Sunday, January 18, 2009


What started out as a friendly game of "Chef For A Day" turned into a strange meatloaf-like experiment...gone very, very, VERY wrong...

There are a couple "Iron Chef" type games going on in the cyber food world, and over on Grouprecipes they started one.  Basically, participants place an ingredient on the counter, so to speak, and when we get ten you can claim the ingredients to concoct a new recipe.  This first round we ended up with the following ingredients:

red peppers
broccoli (my contribution)
cream cheese
cheddar cheese (mmmm cheesie) <- I did not say that
white wine (mmmm wine) <- I did not say that, but I concur...even though I like red better

You can add in spices, herbs, condiments and I'm guessing basic pantry staples, but the goal is to use these to come up with an original recipe.

Problem #1:  My one-track mind.  Already by "broccoli" I had some sort of Asian-spicy peanutty concoction in my head.  Beef? Well, ok, I suppose....  But the cheeses threw me for a loop!   I really wanted to play, though, so I dwelled upon these ingredients, jotted notes, and let them stew for a while.

Problem #2: My husband. He doesn't eat broccoli, mushrooms or red peppers, doesn't like gooey gobs of cheese and doesn't like sauces.  If I was going to pick up the gauntlet, I would do so alone.

Problem #3:  How the heck do you get all those ingredients into one dish???

Of course, I probably could have split up the ingredients into a main dish and a side, but I'm stubborn.  I wanted to incorporate all ingredients in one dish, one item.  Then it hit me.  I'll make some sort of terrine, like a layered meatloaf.   A layer of meatloaf, a layer of cheesy rice, a layer of meatloaf, layer of cheesy broccoli, topped with a third and final layer of meatloaf, and served with a mushroom-wine-cream (as in cheese) gravy.

Have I lost anyone yet?  Cause I thought it actually sounded good! Better than the goulash that was my first thought...

I'll have you know, I am not one to waste food.  And I knew this was not going to be a dish my husband would want to be in the same ROOM with, never mind served! My daughter...well, maybe she might nibble.  She likes rice, broccoli, cheese.  So the whole time I kept asking myself "Are you gonna eat this?  Because if you're not, STOP RIGHT THERE!"  But as it came together, it actually sounded appealing to me.  So I forged on ahead, and created...

(aka FrankenMeatloaf)

*Indicates "pantry" items

Mix together:
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg*
2/3 cup bread crumbs*
2 tbsp. kethcup*
1/3 cup minced onion
Dash Worcestershire sauce*
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper*

In a saucepan, saute'

1 tbsp. butter*
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Add one cup cooked brown rice (I used Steamfresh - 5 minutes in the microwave)
1 cup shredded cheddar.

Stir until cheese is melted.  Set aside.

Steam 1 cup finely chopped broccoli florets; drain.
Add 2 tbsp cream cheese and 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar; stir until melted.

In a loaf pan, layer 1/3 the beef mixture; the rice mixture; 1/3 beef mixture; the broccoli mixture and top with remaining beef mixture.

Problem #4:  I didn't have enough beef to totally cover the top. this point it doesn't really matter!  I'm just gonna tell them I forgot....unless this actually turns out good!

Problem #5: Did I mention I'm on a diet?

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until done.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes before even THINKING about removing from the pan, if you want the "terrine" look.

On second thought, you can skip that...because, um, there's fat in ground beef that melts away while you cook it, therefore resulting in something other than that beautiful terrine I had in my head.

While it's resting...

Saute in 1 tbsp butter* 10 oz. (about 2 cups) sliced mushrooms.  When golden, as 1/4 white wine and 1/4 cup chicken stock* (C'mon! Who doesn't have some sort of stock in their pantry?)  Let it reduce, then stir in 2 tbsp cream cheese until melted and combined.

Spoon mushroom gravy in the bottom of serving plates.  Slice Frankenmeatloaf into 1 1/2" slices, carefully remove from pan and place on bed of mushroom gravy.

You saw the picture.  Yet, strangely you are still here... Well, let me tell you, it was freakin' ugly, but actually tasted pretty darn good!  The mushroom/wine/cream cheese concoction was awesome, and the cheesy rice with the red peppers? YUM!  The cheesy broccoli was good too, although in hindsight I should have skipped the cream cheese in that...too rich.  But I had forgotten I was going to use it with the mushrooms and was struggling to fit it in somewhere.  The meatloaf is my standard meatloaf, so that was ok too. 

I'm not so sure I'll be making it again, though.  Nor am I sure I want to actually post this as a recipe on GR!  I'm still thinking about that spicy Asian peanut sauce stir fry.  But all things considered I'm pretty glad I took this challenge upon myself, and resulted in something I could actually eat...  I might....I said MIGHT...someday try this in a Shepherd Pie kind of thing, browning the beef first and using that to layer...

Problem #6:  How the heck am I gonna track this on The Daily Plate???? :)


Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Actually sounds like something my family would eat...they're more likely to eat something new if I give it a familiar name (like meatloaf).

5thsister said...

FRANKENMEATLOAF! LOL! That truly is one horrifying photo, Christine! LOL! I'm glad it tasted good to you but honestly don't think I'll be making it. The picture scares me. (I enjoyed reading about this...will have to check out "The Refugees" to see if I can join in on the fun.

Mama Goose said...

You saw the picture. Yet, strangely you are still here...

Hahahahaha!!! Yep. Pretty fugly - glad it didn't taste as bad!

Gracey said...

Well, ok, it does sound a bit rich to me, but I would gladly eat it! I just remembered a scene from "Friends", with Joey eating Shepherd's pie combined with English trifle or something (Rachel had mixed up the two recipes somehow), and saying: "I like it! What's not to like? Meat good, potatoes good, whipped cream good!" ROFL

5thsister said...

Yes, I came, I saw, I LOL'd and came back for seconds! Actually, the ingredient list looks pretty good and I am sure it tasted fine. I'm just a "visual" person so I would have to get past that. But what do I know...I've been known to eat anchovies and sardines.

Gracey said...

I LOVE anchovies and sardines! LOL

Alyssa G said...

That thing looked gross, but I can imagine it tasted good. I love the name! Can't wait for more laughs and recipes...

ChristineM said...

I must admit...I have made the "Cheesy Red Pepper Rice" portion again! My daughter loves it, even though she thinks the red peppers are tomatoes...So, I guess sometimes there is a bit of genius in the mad scientist! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!