Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meatloaf Burgers

My family loves meatloaf. Leftover meat slabs become a midnight snack: a forbidden sandwich gobbled alone in the kitchen darkness when no one is around.

The key to the perfect meatloaf sandwich is the meatloaf itself. It must be seasoned to be tasty warm or cold. It must possess the perfect meat-to-topping ratio so that there is no need for any other condiment on the sandwich: ketchup. Oh, yes, this king wears only rubies in his crown.

As it's often only Mr.W and I for dinner, when I do make meatloaf it's either one very small one, dwarfed in the loaf pan, or two individual portions. We are eaters, mind you, and often overeaters at that. Portions must be controlled with military precision.

That doesn't leave room for very many midnight sandwiches.

You might think that, as a housewife, I wouldn't need to have quick-fix meals available--but that actually isn't the case. I'm often doing this or that thing, running errands, or have some meeting or other activity to attend after dinner, thus making quick-to-prepare meals a very real necessity.

I was actually rather surprised by that--until I became a house-spouse myself I always imagined daily leisurely cooking. Silly me!

One of my favorite speedy mealtime solutions is the lowly hamburger. After purchasing family-sized vats of ground meat, I divide it according to planned meals: some pre-cooked and portioned for a fast pot of chili/goulash/pasta sauce, some made into meatballs, and others shaped into mini-loaves and hamburgers.

And this week, a lightbulb came on.

I made a batch of hamburger patties from my standard meat loaf mix and, last night, I pulled them out for supper and prepared them the same way as I do meat loaf: lightly brush with steak sauce, bake until just cooked to one degree below desired doneness (which means medium-plus here--the thinner burgers make it medium-well for Mr.W), topped with ketchup and returned to the oven while sides are prepared. (Note: I cooked these from frozen solid--the outside became a rich mohagony brown while the inside remained moist and, for mine, slightly pink.)

Making this as a burger also provided the desired topping-to-meat ratio. No other condiment was needed, though I did add a slice of white american cheese for a little added dairy.

It was positively sinful. The very sandwich I associate with a forbidden midnight kitchen rendezvous was suddenly made public.

It made me blush.


Sam said...

Burgers are one of my super-quick meals too. I like to be creative and add different things to the meat.

These look really good. Yum!

Amanda said...

Thanks, Sam!

Me, too. It seems there are endless varieties of burgers out there--I love discovering them all!

My husband's favorite burger of all time is the Coronary Bypass at the Vortex in Atlanta, GA. It's a burger, with cheese, and bacon, and fried egg... Lord knows what else! It's all bad, but oh, so good.

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