Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday February 18th - Cajun Meatloaf

Fair Warning...
Really nervous about today.  A while back the Associate Dean of the culinary school asked me if I would participate in a local chef's auction (representing the school) to raise money for the American Cancer Society (it's tonight).  So I of course dragged my friend Jon into it (he also works at the school) and we spent a good portion of yesterday with a student, getting some of the stuff ready.  I have this impending doom feeling though that I can't shake.....

I decided we should do a trio of little mini (bite sized) desserts.  (I had helped with this event last year and saw that none of the booths really had desserts).  They're really simple, but I think they'll be good.  It's a mousse theme:

Cream puff filled with lemon mousse and lavender glaze
Spicy peanut butter mousse truffle with potato chip topping
Coffee mousse French macaroons

Now I'm thinking that they (the desserts) are almost too simple.  People will be expecting really fancy desserts from a culinary school.  However, I had to thing logistics on this one because its an off campus event (and I knew that I wouldn't get a ton of student volunteers).  But I remember last year some booths had things like tacos and egg rolls.  So will they be expecting fancy?   I don't know where the self doubts are coming from.  I think it's just nerves.  AHHHH!! 

I'll bring my camera with me and take some pictures.  Wish me luck!


Butter: Had
Onions: $.89
Bell Pepper $.99
Cayenne: Had
Cumin: Had
Ground Beef:  $4.78
Egg: Had
Breadcrumbs: Had
Ketchup: $2.99

Total $9.65

I found one of the greatest pans in the world at Williams-Sonoma.  It's a meatloaf pan and I love it.  It looks like a bread pan, but has a little insert with holes in it that keeps the meatloaf from sitting in its own grease.  It works great.  I believe it's non-stick too, so it makes clean up a breeze.  When I first bought it, I was skeptical, but now I can't go back.  I use it every time I make meatloaf.  Plus, you can take the insert out and use it as a loaf pan.   Highly recommend it.

The Results

Fast:  Not really.  This recipe will take little over an hour.  Closer to an hour and a half from start to finish.

Easy: Yes.  Chop, saute, mix meat, shape, bake. 

Fresh:  No on this one.  It's meat loaf.  Unfortunately a little bland as well.

Overall:  I LOVE meatloaf (the food, not the singer).  It is one of my favorite things to make.  Meatloaf sandwiches are the best!  (It definitely has to do with my childhood).  I'm somewhat of a meatloaf snob.  I love a good, flavorful meatloaf.   When this recipe came up today, I knew the moment I read it that it would be blah.  I'm pretty disappointed that because the recipe uses cayenne and cumin the author immediately classifies it as "cajun"?  I don't think so.   If you're going to call it cajun, then add things like onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, chili powder, and basil.  Two spices and a bell pepper don't make something cajun.
This recipe is in desperate need of a boost in flavor.  

So I say go ahead and try the recipe, but don't be afraid of adding your own spices to the mix.  

I'll give you all the details on the chef's auction tomorrow!! 


mafeaprns said...

First--good luck tonight, Mark! You'll be a big hit, I'm sure!
Second--I once partied w/ Meatloaf--the singer, not the food--in his hotel room. :D That's a story for some time when I get to see you and Bri-Bri again.

Peace said...

I hope the doom feeling subsided and only good things happened!
I love meatloaf too (you don't want to know I use canned soup YIKES), and I also liked the singer Meatloaf's performance as a voodoo priest on TV's 'Monk".
As a non-superstar chef type normal person (who may use canned soup), anything with 'lavender' as an ingredient is FANCY!

ஜCupcakeWhimsyஜ said...

Good luck! And the lavender/lemon combination is one of my favorites. Stick with simple.