what I made for dinner :: mini honey-mustard meatloaves

I don't know about you, but I grew up with fabulous meatloaf. My mother makes an amazing meatloaf with some surprises inside :: she would often stick an entire sausage (like a bratwurst) or a hard-boiled egg inside the loaf. It may sound weird, but it's delicious! And her meatloaves were always moist so I never had the aversion to meatloaf that many people seem to have.

Fast forward to college, sophomore year. I attempted to make a meatloaf and I didn't have a recipe. That was a disaster and a memory Rupert seems to have erased from his memory (thankfully).

I think I was traumatized by that cooking experience and I've been very reluctant to make meatloaf for the last 10+ years. But I think I've found a recipe that will help me add meatloaf to my cooking repertoire :: Mini Honey-Mustard Meatloaves from Martha Stewart.

The recipe is not perfect as is, but it's a good start. Rupert was surprised at its moistness, a big plus. Adding cheese to the meatloaf mixture and the top of the meatloaves helps, no doubt! But I found that it's too fluffy, a result from perhaps too much panko breadcrumbs. I don't want the meat to be too dense, but I also want it to still taste like meat; next time I'll reduce the amount of breadcrumbs to a quarter of a cup. The recipe calls for honey-mustard but I didn't have any so I mixed some honey into regular yellow mustard. Next time I may use a Dijon or seedy mustard instead to give it deeper flavor.

One warning, because of the cheese, the meatloaves expel a lot of grease (I also used 80/20 ground beef so there was a lot of fat in the meat too). Be sure to use the cooking pan that is appropriate for you. I used a rimmed baking sheet lined with Silpat and it required a lot of cleaning. Placing the meatloaves on a rack in a deeper baking pan might be better ...

I served the meatloaves with curry roasted cauliflower, which was a hit with everyone. I just cut up a cauliflower, doused it with some olive oil and sprinkled salt, pepper, and a little bit of curry powder on it. I think I roasted it for about 12 minutes in the oven while the meatloaves were cooking. Be sure to toss them midway through the cooking time so they don't get too dry.

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