Today has been extra special for a few reasons-
Number 1: Today is Monday, so therefore it is honorary Mason Monday.
Number 2: The weather has been extraordinarily beautiful, which leads us to reason Number Three- it is Memorial Day, so therefore (as we all sneak through the back roads avoiding the holiday traffic) we can allow our car windows to be open so we can absorb the barbecue and fresh cut grass air to waft through, because I like to pretend that all everyone does on Memorial Day is barbecue and cut their grass.
Earlier today as I was craftily sneaking through back roads heading home with my windows wide open (and apparently my nostrils as well) I was suddenly overcome with the distinct yet beautiful scent of fresh salt water air. The water wasn’t even within my sight as I passed by thickets and clusters of trees, and it made me realize how truly lucky I am to live on this wonderful island where we can all be so in touch with many different forms and aspects of nature at once. There I was, in the midst of what I’d consider a small forest (a park ranger might disagree and mumble something about a “woods” but I mean come on, there was so many trees) and yet I could smell the salt water from the Sound (and perhaps a waft of the little bunny that was “resting” in the middle of the road, but that’s beside the point). Continuing down that road and soon I came across acres of farm land which turned into blossoming vineyards. We have almost every desirable form of nature right here within minutes and miles of each other.
So, with this sudden overwhelming feeling of adoration towards blades of grass and salt water molecules, I came home to fulfill Mason Monday and bring to you a little spin of something that would normally be thought of as sweet and turned it savory.
Now the only problem I have with this whole cooking endeavor today has nothing to do with the taste or appearance of the final product but with a two syllable word that haunts me day and night. Meatloaf. Who in their right or wrong mind would ever think to name a dish that? If I may speak for everyone, I highly doubt anyone wants to think of meat as a loaf. The only loaves we enjoy are warm, yeasty, butter-melting bread ones, not pork veal and beef… mixed with eggs and milk… formed into a loose football shape… and baked.
Now that I’ve destroyed meatloaf for everyone and you’re all probably converting as born-again vegetarians, let me speak on behalf of the meatloaf I have created today. These are meatloaf cupcakes, so therefore the word meatloaf no longer stands alone in a terrifying heart stopping single worded sentence. Also, in defense to meat turned into loaves, meatloaf does have breadcrumbs in it so it’s halfway there to being a real loaf of warm yeasty goodness. So here you have it- meatloaf cupcakes. These are cute, fun, delicious and as per usual with these half pint masons, they are transportable.
Can I be anymore obsessed?
Meatloaf Cupcakes (I refused to title this recipe as just Meatloaf)
- 1.5 lbs pork, veal beef ground mix
- 1 egg
- 1 shallot
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix (I do it by hand) until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly grease half pint size masons (or a 5×9 inch loaf dish) and fill with mixture. In the half pint masons I left about an inch to half inch space on the top for the sauce and mashed potato “icing”.
Meatloaf Cupcake Sauce
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tbs mustard
Mix all ingredients in a small dish. Pour atop each meatloaf cupcake.
Bake at 350 oven for 1 hour.
Whipped Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes
- 4-5 medium sized red potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbs butter
- salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
To roast garlic, if using fresh: with the skin still intact, toss garlic lightly in oil and wrap in tin foil. Bake about 20-25 minutes in 350 oven or until soft. When done, remove from oven and unwrap from tin foil. Using the flat edge of the knife press down on garlic until they pop out of skin.
Cut potatoes in quarters and bring to boil in cold salted water in a large pot on stove. Once soft, drain water. Using a kitchen aid, beat potatoes until they are mashed. (You could use a hand held beater if you do not have a kitchen aid.) Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed until desired consistency. Feel free to add more butter/milk! You can never have too much, nor can you over whip.
Assembly: I recommend using a pastry bag and number 8 pastry tip to “ice” the meatloaf cupcakes. Because I used red potatoes and left the skin on, anything smaller than an 8 might have difficulty getting the whipped potatoes through. Also, another beauty of having savory cupcakes is that you needn’t wait for the cake part to cool before icing. The whipped potato frosting holds its own on top of the warm meatloaf. Bravo, potatoes. Enjoy!