Cheerio! A Word on Meatloaf

“Excuse me, ma’am, is that a Cheerio in my meatloaf?”  I imagine my husband asking this question as he examines the not so usual meatloaf that he usually loves.  Most meatloaf calls for bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or croutons, but I’ve always used oatmeal.  Today, I broke the “always” rule when I ran out of oatmeal.  My cupboard was bare oatmeal, as well as all of the other before mentioned possibilities, so I improvised.  I used Cheerios!

While I crushed the substitute – Cheerios – into a coarsely ground flour, I chuckled to myself to imagine a customer’s objection to the odd ingredient in tonight’s dinner.  Just a few days ago, Guy Fieri’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, aired an episode featuring the Blow Fly Inn in Gulfport, MS, where every dish is served with an enormous plastic fly.  I’m sure “fly in my food” doesn’t get many free bills in that restaurant!

So Sweetheart and our African friend seemed to enjoy the Cheerio meatloaf.  Sweetheart commented that “the Cheerios must be why it tastes so sweet this time,”  but I was quick to add that I had to also substitute ketchup for tomato sauce as well.  I would really like to have Cheerios be an acceptable backup for breadcrumbs

Family tradition has always been to make meatloaf in a cast iron skillet instead of a bread pan and we scoop it out instead of slicing it.  Try it some time!

1lb. Ground Beef

2 Large Eggs

2/3 c. crushed Cheerios – plain (or oatmeal)

1 Small Onion

1/2 c. Tomato Sauce – Divided

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix in a medium bowl beef, eggs, Cheerios, onion, half of tomato sauce and spices with your hands (yes, your hands) in a bowl.  Dump into a 7″ or 8″ skillet and press together – slightly mounding towards the center.  Top with remaining sauce.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Scoop out to serve hot and with fresh bread and mashed potatoes!  Mmmmm!

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