Fargo Foodie| A Classic Home-Cooked Meal

 One adjustment college students face when moving away from home is the lack of home-cooked meals they have access to. While those with access to the dining centers on campus receive versions of some home-cooked favorites, other than being a first-year student, many students no longer have this option.

Frozen meals sent from home are great for the busy student, but can only last for so many days. The solution: learn to make your own. Knowing the recipes for a few of your favorite meals from home is one step on the process to becoming a self-sufficient adult.

Meatloaf is a classic where the term “home-cooked food” is concerned. Warm, comforting and filling, meatloaf is essentially meat combined with seasonings and shaped into a loaf to bake, hence its rather unappetizing title.

The key to a great meatloaf is using eggs and a starch, in this case oats, to hold it together. This meatloaf is topped with a sweet and sour glaze, made with tangy ketchup, which is slightly reminiscent of a sweet barbecue sauce. The recipe is relatively foolproof, as long as it is given enough time to bake. Once cooked through, there should be no pink in the interior.

Meatloaf’s usual pairing is mashed potatoes. Included below is a recipe for brown butter sweet potato mash, a twist on the typical stuff. Browned butter is simply heated butter until it has a light golden color, yielding a rich and nutty component to the sweet potato mash.

Meatloaf makes great leftovers and can be easily doubled to make enough to last those nights when cooking simply isn’t an option.

Katherine Kessel| THE SPECTRUM
The sweet and tangy glazed meatloaf is great paired with brown butter sweet potato mash.

Meatloaf Ingredients:

1 egg

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons mustard

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 pound ground beef

Sweet and Sour Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons ketchup

4 tablespoons cider vinegar

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the egg, ketchup, mustard, oats, onion, pepper and salt.

Add the ground beef and mix using clean hands, until the mixture is just combined.

Do not over mix, as this will make the meatloaf tough. Shape the meat into an oval shaped loaf on the prepared pan, flattening so that it is about 2 inches thick.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients.

Add half of the glaze to the top of the meatloaf, spreading it so that it is close to the edges.

Bake for 45 minutes, stopping halfway through the cooking time to add the rest of the topping. Then continue to bake until the meatloaf is cooked completely.

An optional side for the Meatloaf is Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes.

Browned Butter Sweet Potatoes Ingredients:

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add the potato chunks to a pot and cover with enough water to cover the tops of the potatoes.

Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander. In the same pan, add the butter and heat over medium heat.

Cook the butter, swirling frequently until the color is light brown and smells nutty.

Add the potato chunks to the butter, and mash with the milk, salt and pepper to the consistency of your choosing.

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