18 October 2011
I had a revelatory moment in the kitchen. I was thinking I would like to have a meatloaf sandwich. The problem was...I didn't really want to have eat the meatloaf before it became the sandwich. Then it hit me. Why didn't I just make a planned over meatloaf and cut out the "dinner" part of the meatloaf experience.
Since I cook a lot on Sundays, it seemed natural to stick a meatloaf in the oven and then just throw it in the fridge. But then there is the problem of cooking meatloaf. Even though I have one of those meatloaf pans that supposedly holds the meatloaf out its greasy residue, it is a pain to clean. Then I had a second revelation. At the big Food show in D.C. I was given some "en papillote" bags. It seems that The Paper Chef took the difficult origami out of the "en papillote" and just made paper bags suitable for cooking salmon. I had been looking for a way to use these nifty bags and then I thought, why not bag my meatloaf. The paper bag would make nice sandwich sized slices and the paper would wick away most of the fat. I would be left with a baking sheet to wash and a cold meatloaf without that congealed fat issue.
I made my meatloaf. I took The Paper Chef Bag and gentle pushed out its square corners to give me a more rounded loaf. I put my meatloaf mix in the bag and shaped it a bit. The length of the bag allowed me to just wrap it around and place it on the baking sheet, also providing extra paper to wick away the fat.
I baked it and then removed it to a rack to cool and allow any residual fat to drip off. I too some extra paper towels and dabbed the meatloaf. When it was cool, I just wrapped the whole thing in foil and tucked it in the fridge. the next day I unwrapped the foil, removed the bag and sliced the meatloaf.
I don't think I will ever make meatloaf any other way.
While The Paper Chef might take exception, I am sure a plain brown paper bag would work, or just plain parchment, it you wanted to wrap up the meatloaf and tie it off with string. Either way, it makes a great sandwich.