I love photography. From landscape to portrait, to black and white nature details, to photo essay coverage. The funnest has to be restaurant food shoots with the chefs and owners. Because everyone talks about food, you get to sample signature dishes, talk more about food, every time you turn around someone offers something to nibble on or asks ‘would you like another latte?’ And on certain lucky occasions you’re introduced to a recipe that you take home and it becomes an all-time favorite.
My Southwest Meat Loaf is an adaptation of a famous recipe from 72 Market Street restaurant, that was partly owned by the actor Dudley Moore. I was a part of a photo crew that spent an afternoon with him on a shoot featuring his restaurant that was located in Venice Beach, California. I knew his movies, was and always will be a huge fan. ’10’ was the first time I became aware of his work. Arthur makes me laugh out loud to this day.
He was in a great mood that day. He told jokes and was so gracious to laugh at my lame attempts at joke telling. Very kind of him, since he was an actor and comedy writer. I remember that he was very proud of his restaurant and the artwork, the paintings and sculptures. He pointed out a few pieces and asked what we thought of them. When we asked if he’d mind standing on a table for a shot, he took the center stage tabletop and began waving his arms around like a conductor guiding his orchestra. Cracking everyone up with more jokes and ordering cappuccinos for us. How could you say no? I had four.
That was a great day that makes me smile.
Later that night I caught up with foodie friends who all had the same question ……that’s right……..”Did you have the meat loaf?” I did not know until then that their chef, Leonard Schwartz, had developed a famous meat loaf that was so sought after that the LA Times requested to print the recipe. People were nuts for it. The first time I made it at home, I was hooked.
Here is a link to the original recipe.
There are many things I love about it, including that it calls for both onion and scallions.
And that it’s full of vegetables. In face it’s pretty much half meat and half veggie.
With a little fresh garlic. All sauteed in butter. I add a splash of olive oil.
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, and 1/2 pound of ground pork.
I changed the spices a bit for a Southwest combination of cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper and cayenne.
Mixed in 3 large eggs.
Instead of catsup I went with Hatch red enchilada sauce, and replaced the green bell pepper with green chile.
Mexican crema. With this and the enchilada sauce and sauteed veggies, there is no chance you’ll end up with a dry meat loaf. So if your taste is for a more firm texture, keep in mind that my recipe has a nice crust with a tender, very moist center. Not as ‘chewy’ as some.
Mr.D who is not a fan of meat loaf (texture issues) loves this recipe and likes to slice off a piece and sear it in a pan of olive oil. This is also a great technique for meat loaf sandwiches.
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal.
I add extra vegetables than the original recipe calls for because I prefer equal amounts of meat and veggies. This results in a creamy moist mixture that won’t form into a loaf. So it all goes into a 9 x 13 inch pan and bakes at 375 for an hour or so. Or until a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees. That sounds high but the pork requires a higher temperature. And again, no worries of it drying out.
I let it rest before slicing, as Chef Schwartz suggests, for 10 minutes. The sauce I make consists of butter sauteed minced onion, with the remaining enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup catsup.
Served with a side of mashed potatoes. Press play on the DVD to watch Arthur……….
Susan: “A real woman could stop you from drinking.” Arthur: “It’d have to be a real BIG woman.”
Arthur: “What are you doing later tonight?” Linda: “Oh, I have plans for tonight. What should I wear?” Hobson: “Steal something casual.”
Perry’s Wife: “MY HUSBAND HAS A GUN!” Arthur: “I’m sure he does, madam. For all I know, he shot it while you screamed.”
Susan: “Arthur, will you take my hand?” Arthur: “That would leave you with one.”
…………and you’re all set for a stellar evening.
I’d Order That…
SOUTHWEST MEAT LOAF with Enchilada Sauce and Lots of Veggies
- 3 Tblsp butter
- 1 Tblsp olive oil
- 4 large carrots (chopped fine)
- 3 stalks celery (chopped fine)
- 2 bunches scallions (chopped fine, save 3 for garnish)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 large onion (minced)
- 1 red bell pepper (seeded and chopped fine)
- 1 Tblsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef 80/20
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 3 eggs (beaten)
- 1 (15 oz) can mild red enchilada sauce (equals 1 1/2 cups, Hatch is a good brand)
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema (or heavy whipping cream)
- 1/2 cup green chile (chopped)
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
- 2 Tblsp butter (for the sauce)
- 2 Tblsp minced onion (for the sauce)
- remaining red enchilada sauce (for the sauce)
- 1/2 cup catsup (for the sauce)
This recipe was inspired by the meat loaf once served at 72 Market Street, a fantastic restaurant that was located in Venice Beach, California. The original recipe was developed by Chef Leonard Schwartz.
My Southwest adaptation is full of vegetables, Mexican crema and enchilada sauce, and is very moist. So if your taste leans towards a firm meat loaf, keep in mind that this one has a nice crust and tender center. And is more creamy than 'chewy.'
|Saute the butter, olive oil, carrots, celery, scallions, garlic, onion and red bell for 8 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Stir often.|
|Add the cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Mix well. Take off the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.|
|Crumble the beef and pork into a large bowl.|
|Add the saute mixture to the meat, along with the eggs, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, crema, green chile, cornmeal and bread crumbs. Mix well with your hands.|
|The mixture will be creamy and too soft to form a loaf. Oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Spoon the mixture into the pan and even out the surface with your hands.|
|Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 180, which sounds high but should be because of the pork. Don't worry about a dry meat loaf, this one has so many veggies and sauce and crema, it's not going to dry out on you.|
|Let the meat loaf rest, covered with foil for 10 minutes before slicing.|
|Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan. Add 2 tablespoons minced onion and saute on medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the remaining enchilada sauce, and catsup. Stir and just as it comes to a boil, remove from heat and cover until ready to serve.|
|Plate each meat loaf serving with sauce and chopped scallion. Serve with mashed potatoes. |
Note: Any leftovers make for fabulous meat loaf sandwiches and sliders. To firm up for sandwiches, sear slices in a pan of hot olive oil.