…from the California Kitchen
ow you doin’? To all of our Parrot Head friends—we had the pleasure of designing the menu for the opening of Margaritaville, Las Vegas. Perspectives had done a lot of work in Sin City over the years and never did we see a Las Vegas strip hotel and casino remove slot machines to put in a restaurant… Margaritaville was a first. The restaurant occupied 3 floors of valuable gambling space for, what became, the highest grossing restaurant in the United States.
When Chef Spencer and I started designing the menus, Jimmy told us it was to be fun, affordable, on brand and it must include his mother’s meatloaf--just like mom’s. This is what we call a dream client—few restrictions.
James William Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi on Christmas Day in 1946. While Jimmy is known for his easy-going, barefoot life-style and music, he is also an author, actor and successful businessman. He is one of the hardest working perfectionists we’ve ever worked with. I used to love to go to his concerts and watch from backstage as he, seemingly effortlessly, put on a great show. Unlike too many celebrities of our day, Jimmy is also a very good man.
With all that’s going on around our world today a lot of us are a lot about classic, comforting meals—and it doesn’t get more comforting or more classic than Jimmy’s Mom’s meatloaf. It’s humble, homey, and comforting.
Jimmy’s Mom’s meatloaf is really nothing new. Meatloaf has been around since Ancient Rome, the version we’re familiar with saw a resurgence during the Great Depression and again during the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Now with war in Europe and inflation rates soaring at home, meatloaf is still warm, nourishing, and inexpensive—allowing families to stretch their food budget.
The Margaritaville meatloaf is made with ground beef, eggs, milk, onion and breadcrumbs seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, fragrant garlic, fresh parsley and thyme, and of course, plenty of ketchup. Nothing flashy, just simple, well-balanced flavor.
And don’t forget the glaze—just ketchup, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and molasses. The top of the meatloaf glaze caramelizes in the oven, giving it a sweet and tangy depth of flavor. The loaf remains tender and juicy; never dry or too well done. At Margaritaville we served two slices of Mom’s meatloaf atop a mountain of mashed potatoes, with glazed carrots and steamed green beans along side.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 65 to 70 minutes
Cool time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the meatloaf
2 pounds 85/15 ground beef (or 1-pound ground beef and a half pound each of ground pork and veal)
1 large yellow onion, minced
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 large eggs, whisked
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup milk (or half & half)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
For the glaze
1/3 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
To make the meatloaf
ChefSecret: Be sure to tap the pan to fill in the corners. If you don't do the pan-tapping, the meatloaf will not hold together.
Quip of the Day: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” –Jimmy Buffett
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to email@example.com. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2022
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