20 minutes before serving.

Originally featured in j weekly.  Also featured on About.com's Eastern European food guide.

1 comment:

Kitchen Riffs said...

A couple of nice recipes, particular the kale & olive one. I've never actually made meat loaf. My mother's - served ever Wednesday for dinner - was awful. She was of the school that covered it in ketchup and put 2 bacon strips - crossed, for dramatic effect - on top as a garnish. I eat it in restaurants sometimes - I like the idea of meat loaf - but when it comes time to make it, I always remember the ketchup. Yeah, I know - I should grow up. Anyway, nice post - thanks.