Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Meatloaf for the Fussy Italians

My stepfather-to-be (wedding countdown is T-minus-16 days and counting) and his youngest son are very proud of being Italian. Kudos to them for having pride in their country of ancestry, though neither of them strictly grew up there, and both are Canadian citizens. However, their pride makes them a tad, ahem, fussy. And not about the traditional "fussy" ingredients, either.

Dan (the son) won't touch mushrooms, chicken, chocolate, any milk other than homogenized (personally, ew), chickpeas or pork chops, and complains loudly to anyone who will listen when pre-sliced canned potatoes come out of the cupboard so that my poor overworked mom can throw together his favourite meal at 8:30PM because he's too lazy to cook for himself. Cel (the S2B) won't eat garlic, onions, Romaine lettuce, whole grain anything or any other tomato sauce than the one that comes in the world's biggest jar from the tiny Ajax deli near where we used to live. Bear in mind now, this guy is from Italy, and he won't eat garlic or onions!!! However, he will gladly put about an extra tablespoon of salt onto absolutely anything he's presented with, even a cheesy pasta dish that is seasoned to perfection by a 5 star chef.
But no matter. I had given up on trying to please the ever-varying palates of my "relatives" (though Dan loves my chocolate chip cookies), when I began this blog, but ever since joining the online foodie community (both in the case of blogging and on GroupRecipes) my brainstorming creativity threshold has expanded exponentially. So, I did what any other frustrated cook in my position would do with a lot of time (and the quest to sneak hated foods in) on their hands... experimented!

I'm waiting on motherly approval to make this prior to the wedding, but if I can't whip it off before then, I'll make it and freeze it for when they come back from their honeymoon (guess where to? lol) in mid-October. Heck, who wants to cook when they're suffering from jet-lag? And considering Dan will eat leftover pizza that's been sitting out (not in the fridge) for 5 days (yes, hygenic, I know :S), I'm sure he'll eat this.
The Fussy Italians' Meatloaf
Serves 6
3/4 Lb lean or extra-lean ground beef
3/4 Lb ground veal
1/8 Lb thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
1 large white or Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 pound Provolone cheese, diced
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 toasted whole-grain bread slices, processed into large crumbs
1/4 cup pine nuts, ground to a powder
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 egg, beaten
Pinch each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, cinnamon and nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine ground beef, veal, pancetta, onion, garlic, cheese, and lemon rind. Do not over-work the meat.
  3. Add the bread crumbs, pine nuts, mascarpone cheese, Parm-Regg, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring gently to combine.
  4. Shape roughly into a loaf and place in a glass loaf pan. Do not press down meat.
  5. Cover with tin foil.
  6. Bake 45 mins in preheated oven, remove foil and bake 10 mins longer.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 449.3
Total Fat: 34.5 g
Cholesterol: 118.7 mg
Sodium: 306.7 mg
Total Carbs: 9.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 24.5 g

Do you know any fussy eaters? What are they picky about? Do you find that as we age we get less picky? What do you think?