This is a recipe I came up with after the horror of seeing all the not so attractive versions of meatloaf. I know I know it's a comfort food. It's not supposed to look pretty. So here is my take on meatloaf. I do two sizes using a miniature or regular muffin tin. The minis are perfect as a passed hors d'oeuvres at your holiday cocktail party. No one will believe it just meatloaf. The larger muffin size can be served as one of your heavy appetizers on the Christmas buffet.
PRETTY LITTLE MEAT LOAF CUP CAKES
1 Pound of Lean Ground Beef
1 Small Red Onion (Chopped Finely)
½ Cup Sweet Corn (Thaw if frozen)
1 Cup Rice Krispies
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
¼ Cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix (GSIDM)
2 Scallions Finley Chopped (Garnish for half of meat loaf appetizers)
30 Grape Tomatoes Sliced Thinly (Garnish for half of meat loaf appetizers)
16 Ounces Refrigerated Store Bought Mashed Potatoes
30 Miniature Cup Cake Paper Casements (I used 2 colors)
2 Miniature Cup Cake Non-Stick Tins
MAKING THE DECORATIVE MASHED POTATO TOPPING
I cheat like crazy when it comes to mash potatoes. The refrigerated premade store brands are great when you consider the time it takes to make your own. There are several brands but the one I like the most is Reser’s. It’s as good if not better than my homemade. I don’t mess with the flavor at all. Shocking!!
Open the plastic seal to breath and place entire container of potatoes into microwave for 4 minutes, remove and stir till all lumps are gone. Assemble your pastry bag with a medium size tip and fill with creamy mash potatoes about three quarters the way up. You’ll need the area at the bottom of bag to hold and squeeze out potato. I order my plastic decorating bags on line. Ateco Brand Clear Disposable 18 inch, 10 bags to a container. They come in a variety of sizes if 18 inches is too big.
MAKING THE TINY MEAT LOAF
Preheat oven at 400 F
In large bowl mix all ingredients except mash potatoes, tomatoes and scallions. Roll mixture into tiny meat balls about one and a half inch in diameter and fill each muffin hole by pressing ball into it creating a cupcake form.
Bake for 25 minutes and remove from tin and place on paper towels to absorb the grease.
Place in cupcake papers and using a pastry bag with medium decorative tip, pipe on a tiny flower of mashed potato to each meat loaf. Garnish half with a tiny slice of grape tomato and half with chopped scallions
The photo above shows the tiny meat loaf presented in two colors; purples and multi- color miniature cupcake paper casements and place on a ceramic white platter. The white background pops all colors beautifully. Solid black would be delightful and well as hunter green or red.