With March comes the promise of spring and the season’s warmer weather and ascending beauty outside, but all of that can wait for April. For many, March comes with the promise of hundreds of hours worth of continual basketball games. It’s time for March Madness. Whether you’re hosting a viewing party or heading over to somebody’s house with a bigger television and better sports cable package, the last thing you want to be doing in March is spending too much time in the kitchen getting your TV-side munchies together. Here are a few low-maintenance recipes that will make sure you don’t miss any hardcourt action.
Mile High Meatloaf and Crispy Onion Straw Sandwiches
Take out Chinese and pizza are always a good idea for the season of March Madness basketball and I encourage you to take advantage of as many local food delivery services as you can over the course of the month. But when in need of the comfort of a home cooked meal that still screams “game day food,” look no further. The brilliance of this recipe is that once the meatloaf is cooked, it can be stored in the fridge for days and sandwiches can be assembled at a moment’s notice before tip off. Crispy onion straws aren’t necessary, but are a tasty, crunchy touch of scrumptiousness that is worth those few extra minutes in the kitchen.
Meatloaf Ingredients:• 1 pkg. mushrooms, minced • 1 onion, minced • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs • 3/4 cup milk • 2 lb. ground beef • 2 eggs • 4 tablespoons ketchup • 4 tablespoons BBQ • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire • 2 teaspoons salt • 2 teaspoons pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet and sauté the onions and mushrooms until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Combine milk and breadcrumbs in a large bowl to soak. Add cooked onions and mushrooms. Stir to combine.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the breadcrumb mixture. Combine well using either your hands or a stiff spoon.
5. Using either a meatloaf pan, bread pan or rimmed cookie sheet, form the meat mixture into a loaf shape. Brush the top of the uncooked meatloaf with more BBQ sauce.
6. Bake the meatloaf on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. If using ground beef with a higher percentage of fat, feel free to drain fat from the meatloaf pan while baking. I recommend using ground beef with 4 to 6 percent fat for this recipe.
7. Once meatloaf is cooked thoroughly, remove and turn the oven to broil. Brush the top of the meatloaf with more BBQ sauce and broil in the oven for another 2 to 5 minutes.
Crispy Onion Straws:• 1 large yellow onion • 1 cup of flour • Salt, to taste • Pepper, to taste • 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 375 degrees.
2. Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife) slice the onions very thin.
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
4. When ready to fry, dip the onions into the flour, shake off excess flour, and then drop into the hot oil. Fry for a few minutes or until onions are golden brown.
5. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add another pinch of salt while hot.
To Assemble Meatloaf Sanwiches:
1. The bread of choice is completely your preference. By tradition, I’ve used soft American white sandwich bread.
2. Slice the meatloaf thick. If using meatloaf that has been refrigerated, reheat in a skillet until crispy on both sides and warmed through. Place on one bread slice.
3. Drizzle BBQ sauce over the meatloaf.