Stovetop meatloaf is a recipe that my wife and I recently put together to save cooking time and to enjoy meatloaf during the hot, summer months without turning on the oven. While there are many recipes for making meatloaf, this recipe includes some of our favorite ingredients and a few surprising ingredients from the Far East.
Thaw one pound of frozen, ground meat overnight, in the refrigerator, to slowly remove all of the pockets of ice that may be present. Add the fully thawed ground meat to a medium mixing bowl and break it up with the wooden spoon into large chunks.
Add one large egg or two small eggs to the ground meat. The eggs are the glue that holds the meatloaf together.
Pulverize half of a sleeve of saltine crackers with your hands until they are crumbs, continuing until you have one full cup. Keep the rest of the saltines handy in case they are needed later. Add the cracker crumbs to the meat. The cracker crumbs act in conjunction with the eggs to bind the meat together so it won’t crumble while cooking.
Measure one tablespoon of garlic powder and add it to the mixture.
Add one teaspoon of black pepper to the mixture.
Add one packet of Lipton Dry Onion Soup to the meat mixture.
Mix all the ingredients together using the wooden spoon, incorporating all the ingredients into the meat. Add additional cracker crumbs if the mixture looks wet. Form the meat into a round, compact shape.
Add ¾ cup of water to ¼ cup of soy sauce. Pour the soy sauce and water mixture into the bottom of the skillet.
Add the meat mixture to the pan and flatten like a giant hamburger. Allow a wooden spoon’s width of a distance between the edge of the skillet and the meat.
Turn the burner on high until the water mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and press the meat with a hamburger flipper. If the juices are red or pink, then increase the heat to medium-low and cover for another five minutes. If the juices are clear, then cut the meatloaf in half and check to see if the meat is thoroughly cooked.
Turn off heat and cut into pie-shaped wedges. Top with ketchup or barbecue sauce. Serves four.
Eric Tilden is a fantasy novelist and author of a weekly newsletter for P*JET * IMAGES, an online art website. He has been working on his fiction novels since 2005, and has written for Demand Studios since June 2009. Tilden attended the University of Michigan-Flint, obtaining an education in art, music theory, archaeology, accounting, calculus and basic graphic design.