In honor of Streetcar's southern charm and New Orleans roots, award-winning food journalist Patrick Evans-Hylton turns up the heat on a family classic.
We know Blanche DuBois wore a thin veneer of Southern gentility hiding her demons and delusions of grandeur, but could it also have been hiding a secret desire to become a domestic goddess?
Probably not, but like any good hostess, she most likely rambled in the kitchen at her family’s ancestral Mississippi plantation on the servant’s day off to feed the man (men?) in her life.
Perhaps this is the dish she made to entice all of those gentlemen callers? It is sophisticated enough to cater to the fine, but declining, tastes of beaux at Belle Reve, while appealing to the no-nonsense, meat-and-potatoes appetite of a brute such as Stanley Kowalski.
And ya don’t need to know nothing about no Napoleonic code to make it either.
Blance DuBois' Crazy Good Creole Meatloaf with French Fried Onions over Maque Choux
We take a tasty, tried-and-true meatloaf recipe and kick it up to New Orleans standards. One feature: the holy trinity.
The holy trinity is a composition of three aromatic vegetables used extensively in Creole and Cajun dishes: chopped and sautéd bell pepper, onion, and celery add classic flavors, similar to mire poix found in French cuisine. It is found in such timeless dishes as etouffee, gumbo, and jambalaya.
Sprinkled throughout are other hallmarks of Creole cooking, including garlic, parsley and cayenne pepper. The zesty ketchup-based tomato topping gets zing from another Louisiana pantry must-have: Tabasco sauce.
We like to slightly grill slices of our meatloaf and serve atop Maque Choux, a delicious Cajun creamy corn side dish with bold flavors, and also top it with French Fried Onions.
If you’d like my recipe for Maque Choux or French Fried Onions, email me: PatrickEvansHylton@gmail.com
It’s good enough to make you run in the streets and yell “Stellllllaaaaaa.” True story.
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3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped
1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil and add garlic, onion, green pepper and celery, stirring frequently and sautéing for about 7-13 minutes, or until vegetables soften and garlic and onion are translucent. Remove from stovetop, drain, and set aside.
In a large bowl, add ground beef, egg, and milk and mix. Add bread crumbs, parsley, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, and thoroughly incorporate. Transfer to a lightly greased 5x9-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, combine ketchup and Tabasco sauce pour over meatloaf and evenly spread.
Bake at 350F for one hour.
Yields 4-6 servings
PATRICK EVANS-HYLTON is an award-winning food journalist based in Hampton Roads. Trained as a chef at Johnson & Wales University, Evans-Hylton has covered food and foodways through print, radio, and television since 1995. He is author of two food history books, two cookbooks, and the upcoming “Dishing Up Virginia” to be released in early 2013. Find more of his adventures in food at www.PatrickEvansHylton.com.