Grillades, pronounced gree-ahds, for those of you who don’t have the pleasure of indulging in them just about any day of the week at local restaurants. Grillades, is a Creole dish of meat–veal, pork, beef, or just about anything hunted in Louisiana, browned then braised in a “stew” of stock with tomatoes (although optional), thyme, bay leaves, and the holy trinity of Cajun cooking -green pepper, onion, and celery. But as most Cajun cooking goes-anything goes. Most menus serve the grillades over grits. The word, GRITS can be found on t-shirts, with the meaning-“Girls Raised In The South”. I’m not sure who came up with that idea, but sure they made millions. I am definitely a Southern girl who loves her grits. Sometimes when I was a child, grits was all I wanted to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I make a pot of grits, I always end up having leftovers, which come in handy for making Grit Cakes (in our house grit cakes are used for serving leftover black-eyed peas, etouffee, and smothered chicken upon.) Leftover grits can also be used in meatloaf as an extender for ground beef or used as a filling for this “grillades” meatloaf.
If you have a favorite meatloaf recipe, use it. Do you prefer to mold your meatloaf into a loaf and place on a broiler rack or use an old-fashioned meatloaf pan? Honestly, meatloaf is not something I usually cook, so when I have a chance to pull out my meatloaf pan, I jump at the opportunity. (Otherwise, hubby would insist I no longer need the pan!) Yes, by using the meatloaf pan, the meatloaf must be drained. If you cringe at this, use the broiler pan or rack over a sheet pan so all the “juices” drip down. For this recipe, I use lean ground meat to balance the fat in the sausage and I do not use any breadcrumbs or egg, just the layers of grits.
Here is the recipe:
Put Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: What other sautéed veggies may be good? Okra? Zucchini? How about using leftover cheese grits for added yumminess? Think about what type of cheese or cheeses is in your grits and what would compliment their flavors. No leftover grits? Use leftover rice or polenta instead. Not adding mushrooms, how about adding sautéed shrimp to the sauce before topping meatloaf? If you are impatient like me and dive into the meatloaf too soon and it crumbles, still tasty, but can be saved to stuff bell peppers. Want to enjoy the meatloaf for brunch? Serve a slice of meatloaf open-faced on a biscuit or English muffin and top the slice with an over easy egg. Not a meatloaf fan? Make hamburger patties or meatballs stuffed with grits, cook, then top with sauce (no need to drain tomatoes, just add into sauce when juice is added). The meatballs are delicious served open face on French bread, topped with Swiss cheese and broiled until cheese is melted-knife and fork required! The same can be done with any leftover meatloaf slices on toast.
FOOD FUN: Think you have the winning 2 pound meatloaf recipe? Head to Paxico, Kansas for the 8th Annual Meatloaf Festival and participate in the World Championship Meatloaf Cook-Off, June 18 this year. Categories include: Prettiest Meatloaf in the World, Champion Traditional Meatloaf-with a slogan of “do your Mama proud”, and Champion Non-Traditional. The winners receive not only bragging rights but cash prizes and “highly sought after” trophies. The overall winner, one with the most votes (so bring your friends) is invited to serve as MEATLOAF ROYALTY in the following year’s Meatloaf Festival parade! MEATLOAF ROYALTY…that would be a terrific conversation starter.