Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meatloaf - the TV "Throwdown"

By Paul Briand

"Hello, my name is Paul, and I'm addicted to the Food Network."

If there isn't a support group -- like Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous -- for Food Network junkies, there ought to be. We can be a desperate lot, watching the culinary experts like Emeril and Bobby Flay when we ought to be doing something more productive. But I view my Food Network viewing as being very productive. In the same way that a good book can inspire me to write, a good cooking show inspires me to cook.

I have three Food Network favorites: "Emeril Live," "30 Minute Meals" with Rachel Ray, and "Throwdown with Bobby Flay." And the more I watch Guy Fiori, who hosts "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and "Guy's Big Bite," the more he's growing on me.

Each brings something a little different to the table. Emeril Lagasse is a little high end, but I like to watch and learn from his technique. A lot of people dump on Rachel Ray's cooking methods, but I like the 30-minute recipes and the in-the-kitchen shortcuts. I especially like Bobby Flay and his "Throwdown" -- the challenge to go one-on-one against someone else's recipe. He'll choose a popular dish from a local restaurant -- like the meatloaf from the Colucci Bros. Diner in Hyannis, Mass. -- and go to their location in an attempt to one-up them with a better recipe of the same dish.

Since I'm not taking copious notes during a cooking show, I'm often left wondering whether I might be able to find the recipe for a dish that I found intriguing and might want to try in my own kitchen for my own eats at home.

I did some rooting around in the Food Network web site to determine just how easy it is to find a specific recipe. Trust me, they have lots and lots of recipes that are accessible right from the home page. But I wanted to know how easy or difficult it might be to find a recipe for the meatloafs I saw on "Throwdown" this week

There are two ways to do it. If you know the name of the show, you can sort through by name ("Throwdown") and either the episode topic ("meatloaf") or the week that the show aired. You can also click on "TV Schedule" and sort through the information until you find the episode and the recipe you were seeking.

Here are the two recipes from the meatloaf throwdown, with due credit to the postings on the Food Network:

Colucci Bros. Meatloaf
Salad oil
1 carrot, small to medium dice
2 stalks celery, small to medium dice
1 medium onion, small to medium dice
2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Dash Worcestershire sauce
3 slices bread
1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

1) Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.
2) In a medium-sized saute pan, put 2 dribbles of salad oil and heat over medium-high heat.
3) Add the carrots, celery, and onions and saute, about 5 minutes. Put aside and let cool.
4) In large bowl put the carrot mixture, ground beef and remaining ingredients, except for the bread, the bread crumbs and ketchup.
5) Soak the bread in cold water, then squeeze water out (like a sponge) and drain it. Add to the ground beef and mix. (A stand mixer is may help make it easier).
6) Add the bread crumbs and mix.
7) Roll into firm loaf, spread ketchup over the top, and place into preheated oven for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, or until cooked through.
Take out and serve hot.

Bobby Flay's Meatloaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large zucchini, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano
1 1/2 cups ketchup, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1) Pre-eat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
3) Add the zucchini, peppers, onion and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes.
4) Stir in the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
5) Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup and 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and the vegetables and mix until just combined.
6) Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
7) Whisk together the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl then brush the mixture over the entire loaf.
8) Bake the meatloaf for approximately 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
9) Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

By the way, each "Throwdown" episode has two local judges to determine whose recipe is better. In the battle of the meatloafs, the Colucci brothers beat Flay.
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1 comment:

Briands Et Al said...

Paul, I always knew the secret ingrediant to meat loaf in ketchup......Kate