(April 3, 2020) Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are comfort food at its best.
Recipes are endless when it comes to creating this nostalgic dish, and it is this capacity for reinvention that adds to its popularity.
Meatloaf fritters capture the essence of one of our best-loved meals with a mouthwatering twist.
Meatloaf takes on the shape of a meatball that is encased in mashed potatoes. Then, it is coated with panko breadcrumbs and fried until it reaches a crispy, golden brown ball of flawlessness.
A few helpful hints follow so comprehension comes to the forefront.
The best tasting meatloaf consists of equal parts of ground beef, pork and veal.
The beef is the foundation of the dish, the pork gives the dish its texture and flavor, while the veal tones down the consistency of the other two meats and adds a much-needed tenderness.
Forgo the traditional meatloaf mixes in the grocery store, they are very expensive and one cannot be certain of the percentages of the various meats.
Grocery shopping has taken on new meaning these days. If you cannot find ground pork and ground veal, stick with the ground beef and increase the bread crumbs by a third. Also, add a touch of bacon drippings to the meat mixture.
Combine eggs, milk, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in one bowl, then combine it with the meat mixture. This ensures these ingredients will be evenly distributed throughout the meat mixture.
The mashed potatoes should have a slightly stiffer texture and they also remain in the refrigerator until ready to use. This helps facilitates the forming of the fritters.
The fritters are dusted with flour. The flour absorbs the moisture in the mashed potatoes and acts like a glue for the egg wash. Then, the fritter is rolled in panko breadcrumbs for optimum crispiness.
Canola oil has no flavor and this allows the flavor of the meatloaf fritters to flourish without interference.
If one is stuck at home with a house full of children, consider meatloaf fritters.
They are a great way to get kids involved with cooking. Children love the hands-on experience of cracking eggs and rolling the meatloaf in a panko mixture.
This recipe does takes time and under the current situation that Americans are facing – keeping children occupied is a good thing. Enjoy!
2 ½ pounds meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork and veal)
3 large stalks celery, finely chopped (including the leaves)
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, seeded, stem removed and finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 large whole egg
1 teaspoon whole milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for sautéing meatloaf balls
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place celery, onion and green pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Chop garlic until it has a minced consistency.
4. In a large bowl, combine, raw vegetables and meat. Mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Add breadcrumbs to the mixture and again mix well.
6. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add this to the meat mixture and mix well.
7. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan.
8. Form small meatballs, about 1 ½-inches in diameter for children. Form larger meatballs about 2 ½-inches for adults. Sauté meatballs on all sides until golden brown.
9. Place cooked meatballs on a baking sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until center is cooked. I always cut one open to make sure they are fully cooked. Place on a cooling rack so they do not overcook.
6 to 8 cups favorite mashed potatoes or instant
1. Prepare mashed potatoes according to your favorite recipe. You want the mashed potatoes to be on the stiffer side. Instant mashed potatoes are perfectly acceptable.
Dredging for Fritters
1 cup flour
4 cups unseasoned panko bread crumbs
3 teaspoons cold water
canola oil for frying
1. In a small bowl, mix the eggs and water together.
2. Encase each meatloaf meatball in mashed potatoes. Holding the fritter in one hand, sprinkle flour over it. If you place the fritter directly on a plate of flour, the fritter will lose its shape.
3. Again, holding the fritter in one hand, drizzle a little of the egg wash over it. Spread the egg wash over the entire surface of the meatball.
4. For the last phase of the dredging process, hold the fritter in one hand and sprinkle panko breadcrumbs over the fritter. Gingerly, press the panko breadcrumbs onto the surface of the fritter.
5. In a medium pot, heat enough canola oil over medium-high heat that will cover two-thirds of the fritter. Cook one side until it is crispy and golden brown. Carefully turn the fritter so the other side will also get crispy and golden brown.
6. Place cooked fritters on a cooling rack and add a sprinkling of salt. Meatloaf fritters can be served by themselves or with a side of condensed tomato soup or marinara sauce.
Serves 6 to 8
* Due to the shortages in the supermarkets, this recipe can be made with just ground beef.
Increase the amount of bread crumbs by a third and add a touch of bacon fat to the meat mixture. The texture will have a little more density, but the flavor will there.
Secret Ingredient – Togetherness. “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”
– Henry Ford