Monday, January 28, 2013

Scalloped Sweet Potato and Chipotle Meatloaf

Sometimes I get an idea of something to make and it naggs at me.  This is one of those.  I thought about making this for probably about 6 months before I actually made it.  Then I waited another oh 6 months or so to post it so that I could post it when sweet potatoes were back in season and at their best.  The really fantastic thing about this dish, is that I had been thinking about it forever and wondering if it would turn out, and well, the first time I made it, it was fantastic!  I was thrilled!  I'm pretty sure I jumped around a bit in our kitchen while my husband looked at me like I was'd think by now he'd be used to me getting excited about food.

I made the version of the meatloaf after we first got married and I was having trouble making anything decent.  We both absolutely loved it, Raymond told me he'd be very disappointed if I never made it again, and I may or may not have shed a tear.  :-P  Later I saw a meatloaf recipe in a magazine that was topped with scalloped potatoes.  I thought that was a wonderful idea!  Raymond isn't a big fan of eating russet/yukon potatoes for dinner, so I thought I would try a sweet potato scallop dish.  Then I found a light version of a scalloped potato recipe in another magazine and thought that I could modify it a bit to work for the scalloped sweet potatoes.  Then I obsessed over getting a new meatloaf pan for about two months because I knew I just had to have it, but I had a hard time convincing myself that I deserved yet another kitchen toy.  I don't remember how I finally came to get my beloved meatloaf pan, Raymond probably got tired of hearing me debate about it and picked it up on his way home from work or something, but I got it!

The recipe probably has a bit more steps and requires a bit more time than most people are willing to spend making dinner on a week night, but this definitely should grace your dinner one weekend night when you have a bit of time to spend in the kitchen.

1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 canned chipotle chilies, seeded
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chilies)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely minced
1 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3 Tbs barbecue sauce
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes:
1 1/4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, finely minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 cup gouda cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbs panco bread crumbs



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a meatloaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine first seven ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

In a large bowl combine mixture with garlic, onion, beef and oats.

Mix gently with your hands.  You don't want to over mix and have a tough meatloaf. 

Lightly pack the mixture into the pan. 

Spread the remaining 3 Tbs barbecue sauce over the meatloaf.

Scalloped Potato Directions:

Coarsely chop 2 ounces of sweet potatoes and transfer to a bowl.  Cover the bowl and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until tender. 

Add 1 1/2 Tbs milk to cooked potatoes and mash until smooth. 

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. 

Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Create a slurry by whisking remaining milk, broth, mashed potatoes, cornstarch, flour, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper together in a bowl. 

Add to the pot and simmer over medium heat until thickened. 

Remove pot from heat and stir in gouda and parmesan cheese and mix until smooth.

Layer 1/3 of the sliced potatoes on top of the meatloaf and pour one third of the cheese sauce over the potatoes.  Repeat the layering until the potatoes and cheese sauce.  Sprinkle with panko. 

Bake for 40 minutes.  Cover with foil and cook another 15-20 minutes until the meatloaf registers 160 degrees. 

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

This is another reason the meatloaf pan was well worth the purchase.  I would never have thought about serving meatloaf to company, but with the new pan I was able to remove it from the pan and transfer it to a serving platter.  As an additional plus, it was a leaner meatloaf because the pan allowed the fat from the meatloaf to drip out.

*Meatloaf adapted from All Recipes, Scalloped Potatoes adapted from Cook's Country.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top 10 of 2012

I hope everyone has had a wonderful new year!  I absolutely love this time of year.  It always makes me thing about how quickly time flies!  I can't believe that in the span of one year I have celebrated our one year anniversary, traveled to Maine and Mexico, ate as much fresh lobster as we wanted, I have completed my first Ironman (second iron distance), have five adorable new babies to play with thanks to all my family and friends, have had good friends who are truly happy together get engaged, and I got hired to make my first wedding cake!!!  Yes, this coming April I will be making a cake and getting paid to do it!!!  What more could I ask for? 

As is always hard to come up with a top 10 list, I just couldn't do it.  The problem is, I don't post anything unless I really love it.  Therefore my top 11 list of 2012 is below. 

I'm a glass half full type person so I'm going to say that even though a sugary treat made it to my top 10 list in January (where we're supposed to ward off all things bad) at least it is last on my list so I'm off to a good start.  Though the glass half empty type person might say that I created a top 11 list instead just to include it... Regardless, I have tried another chocolate cake recipe this year that looked promising and was severely disappointed.  In my opinion this is the BEST chocolate cake recipe ever!

We literally have pancakes or waffles using this mix at least once a week thanks to my husband.  It makes great hot breakfasts in the mornings, and leftovers make good snacking during the day.

These do take a bit of work to make, but are so handy to keep in the freezer for a quick meal on the go...without all the preservatives and MSG's and all the other stuff that I can't pronounce.  My brother and I are having a turkey cook off soon and the winner gets all the leftovers.  This is serious business and you can bet I will be making these with all the leftover turkey I'm confident I will have.  :-D

I absolutely love all risotto's and I was so happy with the way this turned out! I think my favorite part of it was the bit of lemon added at the end to add a little bit of brightness.

I really hate calling this a casserole, well, because it is so much better than the sound of "casserole".  This was the first dish that Raymond actually liked mushrooms in!

I love how easy this soup is!  It is thick and comforting and definitely always on my rotation.  Plus it's very easy on the budget which is always a perk.

This was soo good!  I made this for a dinner party using tenderloins and it was everyones favorite part of the meal!

Oh what a treat this was in the middle of summer!  We had plenty of zucchini thanks to the Farmers Market that I actually made this several weekends in a row!  It's a delicious way to make sure you get all your veggies in!


My uncle, whom I like to call Uncle Chef, gave me the greatest compliment on this when he told me that he has made this several times and really liked it.  He is the best cook I know!  I went home and probably told Raymond the story 20 times over.  This really is that good of a dish.


My husband was actually disappointed with this post in the fact that I didn't mention how excited I was about this dish that I actually fell through a bridge while telling someone about this.  Now I am.  We went on a bike ride the next morning and I was busy telling the person next to me about what an amazing burger I had the night before that I actually fell right into a crack in the bridge...the scars from that are still healing!

The first time I made this I knew without a doubt that it would be my favorite!  So much flavor in such a simple dish!  If you only make one thing I have posted this past year, this should be it!!

I hope you are in for a fantastic new year, and if you get bored, try out a new recipe!  :)