TUESDAY Night Special means nothing to anyone who wasn't always served meat loaf on Tuesday night as I was. Some of the versions my mother made were wonderful. Some, like the one with the hard-cooked egg in the center were awful. I'm not sure why, but to this day I don't like finding slices of hard-cooked egg in my meat loaf.
Otherwise I love it; hot, room temperature or cold. When I was a kid the Tuesday night meat loaf became Wednesday lunch with white bread and catsup. Even though I don't eat white bread anymore, there are two ways I still like it: holding a slab of meat loaf or filled with a tuna salad.
To make meat loaf fit into a 30-minute meal, it had to be transformed into individual servings that would bake quickly. You can do that with any kind of loaf -- turkey, chicken, ham.
The cauliflower was also part of the Tuesday night special, but not the part I liked as a child.
The cheese bread is a modern innovation that adds zest to this simple meal. 30 MINUTE MEAL FOR 3 Individual Meat Loaves Steamed Cauliflower Cheese Bread Broiled Grapefruit Sprinkled With Brown Sugar
STAPLES: Onion, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, brown sugar (optional).
SHOPPING LIST: 1 pound regular ground beef, 8-ounce can tomato sauce, 1 medium head cauliflower, 1 tablespoon parsley (optional), 12 ounces french bread or baguettes, 6 tablespoons plain yogurt, 2 to 2 1/2 ounces sharp cheese (cheddar, parmesan), grapefruit.
GAME PLAN: Turn oven to 450 degrees. Prepare onion and garlic; mix with remaining meat loaf ingredients; fill muffin cups and bake.Boil water for cauliflower. Prepare cauliflower. Grate cheese and mix with yogurt, mayonnaise; spread on bread on bread. Cook cauliflower. Toast bread. INDIVIDUAL MEAT LOAVES (3 or 4 servings) 1 medium-large onion 1 clove garlic 1 pound regular ground beef 3/4 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon basil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Turn oven to 450 degrees. Chop onion medium-fine. Crush or press garlic clove. Mix all ingredients together (it's fastest with your hands).
Fill medium muffin tins with mixture, approximately 16 muffin cups. Place in oven as soon as tins are filled and bake, about 20 minutes, until the fat that has been rendered is bubbling and meat is cooked through. Drain off fat and serve. (Good for brown bag lunch, too.) STEAMED CAULIFLOWER (3 servings) 1 medium head cauliflower Salt Chopped parsley (optional)
Put hot water in steamer and bring to a boil, covered. Wash and trim green leaves from cauliflower and break head into flowerettes. Try to keep them fairly uniform in size. Steam for about 10 minutes, depending on size, until crisp-tender. Drain. Season with salt. Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired. CHEESE BREAD (3 servings) 12 ounces french bread or baguettes 1/2 cup coarsely grated, firmly packed sharp cheese, such as cheddar or parmesan 6 tablespoons plain yogurt 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
Slice bread or baguettes in half lengthwise. Grate cheese. Mix yogurt, mayonnaise and cheese together and spread over cut sides of bread. Toast in preheated 450-degree oven (can be done in oven with meat loaf) for 10 minutes, until tops begin to brown and bubble.