By Chef Peter Webster of Bouquet Garni Catering
Twice a year, I present a seminar for the students at John Abbott College. It is usually for the students in residence who are away from home for the first time and are called upon to do their own cooking. All the cooking facilities they have in their rooms are a two burner hotplate and a microwave oven.
The recipes I showcase, then, are tailored to their equipment. I normally don’t use a microwave in the course of my catering business other than to warm certain sauces. So it is interesting to experiment with it and see the results. The following recipe is not gourmet but it is a good family dinner and the best part is it takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook.
• 1 cup of tomato sauce or ketchup
• 1/4 cup brown sugar (or less)
•2 tsp Dijon style mustard or prepared mustard
• 2 eggs
• 1 onion or 5 green onions, chopped
• 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
ˆ4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 3/4 cup of oats
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs
• Salt and pepper tp taste
• 2 lbs of lean ground beef
In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar and mustard. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and half of the tomato sauce. Mix, using your hands, until all the ingredients are finely incorporated.
In a glass pie plate, make a ring of the meatloaf mixture, keeping the centre open. (The reason for this is the centre takes much longer to cook. The outside then might become overcooked and dry.) Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top.
Place the meatloaf in the microwave on high heat for 10 minutes. Remove after 10 minutes and pour off any fat and liquid. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from microwave and again pour off any fat and liquid.
Cover the meatloaf and let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.