Meatloaf is one of those dishes that fails to inspire me. It ends up on our meal rotation because it’s a reliable kid favorite … until the day I decided to change things up a bit.
I figure meatloaf just begs for excitement. Anything to take it from blue-plate-special status to the latest inspiration of celebrity chefs. (Indeed! A search on Food Network yields 524 results.) So it’s not surprising that a chat with son #2 last week went something like this:
Son: “So, what’s for dinner?”
Me: “Meatloaf. But I’m thinking of something different … maybe a surprise ingredient.”
Son, wearily: “Uh, like what kind of surprise?”
Me: “Well, I once made a Russian version that had hard-boiled eggs inside.”
Son (roar): “Oh NO! Don’t do that!”
I knew eggs inside might forever remove meatloaf from our family meal plan. But the remnants of a Trader Joe’s pesto and sun-dried tomato torta in the fridge sounded very tempting. I mixed the ground beef and pork, threw in some crumbled feta, and layered the pesto spread in the middle of the loaf before baking. We ended up with Greek Meatloaf with Feta, thanks to a little doctoring to the recipe on Recipezaar. With mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, the diner favorite took on an appealing twist for a weeknight meal — for the adults, anyway. The boys put feta in the same category with blue cheese — too strong for their young tastebuds. Hmm, I’ve heard this somewhere before.