Smartcooks here. Guess who's coming to dinner this weekend for a belated birthday celebration? Many people think he died in 1977. Pshaw to that. Our household knows he is still alive and living in Tweed, Ontario. I'm talking about Elvis Presley himself. His 77th birthday was January 8 -- we're a month late paying homage to himself but positive he won't mind.
The menu will feature his favourite Sunday dinner -- no, not a fried bologna sandwich or fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. I'm talking about meatloaf, the family Sunday staple.
I'm not ashamed (well a little) to say that I've baked a couple of items from his Cookbook, including the peanut butter nanaimo squares on page 194. Can you say 2 cups of Icing S-U-G-A-R, 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1 12-ounce package of melted chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup butter. Yikes. All bad. They disappeared fast.
But his Sunday dinner staple was Meatloaf and the recipe is solid. He apparently once confessed to a pert, ponytailed, weekend (ah) date, that he preferred meatloaf to steak because meatloaf was quicker to eat. Not the best eating habits. I also read that he once flew to Denver and stopped on the runway to accept delivery of 22 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from a restaurant there that was famous for them. So.... hopefully, in Tweed, he or someone is feeding him a better diet.
Anyway, with all due respect to the King himself, I made a few tweaks to his meatloaf recipe in keeping with modern day food sensibilities. (So did Shiksa in the Kitchen that features this photo from the Cookbook.)
The original Elvis recipe is very basic (beef, egg, milk, salt, bread crumbs, tomato sauce for glaze). I added in a few more items for taste purposes (e.g., onion, garlic). Later versions of the Elvis Family cookbook do the same so I don't feel I'm messing too much with the King's tastes.
His recipe doesn't specify the type of ground beef. I used very lean and omitted most of the salt (Husband adds it liberally to cook foods so not much point.) A glaze helps to finish the meatloaf; apparently, Elvis ate gravy or had tomato juice on the side. Hmm....
And.... And ... Perfect Meatloaf Baking is a cinch today due to the modern engineering of pans. Thanks to the infomercial seen recently on TV, (sadly 'tis true), it's now super easy to Bake, Lift and Serve an entire meatloaf painlessly out of the pan. See Perfect Lift and Serve Meatloaf pan for yourself.
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T vegetable oil
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 tsp salt (can omit or reduce)
3 slices of bread
1/2 tsp of pepper or to taste
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 can low-sodium tomato juice (2/3 cup)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Saute the minced onion and celery in oil for 5 minutes in a skillet. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes more, until the vegetables are softened and fragrant. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients with the meat, until combined. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk and then add them to the meat mixture. Mix the eggs completely into the seasoned meat mixture i.e., the meat is not slippery with egg.
Press the meat mixture into your Perfect Meatloaf Pan. Pour low-sodium tomato juice over the top of the meat and cover pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. At 40 minutes, remove the loaf pan from the oven and uncover. Spread the glaze evenly across the top of the meatloaf. Return it to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 20 minutes.
Take meatloaf out and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Enjoy Sunday dinner and raise a glass to The King. Long may he reign o'er us!
While eating dinner, you can listen to one of Husband's favourite Elvis songs, called Old Shep (don't cry for Hoover).