I really enjoy cooking but there's always so much to do. Sometimes I want to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible. One of our family's all-time favorite meals is microwave meatloaf. You can have a 1 pound meatloaf on the table in about 20 minutes, depending on how fast you chop and assemble ingredients. When the kids lived at home, I'd double it and make the 2 pound version, but the 1 pound is just right for hubby and I to get 2 meals.
Hubby was helping me chop onions and garlic last night while we made this. I told him, "Probably my favorite fragrance in the kitchen is garlic ... oh, and fresh coffee ... and bread baking ... and chocolate cake. Oh, never mind." Guess I can't choose a favorite!
And one more reason to use the microwave is that it doesn't heat your kitchen. During the hot months in Arizona, the last thing we need is to add one more degree of heat in the house. Cooking in the microwave is the perfect solution. We usually serve rice, beans, creamed corn and tortillas with it. Then make meatloaf sandwiches with the leftovers. Yum!
1 pound ground meat -- hamburger is always good; this one pictured is made with ground turkey and I've used ground pork before as well - you can even combine them for more flavor
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup oatmeal (I use quick oats)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup barbeque sauce (we use KC Masterpiece, although if you don't like it or don't have it, you can just omit and add more ketchup)
salt and pepper
Spray oil on a baking dish -- for the 1 pound, I use a 1 quart pyrex dish -- for the 2 pound, a 2-1/2 quart. Mix it all together right in the casserole dish.
Using a fork, beat the egg in the bottom of the dish. Add chopped onion and garlic, meat, oatmeal, ketchup, barbeque sauce, a little salt and/or pepper, then mix well. I use a potato masher for this.
So you have the mixture in the casserole dish. Make the top nice and flat. Then, using a wooden spoon, make a hole in the middle. This is important for even microwave cooking. I usually use the spoon to round the edges around the outside of the meatloaf as well, then again make sure the hole in the middle is open.
Cover the dish -- I use the glass lid for the Pyrex casserole. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Turn dish 1/4 turn and cook an additional 5 minutes. That's it -- just 10 minutes per pound. If you're doing a 2 pound, cook for 10 and 10, totaling 20 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and drain the grease off. Just crack the lid a little and tip the whole thing over, letting the grease drain through the crack. Use your oven mitts for this and be careful of the steam -- it's very hot.
This meatloaf is so good and so easy. My mom used to make this one in her first microwave when I was a teenager -- so many, many moons ago. I remember how cool it was when we first had a microwave. Once, somebody put something in it with a piece of foil and it caught on fire in the microwave. I think dad ripped open the door, knocked it out onto the kitchen floor and beat it with a broom. Oh, good times!