Today I went to Beverly Hills to meet my new birthday buddy, Connor. He arrived five weeks early (on my birthday!), and he’s just the most adorable little guy ever. I did some research on visiting new moms, and found this helpful post on etiquette for dropping off food and visiting and whatnot
See, most of my friends with kids don’t live in LA, so the whole visiting thing is new to me and I didn’t want to mess it up.
We went the hang out all afternoon route instead of the drive by food delivery route, and we had a great time. I learned all kinds of things about preemies today. Up until now my only experience with preemies looked something like this.
My first Cabbage Patch Kid Preemie Upton Xavier (or something) had these elephant overalls and bad orthopedic shoes but much better hair. Photo Courtesy of Fran’s House of Dolls and Toys.
I didn’t have brothers and sisters, but I did have nine of Cabbage Patch Kids. It turns out they taught me nothing about babies, though.
So, anyway, I wanted to bring over food instead of just showing up with a gift because new parents don’t have time for showering and sleeping let alone cooking.
I made bacon wrapped meatloaf because I know Connor’s parents like it, and because it’s the sort of dish you can reheat and it still tastes delicious. I brought the meatloaf over in bowl form and did the bacon swaddling at their place. (See? I learned a new word today. Swaddling.)
Here’s the dinner situation in its traveling state.
I have slightly modified the meatloaf recipe from Two Dudes, One Pan. I know the chefs behind the cookbook well. They started out with a catering business and now have two incredibly successful restaurants in LA. (I actually used to help them out with parties back in their catering days.) It’s a fun cookbook with a lot of personality. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s totally worth checking out.
One of the best things about the meatloaf recipe (aside from the bit where the meat is wrapped in other tasty meat) is that it calls for bread crumbs instead of bread slices. It skips that whole step where you have to soak milk in bread.
I haaaaated meatloaf as a kid, but this recipe converted me, and now I’m like born again for meatloaf. Oh, and if you’re ever in LA, you can check out the chefs in action at Animal or Son of a Gun.
So, here’s how you make it.
2 pounds of ground beef (I use 20% fat)
1 pound of ground pork
1 C onion, finely diced
¾ C panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 C ketchup (I like Trader Joe’s organic)
1/3 C whole milk
½ C Italian parsley, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Tabasco (or Tapatio)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
6-8 slices of bacon
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place all of the ingredients except the bacon in a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients with your hands until they are thoroughly mixed. (It’s kind of fun – trust me.)
Set a piece of plastic wrap on your counter or work surface. Lay the bacon strips on the plastic wrap. Place your meat mixture on top of the bacon strips and form a loaf with your hands. Use the edges of the plastic wrap to fold the bacon around the loaf.
Transfer the bacon-wrapped loaf onto the baking pan and flip it over so that it is bacon side up. Remove the plastic wrap.
Here’s the meatloaf all wrapped in bacon. Mmm.
Bake until the loaf is firm, and the bacon has started to brown, about 50-60 minutes. If you prefer your bacon to be crispy, turn on the broiler for about 3 minutes, but keep an eye on it because this can be a quick process.
Allow the meatloaf to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
I wish I had a better photo of the final dish, but we were so hungry we tore into that beast so fast I sort of forgot to take a photo.