I love to cook, but most of all, I love to create. Most of my recipes have come from my head and heart. Sometimes I will try something I see online, television, from a friend, or something passed down from family, but I always put my own spin on it. This is one of those recipes…My husband isn’t a huge fan of sweets, and I really wanted to make him something special this past weekend to show my appreciation and love for all the support he provides (so I got creative.) Food Imposter: Food that isn’t exactly what it seems. Ex: Meatloaf Cupcake/Ice Cream Taco. Food Network posts on their blog, “These fake-out foods may look more difficult to make than they really are; broken down into steps, they become a fun and easy project to make on the weekend.” Now this isn’t your normal “Boring” Meatloaf. I have adapted my grandmother’s recipe (my family came Straight Outta Sicily, also whom I’ve inherited the Celiac gene,) to make it “Italian Style.” Like one giant Meatball! It stays moist, seasoned to perfection, and absolutely scrumptious! One of my favorite memories growing up, was watching her cook Sunday family dinners. She’d cook the Meatballs, and Sauce for HOURS! When she passed away, my Mother received her cookbook, and passed the recipe down to me. Now I am passing it onto you, with just a few alterations. Below, you will find my ingredients and step-by-step instructions, for this fun, tasty, and attractive dish! They can be made for potlucks, dinner parties, appetizers, and family mealtimes. Best part is that they can be eaten with your hands, and they reheat without drying out!
Equipment: Food Processor/Blender, 18ct Cupcake Pan, Piping Bag fitted with Large Circular tip
1 ½ lbs Ground Beef
¼ tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp Ground Thyme
½ tsp Ground Mustard
¼ tsp White Pepper
½ tsp Salt
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Finely Chopped Shallot
4 tbsp Sofrito (see Sofrito Recipe in “Marinades”)
- Measure out and mix all dry ingredients, listed above, together in large bowl, add Ground Beef, Sofrito, Minced Garlic, Chopped Shallot, and combine. Massage well with hands until all seasonings are incorporated into meat, thoroughly.
- Cover, and put into refrigerator for at least an hour, no more than 4 to marinate.
- Remove Meat mixture from refrigerator, and preheat oven to 350°. Add the following to blender/food processor:
2 leaves Fresh Basil
2/3 cup Fresh Parsley (I use Curly leaf)
6 leaves Fresh Oregano
½ cup freshly (shredded) Parmesan Cheese
- Blend well, then add to meat mixture, and again Massage well with hands until all seasonings are incorporated into meat, thoroughly.
- Spray 18 muffin tins with non-stick spray, and pack meat into muffin tins until ¾ full. (If making a traditional meatloaf, using a bread pan, form meat mixture into a log shape, and top with ½ cup Ketchup.)
- Bake for 35 minutes for Muffins, 45-60 minutes for loaf.
- Remove from oven and set on paper towels to drain grease.
LOADED MASHED POTATOES
*Organic Instant Mashed Potatoes (If you use Organic, this insures Sulfite-free!)
*Organic Chicken Broth (substitute this for the water, I prefer Imagine brand, GF, and SF.)
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
½ tsp Onion Powder
¼ tsp Celery Salt
¼ tsp White Pepper
3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
- Follow directions on bag/box of mashed potatoes for the first four ingredients, substituting the chicken broth for the water. This will add amazing flavor and color to your “icing,” adding a yellow hue to it.
- Add the minced Garlic to the broth as you bring it to a boil, then add the rest of the seasonings and Parmesan after the potato mixture has thickened. Whip with fork thoroughly.
Putting them together:
- Place potato mixture in piping bag fit with a large round tip. Pipe in a circular motion, beginning around the outside, and spiraling inward, into a peak in the center (looking like soft-serve ice cream.)
- Pipe all “Cupcakes.”
- Gather your favorite toppings, bacon bits, shredded cheese, chives, etc. (the more colorful, the better!)
- Top each “Cupcake” with your “Sprinkles,” and enjoy.
Remember, if you try out this recipe, please leave a comment below with how it turned out, and if there were any alterations you made. As always, if there are any questions you may have regarding this recipe or others, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.