I've never made meatloaf before. I first heard of it on Roseanne when I was a kid, and lets face it the Conners were hardly an advert for healthy eating. When the recession first hit it became a tad trendy to come up with mincemeat-based recipes, so, belligerent as ever, I chose to shy away from what everyone else was doing and instead I made my grocery savings by eating more veggies and less meat (em, and also rather conveniently turning up at my brother's house around dinner time). Anyhow, with the snowiness that's swirling around these parts I took one look at Nigella's egg-infested version and I was sold. Bonus points for being able to assemble it the night before, ready to pop in the oven when I got in the following evening. And, as I have found with all of the recipes in Nigella's new book, there aren't too many ingredients and they are not too expensive.
Eggs bubbling, reminding of our very specific egg saucepan that we had at home when we were kids, with half the handle missing. It's still there, but knowing my mother it'll be landed in my kitchen the next time she tries to do a clear out.
Vegetarians look away now:
Next stop lemon polenta cake. I had polenta cake for the first time at a market a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious - love the very fine gritty texture of the grain.
I'm not as puritanical about my egg saucepan as my mother, mine gets repurposed when needs be - this time to make syrup for the top of the cake.
And this stunning piece of kitchen sculpture was a housewarming pres from my brother and his girlfriend - the Phillipe Starck-designed citrus press for Alessi. LOVE it. It works like a dream, and when it's not in use it looks really cool on the countertop, like something out of War of the Worlds.
Cloudy lemony sugary syrup.
Cake out of the oven, being tested with a strand of uncooked spaghetti for cooked-ness, and then prodded full of holes to absorb the syrup.
Gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeaming full of sugary goodness.
I was slightly anxious that it may not have turned out quite as it should though, as it was supposed to have collapsed in the centre. You'd think I could have waited until I had taken a pic of the whole cake before tucking in, but oh no, my greed is highly impatient and I tucked straight in. You see that missing slice? That's the cone of shame right there.
Bits of cake may come off the sides when you take the outside of your springform tin off. Since it's so sticky, you could actually pop them back on very easily. You could also eat them. Clearly I went for option B.
Fast forward to Tuesday evening, all I have to do is stick the immense boulder of meatiness in the oven and an hour later - ta daaaaaaaa!
Other essentials were bubbling away on the hob in a lovely low key, low maintenance way.
The absolutely epitome of wintry comfort food.
Melty, eggy meatiness, oh my.
We did good on the plate-clearing front.
Fear not, leftover meatloaf slices, you will be made into a sandwich and soon you will be safe in my stomach with the rest of your meatloaf slice pals! Hwah hwah hwah.
The newlywed neighbours very graciously left room for dessert. Imperfections were masked with a blob of vanilla cream.
Love those newlyweds, they'll be invited back. As for the meatloaf - it's gonna be a bit of a winter staple in my kitchen.
I'm full just writing this, think I need to go take a lie down.